How to Moisturize 4C hair (10 Most Effective Methods)

Lovingkinkycurls4C Hair2 Comments

how to moisturize 4c hair

Without a doubt, kinky hair textures often suffer from dryness because the shape of the hair strand makes it difficult for sebum to travel down the shaft to moisturize the hair.

Finding a moisturizing routine that works for you is going to be the start of a healthy journey for your hair.

Here are 10 effective ways of moisturizing 4C hair:

1. Stay hydrated

If you are not well hydrated, it will reflect on your skin and hair. So, drink water and stay hydrated all the times.

2. Use water

Water is the best moisturizer your hair will ever need.

Maintain a simple routine of spraying water on a your hair whenever you feel it’s dry. You can do this every other day, twice a week or daily depending on what you prefer.

One of the best things I learnt recently about my 4C hair is that it loves water, this is contrary to what we were told growing up.

3. Use a good moisturizer

A good moisturizer for 4C hair must always have water as the first or second ingredient. It should have the ability to bring back dry and damaged curls back to life.

Always check the ingredient list before settling on a moisturizing product.

4. Deep Condition

One of the most important ways to moisturize natural hair is a consistent deep conditioning routine.

Deep conditioners sit in your hair long enough to penetrate the strands by packing your hair with the moisture and nutrients it needs to thrive.

A good deep conditioner should contain deep penetrating ingredients. This is one of the factors that makes deep conditioning different from regular conditioning.

5. Minimize heat exposure

To keep your 4C hair moisturized and healthy, minimize exposure to heat. Using flat irons and blow dryers too frequently will strip the moisture out of your hair, leaving it dry and brittle.

Once you lose the moisture, it takes a while for natural oils to re-moisturize your hair thereby leaving it at a higher risk of damage 

6. Sleep in a satin bonnet

Cover your hair with a satin bonnet or scarf to retain moisture while you sleep. This will ensure that moisture is not lost.

Silk is an animal protein fiber, while satin is a fiber weave. There are differences between the two, but either one will prevent moisture loss overnight, along with normal snags and split ends from friction.

7. Wear protective styles

Wearing your hair in protective hairstyles works to protect your hair from over exposure to the drying elements.

The styles keep your hair and especially the brittle ends well tacked in. When wearing the protective style always remember to keep re-moisturizing.

8. Lock moisture using LOC Method

LOC method is hands down one of the best methods to keep natural 4C hair moisturized.

It consists of hydrating the hair with water or a water-based product which is your liquid, sealing in the moisture with an oil and then applying a cream to close the hair cuticles to prevents moisture loss and hair damage through breakage.

How to lock moisture using the LOC method

Step 1- Liquid

L in the LOC Method stands for leave-in or liquid, as both are used by curlies to provide the moisture that will be sealed in. I would recommend applying a true moisturizer.

A true moisturizer has water as the first or second ingredient in the leave-in conditioner or liquid (that you plan on using) to cleansed hair.

how to moisturize 4c hair

The liquid opens up the hair cuticles to allow the moisture to enter your hair strands.

Once your cuticles are open, the oil is able to penetrate your hair shafts. This enables hair to become softer and shinier while aiding in moisture retention which helps to reduce damage through hair breakage.

Step 2: Oil

The O step in the LOC method requires you to choose an oil to seal in the moisture you just added to your hair.

Good oils to use in the LOC method are those that can penetrate the shaft and seal in/ lock moisture to be retained for a few days which in turn keeps the hair healthy. These oils include: olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil

Step 3: Cream

Lastly, the cream locks in the moisture of the oil so your hair will be moisturized for a longer period of time and this means you won’t have to do the LOC method every day.

Applying cream to your hair further locks/seals in the already retained moisture by the oil. Most styling creams will help define your curls and keep them from falling throughout the day.

Some people may need additional holding products to help hold and define their curls like curling cream, twist and define cream; moisturizing cream .This is depending on personal preference for instance some may need fewer products to keep their curls from being weighed down.

Many people with 4C hair choose to prepare their hair for the LOC method by co-washing their hair to avoid losing moisture and to keep their hair manageable.

Benefits of locking moisture

Moisture retention is the top benefit of using the LOC method. Moisturized hair leads to less breakage meaning less damaged hair because the hair is more pliable for manipulation, which in return also means less shedding.

Applying products through the LOC method allows your hair to remain moisturized for longer periods of time without the need to refresh the style. When it seems like your hair dries out after one day, the LOC method can provide up to 2-3 days of hydrated hair if applied correctly.

9. Keep your hands off

Sometimes you may want to feel your curls every time they are in perfect shape or when they are fresh. Touching your hair too frequently will make it dry out faster.

10. Consider you hair porosity

You might be wondering why your hair doesn’t retain moisture even after using all the recommended moisturizing hair products. Well, your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture which is also known as hair porosity, might be where the problem lies.

Knowing your hair’s porosity can help you choose the right products to keep your hair well-moisturized, supple, strong and shiny.   

Your hair can either be:

  • High porosity
  • Normal porosity
  • Low porosity

Take this simple hair porosity test to find out your hair porosity.

How to moisturize Low porosity 4C hair

When hair is considered low porosity that means that the hair cuticle is flat and closed, making it nearly impossible for moisture to pass through.

This is why low porosity hair takes so long to saturate and it’s why products often sit on top of the hair and on the scalp rather than being fully absorbed.

Low porosity hair requires moisturizers rich in emollients such as jojoba oil. Here are some of the best light oils for low porosity hair

Here are some tips on how to moisturize low porosity hair

  • Make sure that you use products rich in emollients to help soften the cuticle and aid in moisturizing the hair.
  • Use products that are protein free. Protein has the tendency to build-up on low porosity hair, causing the hair to be even less porous and to feel stiff.
  • Always deep condition with heat. Heat is another agent that helps open the cuticle to allow moisture to penetrate the hair that is least porous. Therefore, whenever you deep condition, cover your hair with a conditioning cap and sit under a thermal heating cap for at least 15 minutes.
  • The use of warm water when washing your hair opens up the pores of your skin and the cuticles of your hair to not only get enough moisture but also get whatever conditioners or treatments to work.
  • Once done washing out your treatments, switch the temperature to cold water. This will seal the hair cuticle and lock in moisture and shine. This is a sure guarantee to more healthy hair!

How to moisturize medium porosity hair  

When your hair is of medium porosity it means that it holds moisture and shine for extended periods of time. The hair has a looser cuticle layer, allowing for a steady but moderate flow of moisture in and out of your hair preventing too much from escaping .

Medium porosity hair stands up well to styling, coloring, and chemicals- and often requires the least amount of maintenance.

However frequent treatment can slowly damage and increase the porosity of your hair, making it more difficult to maintain such styles and treatments.

The use of deep conditioning treatments with protein conditioners occasionally can benefit medium porosity hair, but proteins should not be included in your daily regimen.

How to moisturize high porosity 4C hair

High porosity hair has large gaps in the cuticle, which allow too much moisture into and out of your hair quickly.

Highly porous 4C hair is prone to frizz and tangling in humid weather and can also experience extreme dryness in dry weather.

To moisturize this type of hair:

  • Use anti humectant (anti-humidity) products which act as moisture blocker and therefore decreases the potential for frizz and damage. These products will act as a sealant by sealing your cuticles and prevent them from absorbing too much moisture.
  • Leave-in conditioners and moisturizers will provide your hair with moisture throughout the day. Use a sealant such as Avocado Oil to retain moisture and prevent dryness. Layering these products will help your hair hold on to the moisture you’re giving it.
  • Extra protein is also recommended. For healthier hair, you also need protein. For some, a protein treatment or protein-heavy conditioning treatment one or two times a month is essential.
  • Minimise the exposure to heat. Heat from blow-dryers, irons and the sun are part of heat sources that can seriously damage your hair.


From this article we’ve seen that this is how you moisturize 4C hair:

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Use water
  3. Use a good Moisturizer
  4. Deep condition
  5. Minimise heat exposure 
  6. Sleep in a satin Bonnet
  7. Wear protective hairstyles
  8. Lock moisture using the LOC method
  9. Keep your hands off your hair
  10. Consider your hair porosity

Do you have any other ways that have worked for you in keeping your hair moisturized? We would love to hear what has worked for you in the comment box below.

2 Comments on “How to Moisturize 4C hair (10 Most Effective Methods)”

  1. On loc method of moisturizing, what is an example of L-liguid and C-cream. Can the liquid be a mixture of water and oil or water and glycerine. For the cream is it a normal leave-in conditional. Please I need To be sure

What did you think of this post? We love feedback!