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All About Hair Hydration

Our hair craves hydration just like our skin. But sometimes it can be tough to identify when and if your hair needs a moisture boost, as well as what to use. If your hair has been feeling brittle and dry, your locks may be thirsty. Read on to discover how to hydrate your hair for optimal hair hydration!

A photo of a drop in a pool of water.
(via Unsplash)

How to Tell If Your Hair Needs Hydration

Most people struggle to determine whether or not their hair needs moisture or protein. Between day-to-day environmental exposure, layering hair products, and regular heat styling, it’s no surprise that a lack of moisture is the most common cause of bad hair days.

Moisture deficiency in hair is characterized by dry, brittle, and easily breakable strands. Hair that feels rough and rather lifeless is likely lacking moisture rather than protein. Since so many products on the market incorporate protein into their ingredients, it is fairly common to see a protein overload in your hair, further exacerbating the moisture deficiency.

How to Hydrate Hair

Thankfully, restoring moisture to your mane is fairly easy. It all comes down to creating a balanced washing schedule, backed up by the right products at the right times. Much of this depends on how often you shampoo your hair, but a general rule is two parts moisture to one part protein.

But what does this mean? Typically, you want to avoid using heavy protein-filled products more than once a week. In fact, most people only need a protein-based product or treatment once every two weeks. Moisture, however, is needed more frequently. As a stylist, I typically recommend a moisturizing deep treatment once a week. You can also make one of your wash days a “moisture day” and use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Alternatively, incorporating a moisturizing styling or finishing product into your post-shower routine will help immensely.

Best Hair Hydration Products

Here are a few of the best-selling, cult-favorite products that will help you hydrate your hair.

Best Mask for Thick, Dry Hair: Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

This weekly treatment not only has been clinically proven to reduce breakage after only two uses, but it is also a favorite amongst beauty gurus across the globe. Briogeo’s ultra-rich, hydrating hair mask focuses on repairing the hair inside and out for long-lasting results. This moisture mask also will protect and prevent free radical damage on the scalp and lengths.

Briogeo's Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Treatment
(via Ulta)

Best Mask for Any Hair Type: Olaplex’s No. 3 Hair Perfector

Olaplex has become a household name at this point, and for good reason. The No. 3 Hair Perfector is the treatment from the Olaplex take-home line and focuses on restoring your hair’s appearance and texture by repairing damage and protecting your hair’s structure. The best part about this moisture mask is that it can truly be used on any hair type. Try incorporating this treatment into your routine once every other week, letting it sit on for about 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse.

Hydrate Any Hair Type with Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector
(via Ulta)

Best Traditional Leave-In Conditioner: Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner

A long-time favorite of mine, and fellow stylists, Mixed Chicks has been making one of the best leave-in conditioners for over a decade. This tried and true formula moisturizes each curl, coil, and strand from rough mid-lengths to brittle ends. Typically, this leave-in is recommended for those with average to thicker hair. Just remember, a little of this stuff goes a long way.

The Best Traditional Leave-In Conditioner for Hydrating Hair is Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner
(via Ulta)

Best Leave-In Spray: Curl Cult’s Magic Spell Conditioning Leave-In

Curl Cult’s Conditioning Leave-In Spray is a heavy hitter that even fine-haired folks can use. As someone with fine, limp hair, I didn’t expect this product to be as moisturizing and lightweight as it was. Mist throughout your hair after washing, or apply to your driest areas for a lightweight moisturizing effect that instantly restores softness and bounce to otherwise dry and brittle ends. This leave-in spray gets bonus points for smelling absolutely delicious.

The best leave-in spray for hydrating hair is Curl Cult's Magic Spell
(via Curl Cult)

Best Moisture Foam That Also Volumizes: AG Hair’s Cloud Air Light Volumizing Mousse

If you struggle with dry hair but are also easily weighed down, AG Hair’s Cloud Air Mousse will become your favorite styling product. Not only does it keep your hair feeling bouncy and moisturized, but it also adds an incredible shine and boost of volume to fine and medium hair types. The best part about the Cloud Air Mousse is that you can use this as an air dry product. It is rare to find a volumizing mousse that works just as well with and without heat.

The best moisturizing foam that also volumizes is AG Hair's Cloud Air Volume Foam
(via AG Hair)

Still struggling with the moisture vs protein debate? HERE is how to know which one your hair needs!

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