If you think you have 4c hair, you might feel as though your hair is the driest and most tightly wound of all the hair types. This fact could be true, but it could also be because your hair is very dehydrated. As in…desert style dehydrated… because it never quite gets the care it deserves. Let us fix that, shall we?
The good news is that water is your curly hair’s best friend. Unfortunately, water is also like a friend with no loyalty. You will wet your hair, your curls will look happy for a short moment, and within a few minutes, that water will leave your hair as quickly as it came. Isn’t this how things go?
To keep hair in its best possible condition, you and I need to get smart about when and how to apply the product to get maximum benefit. Here are 7 ways you can use one of our favorites: the Iraba Hair Balm to give your curls the royal treatment they deserve.
1. As an Oil Layer in the LOC/LCO method
This is one of my favorite uses of hair balm. If you are familiar with these methods, you probably know that the recommendation is to layer the product to achieve the best results for your 4c hair. These two methods are similar. You start with a liquid product, then layer on cream, and finally seal with an oil. The balm works well as the “Oil” because it is made up of wonderful oils like Castor, Shea, Jojoba, and Argan.
2. To add shine to relaxed or heat-treated hair
Yes, the balm doesn’t actually contain any water, so it is safe to use on your blowouts, and any heat-treated styles you have. It is also great if you have relaxed, locked, or braided hair. You should not ignore your hair completely, even under protective styles. Your hair might be ok under your braids, but pay attention to your scalp, and remember that when you take your braids down…you will be putting a lot of stress on your strands!
Photo credit: Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz
3. To break a gel cast
If you love a good wash and go; where you apply a gel and let your curls shrink up as they wish, you might find that when the gel dries, it leaves a bit of a cast, which makes your hair stiff. Some people like this look, while others prefer to soften up the hair a bit. You could apply a small amount of hair balm to your dried wash to break the cast and soften up the curls.
4. As a Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil treatment is when you apply a generous amount of oil to your hair so that your hair feels “oily.” Then, cover your head with a shower cap (or recycle a plastic grocery bag for a ghetto, yet an environmentally friendly option 😊). Keep your hair covered as long as you can, 20 minutes seems to work well for many people before rinsing it out and applying a conditioner.
5. As a Prepoo
A Prepoo is similar to a hot oil treatment, but you need not apply the cap to keep heat trapped. You could just use the hair balm before you shampoo to help loosen some of the knots and tangles that might be sitting in your hair. This is especially useful after you have kept a braided style for a while.
6. As edge control
One of the main ingredients in the Hair balm is Castor oil. It is a heavier stickier oil that can lay down edges very well. It works best on wash day. Try to apply the balm to your edges, lay a scarf around them for a few minutes, then follow with a small brush to keep things neat.
7. As a scalp Treatment
Once in a while, your scalp might feel a bit dry. Use the balm to treat your scalp and give it a little extra love. This is how people applied grease back in the old days. This is another application when your hair is in braids.
There is technically an 8th: Did you know the balm could be used as an all-over emollient?
Well, this isn’t quite for your hair, but have you tried the balm on other parts of the body? If you have problematic areas. People have used it to prevent stretch marks, to treat dry elbows, or as an overnight foot treatment during the winter (apply the balm on your feet after a bath, wear socks, and watch your feet with a smile in the morning)
Do you have another favourite way to use the balm? Let us know!