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How to hydrate your hair according to your hair type

January 1 | 5 minute read

How To Hydrate Your Hair Hero 16x9

WORDS by Arabella Roden

Originally published on | December 12

Saturating your strands with moisture masks, conditioners and oils yet still left with dull, brittle, frizzy results?

Hold it right there – it’s time to learn the secret to shiny, healthy, hydrated hair with maximum swooshyness, and it all starts with understanding your hair type.

Whether fine, thick, curly or straight – or bleached, or grey – your hair type, texture and lifestyle dictate how your mane will respond to different moisturising products. To wit, the same thick, creamy leave-in conditioners that make kinky, curly locks look defined (and divine) will weigh down straight, fine hair, leaving it limp and lifeless.

So, time to get your hair game on.


While fine hair is generally easy to care for – it blowdries in a flash and is usually on the soft and smooth side – it can be prone to becoming both overly dry and overly oily, particularly if the wrong product (or the wrong amount) is used.

Step one? Put down the shampoo! A major culprit in drying out fine hair is over-washing, as shampoos can strip away the natural oils that coat each strand. Do your hair a favour and skip your daily lather, swapping it for a weekly wash date (keeping your look fresh in-between with dry shampoo). Bonus – dirty hair holds styles better than clean!

Step two? Put down the conditioner! Fine hair-havers can easily overcompensate with too much conditioner. A good rule of thumb is to use half your usual amount.

For hydrated hair without the weighed-down, oil-slick look, fine-haired folks should opt for protein-enriched products such as Kiehl's Amino Acid Shampoo and Conditioner, which combine wheat proteins and amino acids (to help hair retain moisture) alongside scalp-nourishing jojoba oil.

When it comes to hydrating treatments, less is definitely more; avoid the temptation to overdo it with rich, dense masks – they’ll only leave your hair feeling heavy and dull. Oh, and five to 10 minutes of masking is enough; an overnight saturation won’t give the same hydrating results as it does for curly and kinky hair types!

Try Living Proof’s silicone-free, dryness-and-dullness-defying Perfect hair Day™ Weightless Mask once every week or two; it’s specifically formulated for fine to medium hair types.


For those blessed with gloriously thick hair, the key to hydration is in the details: deep conditioning, scalp health and proper pre-styling prep.

Thick hair can become dry and frizz-prone if the cuticle (the outer part of the hair) is rough and open instead of smooth. If yours is looking more fluffy than fabulous, try switching to a sulphate-free shampoo like Briogeo Superfoods Mango + Cherry Balancing Shampoo, which is enriched with papaya enzymes to balance oil production in the hair and scalp The matching Conditioner contains hydrating cherry extract and mango-derived vitamins C and E.

Post-wash, ditch the hairdryer – and the towel – for Aquis’s Rapid Dry Turban, which uses Aquitex fibres to wick away water without damaging friction or heat – both of which can lead to dryness and breakage.

Unlike fine hair, thick hair won’t be weighed down by leave-in conditioning treatments; work a little of Aveda’s Nutriplenish™ Multi-Use Hair Oil (with its hydrating trio of pomegranate oil, coconut oil and mango butter) through your mid-lengths and ends before styling.

Finally, a 15-minute (or longer!) date with a deep conditioning mask – such as Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Mask – should be a weekly addition to your routine. Ideal for thick, wavy hair, its signature blend of six oils – coconut, argan, macadamia nut, sweet almond, grape seed and safflower seed – coats and conditions each strand for a deeply nourishing, frizz-free result. Even better? It smells like Tahitian tiaré flowers!


In general, kinky and curly hair types tend to lose moisture more quickly than straight, smooth hair types as it takes longer for the scalp’s natural oils to travel down the hair shaft.

From avocado to shea butter and coconut oil, ultra-rich, moisturising ingredients will help to feed your hair and scalp and protect your curls from becoming dehydrated and brittle.

Specifically created for curly hair, Briogeo’s Curl Charisma™ Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo and Curl Defining Conditioner are fortified with rice amino acids that seal the hair cuticle, halting moisture loss in its tracks. Meanwhile, tomato fruit ferment enhances moisture retention, while shea butter and avocado oil keep curls intact.

After washing, apply a leave-in conditioner such as Briogeo’s Farewell Frizz™ Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner. Or, if your hair is on the drier side, leave Gisou’s Honey Infused Hair Mask in as an overnight treatment. Ideal for curly hair, overnight treatments give hair extra time to fully absorb the hydrating actives (making them great for over-styled hair too!).


As everyone who’s ever gone blonde knows, bleach is public enemy number one when it comes to hair hydration.

The good news? We now live in the age of OLAPLEX! The brand’s patented technology repairs ‘from the inside out’, ensuring even the iciest of faux blondes can keep their hair healthy and hydrated.

The pH-balancing, reparative No. 4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner are essential steps, as is the cult-favourite No.3 Hair Perfector.

For blondes who attend their six-weekly salon appointments with religious devotion – and can’t live without their straightener or curling tongs – regular restorative treatments are a must. AVEDA's Botanical Repair™ Intensive Strengthening Masque: which works to strengthen and revive colour-treated and chemically processed hair.


Grey hair tends to be thicker and more coarse than other hair types, while the scalp’s ability to produce sebum (the natural moisturising oil secreted by the skin) decreases with age – which spells trouble when it comes to hydration.

If you’re rocking a natural silver look, the clinically-proven Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Shampoo and Conditioner from Briogeo are a solid option.

Formulated with microencapsulated argan oil (a world-class cuticle-repairer that seals in moisture) plus antioxidant-rich algae extract (to protect the scalp from damage) and moisturising panthenol, this dynamic duo is a hydration triple threat.

Finish with an overnight treatment once a week – Living Proof’s Perfect hair Day™ Night Cap Overnight Perfector targets your hair’s specific needs with a ‘healthy hair molecule’, sealing the cuticle surface and providing time-released conditioners for an extra burst of hydration.

Related topics and brand tags

Kiehl'sLiving ProofBriogeoAquisAVEDA

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