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3 Nov 2016

The Baggy Method may be the answer to your dry-hair, moisturizing blues

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November 3, 2016 Category: Beauty Posted by:

By Leah Fletcher

Arlette Johnson, an admitted fashionista, styles her hair straight, braided, loose and curly. She knows the handling of her hair is drying and requires supplemental moisture to stand up to her hair styling program.

The 22-year-old retail clerk believes she deserves great hair every day. Caring for her hair is important and her routine, she admits, can be quite intensive. The exercise leaves Arlette concerned about the condition of her hair and stripping it of moisture.

To address her moisturizing concerns, Arlette employs the Baggy Method, a highly popular technique and a creative solution for locking moisture into the hair. For many, this method does the trick, providing lots of moisture and also preventing hair breakage.   

The Baggy Method is simple. Apply a moisturizing product to the hair and then wrap with a Ziploc baggy, plastic cap or Saran wrap, for an extended period of time.

Like Arlette, scores of women, with similar hair styling routines, are faced with questions like: What is the secret to great moisturized hair? How can I ensure moisture? What products guarantee the most moisture? Is there one special ingredient for moisturizing?

According to stylist Joanne Howard, having a kinky-curly hair texture leads to a never-ending quest for hydration. “Many Black women who wear their hair natural or relaxed often suffer from dry hair or brittle ends, which then lead to fragile hair and breakage”.  Howard continued, “If you want to give your hair the best possible chance of retaining length and feeling soft and manageable, then you need to keep your hair moisturized, with an emphasis on your ends.”

When moisture is removed from the hair, it losses suppleness and is more susceptible to breakage, said Howard. The stylist explained that African American hair needs supplemental moisture to stand up to styling because it is naturally dry. “Curly textures tend to be the most vulnerable to drying or breaking because kinky hair makes it difficult for natural oils to work their way down the hair shaft,” said the veteran stylist.

Because chemical and heat-styling remove moisture from hair making it brittle and fragile, to avoid breakage Howard advises using heat-shielding and hydrating products that contain silicone because they coat the hair and help seal in moisture.

Howard also advises her clients to avoid products designed for limp or thin hair because ingredients designed to add body or volume can actually strip oils and remove moisture from the hair.

Many confuse the Baggy Method with a method called the Greenhouse Effect, which is designed to stimulate the scalp’s natural sebum using one’s own body heat. To achieve, one simply adds a natural oil and/or hair butter to dry or damp hair and cover with a plastic cap. For clarification, the baggy method and the greenhouse effect are not the same.

Be mindful that the Baggy Method is also different from a pre-poo because you do not follow up with washing your hair and this is done on clean hair. A pre-poo is combatting the effects of the cleansing with shampoo, which can be harsh on your strands. It doesn’t seem to matter if you use a moisturizer or a conditioner as long as it’s something your hair responds well too.

Howard notes that with the advent of the fall season and cold winter weather on the way, your hair may feel super dry, un-moisturized and tangled. The solution, according to Howard, is a routine moisturizing regimen.

“If you shampoo but omit your normal deep conditioning routine and opt for a quick wash-out conditioner, the harsh winter weather will not allow your hair to retain any moisture, she said, adding that moisturizing regimens like the Baggy Method contribute to keeping hair hydrated and healthy.

style_11-06-16asm01A DIY Guide to the Baggy Method

The Baggy Method is a great do-it-yourself (DIY) response to the questions surrounding the search for healthy, moisturized hair. Following is a guide to help you on that journey. 

There are two Baggy Method options that will help you retain hair moisture:

1. Ends-You can apply your chosen product to your ends

2. All Over-You can apply your product to all of your hair. This method is usually employed after washing your hair. Then apply a moisturizer or a bit of conditioner to your entire head of hair.

Here is what you will need:

  • Your favorite moisturizer or conditioner
  • Ziploc sandwich bag, Saran wrap, a plastic bag, or a plastic shower cap
  • Hair tie


If you are noticing split or dry, brittle ends then try a baggy on your ends. Apply a moisturizer or a dab of conditioner on your ends or entire head. Use Saran wrap or a plastic shower cap or a Ziploc sandwich bag secured with a hair tie on your bag. This method may be used for three or four hours or overnight, but not any longer because your hair needs to breathe. The Baggy Method is great for softer, moisturized hair but it doesn’t need to be done every day. If you are not using a leave-in conditioner, you may be required to rinse the conditioner from your hair. Your hair must have time to dry completely. It is not healthy for hair to be constantly wet or damp for long periods of time. If you use curlers or coilies, they can be worn overnight for maximum benefit.

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