Okay, this has been a lot of my confusion, I know from CG books and others here that most oils and butters are occlusives/sealers and don't 'moisturize'.
I know this from personal experience with Natural hand & body lotions that are usually oil/butter based. Using these so called all-natural moisturizing lotions caused sort of dry skin to first feel just weird all day, then dry within a few hours, then dry to the point that it felt like my skin was going to shrivel up and fall off
to the point that I finally switched back to mainstream lotions in order to get a positive result.
telling other curlies to cut down on oils/butters and look for more emollient ingredients (I think I'll leave the emollient thing for another post). But over the course of maybe a week I saw at least half a dozen posts from curlies who 'moisturize' with oils and/or butters. I finally began to think I was wrong.
I guess a lot of the confusion is in how ingredients are combined and the claims made by haircare companies (natural and mainstream).
We are told jojoba oil is great because it is closest to the skins natural oils: this leads to the assumption that these 'natural skin oils' are what is doing the moisturizing.
We are told that hair and skin care products loaded with oils and butters are 'moisturizing' : but these products often have water or aloe (humectant !) as the main ingredient, we miss this part and assume if a product with oils/butters is moisturizing then the oils/butters on their own
must be too.
In the US too, conditioners are for hair and moisturizers are for skin but both product types claim to moisturize (usually as the main benefit) and often contain the same ingredients.
So to sum up (this part); Only water can moisturize. Oils/butters generally can only help to hold in water that is already present in the hair
I definitely want to post on some more of your response Firefox, but I've gotta go to work. More later. And thanks for all your help and knowledge!