Lady with curly hair smiling

Curly hair needs more moisture than straight hair, and curlies have come up with a variety of methods for moisturizing and sealing natural hair. Even those with the same hair types may use totally different methods! Do you use conditioners and other moisturizers and then seal the moisture in or do you use your styling products before adding in moisturizers? Does the order even matter?

1. Moisturizer Then Styler

If you moisturize before adding styling products, your hair is probably very dry and needs moisturizer as a primer. I coat my hair first in a good leave-in conditioner before doing anything else. In fact, even if I’m not going anywhere and am not going to style my hair, I still use my leave-in conditioner. No matter what my plans are for the day, I don’t want to leave my hair exposed to the day’s weather or activities.

If I don’t use a leave-in conditioner, there is just no detangling my hair. When I’m done with the leave-in, I’ll add in some scrunching gel to style as I head out the door. Luckily, I don’t really need to seal in moisture with any types of oils. In fact, doing so would just weigh my hair down big time, resulting in limp hair that will not cooperate by the time I get to the gel. Still, my type 3c/4a mixture of hair requires a good deal of moisture before it will even consider agreeing to look good!

2. Styler Then Moisturizer

Some of you need do something to keep your curls in check before treating them to moisture. You may have found that your hair’s response to moisture is to poof up. As a result, you’ve learned that you need to organize your locks first with a gel before topping it off with moisture and then sealing it in with a sealant or with oil. If this describes you, you’re not alone. Many of our curlies on CurlTalk have to do this as well.

3. Mixing it Up

To expedite the styling process, you may be able to mix a sealant and moisturizer. You could add a hair butter or oils to your moisturizer. You could also try a conditioner that has a sealant already in it or mix some type of sealant into your conditioner. Ouidad, who is always on the cutting edge of curly hair care products, has also developed Moisture Lock, a hair cream designed to help define your curls, infuse them with moisture and act as a styling gel all in one product!

Final Thoughts

The bottom line: there is no “right” or “wrong” method of sealing and moisturizing natural hair.The only right way is the way that works best for your hair. What works best for you? Do you feel like the oddball in doing something that most others with your hair type don’t seem to have to do?

What’s your favorite way to trap in moisture for your curls?

Tasha Swearingen


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