As you pick and choose the products and methods that are going to keep your hair healthy, it is important that you don't make the mistake of trying to moisturize your hair with a sealant. Likewise, you do not want to lose the valuable moisture you apply to your hair because you neglected to use a sealant. Understanding the difference between moisturizing and sealing could be crucial to your healthy hair journey.
What is moisturizing?
Some synonyms for "moisturize" are dampen, drench and saturate… words associated with water. Simply put, to moisturize means “to make wet.” Therefore, true moisture comes from either water itself or products that are water-based. You’ll know if your product is water-based if the very first ingredient on the label is good ole H2O. Many leave-in conditioners have this makeup and are great follow-ups to your wash session. Aloe vera juice has also proven to be an effective moisturizer.
Some of our favorite water-based moisturizers are Oyin Hair Dew, Curl Junkie Smooth Assurance, Karen's Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In and Obia Curl Moisture Cream. For more of our favorite water-based moisturizers, read here.
p.s. Don’t neglect moisturizing your hair from within by drinking lots of water!
And what is sealing?
After you apply your leave-in or moisturizer (in effect, "making your hair wet"), the next step is to seal that moisture in. Oils and butters fall into the sealant category, and they are most effective if used while the hair is slightly damp and/or after applying your leave-in or moisturizer.
If your hair is prone to dryness and you only apply an oil or butter without having moisturized it first, you’re basically sealing in dryness, which does nothing for the health of your hair. Instead of having the elasticity associated with healthy hair, it will continue to be susceptible to breakage when manipulated. Dryness is the top cause of breakage for naturally coily/kinky hair so you’ll want to make sure that you stay on top of this if you want your hair to thrive.
Overall oils and butters will not moisturize your hair, but some oils do have moisturizing properties because they can penetrate the shaft, while others are best used as sealants. For a full list of the best oils for each purpose, read here.
Take a look back at this article for more tips on properly moisturizing your strands!
Tell me, how do YOU retain a good amount of moisture in your hair? What are some of your favorite products to get the job done? Share below!