The answer is in the science!

Natural, textured, and curly hair care product descriptions tend to employ generalized language to imply beneficial results. Across the board, these products do exactly as they say: Moisture boosting botanicals will nourish your hair, causing a silky smooth finish and shine! Even though this common promise is plastered onto a large percentage of the products in your curly cabinet, how can you know which of them is a true moisturizer, hydration treatment, or both? It really it a matter of science and understanding what to look.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between hydrating products and moisturizing products so that you can make more informed product purchasing decisions for your crown.

Moisture: It is exactly how it sounds.

Moisturizers are formulated to smooth your hair cuticle to achieve a softer texture. Moisturizers achieve this by forming a barrier on the hair fiber. This barrier is made up of emollients, or hydrophobic oils that act as anti-humectants or sealers. The beauty of moisturizers are that they work overtime to attract water to your hair. Moisturizers that I recommend for dry curls can be found in stores and online:

Hydration: It too is exactly how it sounds.

Hydrating formulations are designed to increase the moisture content in hair strands. This is achieved through the use of humectants, the ingredients that withdraw moisture from the air to retain it for your hair. You will know them by their most common presentations: oil and grease. Among the more well-known humectants in the product ingredients listings is glycerin, a powerful hydrator that pulls water into the deepest layers of hair and skin.

I know… glycerin is not necessarily the hero for all us curlies, but it is in highly effective products on the market and I want to ensure you know that it will be everpresent.

But if you are not a fan of glycerin, I recommend these hydrating products for your curls that a glycerin-free:

I can also recommend that when you find the best moisturizers and hydrating formulas for your hair to use the LOC Method! Since all curlies are different, your curls may be better served by switching up and adjusting this method to suit your hair’s specific needs.

NOTE: As with any new product or ingredient, you absolutely must conduct a pre-application allergy test! 


This video was created by natural hair care tips educator Protective Princess! She is amazing, so follow her YouTube page for more informative videos like the one she created.

Do you know the difference between the hydrating and moisturizing products in your Holy Grail regimen?

Tell me what works for you in the comments section below!

As ever, stay curly!

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