I have a related question!

When we say "moisture" do we mean oil or water? Because those are two very different things but I think they're used interchangeably. Oils "moisturize" the hair, but then humectants do as well, and they pull in water.

I know some have said well (most) oils are a sealer so they help keep water in the hair shaft... but then, if i add oil or an emollient-rich product to my dry hair, that will still moisturize it, and there's no water so to speak to "seal in."
Originally Posted by wavydaze
Moisture = water, that cannot be up for debate even if everything else can. Most oils or butters used alone do not moisturise the hair, that is an incorrect use of the word, they do not increase or add to the water content of the hair (hydration).
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
.The word 'moisturiser' seems to me to be the term used to have the most different meanings. Moisture = water not oil, if they are used interchangeably they are used incorrectly. A moisturiser is a skincare lotion or cream product (contains water, if it does not it is an ointment or anhydrous balm), you might also describe certain ingredients as moisturisers if they attract or increase water in the skin. From a UK perspective 'moisturiser' doesn't have a distinct meaning in haircare, the equivalent to a skin moisturiser product is a conditioner.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
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.

I was 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!
2A / F / MD / LP / ?E / BSL --- CG since Dec. 2012

This is what I'm happiest with right now.
Co-wash: CJ DailyFix
Lo-poo: DermOrganic low-poo
RO: SS Caitlin's co
Leave-in: SheScentIt Okra Repair condish
PT: SS Caitlin's + SS PT
Stylers: Volumax Mega Gel, Max Green Styling Gel, DermOrganics Spray Gel
Techniques: Plopping & Pixie Diffusing.
glycerin, honey, oils & butters Protein!