Beautifully Nappy

Difference between Moisturisers and sealants




So lots of people tell me “I need a moisturiser for my hair”, then I tell them to get a leave in and oil and a cream, and their response is always ………… well what of sheabutter? Is sheabutter not enough? Well the answer is NO, ITS NOT!!!! Products like sheabutter are sealants and NOT moisturisers.  I retail hair products and it would seem like scams when you asked for one magic product and I recommend three. Well it’s not scams and I am only trying to get you to moisturise your hair properly!!!! Kinky curly hair (afro hair) is prone to dryness, and dryness is the leading cause of breakage and stunted growth, thus, it’s important to know the difference between moisturizing and sealing. It’s also important to know what a moisturiser is and to detect when your hair is dry.


So! What is a moisturiser? A moisturiser is a product that makes your hair soft, supple and elastic upon topical application, that’s the best way I can describe it. How do you know when your hair is moisturised? Take a section between your fingers and rub it, you shouldn’t hear any noise, if however, you can hear the sound of your hair then it’s still dry! Your hair can be greasy, but not moisturized, this usually happens when you use sealants like sheabutter (ori/ karite), oils, cocoa butter etc. as moisturisers


A good quality moisturiser (e.g. your leave in conditioner or water based hair butter) must have water as the first or second ingredient, lots of products claim to be moisturisers, but they are just sealants, you would have to check the ingredients for yourself to be sure. Along with the water, the product should also have oils with moisturizing properties like olive, coconut and avocado oils. The more expensive moisturizers will have bamboo extract, and aloe Vera based products, also look out of BTMS (Behentrimonium Methosulphate) this is an extremely mild moisturizing and detangling ingredient, it so mild its recommended in baby products and products to be left on the skin, it’s cheaper cousin is behentrimonium chloride. Also search for ingredients that aid in maintaining high amounts of water, humectants like glycerin, honey, panthenol.  It’s important to remember here that water is the ultimate moisturiser, so if your leave in conditioner or hair butter doesn’t have any water in it, then please spritz water on your head before applying your leave in, oil or butter. Alright so I think this pretty much covers moisturizers.  Let’s move on to sealants. For leave in conditioners that work see here  .


A sealant, is the product used to lock in your moisturiser of choice. The sealant is a barrier preventing moisture from escaping your hair. It’s usually an oil (jojoba oil, coconut, olive, castor), cream (brazen curls sealing balm) or butter like sheabutter, marufa butter, mango butter, avocado butter etc., the thicker your hair then the heavier the sealant should be.


The best way to moisturise your hair is the L.O.C method this is the Leave in conditioner, Oil and Cream method. So essentially you use your leave in conditioner first, the follow with a sealing oil and a heavy sealing cream to prevent or slow down the evaporation of the moisturizing leave in conditioner. The event that water isn’t the first/second ingredient of your leave in then I suggest you spray water in your hair, add the leave in, oil and cream/butter. This will keep your hair, soft, supple, flexible and manageable and would lead to length retention and growth.  This my dear naturalistas is the secret to soft supple hair! For excellent sealants see here


Happy Moisturising

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