Back to Basics: Moisturizing and Sealing

All hair needs moisture! Natural hair needs it even MORE πŸ™‚

When I first went natural I didn’t know anything about sealing in moisture in my hair. I’d apply product to my wet hair and it would feel great but by the time it dried……..a whole other story. πŸ™‚

 Moisture is essential to maintaining healthy hair which will eventually translate into length retention. 
Dry (non-moisturized hair) is brittle hair which will turn into breaking hair.
Because natural hair is so “curly”, the oils produced from the scalp have trouble making their way down the coils/kinks/ringlets. As a result, the rest of our hair tends to be dry. Because relaxed hair is straight, the oils are able to travel down the shaft easier, but the same moisturizing and sealing routine applies.

The BEST/ULTIMATE moisturizer is WATER. However, because water evaporates it needs to be SEALED in with an oil/butter whose molecules are (generally) too large to penetrate the hair shaft. Sealing refers to holding in the moisture on your hair. This steps aids in reducing breakage and split ends caused by dryness. 


  • Start off with clean/freshly washed hair (or spritz dry hair with water)

  • Apply a leave-in conditioner(WATER BASED). This can be homemade using a mix of conditioner (I prefer silicone free), distilled water and oil or a commercial product like Giovanni direct leave in. I like to mix my leave in conditioner (presently Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner) with Jamaican Black Castor oil and Avocado oil, and Aloe vera juice/gel. Basically, it’s my version of the Kimmaytube leave in conditioner mix.

  • Apply an oil or butter. I like to use my Whipped Shea Mango Cocoa Concoction. This seals in the moisture from the water and the leave in. Some great options for oils are Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Avocado oil (these three are actually able to penetrate the hair shaft to provide nourishment. Other good sealants are Castor oil, Grapeseed oil, Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea butter or other whipped butters. Basically, anything that is NOT water based will work as a sealant.
    •  PERSONALLY, I try to steer clear of products containing mineral oil, petroleum/petrolatum, drying alcohols, and non-water soluble silicones. These ingredients can actually cause buildup, which over time blocks moisture from getting into your strands. 

    • When applying your sealant, pay special attention to your ends since they are the oldest part of your hair and the furthest from your scalp.

  • Next, apply your styler, which is usually a creamy product. Presently, I use either Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque or the Curling Enhancing Smoothie….or whatever concoction I come up with πŸ™‚
Okay, so I know you’re probably thinking, “that’s  A LOT of stuff in your hair. Here are some things to consider:

  • I have THICK, DENSE hair (I have a lot of strands close together) so I need PLENTY moisture. If you have FINE hair, SHORT hair or a TWA (teeny weeny afro), you may be able get away with adding your styling product to wet hair and sealing with a light oil or butter. The IMPORTANT thing is that the moisture you put in is SEALED. As always, pay attention to your hair’s needs.

  • Depending on what kind of products you’ve used , you may need to re-moisturize everyday. No matter what you’ve used it will eventually evaporate (the sealant only slows down the rate of evaporation) and you’ll have to moisturizer and seal all over. 

  •  As a rule, I at least mist/spritz my hair DAILY with water and apply a light oil or I “mix” them together in my spray bottle. Depending on how my hair feels, I may apply a light leave-in (I like Pura Body Naturals Murumuru Moisture milk) and seal that in. AGAIN, listen to what your hair is saying. You will “hear” if it’s dry πŸ™‚
Do you moisturize and seal? Let me know…

As usual, I hope this was helpful πŸ™‚

Until next time…

You Might Also Like

  • Hi Missy,
    Depending on your hair texture, density, porosity etc, using just a leave in conditioner that already contains oils may work for some. However, the amount of oil in the concocted leave in is not enough to seal in the moisture (at least not in my hair). If you think about it, commercial leave in conditioners also contain oils, but because they are mostly water based, you would still need a layer of oil/butter to prevent the water/moisture from evaporating too quickly. Hope this makes sense, feel free to let me know if you have other questions πŸ™‚

  • Missy

    Hello, question for you. If you are mixing oil into your leave in conditioner concoction, why do you then need to put a layer of pure oil on afterwards? Isn’t the oil mixed into your leave in good enough? I would think that the oil in that mixture acts as a seal and if you put on more oil afterwards, how is it supposed to penetrate the oil underneath? I still haven’t worked out a regiment that works for me, so any clarification would help. Thanks!!

  • Vee_thehodgepodgefiles

    lol….girl take your time πŸ™‚ I’m glad you find the post helpful, it’s right here so whenever, you need to you can reference it πŸ™‚

  • Janel

    This post contained the exact information I needed to hear. It is quite a bit, so I’ll be coming back over and over to read it. From your post, if I don’t get one product I can try another for sealing purposes; It is important to have options, especially in Grenada where some products would not be available.

    I am excited to see how Janae’s hair would respond. …..and I am still tempted to return to basics….awwww; Mercy Lord……:)

  • Vee_thehodgepodgefiles

    You’re welcome Tracey! Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚

  • Tracey

    very helpful..thank you

  • Vee

    That’s great Vessey! Your hair will THANK YOU! :0

  • This is true girl.

    I have recently started paying more attention to sealing in moisture on my hair.

  • Vee

    @MissAshDG, I didn’t see it. I’ll go check again, sometimes mines takes long to load so that could be it πŸ™‚

  • Thanks so much for replying and checking out my blog! Also, is the Follow toolbar not at the top of the page? =(

  • Vee

    Hey MissAshDG,you’re welcome and thanks for your support πŸ™‚

    After you wash your hair is the best time to moisturize and seal your hair. At that time it is at it’s cleanest and you’re able to take advantage of the water it just took in.
    Once it’s it properly sealed, the moisture should last for a couple days (depending on the products used and your hair’s ability to hold moisture.

    The daily sprizting is just to maintain and replenish that moisture as it evaporates. Your leave in spray with oil added works because oil and water don’t mix so the leave-in will enter your strands and the oil will sit on top and act as a sealant.(The good thing about olive oil though is that it has to ability to penetrate the strands so it seals and nourishes πŸ˜‰

    Most of all, pay attention to how your hair feels. If it feels moisturized then you’re doing it right.

    I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have more questions.

    Vee πŸ™‚

  • omgosh! I’m so happy I stumbled upon your blog!! this was the step I was SO confused about. I had no idea what to do, or how to do it!!

    I have a question though =) You said you should apply to to freshly washed hair. . . how does it work when you don’t wash your hair everyday?

    Also, I’m using Motions Leave In Conditioner spray and I just poured some EVOO in and I spritz my hair with that daily. Does that help seal it? I know you said use a non water soluble product, so am I just cancelling each other out? Thanks so much for this post and your help! =)

  • Vee

    Thanks Coilybella. I remember what I went through so I figured I’d spare someone else from dry, unmanageable hair πŸ™‚

  • You are right about fine hair. I do get away with using styling product and sealing with oil.

    Great Post!. I knew nothing about moisturizing and sealing either, when I first went natural