Moisturizing and sealing
Sealing locks in the moisture and keeps the shine. This is done with oil most of the time. You seal after you moisturize your hair.
The goal is to keep hair moisturized as much as possible between washes. This is based on evaporation rates of moisture or moisture loss on the hair. Every product we put on our heads, for sealing allows for some type of evaporation of moisture on and sometimes in our hair strands. Pure alcohol, which I don’t recommend putting in our hair, evaporates the fastest, for example. Shea butter on the other hand is more like a barrier.
1) What I suggest is that you start with clean, conditioned wet or damp hair. First you use a water based product moisturizer or leave-in. If you don’t add anything else, this will most likely dry and take the moisture out of the strand by the end of the day.
2) The next step is to then seal in that water based moisture, from the washing and from the leave-in, on and in the hair strand. An oil based product or pure oil will do. Olive, coconut, avocado, jojoba, and/or castor oil will do. You can mix them if you like. Some use an oil/aloe vera gel mix. It really is a personal preference. Do what your hair will respond to best. Experiment.
3) The last and third step is to use an emulsified product to lock in the water. Remember, the water is sealed over by the oil. An emulsified base is simply a product that has ingredients of oil and water that have been combined by adding some kind of binder (or-holder- together ingredient) to make something more creamy or solid. Some butters like shea are already solid. But creamy leave-ins and pomades are a form of emulsified products. Some people don’t have to do this step. Some people do water based product with oil, some doe water based with shea butter or pomade/creamy product and some do all 3.
- Don’t use “grease” in your hair. Most Black hair needs extra moisture, but stay away from products with petroleum. Petroleum makes hair stiff, dry and greasy. Instead of grease, try natural oils (like coconut, jojoba, olive, or castor) or natural shampoos and conditioners which are a great for your hair because they don’t have all those sulfates, silicones, sodium’s, and preservatives in them. They also give your hair a nice shine to it.
- Water based moisturizers are best for all hair types, although leave-in conditioners can double as moisturizer for the hair. Avoid moisturizers with petrolatum and mineral oil unless you wash/condition regularly.
- Moisturize your hair everyday. Black hair is dry because of the natural tight curl pattern. It is difficult for the oils from the scalp to make it down the hair shaft. Seal the hair ends with natural oils (olive, coconut, avocado, castor, sweet almond).
- Gels and spritz are after moisturizing and sealing. The order is water based moisturizers, oil/oil based, emulsifier/shea then your gels and spritz. Avoid alcohol-based products when buying gel and spritz.
- Use conditioners and moisturizers that are silicone free or have water-soluble silicones.
- Use a silk/satin headscarf to sleep at night. Wash your hair, moisturize and seal, put your hair in big twists or braids, put oil at then ends and wrap it up with a silky/satin head wrap. See how it turns out in the morning.
- Remember to eat right and drink lots of water. Moisturize from the inside out.
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