Natural Hair Mag

What is Moisture?


Moisturizing or Hydrating

your hair is a primary characteristic of water. Water is the universal moisturizer.Excellent

moisturizers will always contain water as a first ingredient. Therefore, water is always on

the move, and as a result, the hair’s moisture levels are in a constant state of flux. Water

has the tendency to rapidly enter and exit the hair’s cuticle and cortex which means that

hair may not be maintained in a moisturized state for prolonged periods with water alone.

Moisturizing formulas often contain humectants and blended emollients and oils to draw

additional moisture to your hair and keep it there.


The major action of moisturizers is two-fold. The hair’s infrastructure is supported by

water.  Thus, by replenishing internal water essential elements that have been lost

naturally lost to the elements and processes such as chemical treating, heat and

coloring. You must utilize carefully blended emollients and oil ingredients support

and restore the hair and skin’s lipid-rich outer layer to prevent the escape of this

moisture back into the surrounding environment.


Oils to moisturize the hair have been utilized for years. Professionals engage in

lengthy debates via conference and online about this very topic. Manufactures

have not contributed to solving the issue by continuing to refer to the mineral

oil–based greases, creams, lotions, pomades petroleum, petrolatum, and even

conditioners that they produce as “moisturizers.” In black hair care specific,

oils and greases have taken a front role and often overshadow the need of

water as a moisturizer.


This conflict exists because oils and moisturizers do have some similarities.

Like true moisturizers, oils and greases do soften, nourish, add shine and

increase the hair’s pliability. However, they are not moisturizers.


Greases and oils are categorized as hydrophobic substances which mean

they repel water chemically. With this, the saying, “Oil and water do not

mix,” is true. Oils do not have the ability to bind to water.  Hair

products that contain both require special blending ingredients called

emulsifiers to keep the mixture from separating.


The ability of various types of oil to penetrate the hair shaft does not

confer moisturizing ability; nor does penetration equal moisturizing.

Full-fledged petroleum jelly–type products provide a clear external

barrier to moisture. Lighter oils are more flexible in their chemistry

and provide moisture-barrier benefits beyond the superficial

cuticle layers.


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