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