We have all seen the terms either MOISTURIZING and HYDRATING on almost every natural hair care product on the market right now.....but did you know that there is a major difference between the two?
When it comes to natural hair we all say "my hair lacks Moisture", believing that moisturizing is what makes your hair soft, manageable and healthy. The reality of it is, some moisturizing products can actually cause your hair to be dry and brittle. The reason is this, 'moisturizing products' are designed to lock existing water into the hair strand. This means that it's designed to build a layer onto your hair strand that traps water in. What it also does is trap water or other hydrating ingredients from fully entering the cuticle as well. For example.....Baby Oil (Mineral Oill) and Petroleum Jelly are two moisturizers. They can keeps our skin from drying out and becoming ashy. The instructions on baby oil indicate that it is best applied directly after showering. This is to lock the water into the skin before it evaporates. If you run water over your skin after applying the oil,the oil repels it. The water is the HYDRATOR and the baby oil is the MOISTURIZER. Moisture locks in Hydration. Just as in drinking water, water goes inside of the body and is a hydrator. The same concept applies to hair.
When you apply too much MOISTURE to your hair, while you may be locking existing water in, you may also be locking everything else out. What you may find is that your hair feels amazing when it's wet but when it's dry it becomes stiff and unmanageable again. Once this happens, even ingredients that are generally able to penetrate the hair strand are unable to fully penetrate the strand because of the layer left behind from the product used.
I'll share a personal experience; one day after washing and conditioning with a random product, I found that after my hair dried, it was hard. I spent an entire week trying to spritz with water and added additional products that normally give my hair life, to regain softness with no success. My hair stayed dry and hard the entire week. When my wash day came around I was happy to go back to my normal routine and return to my own products to recover the soft hair that I am used to. I attempted to wet my hair by putting my head under the running water. To my amazement, my hair would not become wet; it was still hard and mostly dry even under running water. It took maybe a full 5 minutes of trying to wet my hair until the water was able to penetrate my cuticles and rinse the moisturizing agent off of my strands. Further more, it took two separate days of conditioning with my hydrating products for my hair to be restored. If it did that to my hair, imagine how it must have also done the same to my scalp, clogging the follicle and preventing healthy hair growth.
With that said, its important to pay attention to the ingredients in your hair care products. Thicker products tend have a lot of moisturizing properties due to the amount of waxes or other substances used. Now this isn't all bad, but water alone isn't enough to thoroughly hydrate your hair before the moisturizing process begins. Its important to understand which ingredients serve as a hydrator and can penetrate the hair strand; and which ones serve as a moisturizer. For example, using products with strand penetrating oils like avocado, olive and coconut oil are great for hydrating your hair. Hydration is an essential component in having healthy hair. For this reason, we formulate our conditioners to provide an enormous level of hydration and a moderate level of moisture and our Intense Hydrating Potion is designed to provide the highest level of hydration to your hair and scalp and just enough moisture not to overload your hair but enough to seal the water and oils in, naturally. This is the reason is keeps hair soft and hydrated for so many days without having to apply any addition product.
The Bottom Line: Don't be fooled by these misleading terms. Assess your hair needs and shop smart. Pay attention to ingredients. Don't let the idea of what you think moisture is to sabotage the success of your hair journey. The right balance is the key!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If the ingredients in a deep conditioner have no ability to penetrate the hair strand is it really DEEP conditioning?
Ok good people, until next time, stay beautiful and keep those strands hydrated!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!!
Thank you so much for the information on the difference between Hydrate and Moisturize. Now I understand why my hair is soft when wet and then hard when dried. This is the first time it made sense. So until I get my new shipment that I am so excited about, it sounds like once I wash my hair, I can apply Avocado or Olive oil as a hydrate and then use a light leave-in moisturizer to seal
Can you use these Products on Colored treated or on hair that has a hair rinse in ?
Thanks for writing this blog post. So crystal clear, I finally really GOT it! Keep educating us—knowledge is power.