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August 27, 2013

Choosing the Best Moisturizer for Your Curls- Pt 2


by Susan Walker of Earthtones Naturals

See part 1, HERE.

In order to get the most out of your moisturizer you need to choose the best one for your hair type and texture, and understand which type of moisturizer to use based on the climate you live in. In general, moisturizing hair follows a specific order in order to retain and maintain hydration.

1. Cleanse or Co-wash
2. Condition
3. Moisturize with a water based moisturizer
4. Seal with oil

Note that moisturizing and sealing can be done with one product that contains both water-based ingredients and occlusive agents, or with two separate products.

Read On>>>


If your hair is fine then you’ll want to use lighter, thinner moisturizing lotions that don’t weigh your hair down, but are effective at moisturizing. Lighter oils like fractionated coconut oil or avocado oil can be used over heavier oils such as olive oil. For thicker hair textures, products with heavier oils and butters are more ideal over lighter moisturizing lotions to effectively soften and moisturize the hair.

Humectant Use

Recommendations for humectants have suggested they be used in moderate climates instead of those where it’s extremely humid or extremely dry. I would go a step further to assess the actual moisturizer formula and choose a product based on the following guidelines.

In extremely humid conditions:

• Minimize or reduce the extremely hydroscopic humectants such as glycerin, agave nectar or honey.
• Reduce or avoid the use of moisturizers with the above ingredients as the top 5 ingredients.
• Choose products with humectants that are lower on the ingredient list, hydrolyzed proteins such as hydrolyzed silk or panthenol. These are usually included in a formula at a low percentage.

In lower humidity conditions:

• Products with humectants located in the first 5 ingredients may be used providing the product also contains occlusive ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa butter, tucuma butter or other butters that can minimize evaporation of water from the hair to the environment.
• Thicker moisturizers may be effective at preventing dry hair, even for finer hair textures.
These are guidelines and each person’s hair responds differently to an ingredient or product in a unique way.

In order to find your perfect product you’ll need to try different ones based on an understanding of their ingredients and the formulation. A formula can look great in terms of the ingredients but when it’s applied to your hair it does nothing to improve the condition of your hair or add moisture. So much of finding the correct products for you will be trying them but always with an understanding of the overall formula of the product.

What is the most effective moisturizer for you?

Do you change products and your regimen based on the seasons?



CN Says:

I've said it before and I'll say it again... the top 5 ingredients are what matter most.  The vast majority of my effective instant conditioners contain nearly the same 5 ingredients (including water, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Stearyl alcohol, or other similar fatty alcohols), as do my most effective stylers.  I can tell by looking at a new product's ingredient list whether it's likely to work or not on my curls.  I can also tell when a product's label is writing checks it can't cash ('now with Argan Oil!', but it's like 80 ingredients down the list) If you're mindful of this, you'll save yourself a ton of money and time!

13 Chime in!:

Davina916 said...

For the past 2 weeks I've been using Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream. I'll be repurchasing.

CurvyCurly said...

Informative article. I didn't really grasp this concept until about 2 years into my natural journey and my dry and often frizzy strands were evidence of my lack of knowledge. I now try to avoid products with coconut or shea in the first five because of how my hair response to them. You MUST become a label reader so you can figure out what ingredients your hair may be responding well or not so well to or even for possible allergy issues. And also which products will work best in certain climates.
I agree with Nikki regarding how companies are marketing a product to have certain ingredients that are all the rave but the truth is that particular ingredient is listed near the very bottom of the list, a trivial amount. READ those labels and be informed.

Miss Anne said...

Amazing info! I'm slowly learning (whilst controlling the alter 'PJ' ego) to look out for ingredients and learn which ones are important for my hair. The transitioning saga... I will get there!!!

CurvyCurly said...

QB AOHC is my 'go to' staple moisturizer for Fall and Winter and the Burdock Root Butter Cream for Spring and Summer. Just purchased a new jar of the AOHC so I can be prepared when the weather changes here soon. I've been a faithful customer for over 4 years now and hope she never ever changes her formula. Good stuff.

Davina916 said...

I've wanted to try QB for awhile. I'm glad that a new, local BSS sells it.

Fhadekhemmy said...

This article has been so helpful i was thinking over the weekend of how i can adjust my regime to fit the weather in Nigeria (since i will be moving there soon in four months). It is very humid in the area i intend to go. Now I know what to avoid. Thanks

PennieNotPenny said...

I just use water. Sometimes I'll mix in my conditioner and/or aloe vera juice, but for the most part? Water :) I used to use Carol's Daughter Lite Hair Milk back in my ignorant days, and one day I'd like to use it again.

Angela B. said...

No glycerin fo rme in the summer months. It makes my hair really dry & brittle. I like using water and aloe vera juice to moisturize. I want to try Qhemet Biologics. Right now, I'm using Original Moxie and it's great!

CurvyCurly said...

Ooo, I'm jealous. The only place that sold it in my area stopped late last year. She barely kept the shelves stocked anyway, so back to online ordering for me.

ss said...

I purchased some AOHC several years ago - the texture of the product is still intact - it had good shelf life!
I sidelined it because I didn't get good definition on my overnight twistouts (I was just past TWA).
I felt it made my twistout feel tacky, but I agree with reviewers that call it "rain in a jar" if you are using it for your protective styles.

CurvyCurly said...

I use the Original Moxie Hair Bling and luv luv luv it! It's my favorite pomade and works great as a sealer. The shine is ridic! Good stuff but pricey :-(

Megan M. said...

A leave-in that has glycerin like Shea Moisture's leave-in I love it and Aloe vera juice my fave leave-in that has it in there is Jane Carter's. I do not have to moisturize my hair for three days or sometimes longer it depends.

Derika said...

I use glycerin now during the summer and it's really humid here. I haven't had many problems though because it's not a lot in my homemade spritz. It's so humid during the winter here in Louisiana that I may be able to get away with glycerin during the winter too.

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