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
1. Cleanse or Co-wash
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
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
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
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.
Do you change products and your regimen based on the seasons?