Curly Hair Tip: How to Use Water Based Moisturizers Effectively


Your hair needs to be moisturized daily whether loose or braided or twisted up. I don’t moisturize daily like I used to when I first went natural, but I should.

You will need two different types of moisturizers: water based and oil based.

Water Based Moisturizer penetrates the hair shaft, oil based moisturizer coats the hair shaft (and seals moisture in or out). To use the two effectively, you will need to apply your water based moisturizer first, then the oil based – Water based UNDER, Oil based OVER.

The reason for this is that oils and other moisturizing products that contain petrolatum, lanolin, and mineral oil do not moisturize your hair effectively. Instead they seal moisture in or out of your hair. They should only be used to seal the hair and add shine. Try appling your oil moisturizer after rinsing the moisture treatment to combat dryness.
Also, to help with dryness, you need a penetrating moisturizer. The only oil that penetrates the hair shaft is coconut oil. Other oils only coat it. You can use virgin coconut oil as a daily moisturizer or a water based moisturizer.

How do I know if a product is water based?
Check the ingredients list.  Is the FIRST ingredient water aka purified water aka aqua?  If YES, then guess what?? Its water based.

If you see water in your ingredient list, but it’s not first, then find another product to use as your water based product.  Remember, Water Based Moisturizer penetrates the hair shaft.

Some examples of water based moisturizers are:

  • Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in – I used this when I first did my Big Chop.
  • Elasta QP Mango Butter – I’ve never used this, but I hear many naturals raving about this product.
  • Giovanni Direct Leave In – I’ve never used this, but I hear many naturals raving about this product.
  • Jane Carter Twist & Lock – Used this on Hubby’s locks, he had no problems with it.
  • Jane Carter Hair Nourishing Cream – I used this to set my twists, added lots of shine.
  • Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave In – I used this a few times.
  • Organic Root Stimulator Carrot Oil – I’ve never used this.
  • Profectiv Anti-Tangle Leave-in- I’ve never used this.
  • Cantu Shea Butter Grow Strong – I’ve never used this.

This is of course not an exhaustive list. I added products that I have personally used, products that I hear other naturals rave about, and a few other products that I’ve seen on shelves.

Which water based and oil based moisturizers do YOU use?

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