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4 Alternatives To Oil and Butter For Sealing Moisture In Natural Hair

Avatar • Oct 25, 2014

When Izzy (my hair) was much shorter, I never thought it was necessary to “seal” my hair. Why? Because my hair’s porosity is fairly low, so “sealing” in moisture was never imperative to keep my hair moisturized. If you’re unfamiliar, “sealing” natural hair simply means to use a butter or oil to coat the hair in efforts to prevent moisture loss — at least that’s the principle behind this technique. Although some are on the fence about sealing and its effectiveness on natural hair, I’ve found it to be particularly beneficial in decreasing friction as my hair grew longer.

The ends of your hair is the oldest part of your mane and they’re often put under additional stress due to the weather (i.e. wind) or clothing. Applying additional product to the ends provides another layer between the hair and the elements, offering some protection. My product of choice? A heavy moisturizer. Why?

- In addition to protecting my ends, I also want to keep them as supple and moisturized as possible to minimize split ends and breakage, and oils do not actually provide moisture to the hair.

- Heavy moisturizers also often have thicker oils or butters in the first five ingredients, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, castor oil, or jojoba oil, making them ideal for the extra protection. Double the benefits, double the fun.

It’s important to remember that your moisturizer should have an oil or butter at the beginning of the ingredients list and you don’t want something that’s too light unless your hair is fine and weighed down with heavier products. Here are some of my faves:
Coco Curls Moisturizing Styling Cream
cococurls

Coco Curls Moisturizing Styling Cream includes shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil and has the added benefit of rosemary extract, which is said to help decrease hair breakage.
Oyin Whipped Pudding
Oyin Whipped Pudding contains shea butter, cocoa butter, castor oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and olive oil. You can also use it on your body — it smells like chocolate!

 
Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream
qhemet

Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream doesn’t even list water as the first ingredient — it’s castor oil. Add in olive oil and ayurvedic botanicals and you’ve got an ideal cream for moisturizing and protecting hair.

 
Bekura Palm Tapioca Deluxe Hair Buttercream

Bekura (formerly B.A.S.K.) Palm Tapioca Deluxe Hair Buttercream boasts some ingredients that aren’t as common, such as cupuacu butter, babassu seed oil and ucuuba butter. It’s also great for twist outs.

 

Do you prefer to “seal” with a moisturizer? If so, what are your favorite products?

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iluvedges
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iluvedges

Shea butter is NOT a moisturizer…butters are not moisturizers…

T
Guest
T

You always need to apply these things to slightly damp hair by misting then apply the product/oil or butter. Water based products moisturise and some creme based but you must seal with an oil or heavy butter.

Kelsi Briana
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Kelsi Briana

She didn’t say they were, in fact she says specifically that they AREN’T moisturizers in the very beginning of this article. The title states that you can use these products for SEALING IN moisture, meaning they keep (already moisturized) hair nourished for a longer period of time and offer external protection.

Elle Dennis
Member
Elle Dennis

Right, I never said they were. All of the products mentioned are water-based, which is why they are moisturizers. The Shea butter and butter type ingredients add the sealing “protection” along with the moisture of the water and other emollients in the products.

Bernadette Blair
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Bernadette Blair

My sister can get away without sealing with oils and butters. The only instance that I can do that is when I’m doing the Curly Girl Method. Using that method, I’m moisturizing so often that I don’t need to worry about sealing with a butter.

Aisa @ForUsNaturals
Guest

Great article Elle. I found that I can also skip sealing sometimes. Moisturizers that do it for me are Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie or Beautiful Textures moisture butter. I also dig moisturizers with silocones because I have fine, high porosity hair.

Nessa
Guest
Nessa

OMG! Oyin Whipped Pudding though…I love this product so much. I love all Oyin’s products.

DuvaLH
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DuvaLH

Meant to thumbs up this but my thumb betrayed me :-(. Oyin for the win.

DuvaLH
Guest
DuvaLH

Started sealing as my hair got longer with oils which was ait. Few months ago found my post wash holy grail sealer — Oyin whipped pudding is everything. It goes on kinda chalky but it keeps my hair soft and moisturized for days. Love love love!

Babe
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Babe

At first I thought I was the only one who didn’t seal with oil (my hair hates it, makes it dry). I use the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask, Darcy’s Botanicals Sweet Cocoa Bean Hair Whip, or Camille Rose Naturals Curlaide Moisture Butter as my sealant/stylers and my 4c hair loves it!! My inner PJ wants to try the Oyin Whipped pudding though

Cc
Guest
Cc

my hair feels so greasy when I use butter and butter-based products. I find that using an oil like avocado is enough for me

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