Skip to main content

How to Use Water Based Moisturizers on Flat-Ironed Natural Hair

• Jul 9, 2015

flatiron braid

So, when you flat iron your hair, water is your enemy, right? The natural’s motto is, “Oils and butters only! Prevent reversion!” This was so me until I flat ironed my hair and discovered how to use water-based moisturizers.

I’ve tried to do textured styles with my flat ironed hair using oil-based products and they were cute…for about five minutes. The oil on dry hair just didn’t give me enough style and hold, which makes sense, because oils tend to make your hair more flexible, but with a style, you want to freeze your hair in place. The only other option I had to keep using oils was to use heat tools to style my hair, and I did not want that to be my solution.

During one straight session, I shared my bantu knot out on flat ironed hair using a water-based product, and it was great!! My style held, my hair was still smooth and best of all, I was moisturizing my hair while it was straight! I’ve noticed some differences on the kind of products/methods you can use, so I wanted to share my tips.

1. Use products with thicker consistency.

While you want to use a product that’s water based, you don’t want to use SUPER watery products (spray conditioners, serums, RO conditioners – unless they are super thick and buttery), as they will wet your hair quicker and cause it to revert. I think using a thick cream or hair lotion will work just fine – these usually contain more oils and butters with the H2O. For the sake of reference, here are some products I’ve used on my flat ironed hair with success:

Darcy’s Botanicals Cocoa Bean Curl Styling Cream

CocoCurls Curly Styling Aid

Cush Cosmetics Creme de Palm

Bekura Palm Tapioca Deluxe Hair Cream

2. Use a small amount

Only use a DAB. A. DAB. Like…not even a fingertip full per section and no more than a dime amount on your whole head. Sometimes I add a wee bit more on my ends for extra hydration because they were often rubbing on my clothes all day. But do not saturate your hair with product.


3. Set your hair immediately. 

Doesn’t matter if it’s braid, bun, bantu knot, twist, wrap, etc – just set your hair in some way so it won’t start curling up on itself. Even when I was doing bantu knots, I initially applied the product and split that section into two, and I could see the hair in the second section start to curl up. So, I switched to applying product to each section alone and twisting it right up before it could begin to curl. When I’m not trying a “real” style, I apply a bit of product to the bottom length of my hair only and put it in a low bun for bed. This way, I get a slightly textured, tousled look. If your hair is shorter and you can’t make a bun, try wrapping your hair or putting it in a few buns. The key is to not let the hair stay free to play with the elements.

4. Stay away from glycerin!

I don’t just mean in the first five ingredients, I mean none. Zilch. Zero. Nada. There were a few times that I used products that had glycerin and within an hour my hair had poofed out to a ratty, spiderwebby, mess. Remember, glycerin attracts moisture, and that’s not what you want (especially if you live in a humid climate). Some products that worked for me contain honey, but if your hair reacts with other humectants, leave those alone too. For reference, products that did not work on my flat ironed hair include:

  • Oyin Honey Hemp
  • HerbnLife Coconut Hemp (which is a pomade but contains glycerin)
Well, that’s really all I got. Simple right? Live long and moisturize!

**Note, if your hair is super porous, these tips may not help. Unfortunately, I can’t predict how this would work on hair that is not fairly low porosity and does not accept water easily. Also, if your hair reverts quickly, you may be applying too much. A DAB!**

Do you use water-based moisturizers on your flat ironed hair?

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Shopping Cart