This is a big topic of discussion when I do classes in the salon. It seems as if people are always trying to figure out what they can do to moisturize their hair.
The first thing you should know is that the majority of products that you find on the market that do not have water as one of their main ingredients; will not be moisturizing your hair. It will only be creating moisture retention in your hair.
Moisture comes from water and conditioning of the hair so that the hair maintains the moisture. When you shampoo your hair, you raise the cuticle layer of the hair. This layer is keeping moisture within the hair. When you condition your hair, you are closing the cuticle layer; therefore, you're locking the moisture inside.
If your hair is damaged (meaning that the cuticle is open) it will have a hard time retaining moisture. Most products for wash and go styles and natural curly styles can somewhat moisturize the hair, because their ingredients include water. When you wear your hair curly, it does make your hair moist or wet.
It’s harder for people who wear their hair smooth or relaxed to keep moisture in the hair. It is important to moisturize and condition the hair thoroughly allowing the conditioner to sit for 5, 15, and up to 30 minutes to properly close the cuticle and keep it closed so that the hair can retain it’s moisture.
We love oils so much because they are very good at locking the moisture in. However, they can also lock moisture out and if your hair is already dry then oils won’t do much to moisturize your hair.
Once your hair is moisturized, oils can do a great job at keeping the hair moist. Products that are good for moisture retention on natural hair or smoothed out hair are the ones that contain ingredients like Shea butter, honey and mango butter.
These ingredients are natural and produce moisture retention in the hair.