By Chinwe of Hair and Health

Are you having a difficult time finding a suitable moisturizer for your dry, thick hair? Naturals in this category usually require a heavy butter- and/or oil-based product in order to effectively provide and retain moisture.  Such products tend to work better when applied to damp hair, thus acting more as a sealant.  Others work just fine on hair that has been dried, thus providing moisture as well.  In this article, I will share four top products for dry, thick hair:

1. Jane Carter Nourish and Shine


WHAT’S IN IT: The Jane Carter Nourish and Shine contains a good combination of moisturizing butters among its top ingredients, including shea, illipe, mango, and kokum.

WHY NOURISH AND SHINE: This combination effectively moisturizes and seals extremely dry, thick hair.  It melts into the strands without leaving a film or greasy feel, and a little goes a long way.  The end result of using this product is supple, moisturized hair that also smells pleasant due to the addition of grapefruit and pear essential oils. I personally find that Nourish and Shine works well on either damp or dry hair.


2. Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream


WHAT’S IN IT: The Amla & Olive Heavy Cream consists of castor oil, olive oil, distilled water (moisture), amla, brahmi, aloe, glycerin (humectant), and other ingredients.

WHY AMLA & OLIVE HEAVY CREAM: Many naturals rave about the effectiveness of this product for dry, thick hair. If you are not so much a fan of shea butter but love oils and glycerin, then this product may be for you.  The Amla & Olive Heavy Cream has a thick consistency that resembles that of a whipped butter but without the addition of a butter.  Many naturals prefer to use this product on damp hair as a sealant while a few use it just fine on dried hair.



3. Pura Body Naturals Cupuacu Hair Butter

WHAT’S IN IT: The Pura Body Naturals Cupuacu Hair Butter also contains a combination of butters among its top ingredients, including cupuacu, murumuru, mango, illipe, seed, and shea.  Additionally, this product contains a few oils, such as olive, castor, and coconut.

WHY CUPUACU HAIR BUTTER: Due to the combination of butters and oils, this product works very well as a sealant, especially for dry, thick hair that requires something heavy.  It works best when applied to damp hair in order to effectively retain moisture. The Cupuacu Hair Butter comes in two fragrances – Tahitian Vanilla and Lemongrass Blend.  I’ve used both and prefer the Tahitian Vanilla due to its light, sweet scent.



4. Homemade Whipped Shea Butter with Oils


WHAT’S IN IT: Many DIY naturals with dry, thick hair gravitate towards a mixture of shea butter and oil(s).  The more popular oils tend to include coconut oil and/or olive oil.  Other options are grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and castor oil.  The mixture ratio depends on your desired consistency; homemade whipped butters usually contain 20-40% oil(s).

WHY WHIPPED BUTTER: This homemade mixture can work well for dry, thick hair given the combination of a heavy, moisturizing butter and oils with sealing/moisturizing properties. Whipping your own mixture also allows you to directly control the ingredients that go onto your hair.

WHERE TO FIND: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil

Do you have dry, thick hair?  What are your favorite moisturizers?


Healthy hair care tips and more!

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184 Comments on "The 4 Best Moisturizers for Thick, Dry Natural Hair"

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I have been using Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, shea butter mixtures, and EVOO for my hair since I went natural. Shea Moisture and EVOO are easy to find, inexpensive, and work wonders for my hair whether applied to damp or dry hair, although I prefer damp applications. I haven’t ventured into other products, because these work for me and don’t punch a hole in my small pockets 🙂


I use Reve Essentials Hair and Body Moisturizer right after wetting/washing my hair. I either seal that with castor oil or apply Donna Marie SuperButter on top. I’ve had no issues with dry hair since.

The pj in me is deeply considering adding QB Amla and Olive Heavy Cream to my stash though.


I have thick, dry natural hair but I also have a good mixture of fine and coarse strands. Qhemet’s Amla Cream and their Atheo butter just sit on top of my hair and make my hair dry and stringy and build up on my hair very quickly. I use the Amla cream to massage my scalp and edges to encourage growth. It helps because of the castor oil.


Crimsonpeach where do you get your mango butter? I would like tried it.


It seems that she was referring to the mango butter used in the specific product she made reference to.

You can find natural mango butter on and amazon. You get better deals on etsy though. HTH

Kisa, I had no idea you published this blog about us until I was sencahirg your blog tabs about tetonia. Thanks for bringing the obvious into my view. This week has been horrendous with 2 sick kids, trying to juggle work and Justin and I taking turns going to work and staying up at night. I see the light at the end of the tunnel now that everyone is feeling better and I know this wasn’t the first or last time we’ll have to do this. But, your photos reminded me of the times when everything just stands still and,… Read more »
I have thick 4a/b hair with fine to medium strands. I purchased the Quemet Amla & Olive Heavy Cream and the Burdock Root Butter Cream and both were rather heavy, and the glycerine in them made my hair so soft that it would not hold a twist or braid out. They are sitting in my fridge right now. I plan on those creams when I do mini-twists. So far I’ve been spritzing my hair nightly with a mix of water, aloe vera juice, and EVOO, and sealing with a drop of grapeseed oil, and my hair has been incredibly hydrated… Read more »
@ Landry the AOHC is too heavy for me as well. I tried the cocoa tree detangling ghee (ctdg) and it is awesome but I can’t use or I will get a lot of buildup. I usually wash, seal and then use the ctdg and I get beautiful twist/braidouts. Though, once the hair is well moisturised with whatever product, your twists/braid will be awesome. You can try samples on their website. I think the moringa ghee might be lighter * I sound like a pusha. I’ve also heard good things about Camille rose naturals almond jai twisting butter but just… Read more »
I agree about AOHC being heavy. It took a few tries before I realized I had to use basically a “smear” of it on each section while damp, let it marinate for about 30″ to an hour with a scarf on & then check to see how much Aethiopika I’d need to seal. Same with the CTDG. The Moringa Tree ghee formula has changed with the new bottle & works better for me. I use it as a deep conditioner detangler & then rinse most of it out so I won’t have buildup hen I use the other products. If… Read more »

Pat, if you’re a pusher, I am too! lol! I LOVE products and I am not ashamed to say it. 😉 I have heard good things about Camille Rose products as well, I may try that next.

For now I use Carols Daughter Loc Butter (a little goes a long way) for my twist/braid outs and I love it.

I have dense hair but fine strands and while Amla Olive was way too heavy, greasy and made my hair difficult to manage, I found Burdock to be nicely moisturising, not heavy or greasy and the glycerin didn’t bother me like it does in some products. I agree about clean hair accepting product and if my hair wasn’t so dense and time consuming I’d wash more regularly than 1-2 weeks. I don’t think it can handle the manipulation and is always much drier just after air drying post-wash only needing to be re washed a week later just as it… Read more »

Zanthe, I usually wash my hair once a week. The time I went 2 weeks, and mentioned above, is when my hair acted out. lol By the time the second week rolled around, it was very dry. I’ve learned that to maintain my moisture levels, I need to wash/cowash at least once a week for now.

I agree that washing can be time consuming–it does take a while!! I’ve tried to streamline my regiment so that that it takes less time.

Joan B. in S. C.

@Landry, now I’m certain I need to wash my hair when I get home from work tonight. Thanks!




Thank TINA, I had to learn this the hard way. My scalp/hair loves to be clean. Also shampoo bars have been a great way for me to cleanse my hair while keeping the moisture locked in.


Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair’s Coconut Curling Cream is the best moisturizer I’ve found yet! It leaves my hair soo soft, gives it a great shine, and the smell is heavenly too. Loooove it!

jojo bak


Hi Jojo. It depends on what you add to your mixture. If you just add olive oil and/or coconut oil, the mixture can last up to a year and maybe a little longer. If you add oils with short shelf lives or if you add “wet” ingredients (such as aloe vera gel), the mixture may only last a few months or several months, which is fine for most people. This is all without the addition of preservatives. NOTE: I would stay way from adding water to a whipped butter, unless you are using the right preservatives. In my experience, the… Read more »



Lol @ Tina Smith



Hi JoJo, whipped shea butter can last at least a year unless you use oils that highly polyunsaturated such as hemp and flax seed oil. Unless you are using the aloe vera gel that already has preservatives in it such as you would find in the suntan or skin sections of a store,once plain aloe vera without preservatives, it tends to grow fungus. Water grows fungus as well. Tea tree oil does very little for fungus and vit E is an anti oxidant that slows the rancidity. Keep your mixture refrigerated or in a dark cool place to delay changes… Read more »

That Alma & Olive Heavy Cream is the truth. I like to put in when I’m having a bad hair day and just let it marinate…scratch that murrinate like chicken in a blend of secret herbs and spices…Whoa, that stuff is good. Softest, shiniest, supple hair and a little goes a long way.


I agree. I’m a 4z and nothing so0ftens my hair better.




I use Shea Moisture’s Curl & Style Milk OR Curl Enhancing Smoothie.


Me too! It’s my staple product.


I vote for QB’s aethopika hydrating and twist butter. Soft hair very time. My hair loves the mango butter in it.


Girl my hair LOVES QB products. The Twist Butter is always sold out! I am using the Ghee for my twist outs and they always come out looking amazing, but my hair is so dry i have to apply almost everyday day it soaks it all up. I will STAN for their products always. I have I guess 4C? I don’t know it’s really tight, breaks easy, and super dry.
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I have thick fine mostly 4a with some in between a & b spots & love the Aethiopika, too. Since Qhemet’s products are so concentrated I can section my hair & use a very little AOHC on each section & then twist with the Aethiopika. I washed my hair on Saturday Oct 13 & today is the 15th & it’s still very moisturized despite low humidity. I also have the Nourish & Shine which a pal gave me because it didn’t agree with her hair. I haven’t done twists with it yet but I did use some over Kinky Curly… Read more »

i’ve been eager to try Amla & Olive Heavy Cream


i use the aohc and i really like it.

the qb online store is not 100% open now but they are selling a sample pack of all products, except the shampoo, now for $29 plus $6 tax.

i’ve wanted to try some of the others but haven’t been able to convince myself. i ordered the sample pack, even though it’s not cheap.

just remember, a little goes a looonnnggg way with these products. i washed my hair sunday night and haven’t added moisturizer since.


i mean $6 for shipping. tax depends on your state, of course. lol.


Qhemet is sold through
They have the full size stuff, and they ship EXTRA FAST! But you have to register (which is free, just give an email address).


yes, but as far as i know, the sample pack and the other minis are only available through her facebook page and the qb website.

i’m not talking about full size containers. i’ve order through sage…


Amla & Olive cured me of my product junkie habit. I LOVE this stuff! I have very thick dry hair, and it’s the bomb.


Does a whipped shea mixture really moisturize hair? I always thought moisturizers had to be water based and then the oil based stuff were to seal in that moisture


Definitely agree here. I use oil-based products like shea butter ON TOP of moisturizers that are water based.


Hi MzT. It depends on what you add to your whipped butter, but for the most part, yes it is more of a sealant that is best applied to damp hair.

Moisturizers are usually water-based (like the Amla & Olive Heavy Cream above), but some (not all) oils/butters can do a bit of “moisturizing” as well.


I just started using the wipped shea butter option. So far, it’s being great. I hair remains moist for a at at least a week, then I reaply. I do need to get a water base moisturizer though, as an addition.

Ugonna Wosu

got it. You should use it with damp hair! I want to make whipped shea butter in the near future!


I don’t have thick hair but I have dry, very dense FINE 4b hair. I have found that KBB Butter Love and Creamylicious as well as Oyin Hair Dew and any of their sprays plus Hairveda CoCasta Shikaikai are just perfect for my hair. The kbb stuff is pretty expensive once it crosses over the pond to the UK but to me it’s worth it. Qhemet’s burdock root is also good but their stuff is hard to get hold of here and the online shop always seems to be closed.


Qhemet is sold through Sage Naturalceuticals in the US and Mariposa Import in Europe.


I have fine and very thirsty 4b hair too. And I love the Oyin Hair Dew. I’ll check out the other products. But one problem I have with my natural hair is it dislikes most of the popular ingredients like shea butter and olive oil. I have a hard time finding products that suit my hair needs. I wish the natural hair community would pay more attention to fine-haired naturals.


Oh I forgot. It dislikes glycerin too.


Do they sell the Pura stuff here by any chance? I’m in London and I’d like to check that out. Also, where do you get the Oyin from?? I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard a bit about it and I’d like to give it a go.


No PuraBody is definitely not over here yet. I buy Oyin and KBB at Nexrastore online. I’d like to become DIY because we lack so many brands here and the imported products are far from cheap compared to the price in the US. Oyin Hair Dew is £13.99 but I like it because it’s glycerin free and moisturising in the winter.


Thanks for the response!

I’ve found a few lines that I like that are sold in the shop, so that’s a good thing- Africare or Afrocare is one I want to try, and Beautiful Textures is okay as well. I get my Taliah Waajid stuff too which I really like, but I haven’t found any of the ‘popular’ brands.

£13 is a lot, but then again, I got a sample of that Kiehls shampoo and the full size costs about £20 so… yeah. Expensive!

DIY is definitely cheaper, and I just have fun mixing things up on the whole.