The 4 Best Moisturizers for Thick, Dry Natural Hair

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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?

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Hails from a great city in the Midwest and will forever be a Bears fan.


166 thoughts on “The 4 Best Moisturizers for Thick, Dry Natural Hair

  1. I am just growing out my hair and going all natural. How can you find out your hair type? Also I have fine springy like hair so could you please recommend a conditioner and moisturizer. Thanks

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  2. Ceecii,

    I just viewed the link above on hair typing, I have viewed others in the past. This one is a good start, although I’ve viewed many to finally determine that I am 4b–I thought it was 4c but I was wrong.

    Check out Charjay on youtube, she has a video on a review of hair products and conditioners was one. One that she recommended is Jessie Girls Deep conditioner–I like it. Google will lead you to both.

    Happy and Healthy Growing

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  3. Pingback: Detangling made easy | Afro Frenzy

  4. I really Love Camille Naturals Curlaide! It’s light effective and produces very nice results in my twist outs! I like mixing my own shea butter too, my go to is definitely Camille Rose!

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  5. I use homemade shea butter mixture. It’s the only thing that has worked for me. I’ve tried the national brands, even $40 jars, and NOPE! Mine keeps my hair moisturized, and it has grown a lot in just one year.

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  6. I use only homemade mixtures. I have tried expensive name brands and nothing! My hair is thick and course. The homemade stuff can be altered to fit your own needs. My hair stays moisturized and it has grown a lot in the past year.

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  7. Anyone with proper African hair use Shea butter and does it make a difference on a day to day basis? Congrats Love My Mane, I hope to be where you are in a year!

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    • I started using raw African shea butter in the last year and I have been natural for 6 years. (I’m kind of upset it took me this long to start using it!) It is one of the best things I could have ever used for my hair. I am half African (Liberian) and Haitian and I have very dry, THICK, kinky hair. Using shea butter with coconut oil and sweet almond oil transformed my hair like I never imagined and really brought out my curls. I also found that it was easier to absorb when slightly melted down and put onto damp hair to really seal in moisture. I usually wash and go (I don’t fight any shrinkage lol) or twist my hair with it and take it out the next day or two and don’t have to touch my hair for the next 3-4 days, when before I used to have to refresh my hair everyday. It definitely makes a difference!

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      • Hey Ash! My hair is just like yours: very kinky, thick and coarse. Dry hair is constantly an issue for me. I have a few questions about the shea butter moisture mixture you talked about.

        1) What portions do you use of the shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil? 1/3 each and the mix it all together before rubbing it in your hair?

        2) What leave-in conditioners do you use?

        Thank you so much! I’ve been natural for a few years as well, but I still feel like I’m learning how to really take care of it. :o)

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      • Wow 6 years natural!! ive only been natural 2 years now. hopefully i too can find the right moisturizer for my thick, course 4c hair.

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  8. I will try #4: Whipped Shea Butter, I heard very good things about it.

    Well done “Love My Mane”, I will follow your advice about homemade mixtures. Hopefully, I see some results.

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  9. hello my name ownisis and yes this is my actual name and i am proud of such a uninique name. i am 15 years old and i had been trnasitioning for 8 months since my last relaxer which was march 20 2013. i cut off my relaxed ends my natural hair has grown in qiute a bit due to extention braids. i cut off my relaxed ends december 28 2013 and did a wool twist. i am going to keep it in for three months and then take it. i am scared because onece i take it out i wont really know how to take care of my natural hair. i dont really know what to do with my natural hair or how to take care of it. i am afraid that i might end up damaging it . Somebody please tell me how to care for natural hair HELP!!!

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    • moisture is key.. there are a lot of videos that discuss natural hair care on youtube… but I find that the sister who makes Hadassah’s Secret products on Etsy is a wealth of information about truly natural processes and caring for your natural hair. Her products are also all natural, as are those on my site..

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    • Buy you some cowash conditioner was hair weekly. Next leave in conditioner its ey to moisture retention. Invest in a deep conditioner weekly for this as well. Edenbody works have excellent hair products, cheap and great quantity. If you have any other questions let me know

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      • I have been reading the post along with the recommended suggestions for moisturizers. I just recently tried raw shea butter, extra virgin olive oil & argon oil. This really worked well on my thick dry hair. I cold washed my hair (washed with hair conditioner), sprayed lotta body setting lotion & used shea moisture hair milk. I then sectioned my hair & applied the shea butter mixture moisturizer to each section & two strand twisted my hair then sat under hair dryer & let dry. I untwisted my hair the next day & my hair looked great! That was Thursday of last week & my hair still looks great…the moisturizer mix was very inexpensive & I can use it multiple times & it’s works! This is a must try. Good luck to you????. Let me know how it works

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  10. Hello ladies… Oooooook I’m also very frustrated cut my hair 2 years ago to go all natural was really excited willing and trying to choose products that’ll help me manage. However I was lost and still am, I’m unaware even what my hair type is,it never stays oiled,I’ve used anything could buy from a supply store that says all natural,arogan moisturizing creams,sprays,morrocan whatever. Plllllllease HELP!!! In two years my hair has come out. It’s literally shorter now than when I began and I’m lost. Thanks in advance… Btw,pic with my son is beginning second pic is a year later which my hair is shorter then and that was a year ago from now.

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    • Are you on IG? If so my natural hair pics are there to see:
      Trinalashea3. Moisturize with water and then a leave in.conditioner and then your oil. Try using EVOO or coconut oil. Take niotin or msm vitamins. Also drink 64 oz. Water minimum and protective style. I hope this helps!

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    • What’s your hair regimen like right now? Your hair looks similar to mine when I was in the twa stage, may be able to help you out. What products do you use for each step right now? (Washing to styling)

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      • Hello ladies thanks so much for your input… Talisa I actually don’t have a specific routine. That’s part of my problem I’m sure, however I use coconut oil to oil my scalp once dry, I have some kinda natural shampoo and conditioner. I use a natural comb when combing or styling my hair. In getting better at wearing my cap to bed. My issues are not really knowing what products to purchase so I can get back on to a regiment… Currently have micro braids

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        • I would try GreenBeautyChannel on you tube. There are 2 three part video series that I think would help. The first is on Hair typing and finding out the 5 factors that make up natural hair. The second is Porosity. She talks about knowing your porosity is one of the most important factors to being able to successfully care for your natural hair. It determines what products will work for you and how to apply them. Because if your treating your hair like it has high porosity when it has low this can be as damaging as using constant heat. And she has a lot of other great video’s but that should get you started.

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  11. Hi Monique!! I feel your pain. Sometimes its not what u buy, its how u use the products. I am going on my second yr natural and the first year it seemed like it too forever for my hair to grow. I went for a trim one day and the stylist cut it so short it looked I big chopped again. I was super mad but it allowed me to really re-evaluate my regimen again. One thing I realized that protective styling works well for me even though I hate doing. My hair like bentonite clay as deep conditioner it helps shop breakage. Shea butter keeps my hair alive and aloe vera gel and aloe vera juice are the I came to all these conclusions doing tons of research, taking pics of my hair as documentation and overall embracing my hair for what it is. I hold my hair to its own standards not any other naturalistas.Good luck and dont give up!!

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    • I just found out that I was Vitamin D deficient (like heavily) which could be one of the reasons why my hair was breaking. I am now on a routine of coconut oil, JBCO, peppermint oil and shea butter. I am interested in what/how you use aloe vera gel in your hair.

      I think my hair is growing out (I have managed to hide most of the hair loss, I think!) with meds and all natural products (and SLS free shampoo and conditioner).

      The hair loss has left me really depressed and exasperated!

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  12. Monique, everyone’s hair is different. You have to find what’s works for you. This takes trial and error at times. For instance, I don’t like the results after using aloe vera juice or gel on my hair-leaves it dry and hard. I remember my mother using coffee on my hair so I went back to that and my hair loves it. Go figure.

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    • What does coffee do for your hair? I have never heard of this before. Do you rinse your hair with left over coffee?

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  13. Has anyone ever tried to add glycerin to their DIY shea butter mix?
    I make a shea butter mix and I love it, however, I live in a very humid and hot climate all year around and would like to add a humectant to it. My hair responds well to glycerin and shea butter, but I’ve never tried the two together (not yet anyways).

    If you’ve used a mixture similar to this, please share what you thought about it, and if it worked for you or not?


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    • Glycerin is a humectant. Humectant work well for some in warm climates. It works for me even though my hair is low porosity.
      According to most gurus this is a no no. Do what works for you hair. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

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  14. I need some help my daughter has very dry hair and her hair is starting to break off. Need help fast.

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    • Hey Sonia, I would suggest that you create a whipped shea butter mixture for your daughter’s hair. I have heard many positive feedback in the past from using natural ingredients for moisturising hair and I am yet to try making this whipped shea butter to see the moisturising effects on my own hair. Natural ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and etc really helps to retain moisture in hair leaving your hair soft and healthy. You can choose from a variety of natural oils to whip with the shea butter to help with your daughter’s hair. Here’s a link to a useful website ( – this website gives info on the benefits of different types of natural oils to use on hair which will help you decide which oils you should use in your shea butter whip to suit your daughter’s hair needs, and even comes with a whipped shea butter recipe where you are able to tweak some of the ingredients if you want.
      Hope these tips helped, I am really confident that this will keep your daughter’s hair moisturised :)

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  15. help!!,my hair gets very oily when I add a bit of pommade, but dry when I do not.Is there too much oil in my hair or is it because of my transitioning stage?

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