By Chin­we of Hair and Health

After find­ing a great con­di­tion­er and a good mois­tur­iz­er, what more can you do to increase mois­ture reten­tion?  The fol­low­ing are four tips that have helped me – and will hope­ful­ly help you in your nat­ur­al hair care jour­ney:

1. Wash your hair reg­u­lar­ly and suf­fi­cient­ly

The drench­ing of the hair with water (a nat­ur­al mois­tur­iz­er in and of itself) can replen­ish dry strands. Wash­ing with a cleanser also removes dirt, pol­lu­tion, and prod­uct buildup that may block mois­ture pen­e­tra­tion. Even though we have his­tor­i­cal­ly been taught that reg­u­lar wash­ing leads to dry hair, it is more so the TYPE of sham­poo that trans­lates to mois­ture loss. Stick with gen­tle sham­poos that leave your hair feel­ing clean but not stripped.

2. Mix glyc­erin and aloe vera gel with your sealant

Seal­ing the hair with an oil and/or but­ter helps to ‘lock’ in the mois­ture (i.e., water) from wash­ing and con­di­tion­ing. How­ev­er, some­times we need a lit­tle more beyond seal­ing.  If you are a mix­tress, try incor­po­rat­ing glyc­erin (a humec­tant), aloe vera gel (a mois­tur­iz­er), and a lit­tle water into your sealant mix­ture for extra mois­ture reten­tion.  (Use the appro­pri­ate preser­v­a­tive, if nec­es­sary.)  If you are not a mix­tress, you may alter­na­tive­ly ben­e­fit from apply­ing a heavy cream after seal­ing with an oil.

3. Choose the right mate­r­i­al and weave for your bon­net

I work with poly­ester and silk reg­u­lar­ly and have come to learn that there is such a thing as “good qual­i­ty” poly­ester as well as “poor qual­i­ty” silk.  Not all poly­ester is bad for our nat­ur­al hair, and not all silk is lux­u­ri­ous.  Bon­nets and scarves that are fab­ri­cat­ed from poly­ester charmeuse (or, bet­ter known as “satin charmeuse”) or silk charmeuse are gen­er­al­ly good qual­i­ty.  Why is this? Well charmeuse is a type of weave that yields a soft­er-than-satin fin­ish and a silk or poly­ester made with this weave may help with mois­ture reten­tion bet­ter than any oth­er weave.

4. Air-dry in medi­um twists or braids

Twists and braids force my hair to trap and bet­ter absorb the mois­ture in my strands. After a few days or more in twists or braids, I can wear a loose hair­style that retains more mois­ture than had I worn the set for just one day. In my expe­ri­ence, pro­tec­tive styling is not just reserved for the mechan­i­cal pro­tec­tion of the ends. It has the added ben­e­fit of help­ing your ends absorb and retain mois­ture after a wash­ing ses­sion.  Medi­um or small twists work bet­ter for me then big or jum­bo ones.

Ladies, how do you increase mois­ture reten­tion?


Empow­er­ing women of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin. https://cherishthymelanin.com/

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62 Comments on "4 Ways to Keep Your Hair Moisturized Longer"

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Greet­ings! Very help­ful advice with­in this post!
It’s the lit­tle changes which will make the most sig­nif­i­cant
changes. Thanks a lot for shar­ing!


Please.…for me none of this works. To keep my hair mois­tur­ized longer I rotate some light cleansers and just use min­er­al oil as my leave in. Then I clar­i­fy once a month. If I add any­thing to the equa­tion my hair rebels. I do not “mois­tur­ize” my hair I just wash it when it needs to be washed.

Shana Scott

I have tried aloe and it makes my hair dull. Shea but­ter, it makes my hair dull. Coconut oil dries my hair out and then breaks it off. Sil­i­cones don’t work after the sec­ond day. If you look at the ingre­di­ents in nat­ur­al hair care, it’s hard to find some­thing free of all theese ingre­di­ents. So I start­ed using pure lano­lin in grease form mixed with a lit­tle sweet almond oil and twist­ed my hair while it was still damp and my hair has been so healthy and shiny.


Min­er­al oil is ter­ri­ble for hair. Have you tried cas­tor oil to seal your hair? I only real­ly use water and a sealant oil. Very rarely, I use a high qual­i­ty leave in con­di­tion­er before the oil seal.


Can you sub­sti­tute aloe vera gel for the juice? 

vis­it me @ http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWaYou54I1mk_Bq6kZrzcxw


To any per­son out there con­sid­er­ing work in the secu­ri­ty indus­try, my advice is go ahead! You’ll meet ter­rif­ic indi­vid­u­als, learn lots and nev­er look back. So a lot bet­ter than a dull 9–5er!


The point is not how long can the hair stay mois­tur­ized because dif­fer­ent tex­tures require more or less try­ing time. I think that if you keep mois­tur­iz­ing tools and acces­sories near­by, you can use them when­ev­er need­ed. I do a through drench in the morn­ing, oil and or shea but­ter my scalp and extend to the ends of the hair. Tow­el dry excess water light­ly and go. By mid-day, I pull out my spray bot­tle and use it with a quick five minute mas­sage and I am on my way. Peace.


I’m cur­rent­ly shop­ping for a decent sized workdesk for our office. Just not sure if I should buy a stan­dard one or to find some­thing that is more bespoke with the rest of our Som­er­set.


Would the glyc­erin and aloe vera gel mix work well with organ­ic vir­gin coconut oil, and how much of each would you say to be the rec­om­mend­ed amount?


It would work. As for amounts, you will have to see what works well for your hair. Every­one is dif­fer­ent. I know for myself, I apply aloe juice then seal with coconut oil, then if it’s win­ter or I know I won’t be able to reach my hair a lot, I seal with a heav­ier cream or cas­tor oil.


Oh, and it’s super mois­tur­iz­ing.


Lo-po ladies try the Gio­van­ni leave in. It’s the first leave in cream con­di­tion­er I’ve used that doesn’t leave my hair oily. It also has excel­lent slip.


@Chinwe…this is a great article,very infor­ma­tive on a basic lev­el which is what I think we need to see more of because there are more and more ladies going nat­ur­al and don’t know where to find that bot­tom line basic info that’s the foun­da­tion of them keep­ing their hair togeth­er and healthy…dont for­get to keep those ends trimmed ladies!! lol

nappy headed black girl

I do all of these except the glycerin/aloe vera tip. Since I wash often, I don’t think I have a prob­lem keep­ing my hair mois­tur­ized.

And I only use glyc­erin cer­tain times of the year any­way.


I have been ques­tion­ing if seal­ing is good for me bc if oil seals in my ini­tial moisturizer…I dry out over the week so I have 2 reap­ply through­out the week. I find there’s a diff in my hairs abail­i­ty to absorb the mois­tur­iz­er dur­ing the week and I’m think­ing its bc I’ve sealed my hair so I’m keep­ing addi­tion­al mois­ture out…I find when I don’t seal ‚as I reap­ply through the week,my hair responds bet­ter.

@imani…I def­i­nite­ly have to mois­tur­ize through out the week. This is my sim­ple regimin to main­tain mois­ture. Sham­poo week­ly and almost always apply heat to con­di­tion­ers. Steam­ing is great also. I usu­al­ly do 12 flat twist. Keep it twist for 1 or 2 days but spray­ing with an oil/water mix­ture every night when its twist down. After 2 or 3 days if my hair looks dry I will retwist it using the same parts which are easy to find. Usu­al­ly take 20 min­utes to do. I light­ly mist before twist­ing, when fin­ish I mist again heav­ier. Each time I twist… Read more »

Am keen to see what oth­er nat­u­rals are experiencing.I have always won­dered about this. Can your hair absorb any prod­ucts after seal­ing with heavy oils like cas­tor?
I hope some­one responds.


I read on the ‘nat­ur­al haven’ blog that seal­ing does not pre­vent mois­ture from enter­ing (as least not com­plete­ly). Have a look through her archives, it’s some­where there. Only thing is I think she was answer­ing a ques­tion in the com­ment sec­tion of a post, so that’ll make it lil hard­er to find (sor­ry!). But try google and see what comes up! :-)


yeah, i thought it was only sil­i­cones and min­er­al oil/petrolatum that com­plete­ly sealed out mois­ture.

Jenelle B.
I have kinky hair that is low poros­i­ty and I have tried aloe vera gel last sum­mer when I made my made my shea but­ter mix. I love it and it worked great and I will return to it this sum­mer again. Glyc­erin on the oth­er hand has worked greater for me when I use it with oils before I wash my hair so that when my hair gets to the water, the glyc­erin is already doing its job. I have tried it after wash­ing and my hair was quite dry and was a fuzz ball. I’m think­ing of try­ing… Read more »

What perser­v­a­tives should be used for the mix­tures


To keep in my mois­ture I have to use ample oil and air dry. My nat­ur­al tex­ture is very wiry in some areas and sup­ple in oth­ers, fine strands here, thick strands there. Lots of hair at my crown, not as much around my perime­ter. I have very small spi­ral­ly curls that don’t keep their shape very well. I think I’d be a 4b if I had to type my hair. I wash my hair once a week, some­times biweek­ly, some­times longer. I’m usu­al­ly in a wig or exten­sions so that has a huge effect on what I pre­fer.


Re: washing/shampooing, you have to keep a balance…I find that if I wash my hair too fre­quent­ly, it of course feels stripped…but OTOH if I go too long I loose all them mois­tur­iza­tion I had from the pre­vi­ous conditioning…if that makes sense. :p


Glyc­erin and my hair doesn’t get along AT ALL. I avoid using prod­ucts that have glyc­erin in it mean­ing styling creams,lotions, pud­dings, or any­thing. I love Aloe Vera though. I mix it in my shea but­ter recipe


I need sug­ges­tions for my ends which seri­ous­ly frizz up. They dont last long in stretched out styles. I guess I could use an anti-humec­tant but I do need to re-mois­turise often so this will work against me.
If I sort out my ends I believe I would sort my sin­gle strand knots or keep them under con­trol.
For this week I will try using cas­tor oil.…

My bud­dy 1bal­le­ri­na has a strat­e­gy for wrap­ping your ends at night to stop the sin­gle strand knots. Type in 1bal­le­ri­na on YouTube. I have a lot of tips for reduc­ing them over­all. See my youtube video on deep con­di­tion­ing your hair with coconut oil. In that video I talk about ways to reduce split ends and knots. Essen­tial­ly you want to get away from wash and go’s and stick with braid out’s. It’s also help­ful to wash your hair in sec­tions. I tend to unbraid and rebraid sec­tions while wash­ing to keep my hair smooth. If you like your… Read more »

Have tried the bag­gy method?

-You do a bun and on the ends apply an oil like olive or cas­tor oil
-Apply plas­tic bag over it and for max­i­mum results keep it over night.

For day wear you can wear a pony tail piece n have it under­neath.


thanks. I will try this


Some peo­ple are glyc­erin sen­si­tive- and I’ve also read that Aloe Vera may not be the best for Low Poros­i­ty nat­u­rals.

Glyc­erin works well for me (I have a very kinky 4-inch twa) but I’m going to try the Aloe Vera still, just to see how it goes.

A ques­tion, Chin­we- by mix­ing Aloe Vera and glyc­erin into a hair but­ter for seal­ing, is this what you mean? Or I have to put them on over the oil or but­ter?

I’m low poros­i­ty and glyc­erin in the only thing that gives me mois­ture for days. I put it in my hair with a show­er cap when I take a show­er and my hair is soft and curly. I have low poros­i­ty hair and I’ve just about giv­en up on any leave-ins that are cream based. I can’t use butters…they don’t absorb in my hair at all. ALoe Vera makes my hair very dry unless I mix it with some­thing to com­bat the dry­ness. I’m will­ing to try the aloe gel and glyc­erin togeth­er and see what hap­pens.

Have you tried Oyin Hair Dew or Curl Junkie Smooth­ing Lotion? Both are my holy grails and are great for my low poros­i­ty hair. Hair Dew has cas­tor oil as a main ingre­di­ent which my hair loves.

I am also low po and on top of that, I am breast feed­ing and my hair is extreme­ly long. Glyc­erin is the only thing that keeps mois­ture in, but my hair also loves coconut oil and the Shea Mois­ture Curl Enhanc­ing Smooth­ie (on the occa­sion I wear a hair prod­uct). The secret for my hair is in even dis­tri­b­u­tion. When I fig­ured this out, I learned that I can get love­ly hair any day of the week whether I wash it or not. I can comb or take coconut oil through my dry hair in sec­tions, or I can… Read more »

I sec­ond your first state­ment, I’m low poros­i­ty and I real­ly wish there were more tips for low poros­i­ty hair in gen­er­al because humec­tants and aloe vera are def­i­nite no no’s for me, but I do like the oth­er tips.


What does it mean to seal the hair? This is one of the most con­fus­ing things to me. How to do it, when to do it and how often?


Olive oil or coconut oil also are good to seal hair with.


When we say “seal”, it’s just anoth­er way of say­ing trap­ping the mois­ture with­in our strands. To seal, you could use a heavy oil (like cas­tor oil) or a hair but­ter (like raw shea but­ter). You only need to seal after you use a mois­tur­iz­er on your hair — it could be water, it could be a leave in con­di­tion­er.

You are right on about the air dry­ing thing. My hair real­ly gives me no option, I either have to braid it, plop it or blow dry it and I per­son­al­ly pre­fer not to blow dry. Instead what I do is avoid putting any­thing on the length of my hair and just coat the ends with glyc­erin, then French braid my hair. By not putting any­thing else it dries at a prac­ti­cal speed, so I don’t have to wait for­ev­er and a day. This keeps your ends healthy, pre­vents a lot of frizz and sin­gle strand knots. You can always… Read more »
I’ve found that I lose a lot of mois­ture overnight. I for­get where I read this, but late­ly I’ve been spray­ing my hair with a water/conditioner mix­ture before bed. Then I put a show­er cap on.  (Then I put a satin bon­net on. Then I put a satin scarf on top of that. That’s prob­a­bly seems very extra, but I have a lot of hair and need to double/triple up in order to keep any­thing on my head for the whole night.)  Since I’ve start­ed sleep­ing in a show­er cap, my hair has main­tained mois­ture much bet­ter. I’ve got­ten used to the… Read more »

i heard about the show­er cap thing from Nap­tural85.. love the results, hate the sound while im’ try­ing to sleep..

D.P. to Char

I tried sleep­ing with a plas­tic cap on my head and I sweat­ed so bad­ly that I woke up itch­ing my scalp!

The Mane Captain

bag­gy doesn’t work for me either. I always wake up to a itchy scalp. it’s most­ly because the scalp feels suf­fo­cat­ed since it’s not receiv­ing or giv­ing off any air. I’m sure there’s a med­ical risk to this and I cer­tain­ly won’t rec­om­mend this to any­one.


Do you have any sug­ges­tions for loc’d women specif­i­cal­ly?

Chicago Chica

Glyc­erin doesn’t work for nat­ur­al sis­ters in low mois­ture areas. I live in the desert, and glyc­erin isn’t a friend to my hair.


you can just use it before get­ting in the show­er. The humid­i­ty from the show­er steam It’s just as good and you can seal the mois­ture in after you get out. This is how I’m able to use glyc­erin in the win­ter. Works great.


And, it does­nt work well in high humid­i­ty either!


I live in a tem­per­ate area with vari­able humid­i­ty; some­times it’s drought-like, and some­times (like now) it rains for a week. I LOVE glyc­erin. I know everyone’s dif­fer­ent, and that’s shown by the fact that it works for me no mat­ter what the con­di­tions are… but I only use it in my spritz, which has aloe gel, water, glyc­erin, and essen­tial oils. Maybe it’s more effec­tive when mixed with aloe?


Wouldn’t it make some sense to incor­po­rate the aloe and glyc­erin in the mois­ture step before seal­ing?


Glyc­erin makes my hair huge, so I tend to avoid using prod­ucts with it. How­ev­er, allow­ing my hair to air dry (ver­sus using heat) when com­bined with the oth­er meth­ods you men­tioned, keeps my hair mois­tur­ized longer.


Good tips but Gly­ercin scares me, last Sum­mer prod­ucts with it cause my hair to swell, frizz and look a hot mess!


I agree… but, that’s what humec­tants do…they draw mois­ture onto itself…so if it’s on your hair, then any mois­ture in the air they (the humec­tant) will be attract­ed too and will cause what you expe­ri­enced… best to use humec­tants when you want your hair to swell when YOU want it to.


I absolute­ly agree! I will be incor­po­rat­ing glyc­erin in to my spray bot­tle mix­ture to get that extra mois­ture to puff my hair out more and hide those parts from the flat twist outs. The last few weeks have been my best hair days due to all the rain and mois­ture we have received. Find­ing that bal­ance is a lit­tle tricky but I have been LOVING my hair late­ly!!