4 Alternatives To Oil and Butter For Sealing Moisture In Natural Hair

When Izzy (my hair) was much shorter, I never thought it was necessary to “seal” my hair. Why? Because my hair’s porosity is fairly low, so “sealing” in moisture was never imperative to keep my hair moisturized. If you’re unfamiliar, “sealing” natural hair simply means to use a butter or oil to coat the hair in efforts to prevent moisture loss — at least that’s the principle behind this technique. Although some are on the fence about sealing and its effectiveness on natural hair, I’ve found it to be particularly beneficial in decreasing friction as my hair grew longer.

The ends of your hair is the oldest part of your mane and they’re often put under additional stress due to the weather (i.e. wind) or clothing. Applying additional product to the ends provides another layer between the hair and the elements, offering some protection. My product of choice? A heavy moisturizer. Why?

– In addition to protecting my ends, I also want to keep them as supple and moisturized as possible to minimize split ends and breakage, and oils do not actually provide moisture to the hair.

– Heavy moisturizers also often have thicker oils or butters in the first five ingredients, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, castor oil, or jojoba oil, making them ideal for the extra protection. Double the benefits, double the fun.

It’s important to remember that your moisturizer should have an oil or butter at the beginning of the ingredients list and you don’t want something that’s too light unless your hair is fine and weighed down with heavier products. Here are some of my faves:

Coco Curls Moisturizing Styling Cream

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Coco Curls Moisturizing Styling Cream includes shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil and has the added benefit of rosemary extract, which is said to help decrease hair breakage.

Oyin Whipped Pudding

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Oyin Whipped Pudding contains shea butter, cocoa butter, castor oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and olive oil. You can also use it on your body – it smells like chocolate!

Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream

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Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream doesn’t even list water as the first ingredient – it’s castor oil. Add in olive oil and ayurvedic botanicals and you’ve got an ideal cream for moisturizing and protecting hair.

Bekura Palm Tapioca Deluxe Hair Buttercream

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Bekura (formerly B.A.S.K.) Palm Tapioca Deluxe Hair Buttercream boasts some ingredients that aren’t as common, such as cupuacu butter, babassu seed oil and ucuuba butter. It’s also great for twist outs.

Do you prefer to “seal” with a moisturizer? If so, what are your favorite products?

**This post also appears on Black Girl with Long Hair**

6 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing! I guess my heavy moisturizer would be Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I only use it for my mini twists (and have about 4 containers of it, which I got for free). Nice and heavy and keeps well especially with gel over it. I don’t recommend it if using post co-washing with the twists in. Better to add a leave-in then the CES. Looks I have a few other products to check out in the future!

  2. I prefer to seal my ends with a moisturizers. I have fine hair, but with thicker products I won’t use much. I use Tree Naturals Rice Flower and Shea Leave-in, Senica Naturals Senk Conditioner & Hair Lotion(3 in 1 product), I Love My Fro Shea Butter Whip, and Camile Rose Naturals Curl Love. I can truly get away with not using an oil during retwisting or moisturizing. I’ve tried this with some other products made with thick oils and butters, but my hair would be dry by the end of the day.

  3. Hi Elle. Thanks so much for this information. I have been sealing my hair, and it’s been working for the most part, but I have the greatest challenge with keeping my ends moisturized, they dry out like water poured on sand! I am definitely going to try these products to see if they will make a difference.

    1. Just remember that you can use any heavy moisturizer you like! The list just has my faves, you may not need to buy a new product.

  4. Thank you Elle, for providing more clarity with regard to “sealing”. I have been using Jojoba oil, but you make a very valid point for those us with low porosity hair. I would prefer to seal with a moisturizer and will make the change. In one review who had mentioned that Oyin’s Whipped Pudding might be too heavy. Still feeling that way? Is Coco Curls going to be available via shippingor am I confusing this product with another that you had just written about where the owner of the company decided that she won’t be shipping products? Since my poor experience with Organics to Die for and my tight budget, I have less room and patience for experiments. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Susane, I only use Oyin Whipped Pudding on my ends when I’m sealing – I don’t use it as a leave-in, it’s still too heavy like that for me. Coco Curls is available on the ground at some stores and via online ordering. Hello Curly is the brand that was going to cease shipping, but I believe she worked it out as well.

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