We all know natural hair tends to be dry and we also acknowledge the seemingly unending struggle to keep our natural hair moisturized beyond wash day. The natural oils produced by the scalp cannot be evenly distributed along the hair shaft because of the twists and turns in natural hair, unlike straight hair. To counter this, you must apply oils and natural hair butters to help seal in the moisture that you have worked so hard to infuse into your natural hair. These oils and natural hair butters also help to lubricate hair, thereby reducing the knots and tangles.

What’s The Difference Between Moisturizers and Sealants?

As a budding naturalista, you may often interchange moisturizers with sealants. It’s forgivable. Learning the right terms and moving forward is what is important. 

Moisturizers are usually water-based while sealants are oil-based. Here’s an easy way to understand the difference between moisturizers and sealants: when you want to make something moist, you have to get it wet, and when you want to lock something in, you seal it.

Moisturizers add moisture to your natural hair by infusing it with water to prevent dryness and your hair becoming brittle. Sealants lock in that moisture to prevent the moisture in the hair from leaving.

Sealants have larger molecules that don’t penetrate the hair shaft easily, and so act as a shield on the outside to prevent the moisture inside from leaving. 

That said, here are the 5 best sealants for your natural hair:

  1. Shea Butter: 100% pure shea butter is the ultimate sealant. Shea butter is thick and buttery, capable of sealing in moisture in your natural hair strands with ease. In addition, shea butter has a number of vitamins that your hair and scalp will absolutely love. It contains vitamin E that stimulates hair growth, vitamin A that repairs damaged hair cuticles and helps in repairing skin/scalp, which will in turn boost healthy hair growth. Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid that reduces scalp inflammation responsible for hair loss. The African Naturalistas Shea Butter is 100% pure and natural. A must-have in your hair care routines.

  2. Castor Oil: This oil has a number of uses. Castor oil is known to have hair growth properties, helping to regrow bald patching and combating alopecia. It strengthens hair strands and repairs thinning hair to reduce hair loss and control split ends. The molecules of castor oil are large and are perfect for sealing moisture in your natural hair. The African Naturalistas Castor Oil is 100% pure.

  3. Coconut oil: Coconut oil is one oil that has become increasingly popular over the last few years due to the number of amazing properties it has. Coconut oil is both a moisturizer and a sealant. It is perfect for treating dry and damaged natural hair. Coconut oil molecules are small and when used in little quantities, can act as a pre-poo or deep conditioner because it penetrates the hair shaft to improve natural hair health, growth, and shine. The penetration of coconut oil is limited, and as such, most of the excess oil stays on the hair shaft acting as a sealant. The African Naturalistas Coconut oil is 100% pure and natural. 

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  4. Olive oil: Olive oil is another oil that is both a sealant and a moisturizer. It is capable of penetrating the hair shaft and moisturizing the hair and scalp. It is great as a moisturizer as it increases hair shine and makes your natural hair more manageable. For best effects, use with a leave-in conditioner such as the African Naturalistas Leave-in Conditioner.

  5. Palm Kernel Oil: Palm kernel oil can also be used as a sealant to seal in moisture in your natural hair. When used, it penetrates the hair strands and also seals the moisture in. It reduces shedding and strengthens the hair strands. The African Naturalistas Palm Kernel Oil is 100% pure and natural.

Each of these oils has far-reaching benefits for your natural hair. Knowing what oils are best for moisturizing your natural hair and those that are meant to help seal in the moisture you took so much time to infuse can be the difference between you having healthy, shiny natural hair and your hair being dry, brittle, and not-so-cute.

Which of these hair sealants have you added to your natural hair regimen? And which have you been using wrongly as a moisturizer? Tell us in the comments, we don’t judge.

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