Hydration vs Moisture
Hair Hydration VS Hair Moisture
Surprisingly there is a very vast difference between hair hydration and hair moisture. However, they are used interchangeably within the natural community via blogs, youtube videos and other educational forums. There are not the same.
Both terms have different meanings as it relates to natural hair.
Hair moisture relates to keeping the hair cuticle closed to allow the moisture to stay in. While Hair hydration means increasing the water content in each hair strand.
Although two different perspectives, one could see how they could be mixed up. Because once your hair is hydrated, it’s recommended to seal it in to support your moisture levels.
Hydration, in the natural hair world, is the process of allowing the hair strands to absorb “water”.
Water is the best hydration for our curls.
Why? Well, the h20 molecules can fully penetrate the hair strands and impart the hydration that it needs. Therefore, we recommend drinking a lot of water or eating fruits (that contain 90% water) or spritzing it with water regularly. You will increase the body’s water content to let the excess be transported to our hair.
Consider your hair like a plant, it needs water to keep it flourishing.
Other alternatives for h20 are:
1. Aloe Vera juice
2. Water-based Leave-in Conditioner/moisturizer
Both alternatives have water as the first ingredient on its list. Therefore, most of the product consists of water which is what the hair needs.
Increasing your hair moisture level means improving the hair's capacity to maintain the hydration previously added. To do this, the hair’s cuticle layer needs to be “sealed”. It usually prevents the hydration that you added form the aloe vera juice, water-based leave-in conditioner, or water from leaving the hair strands. As well as, preventing any other thing from entering the hair strand and disrupting the moisture levels.
You should choose moisturizer that are rich in emollients or oils. Remember we learned from when we were younger that water and oil do not mix. The oil usually finds its way on top of the water and prevents it from leaving. It will act the same on our hair strand. They will create the barrier on the hair shaft to keep moisture in and not out. Therefore, they are acting as a sealant.
In summary, moisturizer prevent your hair from losing water from your hair strands. While hydration keeps nourishing your curls with water.
You must be careful when choosing a product that are dubbed as a “moisturizer” or for "hydration”. Ensure to read the product ingredients and purpose to find which is better for your hair and it’s needed.
Remember, one cannot be done without the other.
After hydrating your hair, make sure to always seal it in.
This is a key step in maintaining the health of your kinks, curls or coils on your natural hair journey.