In Search of the Perfect Moisturizing Oil

The single most important part of any healthy hair regimen is making sure your natural hair and curls get enough moisture. This ensures that the hair follicles are well-nourished and protected against hair damage and breakage. In this episode of The Curl, we discuss how natural hair can best absorb moisture, as well as different moisturizing oils to consider. The curly haired women are from all walks of life, so watch them share their candid and often hilarious hair stories.

Watch Now For:
Healthier hair
Tips for natural hair
Natural hair care
Hair styles for natural hair
Best natural hair products


Director: Dominique DeLeon of Special Boy Films
Producer: Kristin Braswell
Director of Photography: Shawn Peters
Hair By: Dailey Greene of H20 Salon in Brooklyn, NY

About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • http://www.facebook.com/yvette.martin.3975 Yvette Martin

    First you have to understand that OILS ARE NOT MOISTURIZERS! OILS ARE SEALANTS!

  • Taynia Wright

    What is tha name of the oil she suggested ? Minolta?

  • queenbee9

    Oils do not moisturize. Moisturizers must contain water oils can be emoilients (softeners) or conditioners and they can feed the hair and scalp or seal the hair, they can also be humectants which means they can draw moisture BUT depending on the dew point, they can draw moisture either TO your hair and make is more moist or draw it AWAY from your hair and increase how dry and brittle it is.
    Great oils depend on the type:
    FEEDER OILS–are penetrating oils, they are composed of molecules so small that they can easily penetrate the cuticle and hair shaft.
    CARRIER OILS–a carrier oil is an abundant oil that is fairly easy to apply, not harmful to hair and in which you can put small drops of essential or expensive oils to stretch them–they are called “carrier oils” because they can carry other oils in them
    ESSENTIAL OILS are oils distilled down until they are very, very strong. Normally essential oils are the derivatives of plants and oil, the oil may come from the plant or be simply a carrier oil that is used to hold the potent distillation. Essential oils are used for scent but also many have therapeutic or beneficial qualities of their own for hair
    HUMECTANTS–oils that have the ability to grab onto moisture in the environment and transfer it to a drier area–this works FOR hair when it is humid outside it works AGAINST hair when the air is drier outside or on a thirsty pillow.
    SEALING OILS–they help to seal up the cracks in the cuticle between the cuticle scales and as such should ONLY be used as a last step in a regimen before styling products and should also only be used on hair that has been moisturized
    CERAMIDES–special oils that have properties that help accelerate skin or keratin regeneration, essential for strong, healthy hair cuticles
    MOISTURIZERS–water suspended in oil and conditioner used to release water to the hair more slowly than just water
    Castor oil is an all around oil–it is a humectant, a conditioning oil, is readily absorbed so is a feeder oil and can be used as a sealer.
    Wheatgerm, hemp and sunflower oils are ceramides. They have properties which cause skin cells (and the cuticle is made up of skin cells) to regenerate and get stronger a strong cuticle is necessary to maintain and hold in moisture for each hair strand.
    coconut and jojoba oils are feeder oils and carrier oils–this means they are light enough to be used to carry or hold stronger or more expensive oils, but of a medium weight and so can readily help to suspend or mix with other oils without being overwhelmed. Coconut oil is an excellent protector against hygral fatigue and heat
    Vatika oil is an Aryuvedic oil blend with amla, brahmi and other oils and increases hair strength as well as make strong cuticles
    Grape seed oil is a light oil that can feed and is a good oil to blend other oils with and is a heat protectant
    Olive oil is a feeder oil, can be a carrier oil and is a good blending oil
    Shea is a sealing oil. Use this as a last step but do not use it on dry hair.
    Vit e is a very, very heavy oil excellent for sealing ends but too strong to be used routinely on the scalp in its pure form (at 45,000-70000 IU)
    Argan oil and other exotic oils are great additives but are too costly to use on their own and frankly, I have not noted any benefits from Argan oil
    Avocado oil is light and another feeder oil but also is an excellent protector against protein loss
    Sweet Almond oil is a med weight oil and is delicate–it is too light to be a sealing oil but it makes a great carrier oil for other blends.
    Use oils on wet hair or dry scalp–to use on scalp, make sure you use a feeder oil or light weight oil that will not clog the pores. Since oils hold moisture in, make sure your hair is moist before applying a feeder oil and make sure you have your leave in and moisturizer in your hair before applying the sealing oil. The challenge with sealing oils is knowing WHEN to use them–
    Use feeder oils on scalp and hair, preferably wet hair but you can use a feeder oil on dry hair
    Use ceramides on hair strands and maybe a little on the scalp (sun flower not wheatgerm or hemp–they are too heavy and viscous or sticky) You can blend the ceramide either with the sealing oil or with the feeder oil
    Use sealers AFTER you have everything you want to put on the hair on it–sealers wear off over time (in a day or two) but in the meantime, you want to apply the sealing oil AFTER the water, the feeder oil, the leave in or moisturizer and the aloe or hair acidifiers
    Feeder oils can be mixed with other oils or leave ins and applied to hair strands or scalp as an excellent prepoo or dc treatment.
    I use Vatika oil as a prepoo but feel due to the protein that it is too strong to be used as a leave in–I rinse it out then do a different, more luxurious pre poo. I consider Vatika to be a therapeutic oil
    There are many other oils or butters that can be used but these are the most common. EVOO is great for using in a dc or prepoo treatment but is not a good sealing oil.
    Feeder oils are excellent for protecting hair if you swim or do a lot of wash and goes–a very real hair damager is too much water–using a feeder oil like coconut, avocado and castor oil or olive oil BEFORE you get into water will help to prevent hygral fatigue and will also keep your hair from absorbing too much chlorine. They work by filling up the hair shaft and protecting it from absorbing too much water no matter what else is in the water.
    Any oil that can be readily absorbed is NOT a good sealing oil–they are feeder or carrier oils.
    Finally the humectants. Certain oils have the ability to draw moisture out of the air or out of something else and transfer it to the driest place (hopefully your hair) BUT humectants work against your hair when it is dry outside or on a cotton pillow case–then that same humectant will draw moisture OUT of your hair and transfer it to the air or pillow –humectants work like this no matter which kind you use. for THIS reason–if your winters or summers are dry–Castor oil and other humectants work FOR HAIR when it is humid outside but work AGAINST HAIR MOISTURE if it is very dry outside
    IN DRY SUMMERS AND WINTERS when the dew point outside is 35 degrees F and 50 degrees F–Castor oil is an EXCELLENT SEALER BUT… when the air temp dew point is below 35 or above 55 Castor oil should be switched to being a feeder oil to prevent it either drawing moisture OUT of the hair or drawing too much moisture into the hair.
    Can hair have too much moisture? YES. But that is another post.
    To use JBCO or any CO as a feeder, simply apply the oil after spritzing hair with water–the CO will LOCK in that moisture, then apply your cream/condish or moisturizer and seal with a different oil like shea or wheatgerm or -something heavy.
    If doing LOC or LOCO, the Castor oil becomes the first oil to use in very high humidity or very dry times, then use shea butter or something else to seal if you do the LOCO method.
    Knowing this will make a huge difference in how your hair responds to the Castor oil as well as any other oil and help to understand why it sometimes seems more moisturized than others. GOOD LUCK FELLOW CHALLENGERS!