Moisture vs. Hydration: Which does my hair need?

Moisture vs. Hydration: Which does my hair need?

One of the keys to successfully creating most hairstyles is in the use of a great moisturizer. Curly & Kinky hair types absorb moisturizers differently compared to straighter hair types. Let’s break this down a bit more. Let’s define what moisturizing and hydrating your hair really mean.


Hydration is the process of adding water, humectants, proteins, amino acids and critical vitamins that penetrate the hair fiber. Depending on the hair type you have, going from straight to the kinky hair type, the amount of water needed to induce hydration into hair becomes larger. Kinky hair is mostly naturally dry, so it needs more water, to counter moisture loss. In hair cosmetics, humectants are used to pull water into hair surroundings to create a well-hydrated atmosphere. Examples of natural humectants used in hair products are glycerin, honey, aloe vera, witch hazel extract, coconut water, and some synthetic humectant such as glycol. Note that having hydrated hair which means water retention in the inner shaft of the hair doesn’t mean that the water content will stay there. This is why sometimes after washday, some experience major dryness if the right products are not used to seal in the moisture. Sealing with moisturizers, sealants, butter, and oils help to keep the hair hydrated for a longer time.


The purpose of moisturizing is to use butter and oils to coat the OUTER surface of the hair, sealing and locking down the hair shaft so moisture can not get in or out of the fiber. It is a process designed to keep the liquid in the hair. Moisturizing hair creates a barrier around the hair so that water does not leach out. it also gives the hair a boost of key nutrients that can help create stronger and resilient hair bonds. Moisturizers can be water-based or oil-based. But the amount of water used in its creation is not as high as in a hydrating product. So when moisturizers hydrate hair, they moisten/ dampen the hair, and the oil can seal it in. Moisturized hair prevets hair breakage and encourages length retention.


The truth is, it depends. If you have a great moisturizing or hydrating product, it should include water and a humectant, probably more of the natural humectant mentioned above, rather than the synthetic ones. In the case of moisturizers, the oils included in their recipe will seal in the moisture into your hair. Sometimes, which is frequently more than often, the hair needs more than a moisturizer to transport water and other critical hair necessities into the deep of the hair shaft, especially if you have low porosity hair, you need more of a light hydrant to penetrate through your hair. That is why spritzing the hair with (a bit of warm water) before applying a moisturizer sometimes increases hydration, and keeps water in hair longer. Both moisturized and hydrated hair prevents breakage and encourages length retention.

Remember, if you hydrate your hair by simply using water (simplest hydrating source), you have to follow up with some type of butter or oil to seal it into the hair shaft. If you use a moisturizer, it has oil and humectant in it already. For low porosity hair, so you have to target lightweight moisturizers for easier moisture penetration, then seal it in with a bit of oil. If your hair feels brittle and dry regardless of using moisturizers or more water-based hydrating spray, then you might have to focus on cleansing and clarifying the hair and scalp, to open the pores, follicles, and hair shaft to receive the moisture and hydration. Here is our recommend shampoo for scalp detox and rebalance: Activated Charcoal + Peppermint + Exfoliating Jojoba Pearls Shampoo

Finally, we recommend that you use the BNE Ultimate Moisture Bundle to maximize hydration and moisture, along with sealant in your hair.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Souq4us

    There are so many hair products out there these days that it’s borderline overwhelming, so it’s important to know what your hair needs in order to determine which one is right for you. You might be noticing a trend between two different types of treatments and find yourself asking: Does my hair need protein or moisture ? Luckily, you can figure this out easily enough at home, without having to go to the salon and consult a stylist.

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