top of page

How to Moisturize Hair Without Weighing it Down


4 min read

Nov 5, 2020



Moisture is one of the most important aspects of keeping your hair healthy. Without it, hair is dull, lifeless, and prone to breakage and split ends. Regardless of your hair type, you need the same thing to keep your hair moisturized. You need a water-based moisturizer of some kind and something to seal it into the strands and slow its loss. The weight of your moisturizer and sealant (oil) is what will determine how well you moisturize your hair and whether you achieve it without weighing your hair down.

Generally, you need to incorporate the following practices into your overall hair regimen to maintain optimal moisture levels.

  1. Deep conditioning

  2. Moisturizing

  3. Sealing the moisture in

  4. Sleeping with hair protected by a sleep cap or scarf

  5. Avoiding mineral oil and petrolatum

The porosity of your hair affects how easily it absorbs and loses moisture and thus will play a role in determining how likely it is for hair to become weighed down. Because of this, it also affects how you should moisturize your hair.

Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair has a cuticle layer that is tightly closed which makes it difficult for moisture to get in. Once moisture gets in though that tight cuticle layer will keep it locked in for a while and moisture loss will be slow. Use heat when deep conditioning and leave your hair uncovered in the shower so that the steam can open up the cuticles to allow moisture in. Spritzing your hair with warm water before applying products is also a good idea. Don’t over-apply product or go heavy-handed. A lot of products will sit on top of the hair especially if heat isn’t used to gently open the cuticles and applying more and more product will just add weight to your strands and lead to product buildup and limp, lifeless hair. You should keep protein use minimal if you have low porosity hair.

Medium Porosity Hair

Medium porosity hair allows moisture into the hair readily, so you should have an easy time getting it moisturized and keeping it so. You can apply your moisturizers and seal them in without needing the help of steam for effective penetration into the hair strands. Use protein treatments occasionally.

High Porosity Hair

High porosity hair is like an open door. Moisture will get in easily but it will also escape easily, so you really need to seal it in. The layering of products is particularly helpful for high porosity hair. Use leave-ins daily, and experiment with different oils (avocado oil, castor oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc) to see what keeps your hair most moisturized throughout the day. Look for products that are pH balanced as this will help keep your cuticles closed.

Tips for Moisturizing Different Hair Types

Everybody’s hair is different, and porosity, environment (being in the sun for hours at a time or working in a cold environment), and styling practices (heat styling, use of hair color) all impact the moisture needs of your hair. For this reason, you will need to pay close attention to what actually works for your hair and to identify when tweaks are needed to keep your regimen effective. That said, there are basic principles that apply depending on the nature of your hair. Let’s review them.

Moisturizing Tips for Curly Dry Hair

Curly hair needs lots of moisture, much more than most other types of hair! That’s just the fact of it. Use a water-based moisturizer and seal with an oil. The thicker your hair the heavier your moisturizer and sealant (oil or butter) ought to be. For example, a watery moisturizer and lightweight oil like argan oil are great for thin hair. Medium-density hair would require a moisturizer that has a density similar to a thick lotion and an oil such as olive or coconut oil. Thicker hair types need more creamy moisturizers with heavier oils like castor oil. While you can use small amounts of heavy products on thin hair or mix them with lighter textured products and it would probably work well for your hair it’s unlikely that a watery moisturizer would work well for moisturizing thick hair unless that particular product was full of humectants (e.g. glycerin) and emollients (e.g. castor oil).

Tips for Moisturizing Thick, Coarse Hair

Like curly hair, the nature of thick, coarse hair makes it prone to dryness. Moisturizing shampoos and rich conditioning treatments are essential for maintaining optimal moisture levels. It is difficult to over-moisturize thick coarse hair so feel free to layer on your moisturizer and seal all the goodness in an oil or butter. Always use a leave-in conditioner post wash and deep condition at every wash to keep hair soft, supple, and smooth.

Tips for Moisturizing Fine Hair

Fine hair can also become dry, and when it does, the rule is to moisturize with care to avoid weighing down your thin strands. Use lightweight products with consistencies close to that of water to avoid hair that looks dull and lifeless.

Tips for Moisturizing Mature Hair

With age and hormonal changes, the hair will typically become thinner and drier. Gray hairs can also be a little more difficult to moisturize. If you use color to hide your grays, ensure it is designed specifically for gray hairs. Bolster your conditioning treatments with natural oils and honey when your hair needs a boost and ensure your shampoos are always the moisturizing kind.

For keeping hair of any type moisturized it’s important to protect it from fabrics that will suck moisture from within its strands. This means sleeping on silk or satin sheets and pillows or covering your hair in scarves or bonnets made from these fabrics. The absolute key is to find products with the appropriate consistency for your hair type and sealing in the moisture to keep hair moisturized longer. This will minimize the need to constantly reapply moisturizers to minimize build-up on the hair strands.


4 min read

Nov 5, 2020



bottom of page