Moisturising and sealing

Anyone who had seen me around over the last five or six months might have heard me complain about how I desperately needed a trim. I’ve finally had one (more a cut than a trim, but that’s a topic for a whole new post) but in those months before I was able to find someone I trusted enough to wield a pair of shears near my head, I found that in addition to keeping my hair moisturised for longer, sealing my ends helped make them smoother, less prone to knots and splits, and generally appear much more polished.

So what does sealing your hair entail? I have mentioned before the difference between moisturisers and oils. You can only moisturise your hair with water, products with water as their first ingredient, or products containing humectants such as aloe vera, glycerin and honey, as these draw the water our of the air and into your hair (provided the environment you're in is humid enough).

Oils do not provide moisture, but merely seal it in, if it is already there (as well as nourishing your hair in other ways- but more on that in another post).

So to seal your hair, all you have to do is apply a butter, oil or oil based product over wet hair or after moisturising, to lock in that moisture. Don't forget to check the ingredients to make sure you are using pure butters and oils. Depending on personal preference or the state of your hair, these can be applied to the entire hair shaft, or just concentrated on the ends. I normally just apply my oil to the end of my twists as I'm going along. My personal favourite is Castor Oil as I find this works better for me than any other oil or butter whatever the weather. However different things work for different people, so its a matter of experimenting and finding out what your hair likes best. Just remember not to be too heavy-handed otherwise you'll end up leaving Soul Glo patches wherever you go... and I learned this the hard way!

I know everyone loves pictures, so I tried to take some of my hair to compare when I had not sealed in a while, to when I started sealing again- hence the delay in this post as I needed to wait to take the 'after' pics.

You will notice that my hair photography skills have not improved an iota, but I'm sure you'll get the idea.

Here are my ends when I stopped sealing for a month:

And here they are 3 weeks after I started again. This was before I had my hair cut, and although I obviously cannot guarantee that I photographed the exact same hairs as before, it was in the same general area:

(Please excuse that disgraceful chipped nail varnish)

Now again, not everything works the same way for everybody. Some people claim they can get away without sealing, and their hair behaves just fine. However if you are having issues retaining moisture, or your ends are easily knotted or frayed, you are most probably missing out an important step by not sealing (NB: There are other possible factors for these problems which we will cover later, but sealing is a good first step to try before resorting to more drastic measures).

And we all know that protecting your ends is key to length retention, so for those who haven't yet caught on to the practise of sealing: try it... you might like it!


  1. Hi Nibi!
    Yes i completely agree that I use the "end spirals" to judge the of 'moisturization" degree of my ends as well.
    I also find that an acidic treatment at the end of washing, which i even do (the washing) when ive got twists in, will still make my ends curl and spiral up like crazy.
    But i get this with micro-twists more often, not so much with bigger twists or braids, like you got here (shrugs...)
    love the hair, and i love coral nail polish (chipped or not)

  2. What a great post. It is so true about sealing thehair. I love Castor oil too, which also aids in thickening the hair. I take it a step further by bagging my hair(putting saran wrap over my head to keep the moisture in). I keep my hair covered with the srarn wrap all night. It has made a huge difference in my hair.
    I am following your blog, please check out mine

  3. Thanks guys.

    @ Anon, lol, glad you like the nail polish!

    @ Tinuke, planning on covering baggying in a future post, but you've pretty much summed it up! Going over to check out your blog now!

  4. My ends always look like your "before" pic but I thought it was just the way my texture was. Now I'm not so sure because our hair types seem similar so maybe my ends are really thirsty and in need of sealing, which I never do because my hair hates most oils and butters. Castor oil is one of the few oils I can use without issues so I think I'll try my own little experiment. Very interesting post. I lurk frequently but never the blog!

  5. Hi Nibi, just like Yemi, my ends always look like the before picture; i will try sealing plus saran wrap this hopeful.

    PS I heart ur blog!

  6. Great post!! It's definitely important to seal, seal, seal... AND, moisturizing the hair is equally as important!!! Love this post!!!



  7. I love moisturizing with Aloe Vera and sealing with shear butter. Is shear butter okay for sealing?