5 Best Moisturizers for Relaxed Hair: Natural and Nourishing
Maintaining relaxed hair requires the right moisturizing products to keep it healthy and lively. Your hair texture and needs are unique, yet a variety of moisturizers are designed to infuse each strand of hair with the necessary hydration and nutrients.
- The Importance of Moisturizing Your Chemically Relaxed Hair
- Identifying Your Hair Type
- 5 Best Store-Bought Natural Moisturizers for Relaxed Hair
- The Role of Natural Oils in Hair Moisturization
- 8 Natural Oil Ingredients for Moisturizing Relaxed Hair
- 7 Additional Moisturizing Ingredients for Relaxed Hair
- 3 DIY Hair Moisturizing Recipes for Relaxed Hair
- Maintaining Healthy, Relaxed Hair
- Choosing the Right Moisturizer
- Special Considerations for Relaxed Hair
- How to Apply Moisturizer Effectively
- Best Moisturizers for Relaxed Hair FAQs
- How can you maintain moisture in relaxed hair daily?
- What are the top recommended leave-in moisturizers for relaxed hair?
- Which moisturizers are considered the best for promoting growth in relaxed hair?
- What characteristics should you look for in a lightweight moisturizer for relaxed hair?
- Are water-based moisturizers effective for keeping relaxed hair healthy?
- How does one effectively use oil moisturizers on relaxed hair?
The best moisturizer for your relaxed hair is one that not only prevents dryness and breakage but also enhances your hair’s natural shine and elasticity without weighing it down. When searching for a moisturizer, consider products that offer a balance of moisture and protein.
Light oils and leave-in conditioners are often preferred choices for relaxed hair, as they provide the required moisture without residue. It’s just as important to select a product that aligns with your hair’s specific requirements, whether it’s frizz control, added softness, or scalp health.
The Importance of Moisturizing Your Chemically Relaxed Hair
When you relax your hair with chemical treatments, you’re altering its natural structure to achieve a straighter texture. Although this process can give you the look you want, it’s important to understand that it can also leave your hair more susceptible to damage. Let’s talk about why keeping your hair moisturized is key:
1. Balance is Everything: Relaxers strip away moisture, leaving your hair dry and far more fragile. By moisturizing regularly, you’re helping to restore that crucial balance, keeping your hair flexible and much less likely to break.
2. Avoid the Snap: Since relaxed hair is more fragile, keeping it moisturized will help reinforce its strength. Think of it as a daily dose of armor against breakage and frustrating split ends.
3. Love Your Scalp: Your scalp can also take a negative hit from relaxer chemicals. A good moisturizing routine soothes your scalp and provides a healthy foundation for your hair to grow.
4. Get That Glow: Moisturized hair has a natural shine that just looks healthy. It’s not just about looking great—it’s about giving your hair what it needs to actually be great.
5. Smooth Sailing: Nobody likes wrestling with their hair. When your hair is well-moisturized, it’s easier to manage, detangle, and style. It’s about making your daily hair routine a little bit easier.
6. Longevity for the Win: Keeping your hair moisturized can help extend the life of your relaxer treatment. That means healthier hair for longer and less frequent touch-ups. It’s a simple step that goes a long way.
Remember, moisturizing is like the best friend your relaxed hair could ask for. It’s about taking a moment to ensure your hair stays as healthy and vibrant as it can in lieu of chemical relaxer treatments. There are plenty of natural ingredients and products that effectively nourish and moisturize the hair and scalp, and we’ll list a number of them in a later section.
A quick note on chemical hair relaxers and chemicals in general:
In our family, we like to avoid chemicals whenever possible. If it’s possible for you to avoid chemically relaxing your hair and instead flat-iron it more often at home or use natural oils that open up your curls in your hair treatment (more on that in a bit) , that’s what we’d recommend.
At Enticingly Simple, one of our goals is to inform people about how they can reduce their regular exposure to chemicals, and reducing hair-care-related chemicals is one step toward making that happen.
Identifying Your Hair Type
Selecting the best moisturizer for relaxed hair starts with understanding your specific hair type. Your hair’s texture and category play pivotal roles in determining the most suitable products.
Understanding Hair Textures
In your journey to find the ideal moisturizer, you should first recognize your hair’s texture.
Hair texture refers to the thickness or diameter of your individual hair strands.
For instance, fine hair has the smallest diameter, often appearing delicate and potentially more susceptible to damage. Medium hair offers a balance between strength and volume, while thick or coarse hair boasts a larger diameter, providing a robust but sometimes frizz-prone canvas for moisturizers.
Categories of Hair Types
Hair types are broadly categorized into four main groups:
- Type 1: Straight Hair – It tends to be shiny but can get oily. Moisturizers that don’t weigh your hair down are preferable.
- Type 2: Wavy Hair – This type balances between straight and curly, requiring a lightweight moisturizer that defines waves without causing heaviness.
- Type 3: Curly Hair – Moisture is key for maintaining the defined loops and preventing frizz.
- Type 4: Coily Hair (or ‘C’ Hair) – It’s essential to use rich, deep moisturizers to maintain curls and minimize breakage.
When you have relaxed hair, you’re transforming your natural texture, often from coily or curly, and opening it up a bit straighter or more wavy in appearance, depending on the treatment. For relaxed hair, balance is crucial. You want moisturization, but nothing too heavy. Some trial and error is needed, which is likely why you’re reading in the first place!
5 Best Store-Bought Natural Moisturizers for Relaxed Hair
1.) SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
Contains shea butter, coconut oil, and neem oil to hydrate hair and enhance shine.
2.) Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade
Made with shea butter and mimosa flower wax to moisturize and control frizz. Keep in mind that this product does not contain honey.
If you’re wanting to use products that specifically contain manuka honey, another great option is the SheaMoisture Hair Mask – Manuka Honey & Yogurt, Hydrate + Repair Protein Power Treatment product. It’s more of a hair mask vs. the hair honey pomade mentioned above.
3.) Alaffia Beautiful Curls Curl Enhancing Leave-in Conditioner
Formulated with fair trade shea butter, coconut oil, and neem oil for hydration.
4.) Aunt Jackie’s Fix My Hair Intensive Repair Conditioning Masque
It repairs hair damage with shea butter, olive oil, mango butter, and avocado oil.
5.) As I Am Double Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer
Whipped shea butter and cocoa butter cream softens and hydrates hair.
The above products contain natural ingredients like manuka honey and natural oils, and your hair will greatly benefit from them, as well as your scalp.
The Role of Natural Oils in Hair Moisturization
Natural oils are key to maintaining moisture in relaxed hair. They can penetrate the hair shaft, replenish lost nutrients, and provide a protective barrier to maintain hydration levels.
Benefits of Natural Oils
Natural oils are beneficial for your hair in several ways:
- Deep penetration: Unlike synthetic moisturizers that might sit on the surface, oils like coconut and olive oil can penetrate the hair shaft, providing moisture from within.
- Sealing moisture: These oils help to seal the cuticle, trapping moisture inside and keeping your hair hydrated for longer.
- Strength and elasticity: Regular use of natural oils can improve the tensile strength of your hair, reducing breakage and promoting elasticity, which is especially critical for chemically relaxed hair.
- Scalp health: Ingredients like jojoba oil and aloe vera have properties that can soothe and nourish your scalp, preventing dandruff and dryness.
8 Natural Oil Ingredients for Moisturizing Relaxed Hair
Many natural oils are incorporated into hair moisturizers due to their beneficial properties. Here is a list of the most commonly used oils:
- Coconut Oil: Great for penetrating the hair shaft. Works well to prevent protein loss.
- Olive Oil: Known for its deep moisturizing properties, it’s ideal for dry or processed hair.
- Argan Oil: Highly effective for making hair soft and silky; also helps manage frizz in coarse hair types.
- Jojoba Oil: It closely resembles natural sebum, promoting a balanced and healthy scalp.
- Castor Oil: Rich in ricinoleic acid, this oil supports hair growth and can add volume.
- Avocado Oil: Contains vitamins A, D, E, and B6, which contribute to hair repair and protection.
- Sweet Almond Oil: This lightweight oil is easily absorbed, rich in vitamin E, and helps to smoothen the cuticles. Enhances shine and softness.
- Sunflower Seed Oil: Light and rich in vitamins, it’s suitable for moisturizing without weighing hair down.
If you go the store-bought product route for moisturizing your relaxed hair rather than DIY, definitely review the ingredients to ensure one or more of the rich oils in the above list or other natural oils are included. We’ll dive into oils a bit more in a later section.
Also, we recommend steering away from hair products that contain chemicals. Look for products containing only natural ingredients.
7 Additional Moisturizing Ingredients for Relaxed Hair
Besides natural oils, there are a whole host of other natural ingredients beneficial for your hair and scalp. We’ve listed a few below.
Key Ingredients to Look For
When choosing the best moisturizer for relaxed hair, keep an eye out for the following:
- Wheat Protein: Strengthens and helps repair the hair shaft by attaching to the keratin within the hair. Prevents breakage.
- Shea Butter: With rich fatty acids, it’s excellent for nourishing natural curls and adding shine.
- Cocoa Butter: Acts as a rich emollient that forms a protective barrier to lock in moisture. Prevents brittle, dry hair.
- Aloe Vera: Has both emollient and humectant properties, making it an excellent moisturizer. It can help soothe the scalp, condition the hair, and maintain hydration.
- Lemongrass Essential oil: Provides relief for dandruff as demonstrated in studies.
- Manuka Honey: As a humectant, manuka honey also helps to maintain moisture in the hair, which is crucial for relaxed hair that tends to be more prone to dryness.
- Vitamin B-Complex: Biotin (Vitamin B7) has an important role in maintaining healthy hair.
- Vitamin E: An antioxidant that helps protect your hair from environmental stressors.
Now that we know which oils and additional ingredients moisturize the hair and scalp well, let’s take a look at three DIY moisturizing hair recipes you can make at home. Why purchase in the store when you can make your own products for your family? If you have the time, we always prefer DIY since you can tailor your recipe exactly to your preferences.
3 DIY Hair Moisturizing Recipes for Relaxed Hair
1.) Intense Hydration Hair Mask DIY Recipe
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon argan oil
- 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- 5 drops vitamin E oil
- 5 drops lemongrass essential oil
Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in the remaining oils, aloe vera, vitamin E, and lemongrass oil. Apply generously to damp hair and leave it in for 30-60 minutes before rinsing.
2.) Homemade Moisture-Sealing Leave-In Hair Conditioner
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon wheat protein
- 1 teaspoon vitamin B-complex
- 5 drops argan oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake before use. Spritz on damp or dry hair, focusing on ends.
3.) DIY Overnight Hair-Strengthening Treatment
- 1/4 cup castor oil
- 1/4 cup sweet almond oil
- 1/4 cup cocoa butter
- 1 tablespoon manuka honey
- 3 drops rosemary essential oil
Gently heat oils and cocoa butter in a double boiler until melted. Remove from heat and mix in honey and rosemary oil. Apply generously before bed. Wrap your hair in a silk scarf and rinse in the morning.
Maintaining Healthy, Relaxed Hair
To maintain healthy, relaxed hair, it is critical to follow a structured hair care regimen and to understand the common pitfalls to avoid. Your relaxed hair needs consistent attention and the right products to keep it healthy-looking and vibrant.
Daily Hair Care Regimen
- Moisturize: Apply a small amount of daily moisturizer to your hair. A light formula will prevent buildup and avoid weighing the hair down.
- Seal: Use natural oils like the ones mentioned earlier to seal in the moisture, focusing on the ends, which are the oldest and most vulnerable parts of the hair shaft.
- Protect: Before bed, protect your hair with a satin scarf or hair cap to minimize friction and retain moisture.
- Refresh: If necessary, use a leave-in conditioner to rejuvenate your hair follicles overnight.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
- Over-processing: Avoid applying relaxers too frequently, which can cause significant damage to your healthy hair.
- Heat Styling: Limit the use of heat styling tools, which can strip moisture and lead to breakage. When using, always apply a heat protectant. If you use heat more frequently, use lower heat.
- Neglecting Trims: Regular trims are essential to prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft and causing further damage.
- Ignoring Product Ingredients: Choose a good moisturizer and conditioner wisely (or make your own), avoiding harsh chemicals.
Remember, less is often more when it comes to product use; a small amount of the right product goes a long way in achieving healthy-looking hair.
Choosing the Right Moisturizer
As we mentioned earlier in this post, it’s all about balance when it comes to choosing a moisturizer for relaxed hair. The key is to find a balance that addresses your specific hair needs without compromising on quality.
Considerations for Hair Needs
Your individual hair needs should dictate the moisturizer you choose. If your hair is prone to dryness, seek out products with intensive hydration properties. Conversely, if your scalp tends to be oily, a lightweight formula can provide moisture without excess heaviness.
Also, Analyze the behavior of your hair strands post-relaxer treatment to determine your specific needs.
- Dry Hair: Look for deep-conditioning creams and butters.
- Oily Scalp: Choose water-based moisturizers that absorb quickly.
Recommended Product Types
Top picks for relaxed hair often fall into the categories of oils, lotions, creams, and conditioners. Here’s a brief guide on which type might suit you best:
- Hair Oils: The benefits of natural hair oils are many and varied. See the table below for more info.
- Hair Lotion: Ideal for everyday moisture, hair lotions offer a balance between lightness and hydration.
- Cream Moisturizer: Best for providing a more intensive hydration experience for thirsty, brittle strands.
- Moisturizing Conditioners: Use these after shampooing to replenish moisture and protect against future dryness.
For those specifically seeking oils, here’s a simple breakdown:
|Type of Oil
|Best Used For
|Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, non-greasy
|Adding shine and reducing frizz without weighing hair down
|High in linoleic acid, lightweight, odorless
|Moisturizing scalp and hair, promoting hair shine
|Similar to natural hair sebum, non-greasy, promotes hair thickness
|Balancing oil production in the scalp, moisturizing, dandruff control
|Sweet Almond Oil
|Rich in vitamins A, B, D, and E, lightweight, easily absorbed
|Softening hair, strengthening, and adding shine
|Thick viscosity, rich in vitamin E, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids
|Promoting hair growth, thickening hair, adding shine, sealing moisture
|Solid at room temperature, rich in lauric acid, penetrates the hair shaft
|Deep conditioning, preventing protein loss, reducing dandruff
|Heavy and thick, rich in oleic acid and squalene
|Intense moisturizing, improving hair strength, dandruff control
|Rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamins A, B-5, and E, penetrates the hair shaft
|Nourishing and strengthening the hair, promoting healthy hair growth
|(Also a heavy oil) Penetrates the hair shaft, high in medium-chain fatty acids
|Deep conditioning, preventing protein loss, scalp health
|Lightweight, contains lauric and myristic acid, penetrates the hair shaft, prevents split ends
|Moisturizing, reducing frizz, maintaining scalp health
The right ingredients and products for your hair will depend on the results you want and your hair type.
Special Considerations for Relaxed Hair
If you have relaxed hair, it’s important to take a few simple precautions.
Protecting Against Damage
- To protect your relaxed hair from breakage, avoid excessive use of flat irons and other heat-styling tools that can lead to heat damage.
- When using heat, always apply a heat protectant.
- Be mindful of chemical treatments; for instance, lye relaxers and sodium hydroxide can be quite harsh on hair strands.
- If your hair is color-treated, take extra precautions, as combining these treatments can leave hair vulnerable to damage.
- Switch to a silk pillowcase to minimize friction and reduce breakage while you sleep.
- Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine to combat relaxed, dry hair.
- Choose a deep conditioner that balances moisture with protein to avoid protein overload, a common issue that can make hair brittle.
- Apply these treatments to wet hair for better absorption; look for products specifically formulated for relaxed hair.
How to Apply Moisturizer Effectively
Selecting the right moisturizer is only half of the battle; applying it effectively is key to ensuring your relaxed hair receives as much moisture as it needs without being weighed down.
Techniques for Even Application
- When you apply a daily oil moisturizer for the first time, start with a small amount to gauge how your hair feels and reacts.
- Rub the product between your palms and apply it to your hair, moving from the roots to the tips.
- Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to distribute the moisturizer evenly, ensuring that every strand is coated but not saturated.
If your hair product lists water as the first ingredient, it’s likely to be lightweight and less prone to build-up, which is ideal for relaxed hair.
Frequency and Quantity of Use
The frequency of moisturizing your relaxed hair often depends on individual needs, but a good rule of thumb is to simply add moisture when your strands start to feel dry. Monitor how long it takes for your hair to begin feeling dry after application. This will give you an indication of how often to reapply.
- Weekly deep conditioning can go a long way toward keeping your relaxed hair healthy.
- Ensure you’re applying just enough moisturizer to feel the benefits without causing your hair to feel excessively heavy.
Best Moisturizers for Relaxed Hair FAQs
Here are some focused answers to a few common queries regarding the hydration and care of your relaxed hair.
How can you maintain moisture in relaxed hair daily?
To maintain moisture in relaxed hair daily, it’s essential to use a leave-in conditioner and seal it with a light oil or hair moisturizer. Consistency is key, so make hydrating your hair part of your regular routine.
We’ve offered tons of advice about conditioners and moisturizing ingredients in the post above. Be sure to check out the product recommendations and DIY recipes.
What are the top recommended leave-in moisturizers for relaxed hair?
We’ve listed a number of recommended store-bought products earlier in the post above. Alaffia Beautiful Curls Curl Enhancing Leave-in Conditioner is a great option, though.
Even better, just make your own with our Homemade Moisture-Sealing Leave-In Hair Conditioner recipe in the DIY section of this post. You can get more recipes here: 3 DIY Leave-in Conditioner Recipes.
Which moisturizers are considered the best for promoting growth in relaxed hair?
Moisturizers containing ingredients like natural oils, shea butter, and proteins are best for promoting growth in relaxed hair. They help to strengthen and repair the hair, facilitating healthy growth.
What characteristics should you look for in a lightweight moisturizer for relaxed hair?
In a lightweight moisturizer for relaxed hair, look for water-based formulas that provide hydration without weighing hair down. It should absorb quickly, leaving the hair soft but not greasy. Also, make sure any oils it contains are light oils (we provided a chart earlier in this post).
Are water-based moisturizers effective for keeping relaxed hair healthy?
Yes, water-based moisturizers are effective for relaxed hair as they hydrate efficiently. Oils and butters should be used to seal in this moisture rather than as the primary source of hydration.
How does one effectively use oil moisturizers on relaxed hair?
Use oil moisturizers on relaxed hair by applying them to slightly damp hair to seal in moisture, focusing on the ends, which are the oldest and most fragile parts of the hair. Remember that a little goes a long way to avoid buildup.