I have tried just about every single oil…and the result: shiny, moisturized, promising hair upon application, but a few hours later thirsty hair!
Apply to wet hair they said.
Are we not aware that there are oils that can penetrate the hair strands? When looking for a sealant, you want the opposite. You want it to sit on the hair shaft and lock in moisture from your leave ins. If it penetrates, then it really isn’t locking in anything now is it?
I’ve come to the conclusion after research, trial and error, and pure common sense that I do not consider all oils sealants, with the exception of jojoba oil (which is a WAX by the way), castor oil, and shea oil made from melted shea butter.
What is our hair’s natural oils made up of? Sebum. What is sebum? “The sebaceous glands are microscopic exocrine glands in the skin that secrete a WAXY matter, called sebum, to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair of mammals” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebaceous_gland).
If you’re aiming to seal hair, wouldn’t you want to use an oil or something that closely mimics sebum, your hair’s natural sealing oil? If sebum has a waxy-like consistency, wouldn’t choosing something with a waxy like consistency as a sealant only make sense?
5 sealants that mimic sebum:
1) jojoba oil (lightest/ can be used for sealing wash n go’s)
2) shea butter (can be liquefied)
3) castor oil
4) GREASE. Yes, hair grease with petroleum jelly and mineral oil. Don’t act like your hair was not prospering from it as a child. And if it wasn’t, it was because your mom wasn’t keeping your hair under the grease moisturized with water or a water based product. (Note: I will never use mineral oil or petroleum in moisturizers. They sit on your hair strands because that’s their job as sealants. Do not trust any leave in conditioners with them. It won’t penetrate your strands).
5) beeswax (heaviest/ commonly used for sealing drealocks).
Silicons are also sealants. However, my hair hates them. It does not mimic sebum as well as the other sealants listed, and it’s harder to get out of hair.
Some moisturizing oils that are NOT sealants
avocado oil (great for skin too because it is so moisturizing and able to penetrate)
almond oil (also great for the skin)
coconut oil (again great for skin because it can penetrate moisture)
Reasons why you should distinguish between a sealant and moisturizing oil:
When used on wet hair, ESP in conjunction with your leave ins etc, most oils would just mix in with the leave in and your hair would be able to absorb it. This is why my hair kept feeling dry after a few hours. There was nothing coating my strands because the oil had mixed itself in with my leave in, so my hair kept drinking it up.
Waxes and grease however, have a way harder time being absorbed into anything. Have you ever tried mixing shea butter with other products. It takes a whole lot of mixing, sometimes the use of a blender, or melting it to make things easier.
___________________________________________________________________________Non curly/kinky hair may be able to get away without manually sealing hair because sebum travels down the hair shaft much easier on straight hair types than curled hair types.
The tighter your hair type, the more importance you should place on sealing, and the more your hair can handle manual sealing.
It really irks me when type 4 hair complain about grease, shea butter etc being too heavy for their hair. I understand your distaste for petroleum, fine, it’s not the healthiest, but shea butter is a good substitute. Olive oil won’t seal your hair if it doesn’t seal mine. My hair is fine textured, 3c, a little looser at the crown, high density, low porosity).
If you do not seal over a moisturizing oil, your hair will be back to being brittle in no time, and you’ll forever continue to complain about dryness, snapping/crackling while detangling, single strand knots, etc.
People often prefer moisturizing oils for sealing instead of sealants because they complain about the build up from grease, castor oil, shea butter etc. Ok, how often do you wash your hair?
Unlike silicons, these can be removed with a clarifying conditioner/cleanser such as a clay wash, which is a sud less way to shampoo your hair. Also there are tons of harmless ways to clarify your hair regularly.
There is no reason why you should be afraid to wash/co-wash your hair regularly. Hair loves water!
I cleanse my hair weekly with a sulfate free shampoo, but currently switching to a sud free cleanser (rhassoul clay wash).
Not cleansing your scalp regularly stunts hair growth. Your scalp needs to be clean and healthy to breathe and stimulate growth. Your scalp, which is a part of your body is alive. Your hair that has already sprouted from your scalp is DEAD!
We water and seal hair, concentrating mostly on the shaft and ends to preserve that dead hair.
When you seal your hair with grease, shea butter, castor oil, etc, you will not “suffocate it”. Your hair can’t breathe; it’s dead remember? However your scalp can breathe, and needs to be clean and unclogged. Sealants should not be applied to your scalp!
Oil your scalp with a moisturizing, penetrating oil like the ones mentioned above, especially if you have issues with dry, flaky scalp.
Best sealants for wash n go styling: keep them as light as possible. Jojoba oil being the lightest, followed by ,elted shea butter, and I find that castor oil used in moderation seals wash n go’s well and even helps clump curls.
Best sealants for braid outs/twistouts/protective hair styling: all of the sealants are great for these styles, however grease and shea butter slightly hardened, holds and defines these styles better as well as sealing them.
I’m co-washing my hair tonight, and if I don’t get up and go purchase some more shea butter, I will be braiding it up again tonight with water, leave in conditioner followed by grease, because I slept scarf-less and the grease still kept the moisture from my leave in from escaping. My hair feels great.
I also forgot I used to put a tiny amount of grease on my natural hair, concentrating on just the ends and edges before I blow dried and straightened it, so it would be protected from the heat.
My hair was never greasy. In fact I hate greasy/oily hair. I always liked my hair big, feathery and bouncy. See picture below.
Again, I believe shea butter is a better substitute for grease, but I’m not against using it, just please keep sealants off your scalp. I never had my scalp greased as a child honestly, I swear. My mom used rosemary oil on it, because my grandma was east indian and that’s what she used on my mom and aunt’s. Rosemary stimulates the scalp for growth and cannot clog the pores.
I have snatched down my video on oils for sealing after doing my research. I do not want to further mislead anyone else.
Water on my hair everyday + sealing CORRECTLY has made such a tremendous difference on my hair’s moisture. Bye bye dry hair.
Here is a link to a woman whose natural hair is prospering with water and grease. I’m sure she washes her hair often to prevent build up. Don’t knock it because of what’s trending. Apply common sense first always. Grease is in fact an effective sealant. There are more organic sealers that I prefer, but this works.