After learning about the Curly Girl Method a few years ago, I decided to stick with leaving conditioner in my hair, adding gel and scrunching – I followed the book like it was my own personal Bible. Until, that is, I started branching out and finding an amazing array of natural and curly hair care blogs online. New words were added to my vocabulary – the LOC method, texture, sealants etc. I immediately began the quest to find the perfect hair sealant for curly hair, which culminated in this past Summer’s love affair with pure aloe vera gel. It was like my hair knew no bounds!
However, as Summer faded to Fall, and Fall became the dreaded, sad Canadian Winter, I noticed a huge change in my hair – for the worse. Strands that had once been plump and bouncy were becoming dry, frizzy, and lifeless. I did some research and quickly realized the culprit: my beloved aloe vera gel was a sealant, yes, but it also was a humectant: something that draws moisture out of the air (or, in my case, my hair). For the muggy Canadian Summers, this is ideal; however, for last year’s dry, arid winter, my strands were becoming dehydrated and I knew I needed to find a new sealant, fast.
After going through this myself, I wondered how many others were out there looking for the ‘right’ sealant for their hair. Here’s a great starting point, particularly if you live in a climate that has drastic changes in the weather from season to season.
Coconut Oil: This is ideal to use in the Summer because it stays liquid in the heat (unlike winter when, if put in your hair, it can harden when it turns cold); it also does double duty, acting as both a moisturizer AND a sealant.
Aloe Vera Gel OR Juice: This is lightweight and wonderful to help absorb some of that extra moisture in the air and put it into your strands. If you want light, fluffy, and full, aloe vera is your go-to summer sealant.
Jojoba Oil: This lightweight oil is great for all hair types; whether you’re just touching up the ends, or evenly distributing on all your strands, it doesn’t weigh hair down but does provide a nice, light sealant.
Grapeseed Oil: Similar to jojoba but a little bit thicker.
Depending on your hair’s volume, some of the Summer sealants can also be used; for example, I have fine strands (but medium-high density), and tend to stick with jojoba oil for the Winter months.
Castor Oil: A longtime favourite in a lot of natural hair communities, this is thick and really helps seal in moisture.
Shea Butter: Melt this and mix it with any oil for a super rich, thick sealant that will definitely help your strands in the dry, cold winter months.
Olive Oil: It’s easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and provides a nice, heavy sealant.