As naturals we hear all the time that sealing natural hair is necessary to maintain the health of our curls. But if we don’t seal our hair, particularly our ends, will we see a rapid decline in the health of our hair? Would our curls stop retaining length? Below I run through the basics and benefits of sealing…
WHAT IS SEALING?
Sealing is when you apply an oil or butter (or even aloe vera juice but more on that later!) to your hair after moisturising your hair with water or a water-based product. The intention is to lock the moisture into your hair so it doesn’t become dry or brittle.
I remember back to my school days when I did that experiment in chemistry class where you put water in two jars and add a layer of oil to just one of the jars. By the next day, half of the water in the jar without oil had evaporated whilst the jar with the layer of oil was still nearly full. This is the logic and science behind sealing your hair!
WHAT CAN I USE TO SEAL?
There are multiple products you can use to seal your hair. Any natural oil will do the job. These include lighter oils (such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil etc) or heavier oils (such as avocado oil, olive oil, castor oil etc) – I tend to use oils when it’s warm outside. You can also use butters, such as shea butter, mango butter, avocado butter etc.
Butters are obviously heavier than oils so they’re better suited to people with thick hair or when it’s cold outside. I ALWAYS seal with a butter during the winter – for me, when it’s cold, oils just don’t cut it. But there is an alternative for my fine hair sisters…
ALOE VERA JUICE! Aloe vera has COUNTLESS benefits for natural hair. I learnt about using AVJ as a sealant from watching Hey Fran Hey’s video on it (hey girl!!).
SO DO I REALLY NEED TO SEAL?
Well after you’ve spent a whole day pre-pooing, shampooing, cowashing, deep conditioning and moisturising your hair, the last thing you want is to end up with dry hair because you didn’t lock all that moisture in! So I always recommend sealing your hair.
I noticed a HUGE difference in the health of my hair when I started sealing my hair. Apart from the fact that the sealants lock the moisture in, many of the oils/butters used as sealants contain nutrients that are highly beneficial for your hair.
Sealing can also help reduce frizz, reduce tangling, increase length retention and soften the hair. That being said, I follow a few naturals on Instagram who don’t seem to seal their hair (they are in the minority though!). As we all know, everyone’s hair is different and responds to different things but for the vast majority of people, sealing is and should be a necessity.
Remember that when it comes to hair, health is the most important thing, regardless of if your hair is natural, relaxed or transitioning. Sealing will improve your hair’s health!