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Moisturizing Oils Versus Sealing Oils

by Chelsea Castonguay
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If you're a curly haired girl, odds are you've heard about how great oils are for your curls. However, there can be some confusion around moisturizing oils versus sealing oils. Here's a handy guide on how to know the difference so you know which oil to use when for maximum benefits.

Moisturizing Oils Versus Sealing Oils


Moisturizing Oils Versus Sealing Oils


Moisturizing oil:

  • These oils are capable of penetrating into the hair shaft to deliver moisture to the cortex.
  • They are activated by and best used with water, or a water based leave in conditioner for maximum impact.
  • You can use these oils to moisturize and massage your scalp. This will help remove build up, dandruff, and encourage better circulation, which leads to curl growth.


  • Coconut oil: known for its wide array of uses, coconut oil is ultra moisturizing. When you buy raw, virgin coconut oil you can use it as both sealant and moisturizer.
  • Babassu oil: this oil is similar in use to coconut oil. It works great on a bigger variety of curl types, including those with compromised curl porosity. It has a lighter consistency, so it won't weigh down your curls. This makes it a great choice for curlies with lighter textures.
  • Olive oil: This is another oil that offers 2 for 1 services. It can be used as both moisturizer and sealant. Use it with water to get the most effect on your curls. It's relatively cheap and easy to find.

Sealing oil:

  • Locks and seals in moisture, but doesn't moisturize.
  • It doesn't penetrate into the shaft of the hair, but rather sits on top of the strands, adding shine.
  • Works best when applied to hair in a protective style following the use of leave in conditioner


  • Jamaican Black Castor oil: this oil will soften your curls, while removing toxins and other build up that can inhibit growth. It is a heavy oil, making it great for thicker textures.
  • Grapeseed oil: easy to find and inexpensive, this lighter weight oil makes a great addition to your sealants. It's great for curlies who use heat to style their hair, as it works to protect delicate strands.
  • Jojoba oil: this oil best replicates the natural sebum or oil produced by your scalp, so it is favored by many curlies. It is, however, on the pricier side. It works well for those with dry or flaky scalps as it balances out pH levels.

The Best Oils For Your Natural Curl Care

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