5 Best Moisturizers for Black Hair

Updated May 15, 2018
Portrait of a young woman brushing her hair at home

Whether you wear your hair straight, braided, loose, relaxed or curly, black hair has to be moisturized. The best moisturizer for black hair is always going to be a natural non-petroleum-based hair product. The kinder and more respectful you are of your hair, the more beautiful it's going to look.

Moisturizing Black Hair

African-American hair has a tendency to be dry, which is exacerbated by a structure that can make it difficult for moisturizers to penetrate both the scalp and the ends of the hair. You should not use petroleum-based products (which can clog pores and leave hair prone to damage) but adopt a daily, weekly, or semi-regular treatment method with good moisturizing products to keep your hair looking its best.

Shea Butter and Oils

Shea butter is full of healing properties and is one of the healthiest moisturizers for hair. All the oils listed below work well on their own, but work even better when mixed with Shea butter.

  • Jojoba is naturally similar to human sebum and can help regulate the scalps natural production of oil.
  • Coconut oil has natural ingredients can help maintain healthy levels of protein which is necessary when dealing with chemically treated hair.
  • Castor oil is moisturizing in nature.
  • Try ayurvdic oils. An ayurvedic-based hair oil will be natural and gentle enough for daily use and will promote softness and resiliency.

You can also moisturize with other oils straight from the kitchen cupboard. Olive, safflower, avocado and sunflowers oils are excellent for the hair. Do a hot oil treatment once a week, using one of these oils gently heated in the microwave. Apply carefully from scalp to ends, wrap a towel around your head for about twenty minutes, and then rinse out using lukewarm water

Five Best Moisturizer Products for Black Hair

The moisturizers below are some of the best available and are easily available in drugstores and online retailers.

Lush R & B Hair Moisturizer

Lush R & B Moisturizer controls frizzy, flyaway hair and is made by hand with all natural ingredients, which include avocado and olive oil to add moisture and strengthen. It gets an average of 4.56/5 stars with 527 reviews on Influenster.com. Reviewers say it helps control frizz and leaves hair silky soft. It can be purchased at Lush stores or online for about $26.

Alikay Naturals Moisture Rich Parfait

Alikay Naturals Moisture Rich Parfait is specially formulated to keep curly hair and fine kinky hair healthy and moisturized. It contains Shea Butter, Argon Oil and Coconut Oil. This moisturizer is at the top of Naturally Curly's list of 15 Best Moisturizers, and it's praised for its ability to enhance shine and manageability. It can be purchased at Alikay Naturals (about $16).

As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner

As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner removes product residue and preserves moisture. Among it's natural ingredients are coconut and castor oil. This cleansing conditioner is an Allure Best of Beauty 2017 award winner because of its smoothing and moisturizing properties. It and can be purchased at Sally Beauty Supply for around $9.

Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey

Carol's Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey a hairdressing that moisturizes your hair and scalp, smooths edges and controls frizz. It's all-natural and contains Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. It can be purchased at many national retailers and also at the Carols' Daughter website for about $12. Almost 400 reviewers on Google.com give to 4.5/5 stars. Reviewers praise it for it's ability to lock in moisture and leave hair shiny and healthy.

Pantene Hydrating Butter-Creme

Pantene Gold Series Hydrating Butter-Creme is made with argan oil. is sulfate-free and is designed to soften and tame hair. 95 percent of reviewers (1420 on the brand's website) recommend the product, praising it for how well it moisturizes even very dry hair. It also received high praise from Elle, and the gold series line received a Beauty Innovator Award from Refinery 29. It's available for about $8 from most drugstores and online.

Deep Conditioning and Steaming

Hair steaming aids in hydrating dry hair. The moist heat lifts the hair cuticle allowing your moisturizing treatment to penetrate deeply into the hair shaft.

Wrapping Your Hair

Applying an all-night moisturizing product to your hair each night and wrapping it helps protect your hair from breakage. I can also help hold in moisture until your next in-depth moisturizing treatment.

Moisturizing Basics

While opinions can vary as to the absolute best moisturizer for black hair, everyone is very definite that you can't just slap some moisturizer on your head, give it a rub, and call it done.

  • When applying oil make sure you have plenty on the ends of your hair and massage it gently into the scalp to assure maximum penetration. Massaging your scalp also helps to improve your circulation and stimulate the skin's natural oils.
  • To maintain proper moisture, don't wash your hair frequently, for some individuals this means no more than more than once every week or two. Washing hair can be very drying to the strands and scalp.
  • You may also want to invest in a silk or satin pillowcase. Silk fabric is softer on your hair that other fabrics and can help you avoid excessive tangles and split ends. Silk will also help your hair retain moisture; cotton can wick out oils and conditioners.

Moisturizing From Within

By far one of the best moisturizers for black hair, as well as skin, is a diet for healthy hair.

  • Lots of water is good for the whole body and will help keep your hair in excellent condition. On hot days, use a spritzer bottle to cool your skin but also to spray on your hair.
  • The oils that are so good for external use should also be taken internally. Cook with olive, safflower, or coconut oil to improve the look and condition of your skin and hair. If you are concerned about dietary fat, these are actually some of the best fats you can eat, because they are not saturated and provide essential nutrients.
  • You should also be sure you are getting your essential vitamins and proteins. Fish, eggs, nuts, and dark leafy green vegetables promote moisture in hair and skin. If you are concerned about getting the full complement of vitamins, there are a number of supplements you can try, many of which are targeted for hair health.

Finally, find a hairstyle that suits your face and hair and doesn't require an excess of styling or product. This helps you retain moisture and keeps your hair healthy and beautiful.

Find What Works for You

The best moisturizer for black hair is one that can help hair retain its natural moisture without the use of excessive chemicals. Try different moisturizers and moisturizing techniques to discover the one that works best for you, and you'll soon find you have strong, healthy, and beautiful strands to show off.

5 Best Moisturizers for Black Hair