What are the Essential Ingredients in Moisturizers?

August 12, 2013

Ladies, I know that most of us have problems with hair. The dullness and dryness really worry us. Do you agree that conditioners are not enough to make our hair soft and silky? I learned to appreciate moisturizers not only for the face or hands, but also for the hair. Our hair needs the right amount of moisture to maintain that gorgeous look and feeling.

Before trying any hair moisturizer, however, make sure that it suits your hair and skin types. To begin with, don’t forget to read the product label to find out which ingredients are in there.

Most hair moisturizers contain ingredients that naturally humidify the hair, such as glycerin, aloe vera, avocado oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter. These, however, might not be enough and we should ask a few additional questions, such as:

1. Is water present in the hair moisturizer product?

2. Are there humectants, emollients, and any occlusive agents cited in the ingredients list?

What are the Essential Ingredients in Moisturizers

What are the Essential Ingredients in Moisturizers

These questions become important once we define what moisture is and what it can do for our hair. Moisture is water diffused as vapor and, like the rest of our body, hair needs water to remain healthy and strong. Water on its own, however, will not make the trick, because we need other substances to help the hair retain the water it needs. This is why it is important that the moisturizer contains other ingredients such as humectants, emollients, and occlusive agents.


Humectants in hair products can keep the moisture in our hair because they can attract water. Glycerin is the most popular among humectants, and it is used not only in hair products but also in other personal skin care products. Although it generally helps in holding water, it is also known for leaving a heavy feeling on hair and scalp, and for this reason some hair moisturizer manufacturers replace it with honey, sodium lactate, panthenol, or sorbitol.


A good hair product, particularly the moisturizer, has emollient substances to keep the softness and smoothness of the hair. Ceramide and protein are known emollient substances present in most hair products.

Occlusive Agents

Occlusive agents are responsible for increasing the moisture level because they create a physical barrier on the scalp. Lanolin and mineral oil are just some occlusive agents you can find in hair moisturizers.

Okay, we now know their roles in the product, but we also have things to understand about them. These three substances are combined to work well to prevent dryness and breakage. We don’t want the dryness or tacky feeling on the hair caused by humectants, which is why emollients that retain the right amount of moisture are needed. Emollients, however, have the ability to spread fast, which may lead to loss of water at a shorter time. To maintain moisture for a longer period of time, occlusive agents are mixed in the moisturizers to help emollients keep the hair healthy and soft.

Now that we know what to look for in our hair moisturizers, it’s time to pick the right one for a soft, silky, and gorgeous hair.

By : Sophia Tattelman

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