The best curl results by first understanding the difference between Conditioning, Moisturizing and Hydrating

March 21, 2019

Getting the best curl result by FIRST understanding the difference between Conditioning, moisturizing and Hydrating our hair….

By Jameela Pitts


When it comes to our hair, SISTAS, WE (Clap) DO (Clap) NOT (Clap) Play. The product aisle in Target is the new happy hour and we want to try this and we want to try that (ookaay).  It can become mentally and financially draining like the dating scene in Atlanta and but that’s neither here nor there. This is our crown and we’re going to do what we have to do, like always!

Today I want to focus on the foundation.  Conditioning, moisturizing and hydrating the hair are the key jewels that help our crown’s  grow and glow. The very thing that we curly folk love so much but hate (sometimes) because we just can’t get enough or maybe we just don’t fully understand.  

Moisturizing and Conditioning  

Moisturizing the hair is the key to growth and flawless curls. If your curls are moisturized, they are less likely to experience breakage and dullness. Over the years I’ve realized that a lot of my curly girls have NO clue what the difference is between leave in conditioners and hair moisturizers. Some ladies and gentleman go weeks without a good moisturizer and/or use conditioner daily. Look, you are not alone, it happens to the best of us BUT this has got to stop and I’m here to tell you why…

Rinse -out conditioners are solely used to replace the hydrogen ions that were taken away during shampooing. In return, it helps the hair to be less likely to tangle and softer to the touch. Rinse-out conditioners are also humectants which is a substance that is used to lock in moisture.  Created to be acidic, conditioners should be rinsed out fully after application. (BOOM) Ladies rinse out the conditioner fully!  After the conditioner is applied, the hair is conditioned PERIOD! I recommend 5-10 minutes with fine hair and 15-20 minutes with a plastic cap for intense moisture and repair to the outer layer of the hair. Deep conditioning can also aid in hydrating the hair.


Leave- In Conditioners are extremely light weight versions of the rinse-out conditioners . They have less active ingredients and a much higher amount of water. Leave-in conditioners are also known as detanglers and can come in a liquid spray form or cream form. The high concentration of water allows these products to not only help the “condition” of the hair shaft but potentially help hydrate the hair shafts internally.

Moisturizers are typically thicker and are created to moisturize the hair strands. Moisturizers eliminate dryness and reduce the possibility of severe split ends and damage done to the hair shaft. I personally believe that moisturizers should be used daily or a few times a week depending on your hair type and texture.  

Just to be clear, conditioners help aid the “condition” of the hair after shampooing or detangling  by giving the hair slip, shine and attracting water. Moisturizers are designed to do just that, MOISTURIZE the hair strands while protecting the hair shaft, reducing the chances of split ends or minimizing their severity.

Now what about Hydrations? Where does that come into play and how is it any different from a deep conditioner?

Hydrating the hair is basically like saying the hair is thirsty. Hydrating the hair is improving the health of the hair from the inside, opening up the hair shaft and the follicles allowing the water to seep in. Hydrations should be done at least every month but some people have to hydrate more often than others.  Low porosity hair may have to do hydrations more often than someone with high porosity hair.

SO the difference between a deep conditioner and a hydration is that a deep conditioner is going to aid in the shining and conditioning of the hair strand on the outside. Adding a little heat and wearing a plastic cap can also work as a hydrator on a very small scale. Hydrations work on moisturizing the hair on the inside leaving the overall condition of the hair strand in better shape. BOOM

It is important to know the difference because we want to give our hair total protection that is true.  I hope this blog has helped open all my Belles up to a new understanding of moisturizing, conditioning and hydrating your tresses.