View Full Version : A list of hydrating hair ingredients

February 4th, 2015, 07:43 AM
I have type 4c hair and I am thinking of making my own moisturizing deep conditioner and I would like a list of hydrating hair ingredients. The only 2 I've got so far are water and Aloe Vera.

February 4th, 2015, 04:24 PM
Hi, 10yeargoals! :D Welcome to the LHC! :flowers:

Moisturizing ingredients provide one or more of these benefits:
- emollient (softening, lubrication);
- humectant (attracting and holding onto water);
- occlusive (preventing fast evaporation of water).

For a home-made conditioner, look for things you may already have lying around or easy to obtain:

Occlusives (anti-humectants) are things like mineral oil, natural oils/butters.

Humectants: honey, syrups, glycerin, panthenol, yogurt / sour cream (due to lactic acid), and film-forming humectants like flaxseed gel, okra gel or aloe vera gel, hydrolyzed proteins (e.g. gelatin or hydrolyzed silk protein drops).

I would just use a conditioner you like, or conditioner base, and add some occlusives (oils) and humectants (honey, aloe, gelatin) to the mix, instead of making conditioning treatment from scratch. If you really want to use something from scratch with simple ingredients, you can use coconut milk/cream or yogurt as your base. I'm sure there are lots of other ideas out there...

Just make sure you don't store it too long in the fridge, unless you are using preservatives, in fact I would make a fresh batch every time.

Honestly, commercial products have a major benefit of being specifically formulated for hair's needs, so they will have some moisturizing ingredients that can't be easily acquired at a grocery store: e.g. ceramides, 18-MEA, etc
But you can certainly boost commercial products by adding some DIY ingredients, if you want. ;)

A few relevant sources to read:
Moisturizing agents in cosmetics: http://www.makingcosmetics.com/articles/13-humectants-moisturizing-agents-in-cosmetics.pdf
Film-forming humectants: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/07/film-forming-humectants-what-they-are.html
Oils that penetrate vs. seal hair: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2013/06/oils-which-ones-soak-in-vs-coat-hair.html
Gelatin protein treatment (protein & humectant): http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.ca/2014/04/gelatin-protein-treatment-recipe-update.html
SMT thread (honey + aloe + conditioner) (mostly humectant): http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128
Fox's Shea Butter Conditioning Cream thread (shea butter + coconut oil + conditioner) (mostly occlusive): http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=4586

February 16th, 2015, 04:56 AM
Meteor your post is going to help me, thanks. I am trying to make a body, hand & feet cream using unrefined shea butter and jojoba oil. At the moment mine is solid and I need to heat it to liquid form daily.

February 16th, 2015, 05:25 AM
How about adding a few drops of mineral oil to the mix?

February 16th, 2015, 08:32 AM
When my hair is acting dry, humectants are the best thing for it. I'll do a treatment (usually something like an SMT -- conditioner base with additional humectants added, and soak the hair in it for maybe 30 minutes), rinse it out, and follow up with a little hair-friendly oil on my damp or drying hair. For me, oils are more likely to be emu, sesame, coconut, olive, camillia, etc. than mineral oil; lots of people here rave about mineral oil and the slip it gives, but I experience none of it. :P The major difference with mineral oil is that it's not going to absorb into hair or evaporate, so it remains a nice coating on the surface that can help hold moisture in. Most of the oils I prefer soak in at least partly.

But you know how it goes -- know your hair and figure out what works best when it feel a certain way.