Best Sealants for Natural Hair: 9 Sealing Oils

Last updated on May 27th, 2023 at 05:04 pm

Some sealants work better for certain hair types. In this article you will discover the types of oils that make for the best sealants for natural hair. These are the hair oils that will seal moisture into your hair but they are also the best oils for doing a hot oil treatment, massaging your scalp and more.

best sealants for natural hair

The best sealants for natural hair will help with length retention and they need to be used from root to tips. They are:

  • Jojoba oil
  • Sweet Almond oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Mango Butter or Shea Butter
  • Jamaican black castor oil (the winner hands down as the best hair sealant for your ends. Apricot castor oil comes in a close second)

Argan oil is also a good oil to use in your natural hair but it’s better suited for scalp massages or pre-wash treatments.

Before getting into why these are the best sealants for natural hair, it’s very important to clear up a common misconception about oils.

Oils do NOT moisturize the hair.

It doesn’t matter if they are natural oils or artificial oils. There is no such thing as moisturizing oils. Oils only have the ability to do a few things:

  • Seal moisture into the hair shaft
  • Lubricate the hair
  • Strengthen (especially when infused with hair strengthening herbs)

You likely have read or seen scores of articles sharing what they call the “best moisturizing oils.” This is deceptive because none of those oils are an actual moisturizing agent for hair.

What they are is sealants or lubricants.

This definitely falls under the use of semantics when explaining the use of oils in hair.

Just because an oil helps with moisture retention, doesn’t mean the oil is imparting moisture to the hair. Yet, this is exactly how others describe oils.

Now, there are other properties that oils have like anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory but for the sake of clarity, let’s focus on why you need to use the nine natural hair oils listed below for healthy natural hair.

best moisture sealant for natural hair

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is one of the great oils you can use as a sealant for your hair. The properties of Jojoba oil make it most like the natural sebum produced by the sebaceous glands near the hair follicles in your scalp.

It is an oily substance rich in minerals and vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin C. In fact, it’s actually a wax. This makes it one of the best sealants for natural hair. It’s also great to help alleviate dry scalp and flaky scalp.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is one of the best sealants for natural hair mainly because of it’s ability to strengthen hair. It’s rich in antioxidants.

Jojoba oil is also very effective at smoothing the hair shaft and ultimately improving the hair’s texture.

When you use sweet almond oil to seal moisture into your hair, you’ll notice significantly less hair breakage.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Likely one of the most popular oils used in a hair care routine, extra virgin olive oil nourishes the hair strands to combat dry hair. It can be used on all hair textures but is especially beneficial for natural hair.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, also called EVOO provides a light conditioning effect, helping to reduce hair loss, while being an excellent sealant.

EVOO is rich in fatty acids. It contains squalene, a natural lipid (saturated fatty acid) and oleic acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid. Fatty acids add shine to the hair and improve manageability.

These components alone, make Extra Virgin Olive Oil one of the best sealants for natural hair. Use it to nourish and seal moisture into the hair shaft on wash day.

Avocado Oil

If you’re looking for an oil to seal your natural hair that also helps promote hair growth and help you with detangling, avocado oil is it.

Avocado oil has an even higher amount of monounsaturated fat than olive oil, making it another one of the best sealants for natural hair.

Monounsaturated fats are able to penetrate the hair shaft and create a barrier of protection to help your hair retain moisture.

Grape seed Oil

Grape seed or grapeseed oil is wonderful at smoothing out a rough cuticle. It’s one of the lighter weight oils that strengthens weak strands.

When used in your hair on a regular basis, grape seed oil will improve the health of your hair and add amazing shine.

As a sealant, Grape seed oil is perfect for use in fine natural hair because it’s so light weight. Just like Jojoba oil.

Mango Butter and Shea Butter

As it relates to sealing oils, mango butter and shea butter are right up there with the oils.

While Mango and Shea are actually fats that originate from seeds (mango seeds and shea seeds), they still perform much like the different oils mentioned.

They are heavier than the others oils but you can find Shea oil and Mango oil on the market.

Both Mango butter and Shea butter are solid at room temperature but can be emulsified in your hands or between your fingers to liquify them and turn them into an oily consistency.

If you have fine hair, Mango and Shea butter applied directly the hair can weigh the hair down. However, you can whip both of these butters into a light weight cream.

See: How to Use Shea Butter on Fine Hair

Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Apricot Castor Oil

Both Jamaican Black Castor Oil and Apricot Castor Oil are heavy weight oils. Even plain castor oil falls into the category of a thick oil.

The reason the Castor oil family of oils is so great as sealants is they have the ability to keep the ends of your hair very smooth and the moisture locked in for a longer period of time than one of the “thinner” oils.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO) is much more popular than Apricot Castor Oil as a sealant. It also has the ability to stimulate hair growth.

More on Jamaican Black Castor Oil

JBCO can be added to your deep conditioner just like the other oils mentioned above. It’s often used in DIY hair recipes to foster deep hydration.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s a powerhouse of an oil.

Read more here: 7 Uses for Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Here’s the most popular brand on the market: Tropic Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Apricot Castor Oil is much more pleasant smelling than JBCO and almost as thick. It’s a mixture of both apricot oil and castor oil. This oil is almost addictive to use because it smells so good while sealing the moisture into your hair, adding shine and reducing frizz.

Here’s one brand I’ve used off and on over the years: Thirsty Roots Apricot Castor Oil

apricot castor oil

Use Jamaican Black Castor Oil or Apricot Castor Oil to help prevent split ends. They are both excellent sealants for natural hair but for those with fine hair and fine natural hair, it’s best to use these sealants only on the ends of the hair or when doing protective styles.

Why Not Coconut Oil?

coconut oil

I’ll bet you’re wondering why coconut oil was not listed as one of the best sealants for natural hair. Well, there’s two reasons.

The first reason is it’s widely reported by many that coconut oil makes natural hair feel dry or hard.

The second reason is the best way to use coconut oil for curly hair is as a pre-poo treatment for its ability to penetrate the hair shaft and protect the hair from protein loss.

Coconut oil tends to mimic protein treatments. That’s why it makes the hair feel hard for so many and that’s the reason it’s better used as a pre-poo that will be washed out.

Using natural oils in your hair

Natural oils are good for more than just being sealants for your hair. They are also carrier oils which can be used to “carry” essential oils.

Related: The Best Essential oils for Curly Hair

Essential oils are too potent to be used by themselves so they need to be mixed with a carrier oil. Each of the oils mentioned above as hair sealants are also able to be used in oil blends and DIY hair recipes.

So, while you may use these oils as sealants to seal moisture into your natural hair, you can also use them to create oil blends.

You can mix the oils together or mix them individually with essential oils for scalp massages, or to boost your conditioners or stylers.

How to Use Oils as Sealants

Regardless of which oil you use to seal your natural hair, there’s a protocol based on your hair type and its ability to retain moisture within the hair strands.

For starters, moisturized hair begins on wash day. Once you are done cleansing and deep conditioning your hair, and are ready to style, before you move on you’ll need to seal the moisture into your hair using one of these sealing methods:

  • the LOC Method
  • the LCO Method

The “L” stands for liquid which should be water. After you wash your hair, there should be plenty of it on your hair.

“O” stand for Oil (use one of the best sealing oils mentioned above)

The “C” stands for a Cream. Some use a leave in conditioner as their cream. You could use that, a styling cream or both.

Moisturizers with Oils

While oils are not moisturizers on their own, you can use moisturizers that contain sealant oils in them.

The first ingredient of a good hair moisturizer is water. Then, it should be followed by an oil, making the product a good moisture sealant (assuming there are no drying alcohols added to the ingredient list).

Sealing Hair Based on Porosity

If you have low porosity hair, your hair cuticles are pretty tight and it’s not easy to get moisture into them. That’s why you need to apply a heat source via a heating cap when deep conditioning on wash day.

If you have high porosity hair, your hair cuticles are very loose and moisture easily escapes your hair. Using a heavy sealant like shea or mango butter after using cool water to close the cuticle is your best bet for moisture retention.

Even so, you’ll need to moisturize and seal your hair more often than someone with low porosity hair.

To moisturize and seal low porosity hair, check out this article: https://finenaturalhairandfaith.com/how-to-moisturize-seal-low-porosity-hair-thats-also-fine/

To moisturize an seal high porosity hair, check out this article: https://finenaturalhairandfaith.com/how-to-moisturize-seal-high-porosity-hair/

If you are looking to keep your hair moisturized, you need a great oil sealant. Try one (or more) of the oils mentioned.

best oil sealants for natural hair

Each of the oils listed should be used regularly because they are in the category of best sealants for natural hair.

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

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