How To Seal Hair Effectively In 5 Steps

How to seal hair effectively

Arguably one of the most important steps to length retention is sealing your hair. Whether you are relaxed or natural figuring out the most effective way to keep moisture in your hair through an effective sealing routine will be one of the keys you will need for successful healthy longer lengths.

Here are five things to remember when sealing your hair:

1. Make sure that you seal in the proper order – The purpose of sealing the hair is to trap moisture in it so that your style lasts and you do not end up with dry frayed ends in two days. The ideal order of things should be water or water based moisturizer (water is the first ingredient on the ingredient list) then oil or butter (heavy or light). You can also try the LOC method where you add a creamy leave in conditioner after your oil.

2. Choose your oil or butter wisely – The oil of choice is really a matter of preference, however as a rule of thumb the thicker the oil the more effective the seal. Choosing the right oil is based solely on your hair needs if you are natural with thick coarse strands then you may want to try a heavy oil or butter such as castor oil or shea butter.

Mineral oil works well for coarser hair types as well when applied to the ends. If you are relaxed or have fine light strands then a light oil or butter may work well for your hair, for example avocado oil or a light hair dress.

3. Focus your attention on the ends – The ends of the hair are the oldest and most fragile parts of the hair so pay close attention to what you are doing as you apply your products to that portion. If sealing is new to you spend some time focusing on what the ends of your hair feel like and look once sealed effectively. This will ensure that you always get it right every time.

4. Get to know your hair in its sealed state – this might sound a little ridiculous because obviously if you follow the basic technique of water then oil then how your hair looks and feels should be a no brainer. This however is not true for everyone especially if you are new to sealing and how your hair should feel afterwards.

Moisture retention with an effective sealing routine should last a couple of days, your hair should clump together easily if you are natural and your hair should have a natural sheen about it is you are relaxed or natural. The hair should also feel soft and silky smooth on day one and a few days afterwards once dry.

If your hair and ends still feel dry and frayed then you may need to take a look at your process and or products. Additionally make sure your ends are not damaged, the only thing that will fix damaged ends is a good trim, only then will you start sealing effectively.

5. Don’t touch your hair – After you have sealed your hair allow it to dry un-manipulated so that the moisture can settle in and the oil can work its magic. You may choose to tuck your ends away in order to preserve moisture but if you like to wear your hair out just know that you may have to seal more often in comparison to when you may choose to wear a protective style. Either way whether you have to seal every 6 days or every 3 days the technique is all that matters.



15 Ways To Get Longer Healthier Hair


About Petra

Hi I'm Petra Lomax , a staff writer and editor for . I am Jamaican born and raised and moved to the United States in my early 20's. I have a BA in Political Science and International relations as well as an MBA and a Masters In Project Management. I love travel, culture and anything that has to do with creative media and business.


  1. 1
    RelaxedHead says:

    So this may be a really stupid question lol, but do you wait for your hair to dry in between the application of products to seal your hair? Or do you put the moisturizer and then put the oil in right away? Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

    • 2

      There are no stupid questions! No you don’t let your hair dry, seal with oil immediately to get maximum moisture sealed into your hair.

  2. 3

    Hi My question is I dyed my hair two weeks ago from dark brown to light ash blonde. Beautiful turn out, but my hair won’t stay pressed and is very dry and looks like hay. I use ultra sheen oil on it and and works for about three days then back to being dry. Is there some sealer I should have used after coloring , or what are your recommend? I really need help badly.Thank you!! Oh, and after coloring, I can’t stop my scalp from itching.

    • 4

      Hello Deedee, I am sorry to hear that but with color the hair is even more prone to dryness than it already naturally is. I don’t know if your did a deep treatment prior to adding the color or after but if you didn’t it looks like you may want to do a couple of them back to back. You want to do something that imparts moisture so choose a product that has water for the first ingredient. I like to add a little honey and oil to my conditioner for added moisture. With that said protein is very important as well because you want to repair any damage the color has caused. My personal recipe for moisture and repair is one egg, honey, conditioner and oil. I just add enough to make the mixture pliable and not too runny. I put that in before I shampoo for about 30 minutes – 1 hour. I repeat this every week until my hair feels ‘back to normal’. check out this post as well ( I would put away the ultra oil sheen for now and use a more natural oil (olive oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil) to seal AFTER you add something that moisturizes. (water, aloe vera juice, or any water based conditioner or leave in). Another thing you may want to do is not press for awhile until your hair feels better, heat will only add to the dryness. another great resource ( Your scalp maybe itchy because of the dryness,the added moisture should help. Hope this helps :)

  3. 5

    Hi my question is after u do the steps and add the sealend, and then go to moisturize ur hair a day or two later w out washing out the sealent. is your hair still getting the moisture? I would think the sealent you put on would block whatever water base moisturizer being used after the fact. Does that make any sense to you? I am just curious if there is a step in between the sealent to re moisturizing process. Sorry if this is confusing I tried to explain it best I can in writing.

    • 6

      I know exactly what you mean Keysha. Yes your hair will get the moisture daily. This is because the molecules of natural oils, while they help to seal, they are not hydrophobic. That is to say that water molecules are still small enough to squeeze through the gaps between the oils molecules. On the other hand mineral oil is hydrophobic because it has very large molecules so it closes your hair off from receiving further moisture until it is washed off. Essentially this is why you shouldn’t choose mineral oil as a daily sealant AND is a good lesson as to why clarifying regularly is a good idea.

    • 8

      I wanted to know the same thing for WHILE. THANKS LADIES!

  4. 9

    Mineral oil? Im pretty sure I just saw that as things ti avoid in an article on this very site….

  5. 10

    Rae, if you decide to avoid mineral oil or keep it in your regimen does not take away from the fact that is an effective sealant. Usually iit is suggested that mineral oil be avoided if you prefer a purely natural regimen or to avoid using it on your scalp because it has a tendency to clog up pores ect. However if you add moisture to your hair strands and u choose to seal with mineral oil it will keep your moisture sealed in. … Hope that clears up any confusion..


  6. 11

    The last time I put a relaxer in my hair was in January 2013. In November 2013, I did a semi BC (just the relaxed ends). I would like to use shea butter but cannot seem to find any. I’ve heard that it’s natural color is whitish/beige what I find is a bright yellow/gold color (which I heard was dyed). Anyone have any suggestions where I could buy or order the unrefined organic shea butter?

  7. 12

    Should this be done on relaxed, fine hair?

  8. 14

    Can you just moisturize and seal only the ends of your hair?

  9. 16

    I have been doing this just not sectioning my hair ( after reading this I when right ahead and start sectioning and spraying and twisting the natural oils on then plait it and tuck it under, ends feels great so I will do it once a week, I usually give it a good spray of leave in daily or every two days, but am sure i missed some sections so this is a great way to be sure I dont.:) I was wondering why not do the entire head? why just ends?

Speak Your Mind