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.

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.


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  • Rae

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

  • Emily

    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..


  • 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?

  • Should this be done on relaxed, fine hair?

    • No reason why not Monica Jolla. Just use a light oil that will spread through your fine hair easier.

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

    • Alma

      Absolutely! I do that all the time especially when my hair is straight.

  • 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?