They seem very similar, but are actually quite different. Moisture pertains to lipids, or oils. Hydration points to water content. Both are vital for healthy hair, skin, & people. When your skin feels dry or appears flaky, what do you do? You apply lotion to moisturize it, right? You don’t soak it in water, you apply products with oils. Likewise, when you are thirsty, you do not drink a tall glass of oil, you drink a tall glass of water, right? Dehydrated skin feels parched, and often produces excess oil. Dehydrated hair will feel parched or rough when you touch it, but the hair doesn’t have nerve endings so it won’t ‘feel’ itself. Dry skin in need of moisture will be flaky. You can definitely need hydration and moisture at the same time.
Dehydration indicates a need for or lack of water. Dryness is pointing to a needed boost in oil. Hydrating is binding water to skin and hair, while moisturizing prevents water leaving the skin and hair. For this reason it is important to hydrate first, moisturize second. Oils repel water, and will drive the hydration deeper into hair fibers.
Hydration is what hair needs to boost shine, luster, manageability. Hair naturally creates an equilibrium with the atmosphere around it. If fit is humid in your area, your hair will naturally be more hydrated. Dry air will mean more dehydrated hair strands. When the seasons change, the air changes with it. AC, Furnaces, Sun exposure, Wind, Blow drying, Iron curling or straightening all affect hydration and cause hair to dehydrate, so it is important to not neglect hydrating your hair.
To put a finer point on hydration, think about grapes or raisins, plums or prunes. Both are the same fruit respectively, but appear very different. When you re introduce water or hydration to raisins or prunes, they soften and plump back up, right? The same happens in your hair and skin.
To hydrate something means to increase its water content. In relation to skin and hair care, hydration means increasing the amount of water in your skin and hair strands, which results in a healthy, smooth, plump, vibrant appearance.
Both skin and hair rehydrate slowly, if at all from drinking water. What is needed is topical applications of hydration helpers or humectants. These elements bind and retain ‘water’ in tissues. Hyaluronic acid is a fantastic natural water binder that we produce naturally. As with many things, hyaluronic acid content and production declines as we age. You notice this in thinner, more fragile, and a dehydrated appearance in skin. In hair, the appearance is less shiny, less manageable, dull, and lifeless. Ceramides are another element that works with hydration by protecting against dehydration of tissues.
We have all been well educated on hydrating and moisturizing our skin, but not many are talking about this with hair. Hair and skin are made up of the same element, Keratin. A hydrating serum is well know in skin care regimens, but do you have one for your hair? You can get one now, if it is a new concept for you. Click here to get yours!
When it comes to moisturizing, oils are best because the right ones can penetrate into the skin and hair yet still allow skin to breathe instead of creating a coating barrier which many lotions do. Jojoba is a great choice of moisturizing oil.
When thinking about hydrating and moisturizing, always remember that hydrating means adding water to your skin or hair, moisturizing means locking that hydration into your skin or hair. Hydration is water, moisturisation is oil. You need both for your hair and skin. Hydrate first, moisturize second. Use less heat or cooler settings when styling, protect your strands form dehydrating environments, choose the right shampoos and conditioners for your hair needs. Use treatments that are designed to hydrate your strands. Look for naturally occurring humectants, like hyaluronic acid, over synthetic ones. Choose natural oils to moisturize over synthetic ingredients.
Every head of hair is as unique as the person it is growing out of. Hydration and moisture needs are as unique. There isn’t a one size fits all, and your hair care regimen should be customized to your needs so you can avoid other challenges that incompatible products to your hair type may cause. Your stylist, or virtual stylist (ahem, Hello! Here I am!!) is a great place to get help on which products are right for your needs.
Want some more insights on your hair or solutions to your challenges? Check out this interactive video that allows you to chose the information most important to you.