How to Moisturize Dry Hair for Your Shiniest Strands Yet

It involves both hydration and moisture.

While it might seem as though the key to strong, shiny, and super-smooth hair is this closely guarded secret, that's not actually the case. In reality, this near-universal desire is actually a lot easier to achieve than you might think, since the best way to moisturize dry hair —and, in turn, score shampoo commercial-worthy hair — is all about, well, moisture.

How to Moisturize Dry Hair

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To get to the bottom of dry hair in the first place and, of course, how to fix it, we turned to the experts — namely, celebrity hairstylist Ashley Gomila, Living Proof celebrity and brand stylist DJ Quintero, and co-founder of IGK Aaron Grenia. Scroll ahead for their tricks and tips on how to moisturize dry hair.

What Causes Dry Hair?

While dry hair can happen for a number of reasons, every expert pointed to the climate and your environment as two major factors that can cause dryness. Then, it's important to factor in your hair habits, such as treatments — think chemical over-processing, perms, relaxers, and color services — as well as heat-styling. Both can lead to dull, dry hair.

Moisturizing Versus Hydrating Hair

While often interchangeable, moisturizing hair and hydrating hair are not the same thing. "Moisturizing refers to adding moisture to the hair, while hydrating refers to adding water to the hair," says Gomila.

Moisturizing products, such as hair oils and creams, work to lock in moisture to prevent strands from drying out. Meanwhile, hydrating products, such as leave-in conditioners and sprays, add water to hair and balance your hair's natural moisture levels, she says.

One way to tell the difference? Moisturizing products are things you're most likely to use in your everyday hair routine, Quintero says. Hydrating products, on the other hand, are treatments you do at times when your hair is feeling dry.

However, "both moisturizing and hydrating are important for maintaining healthy hair," says Gomila. "It's essential to find the right balance between the two and choose products that suit your hair's specific needs."

How to Moisturize Hair

First, Grenia recommends catering to your hair type and texture, as all hair types require different moisture requirements. "Some hair types and textures lose moisture more easily than others — and therefore need to add moisturizing products into their regimens more regularly," he explains.

For most, the key to moisturizing hair is using the right ingredients. Look for emollient butters and oils like shea butter and jojoba oil and coconut oil or natural humectants such as glycerin, says Gomila. For everyday nourishment, consider misting Living Proof's Restore Perfecting Spray before you start brushing and styling your hair to help treat damage and seal in moisture.

For natural curls, coils, and kinks, which are more prone to dryness, Grenia recommends something like the IGK Good Spin Flexible Curl Defining Gelée to give curls moisture, definition, and frizz control for up to 72 hours.

Other things you can do to keep your hair moisturized include laying off the hot hair tools. And, for natural hair in particular, Gomila recommends styling hair in protective styles. "[They] are a great way to style your hair without having to apply any heat," she says.

All told, if you're trying to moisturize dry hair, it's not as hard as it seems. All you need are the right products and simple tweaks to your hair routine to get your strands in shape.

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