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Article: Hydration or Moisture, what's the difference?

Hydratatie of Moisture, wat is het verschil?

Hydration or Moisture, what's the difference?

It is often said that your curls need hydration and moisture, but do you ever wonder what the difference is?

On this journey you will be exposed to a whole new vocabulary about hair! We hear different terminology, but don't always understand the meaning and application to our hair situation. “Hydration” and “Moisture” are terms you hear and see on the labels of hair products for curly hair, but most love them but don't quite know the difference.

Let's break down these conditions so we can recognize them as a separate step in your hair care routine.

We often hear and use the terms "hydration" and "moisture" interchangeably. While these are similar concepts, they are actually more interdependent (you can't have one without the other) than interchangeable (same concept, different name). To understand how hydration and moisture work hand in hand, we need to look at the multiple layers that make up our hair. Human hair consists of three layers:

The Medulla - innermost, deepest layer of hair (unless you have microscopic eyeballs, you cannot see this layer);

The Cortex - middle layer, covers the medulla (this layer gives us hair color, thickness and hair texture); and

The hair cuticle (Cuticle) - outer, thinnest layer of hair (this layer protects the other layers).

When we talk about hydration, we are talking about the internal layers of the hair; while moisture applies to the outer layer of the hair.

So, how do you actually get hydration into the inner layers of hair? Think of this concept the same way you think of nourishing your physical body internally...what you put into your body plays the biggest role in achieving and maintaining optimal health (most personal trainers will tell you, diet is about 70% of the health battle, the remaining 30% is due to physical activity). That means the biggest factors for having well-hydrated hair are a healthy diet and adequate water intake .

Okay, so how do we optimize hair moisture? When the hair is wet, the hair cuticles open and nutrients and vitamins can get under the hair cuticles and be absorbed into the inner layers of the hair. This is where the 30% comes in - the quality (and pH) of hair products matter! A high-quality moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is absorbed below the level of the hair cuticle and Cortex to nourish the hair down to the deepest layers.

There is another critical step in maximizing hydration and moisture – sealing the hair shaft. Using a quality oil is essential for sealing hydration in the inner layers and moisturizing the outer layer of hair. Oil smoothes your hair cuticles (think of closing the curtains on your windows) and seals the hair to allow maximum nutrient absorption into the inner layers. You can't have one without the other... nourishing your hair internally without sealing the hair cuticles won't give you optimal hair health and vice versa.

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