9 Nourishing Natural Ingredients for Black Hair

Moisture is your hair's best friend.

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Natural hair loves natural ingredients, pure and simple. Because Black hair has texture and curl, it's more prone to dryness, frizz, and breakage. So, giving it plenty of tender loving care is absolutely essential. One thing Black hair definitely can't get enough of? Moisture. Here are 9 powerful ingredients to look for in hair care products—or to use straight out of the bottle or jar.

01 of 09


woman floating in water

Jernej Graj/Unsplash 

This is as basic as it gets, but water may go a long way in restoring hydration to Black hair. By nature, that's what H2O does, after all. If you avoid washing your hair frequently because you believe it's drying, know that water's not the culprit—blame the sulfates in shampoos. Hard water could also be an issue, as it may leave mineral deposits on hair, leading to dryness and brittleness. Though alkaline water isn't scientifically proven to be any more beneficial than tap water, it's an alternative to using hard water. Spritz your tresses with water for a moisture pick-me-up.

02 of 09

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin is a less obvious ingredient to look for in products, but it's a hero. As a humectant, it attracts and retains moisture; therefore, it works best in humid climates. Add this to water in a spray bottle for instant hydration.

03 of 09

Coconut Oil

coconut oil


AshaSathees Photography/Getty Images

Coconut oil in hair products is usually a good sign that your tresses are in for a treat. But pure, organic coconut oil works wonders straight from the jar, too. Harness it as a leave-in conditioner or as a hair mask. Warm a generous amount between your hands, and work it through from scalp to ends.

For deep conditioning, use extra coconut oil and leave it in for a couple of hours or overnight—the longer, the better. Then style as usual.

04 of 09

Shea Butter

woman with curly hair and hoop earrings

Justin Essah/Unsplash

Shea butter is another high performer in Black hair products, but you can also use it in its unrefined form. Pure shea butter is usually firm, but it melts easily and absorbs into dry hair well. It should be pale yellow and smooth; if it's gritty, white, dark yellow, or green, it's either too refined or possibly even rotten.

05 of 09

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is prized as a natural ingredient because its composition is similar to that of your scalp's natural oils. It's lightweight and won't weigh your hair down. Use it on its own, or mix a few drops into your conditioner or hair mask. 

06 of 09

Olive Oil

Olive oil is perfect for hot oil treatments and for mixing with rinse-out conditioners. Use sparingly, as it can feel heavy in your hair if used in excess.

07 of 09

Avocado Oil

avocado oil poured into bowl


Westend61/Getty Images

If you've ever used mashed avocado as a deep conditioning treatment, you're familiar with the potential moisturizing properties of this clean, green fruit. Rich in fatty acids, avo oil may help replenish moisture. Since it's on the heavier side, it's best for hair with coarse, denser textures.

08 of 09

Castor Oil

This astringent oil is claimed to help with cleansing and detoxifying the scalp. Use it once or twice a week, but only a little at a time. Jamaican Black Castor Oil (or JBCO), in particular, is believed by many to promote thicker hair growth.

09 of 09

Aloe Vera

More than a sunburn soother, aloe may help retain moisture. Add aloe vera gel or juice to DIY conditioning treatments.

These nourishing ingredients give your locks all the love. After all, healthy hair is good hair.

Article Sources
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  2. Luqman MW, Ramzan MH, Javaid U, Ali R, Shoaib M, Luqman MA. To evaluate and compare changes in baseline strength of hairs after treating them with deionized water and hard water and its role in hair breakageInt J Trichology. 2018;10(3):113-117. doi:10.4103/ijt.ijt_115_16

  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem compound summary for CID 753, glycerol. Updated February 14, 2022.

  4. Gad HA, Roberts A, Hamzi SH, et al. Jojoba oil: an updated comprehensive review on chemistry, pharmaceutical uses, and toxicityPolymers (Basel). 2021;13(11):1711. doi:10.3390/polym13111711

  5. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oilsInt J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070

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