One of the best benefits oil can give your hair is locking in moisture. When you seal your hair with a top-notch nourishing oil, it traps all the moisturizing benefits of your previous hair care products in your hair fibers, so they can absorb all those nutrients better.
But not all hair oils are made equal when it comes to locking in all the hydration your tresses need. Some oils are designed for strengthening, others for shine. It’s rare that you find an oil meant only for locking in moisture, so you can go on quite a scavenger hunt just to find the best ones to do the job.
To help you out, I’ve put together a list of my favorite hair oils that help lock in hydration and moisture for soft, conditioned, silky locks.
- 1 Our top picks: The best of the best
- 1.1 OGX Nourishing + Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil – Best for Overall
- 1.2 Now Solutions Organic Jojoba Oil – Best Clean, Organic Option
- 1.3 SheaMoisture 100% Pure Argan Oil – Best for Extra Smoothness
- 1.4 Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Oil – Best for Super Curly Hair
- 1.5 Sun Bum Coconut Argan Oil – Best for Heat Protection
- 2 Three things to consider when buying
- 3 FAQs:
- 4 Conclusion
Our top picks: The best of the best
The best oil for locking in moisture has to be emollient and nourishing to add even more hydration. They should also feel smooth and silky, since they usually close your styling routine.
That said, here are two of my all-time favorite oils for locking in moisture in my hair:
OGX Nourishing + Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil – Best for Overall
Summary box: This hydrating coconut oil must by OGX is an excellent hair oil overall. It helps strengthen, moisturize, and defrizz hair while sealing in all the yummy hydration in your strands—what more can you ask for?
Review: Coconut oil is usually heavy, but OGX has found a way to deliver lightweight hydration to fine hair while locking in the moisture it needs to stay soft and silky.
It comes out in a mist, so it’s very lightweight and doesn’t suffocate your hair strands with anything too greasy.
With bamboo extracts, this oil softens and adds a glossy shine to your hair for a fabulous finish. The formula also helps smooth down any frizz and flyaways for a sleek look.
But my favorite part about this oil is that it leaves your hair smelling like a tropical paradise, thanks to its sweet and fresh coconut fragrance.
Hair content creator BLISS on YouTube recommends this moisturizing oil for women sporting protective styles, like braids. “I have been utilizing it in my braids to keep [them] look fresh and tight,” she says.
- Smoothens your strands to tame frizz
- Coconut oil and bamboo extracts soften and add shine to the hair
- Comes in a mist form, so it’s very lightweight
- Affordable and can be found in your nearest drugstore
- Smells like sweet and fresh coconut
- Can sit on top of your hair without absorbing if too much is used
Why buy this? You need an oil mist like this if you have fine, low-density hair but need extra help locking in moisture. It’s rich and nourishing, but not so creamy that it will weigh your delicate hair down.
Now Solutions Organic Jojoba Oil – Best Clean, Organic Option
Summary box: Organic jojoba oil is excellent for moisturizing your hair because it has a very similar chemical composition as the sebum your body produced, making it the most natural moisture-locker out there. The best part is it won’t irritate your scalp and hair because it’s clean and organic!
Review: This unrefined jojoba oil is perfect if you want a more natural option at your fingertips. It’s 100% pure, so you don’t need to worry about unnecessary dyes and surfactants.
Jojoba oil is known to mimic the chemical structure of the natural oils in our hair, making it the perfect sealant for your hair care routine if you want to go as natural and organic as possible.
It sits on your hair like your natural sebum does, doing an excellent job at locking in moisture.
- 100% pure and unrefined with no harsh chemicals
- Sits on your hair to seal all the hydration in
- Doesn’t leave your scalp greasy
- Mimics the chemical make-up of natural sebum
- Has no fragrance to leave in your hair
Why buy this? If you have a sensitive scalp or want to go as clean and as organic as possible with your hair regimen, this pure jojoba oil by Now Solutions is the moisture-locking oil for you. It doesn’t have any irritating ingredients, so all you’ll get are its highly moisturizing benefits.
The runners-up: Three more products you’ll love
Like I said, there are tons of hair oil options for locking in moisturizing goodness in your strands. While the two I just mentioned are my all-time favorites, I enjoy many others too—ones that I trust will be of help in your regimen as well.
Here are a few of the best ones I’ve tried:
SheaMoisture 100% Pure Argan Oil – Best for Extra Smoothness
Summary box: This SheaMoisture argan oil is rich in hair-strengthening nutrients like vitamin E and antioxidants that seal all the hydration into your strands pronto. It’s the gold standard in smoothing down and adding shine and bounce to dull, lifeless hair.
Review: Argan oil is also known as “liquid gold” in the beauty industry, and for a good reason! This oil by SheaMoisture is terrific at absorbing quickly into your strands to lock in all that good hydration right away for smooth, soft hair all day long.
It’s also rich in nutrients that strengthen and add bounce and elasticity to your hair, such as vitamin E, fatty acids, and antioxidants to fight free radical damage. These ingredients also make it a fabulous facial moisturizer while it’s at it!
Even content creator Michele Lewter raves about how moisturizing this hair is. “I really like this! I use this as an oil when I’m doing my LOC method, and it helps my hair feel smooth and shiny.” she gushes as she shows off her near-empty bottle of this SheaMoisture oil.
- Absorbs quickly into the hair to lock in hydration
- Its fatty acids and antioxidants give the hair extra protection
- Has vitamin E to add shine and elasticity to the hair
- Can also be used as a moisturizer for your skin
- Doesn’t contain fillers like mineral oils or petrolatum
- Has a strong earthy, nutty smell that can be overwhelming
Why buy this? If you want to save money and purchase a hair sealant and moisturizer in one, this SheaMoisture argan oil is the one for you. It’s excellent for keeping your hair smooth and frizz-free, but your skin can benefit a lot from it too!
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Oil – Best for Super Curly Hair
Summary box: This Carol’s Daughter hair oil has a combo of rich oils like corn oil and hydration extracts from chamomile, safflower, and calendula to hydrate and moisturize curls deeply. It’s a must for coarse, curly-haired ladies who want gorgeous definition.
Review: If you have curly hair, you know that your strands need extra moisturizing goodness to keep your strands hydrated and bouncy. This oil by Carol’s Daughter is designed especially for super curly locks.
It’s made with rich corn oil to nourish coarse and rough curls deeply, bringing out your natural curl patten. This oil helps keep your curl definition solid for longer, so you aren’t stuck with frizzy, poofy hair. It also has other hydrating, soothing oils like safflower, chamomile, and calendula oils.
Because this oil softens your curls, they become easy to manage when you start styling them. It’s a terrific oil not just to lock in moisture, but also for adding shine and softness to your tresses.
- Corn oil moisturizes thick, coarse hair deeply
- Softens your hair to make it more manageable during styling
- Has tons of soothing oils like safflower and chamomile
- Keeps your curls uber-defined
- Doesn’t contain silicones and parabens
- Can be too heavy for fine, straight hair
Why buy this? If you have coarse and curly 4C hair, you need a nourishing oil like this one by Carol’s Daughter to maintain definition and the right moisture levels in your tresses.
Sun Bum Coconut Argan Oil – Best for Heat Protection
Summary box: Protect your hair from heat damage while smoothing down your locks and sealing in all the healthy hydration it needs. This hair oil by Sun Bum is rich in a plethora of moisturizing oils like coconut, argan, sweet almond, and sunflower oils to lock in all that hair-loving moisture in your strands.
Review: This ultra-nourishing yet lightweight oil has a combo of some of the best moisture-locking oils out there, from coconut to argan oil. It’s incredible at fortifying and strengthening your hair, keeping split ends and breakage at bay.
Even if there are tons of oils in its formula, this oil is exceptionally lightweight and never leaves your hair greasy. That means your hair will still have a lot of volume and bounce after using it.
The best part about this oil is that it protects against the UV rays of the sun. It’s perfect for when you’re about to go outdoors or travel to a beachy city.
- Coconut, sweet almond, and argan oils nourish the hair
- Prevents split ends and breakage
- Lightweight and never leaves your hair greasy
- You only need 1-3 pumps to cover all your tresses
- Protects your hair from UV ray damage from the sun
- Doesn’t lock out humidity, which causes frizz
Why buy this? If you love going to the beach but hate how dry your hair becomes under the sun, you need this heat-protecting oil. It keeps your hair hydrated and silky even when you’re on vacation!
Three things to consider when buying
There are more hair oil options than the ones I listed above. So if you want to find your own favorite oil, take note of these factors before purchasing one:
Nourishing enough to add extra moisture
While the whole point of your oil is to lock in hydration to keep your hair conditioned, there’s nothing wrong with going for an oil that adds even more moisture to your hair. This helps soften your strands and add elasticity for a gorgeous bounce.
Smoothes down frizzy, unruly strands
A tell-tale sign of a high-quality hair oil for any purpose is that it can smooth down flyaways and frizz. Get an oil that can help tame your unruly hair, so that you can enjoy smooth, moisturized, frizz-free locks all day long.
Doesn’t leave your hair and scalp feeling oily
For many people, oil equals grease. But that’s not always the case.
If you go for lightweight oils like argan, jojoba, and grape seed oils, you’ll never have to worry about that icky, greasy feeling crawling up your hair and scalp. Instead, these oils will be absorbed by your hair strands and immediately lock in moisture.
Why do you need to lock in moisture with an oil?
When you dampen and hydrate your hair with a leave-in or serum, it may feel like your hair is soft and silky for a while. But when this moisture evaporates in the air, your hair will feel dry again.
It’s important to use an oil at the end of your routine to lock in all that good moisture so that it keeps your hair soft and conditioned for as long as possible without escaping your hair strand and evaporating.
What oils are too heavy for fine hair?
Super heavy oils like coconut and olive oils aren’t always the best to apply onto fine, delicate hair because they can be super heavy. They might weigh down your locks, giving you little to no volume.
What other ingredients help lock in moisture in the hair?
Aside from emollient oils, silicones can help lock in moisture in your hair. They create a protective barrier around your cuticle, smoothing it down and sealing all the hydration within it.
Some people may be afraid of silicones, but it’s actually a terrific ingredient for locking in moisture with an oil.
Is it okay to use hair oil everyday?
It’s totally safe to moisturize your locks everyday with oil, especially if you refresh your hair with leave-in conditioner daily. However, be sure to shampoo as soon as your hair feels greasy and heavy.
Using a clarifying shampoo once a month will also help eliminate the potential build-up from your daily oils.
And there you have it—the best oils for locking in moisture in your dry hair.
Hair oil may seem a bit boring compared to other, more innovative hair products like serums and curling creams, but when it comes to sealing and locking in all that gorgeously moisturizing ingredients, it’s the best out there.
Don’t sleep on this important hair regimen step, or else your hair will release all the hydration you were trying to feed it, leaving you with rough and dry strands.
Hair oil will be a gamechanger for your moisture levels, and any of the products listed above will be excellent for keeping your hair quenched.