5 Types of Moisturizers for Locs

What is the best moisturizer for locs?

This is a question I get really often because our locs need moisture. Did you know that when your locs are properly moisturized your roots will stay neater for longer (i.e – less frizz and unraveling) and your locs will feel softer? It really is a great feeling, literally and emotionally, when your hair is hydrated! So, I am happy to share with you the many options you have when selecting the best moisturizer for your locs! When you are aware of the different types of moisturizers you can give your locs what they need to thrive. There is such a thing as a “bad” moisturizer, which would be a moisturizer that does not benefit your locs. To help you identify what type(s) of moisturizers you need, let’s breakdown the 5 different types of moisturizers for locs.

Before we get into the different types of moisturizers let’s be sure we are on the same page with what a moisturizer is. Oil is not a moisturizer. I speak about this often, but I feel it is especially important to highlight this before we move forward. Oil does not moisturize. Moisture comes from water. Therefore, all of the moisturizers that I will be sharing are water-based.

Now, let’s get to the juicy stuff!

5 Types of Moisturizer for Locs

The 5 different types of moisturizers for locs are herbal, astringent, cleansing, refreshing, and conditioning— listed in no particular order. As I explain the purpose of each moisturizer, I will also share a product recommendation and/or example of that type of moisturizer. For the full list of moisturizers for locs, download the “Cultivate Hydration” Moisturizer Guide.

Cleansing Moisturizer. A cleansing moisturizer simultaneously removes excess sweat, oils, and/or buildup while balancing the scalp. Cleansing moisturizers are often effective and necessary at all stages of the locking process, especially if you want to extend the time between washes. The Noggin Oil “Wash” is an example of a cleansing moisturizer that I have shared before in the “Noggin Oil Product Review” post.

Herbal Moisturizer. An herbal moisturizer is formulated to hydrate and strengthen the hair and scalp. The strength in an herbal moisturizer comes from the power of herbs and, optionally, infusing essential oils into the mixture. Rosewater is a common herbal moisturizer that many people use on a regular basis. One of my favorite rosewater-based herbal moisturizers is the “Moisture Infusion“.

Astringent Moisturizer. An astringent moisturizer is used to calm or soothe the scalp. Astringent moisturizers for locs are typically very lightweight with a base of witch hazel. An astringent moisturizer is my go-to whenever my scalp is itching; and it is a must after every workout.


RELATED ARTICLE: How to Relieve Itchy Scalp After Working Out

Conditioning Moisturizer. A conditioning moisturizer is designed to soften the hair and add shine. Usually, conditioning moisturizers are water-based with the addition of carrier oils, proteins, and/or humectants. For color-treated hair or locs that have been bleached I highly recommend using a conditioning moisturizer at least 1-2 times per week.

Refreshing Moisturizer. A refreshing moisturizer is very gentle and is particularly beneficial for starter locs. Refreshing moisturizers are created using the properties of essential oils. This moisturizer can be used everyday and helps to “wake up” the hair.


Altogether, maintaining the moisture in your locs is essential to preventing dryness, breakage, and thinning. When your hair is hydrated it feels really good— no scratchy hairs on your neck and your locs are soft to the touch. Can you imagine having healthy locs that always feel and look good? That should be your normal. So when you are choosing the best moisturizer for your locs, make sure your choosing what your hair needs. Be sure to read the product labels so you know what is in the moisturizer that you’re selecting or download the “Cultivate Hydration” Moisturizer Guide for a list of my favorite moisturizers for locs!

Leave me a comment and share your favorite moisturizer(s) or what you’re currently using to moisturize your locs!

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

I started my loc journey in march 2020. Is it true I should not spritz my hair with water or rosewater. Some tells me it’s ok, and some say no water right know cause it will unravel. I do put oil to my scalp every 3 to 4 days. Just need advice.
Also could I mix my oils with water or rosewater.


Welcome to the journey! That is false. Water is your friend, especially during the locking process. Water causes the hair to tangle and create locs! Unraveling can happen within the first 3-6 months. If any of your starter locs come undone, just put them back in.
Generally, I advise people not to mix oil and water together because they don’t mix and you can’t guarantee which is penetrating the hair. Keep it separate and keep it simple.

I had sisterlocks for 2 years as of February. Due to the pandemic I decided to 2 strand twist my hair and start a new lock journey since I combined them. I have had my hair like this for 2 months and haven’t retwisted my hair hair yet. I shampoo 2xs a month. My hair has grown away from the twists as well, and it is very unruly. I’m waiting for my tool tomorrow so I can speed up the locking process so I can clean it up (make my hair look neat with retwist).. what do I need to use to retwist my hair. I would like to use alone vera any suggestions. Thank you.

Wow! You birthed a whole new set of locs in quarantine— congratulations! I would suggest checking out this article “7 Products for Retwisting Locs” for suggestions for products to use with retwisting locs!

I just got my starter locs last week. My loctician told me not to wet my hair and come back to her in 6 weeks for a retightening and wash. I am reading and have been told I can set my hair and I should wash it sooner. Seeking advice.

Unless your locs are under 3 inches in length, you can (and should) definitely wash your locs at home prior to 6 weeks! Additionally, water is your friend with the locking process. Sounds like your Loctician may follow some of the “older” methods for loc cultivation. I have a more “new school” approach on the holistic hair locking philosophy.

Hi, i am starting locs, I’m doing myself. I’ve done my husband and sons, their locs are beautiful! Okay.. now I want to do my hair, My hair is natural, yet I wear it very straight. I twist my hair three days ago, on the ends my hair is thin and straight. My hair type is 2b, my husband saids be patient and that my hair will lock(All hair can lock). I was told my hair is to straight.. And I was advised to Spritz my hair with sea salt water, to not use gels, etc.. I need your opinion.. and advice. Help….

I agree, the curl pattern of your hair would probably not do well with gel and like your husband said, all textures can loc. Although with your curl pattern you may need additional support via your grooming method or with a product like a sea salt mixture that will “roughen” your hair texture. I am open to scheduling a virtual consultation with you if you need more guidance. You can book a session by clicking here.

I have freeform locs. There still sticking up. I work at a job where i’m in the sun alot & it makes them brittle sometimes. What is the best natural moisturizer. Also the best oil to use while freeforming. Finally i purchased a satten pillow case. So i fell back on the du rag @ night. Was that the smartest move?

I share my favorite moisturizers in the in “Cultivate Hydration” guide and you can see a list of my favorite oils in this article “Top 5 Oils for Locs“. As far as the pillow case move, I am not a fan but it is better than nothing. I hope that helps!

I recently put my hair in finger coiled twist hoping to restart my locs. Years ago I used a wax but I want to start with something more natural. What would you recommend I do or use while waiting as far as keeping my hair refreshed and moisturized?

Hi. I started my locs on monday My hair is quite curly(type3). My locs are quite hard due to the twist and loc product. What can i do. Can i spray it with water.


Greetings Jocelyn, due to the financial hit due to Covid, I no longer can afford the $100 outlay to see my loctician. I also recently learned that oils are not really the friend of the Melanated scalp. So what are the two best moisturizers for the Melanated hair & scalp? Not just the two best, but also the two cheapest, as food and not hair is my priority in preparing for the worst. Thanks.

Very interesting I’m wanting to get lots but some say my hair is thinning when you get a older and having and hair last in 2 spots could you tell me if I still can get lots are it’s not worth it now and who is the professional that i can go to if i can get locs to start the process need help

Hi Edna, I would not recommend locs if your hair is thinning and you do not know why. Check out this article Next Steps for Thinning Locs

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