What's the difference between hydrating and moisturising hair?

What's the difference between hydrating and moisturising hair? Er...nothing because they pretty much mean the same thing! People in the hair and beauty industry often use 'hydrating' and 'moisturising' interchangeably. Which isn't a lot of help when you just want your hair to feel healthy and soft, instead of dry and brittle.

Hydrating and moisturising is a massively important topic so we thought we'd untangle it for you. Basically, hydrated hair has the right amount of moisture in it  - it's as simple as that. The real issue is balancing the amount of moisture in your hair with protein content. Protein is where strength lies, making your hair manageable so your stylist can work their magic.

We’ve spent over a decade developing a deep knowledge and understanding so we can create unique products that prioritises your protein and moisture balance. As always, we want to help you achieve 'your best hair' which means giving it exactly what it needs.

A quick dip into water - and your hair

Our bodies are mostly water and, generally, we don't have to do too much to maintain the right levels. If we over-do it in the gym, we simply drink more water to stay hydrated. Thanks to the weather and ageing, our skin and hair both need a bit more attention. The extra damage we inflict on our hair, from colour and heat styling, means it needs even more help to stay healthy.

There's a tendency to equate 'healthy' hair with it looking shiny, and feeling soft and silky which is understandable! However, that's really just the 'surface' feeling, and there’s a big difference between the moisture level our hair needs and the sensation we want.

That's where all these hydrating and moisturising products come in. Both set out to do the same thing - enhance your hair's water content, or protect it from moisture loss - but in a slightly different way. And with varying degrees of success! Why? Protein. 

Think protein not just hydration

Healthy hair contains a low level of moisture, lipids and oils but is around 90% protein. Called keratin, this compound protein contains a number of important elements that deliver strength.

"If your hair is feeling dry and brittle, with split ends, you know it needs fixing," says KeraStraight founder, Jez Barnett. "It's totally natural to want to make your hair soft and silky because then it seems healthier.

"The danger lies in over-doing the moisture levels of your hair, making fine hair even weaker - a bit like pouring water on paper. When this happens hair feels heavy (just like water!) so it's just as unmanageable as dry hair.

"The answer lies in your protein and moisture balance because that's the only way to get strength with softness. Strong hair is flexible hair, so it's ready to take on whatever shape and style you've got in mind."

Not all products delivering shine, softness and luxury will be called hydrating and moisturising, so it’s a good idea to read their marketing blurb to see the benefits they promise. 

The secret to healthy hair: moisture and protein

Your aim is strong (hydrated) hair through the right balance of protein and moisture, then the fabulous look and feel will follow. The skill lies in knowing which products to use and when. This depends on the fabric of your hair and its current condition: is it fine but maybe a little weak? Or do you have heavy, thick hair, that perhaps is a bit coarse?

The treatment for one will not suit the other. Our emollient-based Moisture Enhance Conditioner and Moisture Mask are ideal for thicker hair, thanks to ingredients such as glycerine, betaine and carob bean extract. Meanwhile, the combination of natural proteins and humecants in our Rescue Crème, are perfect for finer hair.

Talk to your stylist - they're the best judge. Then, working together in the salon and at home between visits, you'll really experience how healthy hair comes from the right protein and moisture balance, rewarding you with the shiny, silkiness you seek.

Look after the fabric of your hair

Instead of 'What's the difference between hydrating and moisturising hair?' ask your stylist 'How do I get strong, healthy and manageable hair?'.

Right now it's bye-bye to summer and hello party season. Even more reason to get your hair in the best possible condition so you can do what you want with it - colour, straighten, curl - whatever it takes to make you happy.

We're all about balance and strength at KeraStraight which is why protein is at the heart of our products.

Book a KeraStraight consultation and treatment, and start your hair on the road to strength.