Sometimes we use hydration and moisture interchangeably. But are they the same? The answer is no. It can get confusing because the effects on our hair and skin can sometimes be very similar. So, today we are talking about hydration vs moisture; what’s the difference?
I get it, it gets confusing sometimes. But I am going to try my best to break it down a little for all of us. I can admit that sometimes I find myself using both hydration and moisture interchangeably. But if we want to see improvement in our hair and skin, we need to figure out the difference between them.
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What’s the Difference Between Hydration & Moisture?
To help yourself remember the difference between the two, think of it like this. Hydration has to do with water or lack of it, dehydration. Moisture has to do with our natural body’s production of oil. When you are lacking either naturally or you have damaged your hair or skin you need to replenish the oil back. So, hydration equals replenishing “water” and moisturizing replenishing “oil”. But how can you tell which your hair or skin needs? I am going to help with that!
Does My Hair Need Hydration or Moisture?
Our hair has many layers to it. Hydration involves the inner part of our hair, the medulla, and the cortex. These layers hold the water and if it is lacking your hair can appear dull and dry. The outer layer of the hair, the cuticle helps to seal the hair. This is where the moisture comes into play, the cuticle helps to regulate the water in the inner part of the hair by sealing it with oil to help it from evaporating. When our body can’t produce enough by itself, or we damage our hair we need to help replenish it.
Signs Your Hair is Lacking Hydration
- Hair feels dry & brittle
- Hair won’t grow & breaks off easy
- It’s difficult to style & won’t hold a style
- Feels like your products aren’t working even after shampoo & conditioner
- Hair is porous
Signs Your Hair is Lacking Moisture
- Hair strands feel dry, brittle, and rough
- Your hair lacks shine & looks dull
- Hair tangles easy
- Generally thicker hair needs more moisture than thinner hair
- Do a stretch test
Does My Skin Need Hydration or Moisture?
When it comes to our skin it has the same concept as our hair regarding hydration vs moisture. Dehydrated skin lacks water and skin that needs moisture needs oil to be replenished. Our skin also naturally produces and regulates both of these but multiple factors can affect it. Age, chemical damage, environmental damage, you name it! I did a blog post a while ago, 3 Ways Aging Affects Our Skin. You can read that here. As we age our body doesn’t produce as much oil so our skin can look dry, thins, and develop wrinkles. We need to replenish that back.
Dehydrated skin is generally a temporary problem while dry skin (lacking moisture) is a skin condition. It can also be possible to suffer from both at the same time, but you can relieve dehydrated skin much faster than dry skin. All skin types can suffer from both dehydration and lack of moisture.
Signs My Skin is Lacking Hydration
- Skin dullness
- Signs of permature aging, wrinkles, and fine lines
- Loss of elasticity
- Dark circles, “tired eyes”
Signs My Skin is Lacking Moisture
- Scaly appearance
- Redness and/or irritation
- Increased incidence of psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis
So, Now What?
So now you know what to look for in your hair and skin to know whether you might be struggling with dehydration or lack of moisture. What do you do about it? The first thing to do if you think you are struggling with a skin condition is to consult your dermatologist. After that, you can try a few things!
A few tips to try!
- Stay hydrated – That’s right! It is a running theme here, but it is so important to drink your water daily. It is also important to drink throughout the day so that your body has the chance to absorb the water. This is one way to see immediate results if you are struggling with dehydration issues.
- Hair Care Products – Products matter. Addressing the correct issue will make a huge impact on your results. If you are using a weekly masque and your hair needs moisture but are using a hydration masque it is not going to help.
- Skin Care Products – Again, products matter. Addressing the correct issue will help with the problem you are having. If you struggle with both hydration and lack of moisture in your skin find a good product to add hydration and a product with moisture. The moisturizer will help to seal your skin to keep water inside your skin cells.
- Wear sunscreen – Wearing daily sunscreen will help your skin from being damaged. Sun damage can be very dry to our skin and lead to premature aging.
- Turn down the temperature of your water – Using hot water while bathing can have a very drying effect on both our hair and skin. Using warm water instead can help to improve the condition of both your hair and skin.
Did I help to clear up hydration vs moisture for you? Hopefully, this helps with knowing the difference between the two. It can be challenging because they are so similar. Please share any tips below on how you fight either dehydration or lack of moisture. Also, share any of your favorite products!