Oils are the holy grail of products. They work seamlessly as part of the LOC (liqud, oil, cream) method. You MUST add [insert oil of your choice] into your regimen.
A little side note natural oils are great for your hair. You don’t have to use all 10 to reap the benefits. Choose according to what’s available in your area and your budget.
When I first went natural, I was inundated with information about natural oils. With properties such as fatty acids and emollients, oils are extolled; but with so many types it is difficult to tell them apart. To save you from the confusion, here is your cheat sheet:
Grapeseed oil is a light, non-greasy oil with a consistency similar to jojoba oil. It is rich in Vitamin E and linoleic acid, which strenghens hair follicles. Another use is the reduction of dandruff and dermatitis. It has a high smoke point of 400-450 degrees, so some naturals use it as a heat protectant. (It is important to note that heat protectants are designed to “protect” the hair, while grapeseed oil is not.) Because it is odorless, it is also great for mixing in hair concoctions. Available at your local grocery store.
Jojoba oil is the most similar to natural hair sebum. It is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, and E. Because it is similar to natural hair sebum, it does not interfere with the scalp’s natural balance. Thus, it can be used to treat issues with dandruf — especially due to its antibacterial properties. The high fat content helps to strengthen hair follicles.
Buy: Jojoba Oil
Olive oil is a penetrative oil that has a heavier consistency that is heavier than both grapesed and jojoba oil. It is rich with fatty acids that coat the hair shaft, thus making it a great sealant. It is most often used to help with dandruff, frizz, shine, and sealing hair.
Coconut oil is a penetrative oil rich in Vitamin E and Lauric Acid that have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft. Coconut oil is known to reduce frizz, impart shine, and reduce damage during the wash process (if used as a pre-poo).
Buy: Coconut Oil
Avocado oil is a light, penetrative oil high in monosaturated fatty acids. (It’s fatty acid content similar to olive oil; only jojoba oil has a higher fat content.)It is also rich in Lecithin, Vitamins A, D, E, B6, and Amino Acids. Rich in nutrients, it has the ability to nourish and protect hair.
Buy: Avocado Oil
(Sweet) Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil has a slightly heavier density. It is comprised of saturated and monosaturated fats. Because of its density, it is great for sealing and protecting the hair. It is especially beneficial on dry, damaged ends.
Buy: Sweet Almond Oil
Castor oil is a dense oil with a unique composition of a triglyceride of fatty acids with riconleic acid. The most common uses for castor oil are for both ends of the hair. At the scalp, it is known to improve scalp circulation and help regrow [healthier] hair. It also a heavy sealant for ends to prevent breakage and split ends.
Buy: Castor Oil
Safflower Oil is a monosaturated oil comprised of Oleic acid Polyunsaturated oil. It is high in omega- 6 fatty acids. Because of its small molecules, it is able to penetrate the scalp and hair. Its molecular size and fatty content makes it an excellent choice for nourishing your scalp and hair. Available at your local grocery store.
Sunflower oils is a light oil comprised of gamma linolenic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Because of its emollient properties, it has the ability to condition and soften the hair. Thus, preventing breakage. It is important to note that it cannot penetrate the hair like coconut and avocado oil. Available at your local grocery store.
Canola Oil is an inexpensive oil comprised of monounsaturated fats. It is has been praised as a great hot oil treatment to reduce frizz and breakage. If you are looking for a cheap oil to add to your arsenal, then consider canola. Available at your local grocery store.
Have you tried any of these oils? Which is your favorite and why?