Natural hair care is an art. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to caring for the beautiful array of textured hair types. There are, however, some universal best practices to whip your hair into shape and maintain its health.
Of the many natural hair care products on shelves, hair oils are possibly one of the best tools for healthy scalps and happy hair. Outside the LOC method however, frequently using hair oils tends to get overlooked. No doubt you’ve used coconut oil before, by far the most popular hair oil for textured hair. If coconut oil hasn’t worked perfectly for your hair type you might have given up on hair oils or been skeptical about say olive oil hair benefits or using avocado oil for hair care.
It’s time to reconsider hair oils in your hair care regime. With dozens of different oil types and a multitude of benefits, hair oils deserve a place on your #shelfie.
What’s great about hair oils is how incredibly easy they are to use. You can use them on wet, dry or damp hair, and mix and match different formulas based on your hair needs. Whether you’re transitioning to natural styles, want to gain some inches, care for a dry scalp, or keep hair protected under wigs, there’s an oil out there for you.
With oils going more mainstream it can be confusing to know which ones are going to be best for your individual hair type. Not to worry, we’re breaking down every type of hair oil and how to choose the right one. Plus, some tips and tricks for the best ways to use oils and actually see results.
Why You Should Be Using Hair Oils
With numerous benefits and tons of different types, hair oil is a staple in our hair care routine. Hair oils have a multitude of benefits that help promote good hair and scalp health. Some of these benefits include increased shine, softness, and manageability, added hydration and locked in moisture, growth and length retention, soothed scalps, and replenished hair.
Another great thing about hair oils? They are extremely versatile and can be used as a pre-shampoo, deep conditioner, sealing agent, curling cream, and more. Plus, they feel great on your hair. Use an oil to give yourself a relaxing scalp massage that also stimulates hair growth and relives a dry, itchy scalp.
Despite popular belief, when using a quality oil formula your hair won’t feel heavy or weighed down. Instead, it will almost instantly feel hydrated and healthy.
Sealing Oils vs Moisturizing Oils
Typically all hair oils will fall into one of these two categories. Sealing oils do exactly that, they coat strands to lock in moisture and maintain styles. Popular sealing oils include: Black Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Grapeseed Oil.
Moisturizing oils on the other hand have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and provide a hearty dose of moisture from the inside out. Unlike sealing oils, they can be applied directly to the scalp. Popular moisturizing oils include: Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil.
How To Properly Use Hair Oils
You might talk to some people who are adamantly against using oils on their hair, usually because they’ve had poor experiences in the past. The number one reason people don’t think hair oils work for them is improper use.
Slathering on some oil to your strands might seem like the easiest way to receive its benefits however, there are much more effective ways to enjoy the benefits of using hair oil.
There are few ways to use hair oil properly. The first is to massage the oil directly into your scalp and/or hair strands. This stimulates blood circulation which promotes hair growth while gently massaging a few drops of oil into strands will add extra shine and softness. The second way to use hair oil is when they’re formulated with other ingredients. For example, our Black Castor Miracle collection utilizes the growth benefits of black castor oil with other good-for-you natural ingredients. Instead of figuring out how much oil to use, simply apply conditioner, cream, and sprays to hair and reap the benefits.
Choosing The Right Oil For Your Hair
When it comes to any natural hair care products, your unique hair texture and type will determine which formula is best for your hair. When it comes to oils, hair texture certainly plays a part in that choice but choosing the right oil comes down to your hair goals.
Coily, type 4 girls will likely opt for more moisturizing oils as coils tend to dry out much more than type 3 or type 4 hair. However, all these hair oils will provide a certain level of moisture and shine.
A better way to choose the right oil for your hair is to consider what benefits you want out of it. Do you need lots of moisture? Shine? Do you want to kickstart hair growth or prevent future hair damage and breakage?
The easiest way to pick the right oil is to start backwards. Think about the ultimate end result you’d like to see in your hair and choose the oil that will help deliver that. We’ve made this selection process even easier. Below we’ve broken down every kind of hair oil, what they do and how they work.
You want: Smooth strands, repair for damaged hair.
How it works: Extracted from the kernels of Argan fruit, Argan oil fights frizz and adds a boost of shine to dry, tangled, or damaged natural hair. Argan oil contains natural antioxidants and Vitamin E which makes it great at restoring and renewing damage caused by chemicals, heat, or over styling.
You want: Effective sealant, hair protection, and overall healthy hair.
How it works: Rich in fats, nutrients, vitamin A, B, D, E, and packed with protein like amino acids, iron, copper, and folic acid this oil is ideal for getting healthier hair. These vitamins and nutrients promote healthy hair growth and a healthy scalp while the fatty acids and emollient properties help to make hair feel soft and shiny.
Try it in our Hair Growth Oil.
You want: Damage repair, dry scalp help.
How it works: Derived from the seeds of the fruits of baobab trees, this oil is known for its moisturizing qualities, and high vitamin content. Packed with vitamin A, D, E, and F, and omega-3 fatty acids, Baobab oil is not only moisturizing, but helps repair damaged skin cells. It absorbs easily into hair and skin without a greasy residue or overwhelming scent.
Try it in our African Pride Leave-In Cream.
Black Castor Oil
You want: Growth baby!
How it works: Castor oil comes from the seeds of the tropical Ricinus communis called castor beans. The beans are harvested and pressed, sometimes with chemicals depending on the manufacturer, creating a thick oil rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids. These fatty acids help stimulate circulation in the scalp which leads to increased hair growth. Castor oil is also an effective humectant, as it moisturizes and conditions naturally. It locks in moisture and shields strands from dust and dry air, making it ideal for keeping your wash-and-go hair hydrated in warm temperatures.
Try our entire Black Castor Miracle collection.
You want: Deep conditioning and hair repair.
How it works: Coconut oil is a standout because of its ability to protect the hair and reduce protein loss. The fats that make up Coconut oil are mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid which gives coconut oil the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, allowing its many nutrients to be easily absorbed into the hair. It moisturizes, adds shine, encourages growth, and its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties are incredibly nourishing, especially for drier scalps and tighter hair textures. The unique structure of coconut oil allows it to deeply penetrate hair strands, allowing intense moisture to hydrate curls and coils better than most other oils.
You want: Less inflammation and shine.
How it works: Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acids, and nutrients like Vitamin E, Flaxseed oil helps promote a healthy scalp, adds shine, and nourishes dry, brittle strands. Omega-3 fats nourish hair follicles and encourage growth plus they help prevent inflammation which leads to hair loss, dandruff, and itchy scalps.
You want: Moisturizing, strengthening, and dandruff help.
How it works: This under the radar lightweight oil is perfect for those with thinner hair that want a weightless feel. Extracted from the seeds of grapes, this oil contains powerful antioxidants and a compound known as OPC which is shown to have potent antioxidants that have deep moisturizing properties and help prevent premature aging. With a silky feel, this oil provides shine, softness, and moisture. Plus, dandruff sufferers may find relief from regular grapeseed oil scalp massages.
Try it in our African Pride 5 Essential Oils.
You want: Hair growth, soft strands.
How it works: Derived from the bean seed of the Jojoba plant, this multipurpose oil has antibacterial properties which have the power to promote new cell growth (leading to increased hair growth) and detox and fight scalp inflammation and infections. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, jojoba oil also regulates sebum production which ensures scalps and strands are nourished and hydrated.
Try it in our Leave-In Moisture Butter.
Sweet Almond Oil
You want: Stronger hair, nourishing sealant.
How it works: Containing high levels of protein, and vitamin A, B, D and E, this lightweight oil helps bring dry, dull, damaged, or lackluster hair back to life. Sweet Almond Oil however, can do so much more including: softening strands, stimulating hair growth, and soothing an itchy scalp. Plus, it works great as a light sealant, whether you use it only for dry ends or as part of the LOC method.
Try it in our African Pride Leave-In Conditioner.
You want: Moisture retention and shine.
How it works: Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean. It’s full of good fatty acids, manganese, and vitamins plus, the lipids in the oil helps hair treatments to absorb better into your hair. Overall this oil is best for improving moisture retention and shine.
Try it in our Hair and Scalp Sealing Oil.
Tea Tree Oil
You want: To relieve a sensitive scalp.
How it works: Discovered in Australia long ago, indigious peoples realized its many benefits and began using the oil as an antiseptic to heal injuries and infections. Gentle enough not to irritate sensitive skin yet strong enough to treat itchiness or psoriasis, tea tree leaves hair moisturized, refreshed, and soothed. Its antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties also help treat dandruff and dry scalps.
You want: Hydration, sealed in moisture.
How it works: This common kitchen staple originated in ancient Egypt who discovered the power it possessed in beauty and hair care. Rich in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin E, and fatty acids, Extra Virgin Olive Oil nourishes dry scalps, seals in moisture, and helps prevent breakage.
Try it in our entire Olive Miracle collection.