Natural oils help to protect, hydrate and moisturize natural hair. Here is a rundown of oils for natural hair and their benefits! 🤗
Oils Help Protect Natural Hair from Damage 🛡️
Oils help protect natural hair from damage and are key to fighting hygral fatigue – the repeated swelling and contracting of hair – which occurs when a hair cuticle swells as it absorbs water and later contracts as it dries. This constant swelling and contracting can weaken hair strands over time, leading to breakage. Oils can reduce the amount of swelling and help prevent breakage. Some common ways to use oils include as an oil rinse, pre-wash treatment, moisture boost to shampoo or conditioners, and as a sealant.
Natural Oils That Help To Moisturize the Hair 💦
With the highest level of MUFA, or monounsaturated fatty acids, of all the plant oils, extra virgin Olive Oil is accessible and cost-effective! The high level of MUFA in olive oil increases its ability to penetrate the hair, making it a great ingredient for DIY hair treatments, including hot oil treatments, enhanced conditioners and moisturizers to treat dry scalp. Extra virgin olive oil consists mainly of oleic acid, with smaller quantities of other fatty acids such as linoleic acid and palmitic acid, helping to maintain a healthy scalp and limit water loss from the hair.
Olive oil also is less likely than other oils to cause an allergic reaction, which is great for those with sensitive skin! When creating a hot-oil treatment, make sure to warm the oil slowly. Apply the oil from ends to roots, cover hair with a plastic cap, and let the oil do its thing!
Here’s an excellent, simple DIY hot oil treatment
Mixing oils is totally okay when creating a hot oil treatment!
Rich in vitamins A, C, D and E, and chock full of fatty acids, Avocado Oil is like no other oil for natural hair. If you follow the LOC (Liquid/ Oil/ Cream) or LCO (Liquid/ Cream/ Oil) method, avocado oil is the perfect “O” in these three-step application techniques. Avocado oil is light enough to reach the hair cortex but won’t create a barrier against the cream’s ability to provide the extra hydration natural hair craves. Avocado oil can also help reduce hair breakage. Adding a little oil to the ends of natural hair before undoing a braid-out or twist-out can provide a bit of lubrication without weighing down the style.
Similar to the LOC method, but done in the shower, an oil rinse with avocado oil can help lock in moisture during the washing and conditioning process. Using avocado oil during an oil rinse can also reduce those dreaded single-strand knots by tackling dry ends before knots form.
Coconut oil is high in antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, and research has shown that it can help reduce protein loss in natural hair because of its ability to penetrate inside the hair shaft in ways that other oils cannot. This penetrating ability makes coconut oil useful as a prewash or post-wash product. The coconut oil you select should be organic, virgin coconut oil.
Listen to your hair – an allergic reaction to an oil can occur at any time, even if you have never had one in the past. Check out this Essence article on @Naptural85’s reaction to coconut oil after several years of use.
Here is why @Naptural85 stopped using coconut oil in her hair care routine
Natural Oils That Seal the Hair
Healthy natural hair starts with a healthy scalp, and Jojoba Oil helps support a healthy scalp by balancing the pH of the scalp! Jojoba oil has the ability to mimic natural oil or sebum from the scalp. While not as cost effective as other oils discussed, Jojoba oil has a long shelf life and also can be used for a scalp massage to stimulate hair growth, especially at the temples. If your hair tends to frizz in humid conditions, a little jojoba oil mixed into your conditioner can help.
Castor Oil, produced from castor beans, is one of thickest and heaviest of all the plant oils, making it ideal for sealing natural hair. The strong scent and “sticky” feel that some say the oil leaves behind – particularly from Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO), a raw, unrefined form of castor oil – can be minimized by using less oil and applying it to wet hair or directly after using a water-based moisturizer. Because of its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, castor oil may also boost hair growth.
Grapeseed Oil is lightweight, non-greasy and absorbs well into the hair! During the winter months and in colder temperatures, this odorless oil won’t leave a film on natural hair like others can. It also has great antiseptic properties that can help improve scalp health!
Argan Oil, specifically Moroccan argan oil, has become a popular ingredient in natural hair care. The oil is rich in antioxidants like tocopherols and polyphenols. When applied to natural hair, it can boost cell production, resulting in healthier hair. Add a little argan oil to your leave-in or deep conditioner to help promote shine and create a soft feel for natural hair.
When purchasing this oil, remember you get what you pay for. Argan oil should contain just one ingredient – 100 percent argan oil – and should be packaged in an amber or dark colored glass bottle, not plastic.
Sweet Almond Oil’s vitamin, fat and protein content can help strengthen natural hair while sealing in moisture to fight breakage and reduce split ends. If your scalp is dry and itchy, a little sweet almond oil, massaged on the scalp can provide relief and healing.
Things to Know about Essential Oils
The highly concentrated version of natural plant oils are called Essential Oils. Because they are highly concentrated, less is more when it comes to these fragrant oils – a few drops is plenty for both benefit and fragrance. Essential oils should never be applied directly to the hair or scalp, but instead diluted in a carrier oil to properly deliver the oil to natural hair. NOTE: All the oils previously discussed in this post are carrier oils. A general rule is 1 to 2 drops of essential oil to every one ounce of carrier oil. Here are just a few essential oils and their benefits!
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca, makes a great antiseptic for the scalp, improving scaly patches and dandruff.
Peppermint oil can be rubbed onto the scalp to provide a burst of refreshment to your hair and scalp.
Lavender oil can help with a dry scalp. The calming impact of this fragrant herb can stay with you all day when lavender oil is added to your natural hair moisturizer.
Eucalyptus oil stimulates the scalp and can help you maintain a clean and healthy scalp.
Lemon oil is just as bright as it sounds. The refreshing citrus scent can enliven your mood and your tresses by helping restore a healthy pH balance.
Which oils have you tried? Which ones are your favorite? Tell us about your experience with natural oils below!
Interested in finding the IDEAL product to help you incorporate numerous beneficial, natural oils into your regimen? The Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Pure Blend Oil is full of the RICHEST, most nourishing oils on the market, including Baobab Oil, Argan Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sage Oil, Geranium Oil and Vitamin E! Available NOW at Ulta Beauty and The Melanin Haircare App!