It seems like it was just the other day when many of us ran away from anything that involved oil. Oily skin, oily hair, just thinking of the slick and greasy feeling of this substance seemed alarming, and even gross. But that was then. Now, when it comes to hair care natural oils for hair have become our new BFF that helps resolve everything from dry scalp to dry hair. Oils are an incredible product to incorporate into your hair care regimen.
People have been using natural hair oils for years, so this is nothing new. We’re giving you the lowdown on how they really work so you know how to use them in your hair care routine. Read on to discover what natural hair oils are and how they work on your hair.
Natural Oils for Hair: What They Are and How to Use Them
What are Natural Hair Oils?
Natural hair oils are simply oils—which are appropriate for use on hair or skin— that are not processed, they don’t contain any other ingredients, and they are left in its natural state. With that being said, these oils have a tendency to expire overtime (some have a shelf life for about one to two years and sometimes longer) as opposed to oils that are made with ingredients that help preserve it for a longer time.
For many years people have used natural oils or organic oils as hair care staples to reap the benefits of it in its natural state. The addition of other ingredients mixed with the oil can dilute and eliminate the effectiveness of the oil’s main benefits. To obtain oils in its natural state (or closest to it) look for the oils that are extracted at low temperatures or without the use of heat as these processes preserve its natural formation. For example coconut oil that’s unrefined, doesn’t contain any additives and is the pure oil obtained after the extraction process.
Natural Oils for Hair that Penetrate the Hair Shaft
The oils that have the ability to penetrate hair are those that can get into your hair shaft and moisturize from the inside out. The oils that can penetrate the hair shaft are coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oils, to name a few. However, all penetration is not created equal. In other words: Some of these oils penetrate the hair shaft much deeper than others.
For instance, coconut oil contains short-chain fatty acids. The molecules that make up this chain are small enough to be deposited into the hair’s cuticle. This is mainly one of the reasons people reach for coconut oil over any other oil. Avocado and olive oil penetrate the hair shaft ever so slightly as their molecules are a little bigger than coconut oil, but they’re still good moisturizers and make great deep conditioners as well.
To get these benefits at home, use Suave Professionals Avocado + Olive Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner. This set uses avocado and olive oil to help soften your strands while eliminating frizz.
Natural Hair Oils that Coat Hair
Oils that sit on top of your hair and don’t get into the shaft simply coat the hair strand. These kind of oils are great because they can be used as a heat protectant, they also lock in the moisture that penetrating oils have deposited into your hair. These oils are composed of unsaturated fats (and big molecules) that don’t easily enter the hair shaft causing these types of oils to sit on top of the hair.
Oils like jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil just to name a few are all oils that coat the hair shaft. These oils are great for adding luster to the hair and smoothing the hair shaft as well. We recommend applying hair oils that coat as the last step of your hair care routine. For instance: Apply the oil or a mixture of oils to your hair after applying a leave-in conditioner to form a film on top of the hair’s surface to trap products in.
We love using Love Beauty and Planet Sandalwood & Grapeseed Natural Oils Infusion to tame hair. This oil helps repair smooth strands. Plus, it’s paraben and cruelty-free!