For the uninitiated, hair oils might sound counterintuitive. After all, most of us have dedicated a lifetime of hair rituals to avoiding slick strands!
But oils are the latest beauty insider favorite—and every woman would benefit from using one weekly.
Why experiment with hair oils?
They’re fantastic multitaskers!
When it comes to doing double (or triple) duty, hair oils take the cake. They’re a lubricant, so they’re great for detangling wet hair. They also seal the cuticle down or make for a great heat protectant.
Hair oils even work well at preventing split ends, thanks to all the fatty acids, which replace the lipids in your hair when it starts to get really fine. Right before it splits, that means there’s nothing holding it together, and all those lipids are gone so you need to replace them.
Overall, oils are pretty much a perfect hair health booster.
Application couldn’t be simpler.
The most important thing about oils is to make sure that they’re distributed evenly. To do so, section your hair at least in half—a top section and a bottom section. Put one drop of your favorite hair oil in your hands, rub it together, rake it through the hair, and evenly comb it through. Then, bring down your next section and add one more drop.
The thicker your hair? The more drops you’ll need—those with very coarse strands may need as much as four or five drops per section.
Most importantly, be sure to avoid applying oil near the scalp, since the natural oils from your scalp are the greatest conditioner ever, so you never need to replace those. To keep your hair from looking like a greasy curtain, start to apply your hair oil at the ends, then work hands up to no more than three to four inches away from the scalp.
You can personalize your mix.
Different oils have different perks, so you can blend two or three to make a mixture targeted to your needs:
- If your hair is on the thinner side, your best bet is to try out a light oil that will promote cell growth and shine, but won’t weigh down your strands. Look at avocado and French Argan oils; both of which are equally lightweight and safe to use on thin hair without leaving it limp or greasy.
- When you’re working with thicker, fuller hair, you’re going to want to look for a more heavy-duty oil to define your hair or curls and prevent frizz. Shea and coconut oils are good options that you can blend at home. If you’d prefer a salon-quality treatment, one of our favorites is babassu oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm plant.
- If you dye your hair a lot, you probably already know that water is your natural enemy. The good news is that you can definitely use anything naturally derived on your hair, so don’t be afraid to use oils to moisturize, condition, and add shine! Again, our favorites are products infused with French Argan oil. Its makeup is very close to the natural oils your body produces, it’s rich in vitamins C and E, and it’s fast-absorbing, so it goes on easily and seals your cuticle to lock in moisture for satiny, frizz-free locks.
- Do you suffer from either a dry or oily scalp? You might think you need two different oils to combat each of these issues separately, but both are a result of a chemical imbalance on your scalp. Tea tree oil’s antifungal and antibacterial properties mean it’s great not just for getting rid of excess oils, but also for getting rid of the dead skin cells that can cause dandruff. It also unclogs hair follicles and promotes hair growth.
- As winter weather takes its toll, dry hair can become a huge hassle. French Argan oil is the perfect antidote to this, as it revitalizes your hair and corrects split ends.
Finally, hair oils are easy to incorporate into your beauty routine.
There are a few different ways you can incorporate oil treatments into your hair regime. You can use hair products that contain different oils, or you can just use cold-pressed oils, such as straight coconut or French Argan.
Even simpler? You can apply each of these oils to wet or dry hair when styling, or use as a deep conditioning treatment!
To deep condition, start while you’re in the shower. After you shampoo your hair, wring out as much excess water as you can, and then work some oil through your hair, stopping about 3 to 4 inches down from your scalp. Put on a shower cap and continue showering. Leave the oil in for 45 minutes to an hour (or longer if your hair really damaged or dry; you can even leave it in overnight), then rinse, dry, and style as normal. Do this once a week for healthy, shiny, salon-worthy hair.