Natural oils are a great addition to your hair care regimen and are essential for softer, stronger, luxurious shiny hair. There are so many awesome natural oils out there such as avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil…and the list goes on.
What is a “natural oil” or what makes an oil “natural”? Natural oils are derived from plants and trees, and can be used in their pure form. Lots of natural oils are also unrefined. Manufacturers will use several different methods to extract natural oils from plants and trees, and an oil will be either refined or unrefined based on how the oil is extracted. Oils that are unrefined are left in their virgin state, a lot more robust, and much richer in their nutrient content. Many natural oils are edible and can be used for cooking, skin care and hair care. So, what are my favorite natural oils?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
I’ve been using EVOO for years in various ways. A bottle of this oil goes a long way – from healthy cooking, to skin care, to hair care. Besides its many health benefits, EVOO can be used to nourish, condition and strengthen your hair. It is also one of few oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft.
EVOO can be used for hot oil treatments, as a pre-shampoo treatment, added to conditioners to enhance the moisturizing and nourishing properties, used as a sealant to lock in moisture, and used on the scalp to help treat dryness and dandruff. I use EVOO in several different ways…hot oil treatments, on my scalp, in my conditioners, and various ways in the kitchen when preparing food. This oil is a MUST HAVE.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO)
EVCO is by far the most versatile oil out there! This stuff can be used for just about everything! I’m not exaggerating! Not only does this oil offer a myriad of health benefits, it’s also easily accessible and affordable. I will not be covering the vast amount of benefits of EVCO outside of its hair benefits. Check out these 333 uses of coconut oil HERE.
Coconut oil can be used on ALL types of hair. I recall a conversation I had with a coworker of Indian descent. She stated that she had been using coconut oil as a pre-shampoo treatment since she was a little girl. She slathered a good amount of coconut oil on her hair and covered it the night before shampooing, allowing all of the nutrients to penetrate her hair strands. Her hair is extremely long, thick and shiny – just outright amazing. Coconut oil is a very unique oil. It is one of the few oils that can penetrate the hair shaft and bind to the natural protein structure of the hair, which allows the hair to retain its natural moisture content and strengthen the individual strands. Coconut oil works great as a pre-shampoo treatment, sealant and scalp massage oil. It aids in eliminating hair problems such as dandruff, itchiness, dryness and lice.
Coconut oil will always be an all time favorite of mine. Not only do I use it as a face and skin moisturizer, I also use it for hot oil treatments, pre-shampoo treatments, as a sealant, and for scalp massages. I also like to apply it to my deep conditioner for added nutrients and detangling benefits. This oil is another must have…HANDS DOWN!
I’m sure many of you are familiar with castor oil. As a child or pre-teen your Grandma probably whipped out a bottle of castor oil whenever you complained about constipation, aches, and pains. Castor oil’s anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties combat skin infections (i.e. ringworms, acne, rashes, etc.), joint and muscle spasms, arthritis – and the list goes on. If you aren’t familiar with castor oil you should definitely do some research on its benefits and multiple uses.
I wasn’t aware of its hair benefits until a couple of years ago. Castor oil has definitely contributed to the thickening and growth of my hair, and has also eliminated my dry scalp and dandruff issues. I had very weak edges before I started using castor oil. I began doing scalp massages with castor oil, focusing on my edges, and my hair began to grow at a faster rate and thicken up in my problem areas. Castor oil promotes hair growth and thickens the hair strands, conditions and moisturizes the scalp and hair, works as an awesome sealant and reduces split ends, combats frizz and eliminates dandruff, dryness, itchiness and lice. This oil definitely packs a serious punch when it comes to nourishing the scalp and treating scalp infections. Castor oil is also extremely thick and sticky, which can be a turn off when it comes to applying it to your hair and scalp. I normally mix my castor oil with my other two favorite oils (EVOO and EVCO) to thin it out a bit for easier application. The results I’ve seen with regular use of castor oil has put this one at the top of my list. This oil works wonders on my kinky, curly hair.
I’m a “Kitchen Beautician” who’s always in the kitchen whipping up a concoction for my hair. I normally mix my oils together to obtain the overall benefits of them all. I combine the castor oil, extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil in my oil container, give it a good shake and I’m good to go. This is my all-purpose oil concoction that I use regularly for just about everything.
So, if you haven’t already, make a trip to your local Whole Foods store or vitamin shop and stock up on a few natural oils. I also encourage you to do your research and determine the purpose and benefits of each individual oil before using them. There are so many different natural oils out there that I haven’t tried. Next up on my list: argon oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on these oils as well after I give them a try.
What natural oils have you incorporated into your hair care regimen? In what ways do you use them?