Hair, Hair, Hair! I'm all about the hair! It's one of the single most defining attributes of my life. Once I went natural, everything changed for me. I've been on this journey since 2007. Of course there have been some bumps in the road and the trip has been a trip (at times). *side eye*
So yes, this natural hair journey has been laced with successes, failures and an entire spectrum in between the extremes. One thing to always remember is everything we learn as we experience life.
Last time, I wrote about some ways to keep your tresses moisturized. Today, I'm writing about some of the best oils I've tried on my 3c/4a hair.
1. Almond Oil
Almond Oil is by far, my favorite. It's light weight, seals in moisture perfectly and helps maintain shine while keeping the hair soft. I use it on wash day, after my leave in conditioner is applied. It helps lock in the proper moisture level and I've found, that since I've started using it, I don't have to fight with dry strands until it's about time to wash again (around day 4 or 5 usually).
Added benefits of using Almond Oil is that it contains many essential vitamins for hair to grow and thrive (vitamins A, B, D, E, protein, amino acids, iron, copper, magnesium, and folic acid). Because of it's light weight, it absorbs easily into the hair follicle and helps to combat dryness from the inside out. It's also great for maintaining scalp health and works as an excellent deep conditioner and natural SPF for tresses.
Some ways to use it are adding it to your shampoo or conditioner, as and additive to a deep conditioning session (or hot oil treatment) or as a sealant (my favorite method) after a wash or steaming,
2. Coconut Oil
Besides smelling wonderful, Coconut Oil is a great moisturizing aid for the hair. Black hair, with all it's kinks, curls, coils and frizz is prone to dryness and is often more porous than straighter textures. What this means is when water is applied to black hair, it can swell the cuticle beyond what is healthy, causing strands to split or crack. Here is where Coconut Oil comes in. Because it is so light weight and has a very small molecular structure, it is able to really penetrate into the cortex of the shaft, and bond with the protein structure of the hair. This helps protect the hair from additional shrinking and swelling during the wash cycle.
I've used Coconut Oil as a pre-wash and my hair loves it this way. As a sealant, it has been effective for me too but I've found that it breaks down faster than Avocado Oil and I have to reapply my leave in conditioner or steam my hair and then reapply the Coconut Oil after about 2 days. For this reason, I prefer to use it as a pre-wash because it yields the best results when used as such.
3. Jojoba Oil
Another light weight oil that strengthens hair from the inside out is Jojoba Oil. One of the best attributes of this oil is that it does not leave a residue in its wake. It is also rich in vitamin E and vitamin B, making it a great growth aid to add to your regimen. Its composition is also very close to the sebum the scalp produces (a natural oil the body manufactures), making it an excellent scalp and skin protectant and practically hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.
My favorite way to use Jojoba Oil is for scalp massages. I apply it with my fingertips and massage my scalp for a few minutes. Not only does it soften my roots, it helps to stimulate blood flow, which in turn, stimulates the hair follicles to grow faster. I've found it is a little too light weight to be used as a sealant on my wet hair but in a cocktail with other oils, it helps do the job nicely.
In my experience, Olive Oil works best for me as a hot oil carrier oil. I use it as my base for deep treatments adding other oils and conditioners to it for the best results. Because of its weight, I've found it weighs my hair down too much to use on a daily basis, and it leaves a heavy oily feeling on my strands too (Follow The Drip). For these reasons, I much prefer it for my at-home TLC sessions when I have time to relax and then wash it out completely before moving on in my day or leaving the house.
5. Castor Oil (Jamaican Black)
I refer to Castor Oil as "black gold" in my house. It is very heavy and thick and is touted as a great sealant for dry hair. As a humectant, Castor Oil attracts moisture from the atmosphere, which can be great in drier climes. However, this wonderful attribute can be a negative in more humid conditions, because too much additional moisture can lead to additional frizz.
There are many testimonials out there saying Castor Oil helped hair grow really fast and thickens the strands. While it may feel like the hair strands are thicker than they are sans Castor Oil (I've experienced this myself), the truth is, the strands are not actually thicker, but rather, coated with the thick oil, giving the appearance of a thicker strand. Hair density, strand thickness and texture are all determined by DNA, and thus, nothing topical (or ingested, for that matter) will change these factors. They can only give the appearance of changing them. Once this oil is washed completely out of the hair, the strands will "revert" to their former state.
Now I don't mean to bash Castor Oil, because I know there are many who love it and swear by it's aid in hair growth and more, I just have to say that I personally am not a big fan. It is too heavy for my hair, the smell is off-putting, I've ruined several satin pillowcases and hair accessories and now have a bunch of shirt collars that just won't come clean, thus I've shied away from regular use. On occasion, I'll break it out to help heal a cut on my skin because it does help coat and protect minor abrasions. But as a hair oil, it doesn't work too well for me.
There you have it. These are 5 popular oils for natural hair use. Do you use any of them? If so, how? Which is your favorite and are there more not on this list? Comment below! ❤️
About Carla Helené: I am the founder and creator of Caheez.LLC, an 8 year veteran curly girl with a biker husband, 2 nutzo teenagers, 3 dogs, a cat and I'm a part time waitress. I spend my ever dwindling free time as an actress in the regional community theater and draw from my 15 years of worship leading to encourage others to be the best version of themselves that they can possibly be. For more about me, please visit our About page