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9 Different Types of Hair Oils
If you are tired of commercial chemical treatments and heat damaging your hair, consider joining the increasingly popular natural oil movement. Women of many cultures have used natural oils for centuries to improve their hair’s health and luster. We’ve gathered information on these different types of hair oils that are popularly used for the treatment of different hair and scalp conditions.
Castor oil is a fabulous all-rounder oil, particularly favored by proponents of natural hair. Thanks to its natural antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, it can treat several skin conditions.
When applied to hair, it will moisturize your scalp, reduce frizz and ease dandruff. It also has a reputation for encouraging hair growth and thickness. As one of the lighter oils, it is beneficial for high porosity hair.
Castor oil is extremely viscous, so use it sparingly, or it could leave your hair feeling sticky. For a light application, just rub a bit on your ends to help repair and moisturize. For a deep treatment, massage into the scalp and comb lightly through the hair. Leave for up to two hours before shampooing out.
Coconut oil is an excellent all-round conditioning oil. It is particularly beneficial for damaged hair because it contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is a fatty acid with a chemical structure that allows it to penetrate the hair shaft. Studies have shown that coconut oil may help prevent the loss of proteins caused by dyeing and highlighting chemicals.
You can use coconut oil in several ways:
- As a conditioner after washing with shampoo.
- As a detangler after washing by rubbing a small amount through the hair before brushing.
- As a pre-wash hair mask, comb through the hair and leave it for anything from a few minutes to overnight.
- As an overnight scalp moisturizer, massage a small amount in before you go to sleep and wash it out in the morning.
Safflower oil was used extensively by the ancient Egyptians for cooking, medical, and cosmetic purposes. It is made from the seeds of the yellow safflower. (Safflower petals are sometimes used as a cheap alternative to saffron.)
The oil penetrates the hair follicles, moisturizing hair and protecting it from damage. It also encourages growth. Use it as a serum by blending it with a little rosemary essential oil and rubbing it into your hair, orr as a pre-wash conditioner. Safflower oil needs to be refrigerated once opened.
Argan oil is made from the nuts of the Argan tree, native to Morocco. It is also known as Moroccan oil, packed full of vitamin E and essential fatty acids, mainly oleic acid and linoleic acid. It is recognized as a very effective conditioner, and regular use can strengthen brittle hair.
If you struggle with unmanageable hair, this oil is worth trying to give your curls body and shine. Use 6 to 8 drops of oil combed through dry or damp hair, avoiding roots. Do this 1 to 3 times weekly.
Olive oil is a pantry staple that can double as a beauty aid to make hair shiny and healthy. It contains vitamins A, E, and antioxidants, which protect the keratin in hair and trap moisture.
However, olive oil can feed the yeast on the scalp that causes dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. If you are prone to an itchy, flaky scalp, be careful to apply olive oil only to your hair’s ends. Alternatively, combine your oil with lemon juice, and it will fight dandruff.
Use 1 or 2 teaspoons of oil combed through the hair. Cover with a shower cap for half an hour before shampooing.
Cactus oil is a nourishing oil that will leave hair strong and healthy. Cactus oil is sometimes referred to as prickly pear oil as it is obtained from the cold pressing of prickly pear seeds. It is notably recognized for preventing hair loss and breaking. Use as a hair serum rubbed directly into the hair. You can also add a few drops to your regular conditioner.
Rose oil is growing in popularity with advocates of natural hair. Its scent promotes relaxation and can be combined with lavender essential oil to release symptoms of stress. Rose oil reduces frizz and adds shine. It will work against hair loss by nourishing the hair follicles and ensuring they don’t shed their roots.
Rose oil contains phenyl ethanol and geraniol, which give it antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. If you struggle with eczema, scalp acne, or irritated scalp, it will provide healing relief that will do your hair good at the same time. If you have any scarring or burns from the old-style chemical relaxers, rose oil will help them to heal.
Use rose oil with a carrier like a coconut or a castor oil. Massage it into the scalp 2 to 3 times a week, or rub it into curls for moisture and shine. Alternatively, add a few drops to your favorite products.
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is an antioxidant compound contained in many of the oils already mentioned. It is a potent vasodilator that can improve blood flow to the scalp when used in its pure form. This helps the scalp remain healthy and provides a good base for hair growth and condition.
If you suffer from dry hair and scalp, Vitamin E will hydrate and repair both. But do not use it if you have sensitive skin, thyroid problems, or are undergoing chemotherapy.
Apply a few drops mixed into a carrier oil after washing your hair every couple of days.
Pumpkin seed oil is a good source of zinc, a primary ingredient of many anti-dandruff shampoos. It also contains phytosterols, which are sterols found in many plants. It is thought that phytosterols may block enzymes and hormones in your scalp that cause hair loss.
Pumpkin seed oil can be taken in the form of oil gel supplement capsules or ingested directly (a couple of teaspoons a day should be sufficient.) Apply slightly warmed oil topically to wet hair. Massage it into the scalp and comb through to the ends. Allow to sit for up to 30 minutes, then shampoo out and style as usual.
Always buy your oils from reputable providers and store them according to the directions on the packaging. Oils are not FDA regulated. If you experience any adverse side effects, immediately stop using the oils and consult a medical professional.
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