By Tiffany Shawn
Oils seal in the moisture from water-based products such as leave-in conditioners, aloe vera juice, teas, or moisturizers that you use on your hair. Having one without the other can lead to dry, un-moisturized hair. Nikki Walton, also known as Curly Nikki, shared on a blog post that “oils are a key step in any natural hair routine. The molecules in most butters/oils are too large to pass into the hair, so they stick to the outside of the shaft, trapping in the rich goodness of the moisturizer and/or leave-in conditioner.” The Liquid, Oil, Cream method is popular to many naturalistas. It’s simple to remember and easy to apply.
Although there are many to choose from, here are a few of my favorite oils and benefits for each.
- Peppermint oil is full of nutrients, which is the basis for a healthy scalp. When my scalp is itchy (especially when I have extensions on), this oil cools my scalp and calms the itch.
- Almond oil is high in protein, nourishes hair, and smoothes hair cuticles to control shedding.
- Coconut oil’s molecules are small enough to penetrate into the hair shaft. I use a small amount every so often to add shine to my tresses, but I use it more so as a pre-poo to finger detangle prior to shampooing.
- Jojoba oil is the closest to the oils our scalp naturally secretes. It can eliminate frizz and combat dry, brittle hair. I even use this daily on my face.
- Rosemary oil relieves dry scalps and eliminates dryness, which is essential for length retention.
- Castor oil thickens hair, promotes hair growth, prevents thinning, moisturizes, helps reduce split ends, and helps to tame frizz. This oil is thick, so I tend to only place it on my fingertips and then massage it into the thinner sections of my hair.