Maaaaan, how many ‘oils for hair’ lists have yall read on hair blogs already? I know, I know! But someone asked me which oils I preferred to use on my hair and in my DIY mixes and why. So I thought I’d compile a ‘best of the best’ carrier oil list. These are great oils.
All of these oils can be classified as emollients which help to improve the feel of hair and can help add sheen to the hair if used in certain amounts.
A few of these great oils are on the list of “ceramide containing oils”. Ceramides help protect the cuticle layer of the hair and helps to thwart moisture loss. They are also said to help stop protein loss, making it possible for you to need less protein treatments. Oils that are high in linoleic acid often contain ceramides.
If you don’t see an oil listed here, that DOES NOT mean I don’t like it. I just means I like these just a little bit more. Let’s get into it!
# Sunflower oil
(on the ceramides list)DO NOT sleep on Sunflower oil. It makes it to the list of great oils because it also works incredibly well on dry skin as well as hair.
Sunflower oil is similar to your skin’s sebum which makes it absorb extremely well. Because of the quick absorption and the high Vitamin E content, it doesn’t just sit on the hair and make it oily, like some oils. Its a rich oil to use from scalp to tip.
Remember, you can’t just take care of the hair itself. You need to START with making sure your scalp is healthy and moisturized.
I initially assumed Sunflower oil was a cheap oil used as a filler in cheap products. OH NO MA’AM! Sunflower oil is used in so many things for a very good reason. Its a darn great oil.
I part my hair and use it (in an applicator bottle) to oil my scalp. Then I begin to twist/retwist by applying it to the actual hair as I go. Sometimes I use it by itself and sometimes after I’ve sprayed my hair with a tea.
It is said to contain Vitamin E, A, B1, B6 and C and helps to condition the hair.
How many coconut oil reviews have you read already? Probably a TON. Well that’s for a reason. I use virgin coconut oil regularly. It’s on my list of great oils because it absorbs well and softens dry, brittle hair.
I’ve found that applying coconut oil to DRY hair instead of wet hair works even better for my curls. When I use it at night before I tie my hair down, I often awaken to soft hair even if there’s nothing else in it.
Some naturals use coconut oil as a prepoo by adding a very, very generous amount on their hair and putting on a plastic cap (or grocery bag. Yall know how we do :p).
Coconut oil is solid or liquid depending on the room temperature.
Where to buy:
Organic, Virgin: https://secure.ttpurchase.com/22D78C7E-1E0B-90B3-0ECD40ED07B60C03
# Avocado oil
Avocado! Avocado makes it to the list of great oils because its not quite as ‘oily’ as Olive oil, but is still substantial enough to work well, just like olive oil does.
Avocado oil comes from the actual avocado, which some naturals mash up and use as a deep conditioner. You can use the oil as a deep conditioner, but I would hate to have to wash this oil out.
Great oils often have one thing in common. They contain Vitamin E. Avocado oil is high in Vitamin E and reportedly contains vitamins B, D and A. As with any oil, it can lock in the moisture (water) you have on your hair. I would suggest using it on wet or damp hair.
(on the ceramides list) Safflower oil is another great oil. There are two kinds: one “high oleic” version and one “high linoleic” version. I have the “high linoleic” type.
Safflower is good for dry, damaged hair. To me, its not as immediate in improving the feel of skin and hair as Sunflower, but its very good for helping to moisturize and condition.
Safflower is a light oil which absorbs well and quicker than an ‘oily’ oil like olive. But it has a high “smoke point”, meaning its more resistant to high temperatures for those who flat iron regularly.
Some naturals saturate their hair with this oil before shampooing or cowashing. You can easily warm it up and use it as a type of ‘hot oil’ treatment after you’ve shampooed and conditioned.
The high linoleic version is thought to spoil quicker if it isn’t kept in a dry, cool place away from sunlight.
I really like camellia oil because it’s light weight, easily absorbed, doesn’t break me out or make me oily, and is said to help improve the hair. You’ll often find this oil in my recipes.
Camellia oil is a conditioning oil, which means it helps improve dry hair and promotes hair health. Its high in oleic acid and lasts more than a year. You may often see this listed as “tea oil” or “tea seed oil”. (NOT tea tree oil)
Like so many great oils, its high in oleic acid; approx 85% of it is monounsaturated oleic acid. It also contains Vitamin E and polyphenols.
It’s one of my go-to oils when I need to make a light, quickly absorbing moisturizer or leave in that’s not too heavy. (Although right now my hair is loving the ‘oily’ oil formulas :P) But for those who HATE product which weighs their curls down, you may wanna look for products which use this oil.
There are different types of Camellia oil though because its made from many different tea leaves.
For the best quality, some sources say to look for “Camellia japonica”. However, the “Camellia oleifera” I use is pretty darn good too. 🙂
(on the ceramides list)Grapeseed oil is a light, easily absorbed oil which helps to keep hair shiny and moisturized.
Grapeseed oil contains a lot of antioxidants which helps to protect hair and promote hair growth. It absorbs quickly and readily. I never feel like my hair is sticky or greasy when I’ve used it.
Grapeseed oil is a bit astringent in nature which may help keep those hair cuticles down. It may also be a great oil for moisturization for people with oily hair.
Because of this, I don’t really apply this directly to my scalp. But it does help with shine (or giving the hair a little sheen).
As a sidenote, it is said to help tighten pores and improve tone of skin, but I haven’t used it for that purpose yet.
After Rice Bran oil (below) Grapeseed oil has one of the highest smoke points among all oils. This makes it good for helping to protect against heat damage from flat ironing and blow drying. (Don’t JUST use this oil, though! Use other products to help as well.)
I sometimes add grapeseed oil to a heavier oil to help improve their ability to absorb quicker. Its not fool proof, but it does help.
# Rice Bran oil
(on the ceramide list) Rice bran oil is used in many natural hair care products because of its high sterol properties which makes it a good oil to protect against free radicals and damage.
Rice bran is high in Vitamin E, specifically tocotrienols making it a natural antioxidant. Its a lighter oil and absorbs quickly.
It, too, has a high smoke point meaning that it may be a good oil to use to help protect against heat styling.
It also contains phytosterols, squalene and and polyphenols. It has a long shelf life and helps to increase the shelf life of especially non water based whips and creams.