Your Guide to Hair Oils for Natural & Coily Hair

It’s no secret that curly hair tends to be the driest of all hair textures. It’s literally a result of the way curls are formed.
The spirals make it tricky for natural hair oils to make their way down each strand from the root, so while you may have an oily scalp, as you get closer to your ends, hair can be dry. Even if you have a set lineup of natural hair products, replenishing nutrients with the best hair oil for your curl pattern is essential to both growth and overall health. But knowing how to choose the best oil for hair growth and general care can be confusing. Although it may seem like all oils are created equally and will be friendly to all curl types, this isn’t necessarily true. While many do, not all oils work well on natural hair. Whether extra moisture, shine, or growth is your goal, here’s a primer on how different oils work.

Your Intro to Hair Oils for Natural Hair

Textured hair is probably one of the biggest beneficiaries of hair moisturizers, including oils, and that’s for good reason. As already noted, it’s probably the driest of all hair types, so it’s on a constant search for moisture, whether that's from the environment or added products.

When it comes to introducing oils to your routine, it’s completely okay to use hair oil daily, but it may not be necessary. It really depends on your specific texture. For curls that are super dry and feel like they are craving a continuous dose of moisture, a lighter penetrating oil like the Monoi Oil Strengthening Sacred Serum (formulated with olive oil, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil) may be your best bet. You’ll get the hydration minus that extra weight. If your hair is finer, daily use of any oil may compromise your style by weighing it down.

On the other end of the spectrum, the same oils being used on a more curly hair type (4A, 4B, or 4C) may have the complete opposite effect, and hair may benefit greatly from daily oil application.

There are a few factors to keep in mind when finding the right oil for your hair, so before diving into using any one in particular, take note of what your natural hair needs, how the oils you choose will react with it, and vice versa.

What Is the Difference Between Moisturizing and Sealing Oils?

Do oils moisturize hair? The answer is yes, but only certain oils. There are two main types of oils you should know about. Some oils are thinner than others and can actually penetrate the hair to provide moisture, while others serve the sole purpose of sealing in moisture. Both are beneficial to dry hair, but it’s important to know which you’re working with. First up, let’s talk more about moisturizing oils.

Moisture Oils for Hair
Typically, the oils that are going to give hair the most hydrating benefits are ones that are thinner and can actually seep into dehydrated strands. To do this, the molecules that make up the oil have to be small enough to penetrate the hair. So, which oils penetrate hair the best? Well, there actually aren't that many oils that have this structure. Three that do are coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. Not only are these tiny enough to get inside and replenish moisture, but they also each have other benefits that help boost hair health.

1. Coconut Oil for Hair
You want to get unrefined extra virgin coconut oil; it’s the least processed and ideal for helping to replenish moisture in dry hair. It’s actually one of the few oils that can both penetrate and seal. Although, while it can get beneath the surface, the amount that actually goes in is questionable, so it’s best applied when mixed with a water-based leave-in conditioner like the Sacred Tiare Leave-In Conditioner. The water works as a carrier for better absorption.

Coconut oil is also great for highly porous hair that soaks up product but doesn’t necessarily hold moisture very well. The natural proteins in coconut oil help fortify the gaps to better seal in moisture and ultimately prevent damage.

2. Olive Oil for Hair
Is olive oil good for hair? Yes! Similar to coconut oil, olive oil can sink into strands, but this one needs a little help as well. Try applying it post-wash while hair is still wet. The water will help the oil sink deeper into the hair. Once absorbed, it softens hair, making it easier to detangle, and on the surface, you’ll notice a lot more shine.

3. Avocado Oil for Hair
You’ll find this one already infused into many shampoos, conditioners, and styling treatments like the Hair Milk Curl Defining Butter. On its own, this penetrating oil is nutrient-packed. It’s high in essential vitamins and nutrients that can help with growing out hair, making it one of the best oils for hair growth. The oleic and other fatty acids in avocado oil help strengthen the hair shaft to prevent breakage. With less breakage comes thicker, stronger, and, in some cases, longer hair. Try it as a pre-poo or as a weekly deep treatment.

Sealing Oils for Hair
Now, onto sealing oils. A sealing oil won’t be capable of penetrating the hair and doesn’t offer moisture. However, don’t discount this oil type. They still serve an important role in your hair care routine: locking in moisture. By layering a sealing oil over hair moisturizers and other nourishing products, you can trap moisture in your hair.

1. Jamaican Black Castor Oil for Hair
On top of being a great moisture sealant, Jamaican Black Castor Oil is probably the most popular oil to aid in hair growth. When applied to the scalp directly, it’s said to help draw out impurities and stimulate blood flow, which helps other valuable nutrients get right to the hair follicle. This is how the growth spurt happens.

While there’s no set formula for how long it takes to see growth, consistency is key. Stick to a regimen of oiling with castor hair oil at least twice a week for three months. Denser textures like 4C hair that typically need a heavier oil to keep moisture locked in can benefit big from this one. The honey-like consistency works well for this purpose. If hair growth is your goal, massage the oil into your hair three to four times per week, concentrating on your roots and scalp.

2. Grapeseed Oil for Hair
Hair that’s thin or fine can benefit greatly from grapeseed oil since it’s so lightweight. It will sit on top of strands to keep moisture in without weighing them down. The linoleic acid in grapeseed oil isn’t naturally produced by our bodies, so adding it topically can help control water loss in hair and ward off hair loss. It also has a high resistance to heat, so you can try applying it to damp hair as a heat protectant if you diffuse or ever blow-out your curls.

3. Jojoba Oil for Hair
Another popular oil for thinner or finer hair is jojoba oil. Although it's a sealant, it’s not too heavy and also works well as a scalp treatment if you have any dryness or flaking. For scalp health, you want something that will soothe any irritation or dryness without making your roots look greasy. Jojoba delivers on both. It also works well as a lighter styler. Smooth Healthy Hair Butter, which is formulated with jojoba oil, across your curls to calm frizz and add shine.

How to Introduce Both Moisturizing and Sealing Oils to Your Routine

While you can layer hair oils to reap all the benefits (moisturizing oils first, then sealing oils), you can also reach for products that contain some of both. Take the Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Scalp & Hair Oil. with Castor Oil, for example. Formulated with castor oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, sunflower seed oil, flaxseed oil, and black cumin seed oil, the formula wraps strands with moisture and protects against damage. And yes, even with all those different hair oils, it doesn’t weigh down hair!

Extra Hair Moisture Sealing Tips
If you feel oil isn’t holding or sealing enough, try a soft but thick butter like raw shea butter. If you feel butters and oils just aren’t for you, try sealing your hair with pure aloe vera juice after applying a leave-in. Its acidity is perfect for closing the cuticle.

Go even deeper with your oil knowledge and learn The Monoi Oil Benefits You Need to Know About. Monoi oil is created with a base of coconut oil, meaning they share a lot of the same properties, and you already know more about monoi than you would have thought!



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