The 6 Best Oils for Healthy Hair
Not all oils are created equal, especially when it comes to the best oils for healthy hair.
Whether you suffer from a dry scalp or monster frizz, an oil treatment might be just what you need to prevent breakage and improve your hair’s overall health.
That’s right! Natural and botanical oils can treat just about anything that ails you – even if you have fine or slightly oily hair.
So you can navigate this trend without looking like you never shower, we rounded up the 6 best oils for returning moisture and essential fatty acids to your hair for soft, shiny locks:
1. Sweet Almond Oil
Rich in vitamin E, almond oil is perfect for women who experience regular dryness and even breakage, according to natural hair blog CurlyNikki.com.
“Often times shampooing and frequent manipulation can cause our hair to become dry and break,” writes Michelle Thames at the blog. “Almond oil can help restore the protective oil layer in the hair.”
Chock-full of magnesium, a mineral that helps prevent breakage and encourage new growth, almond oil can also help reduce inflammation and eliminate dandruff.
2. Coconut Oil
A nourishing oil that won’t push oily hair over the brink, coconut oil is one of our favorite go-to treatments for daily wear-and-tear.
“Frizz-prone hair or those hair types susceptible to environmentally-caused damage should seek out coconut oil, which has strengthening and protective qualities,” suggests Megan McIntyre at Refinery29.
With plenty of restorative healthy fats, coconut oil can help you build stronger hair, prevent breakage, and zap frizz from your fro.
Finally, a fat that’s actually good for you!
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great solution if you’re experiencing an itchy or uncomfortable scalp. It’s gentle enough that it won’t cause further inflammation, but rich in moisture, too.
“If you suffer from dandruff, rather than using expensive chemical shampoos, try massaging some olive oil into your scalp,” suggest the brains behind Thrive Market, a natural beauty retailer.
“The natural moisturizing effects of the fatty acids and vitamin E in olive oil will help with the dryness and, over time, reduce or eliminate the frustrating condition.”
Since oils help you retain moisture in your hair, treating dandruff with olive oil will help eliminate flaky build-up and ease your urge to itch.
4. Jojoba Oil
Tired of fighting snarls, knots, and tangles? Use jojoba oil to smooth the way with your detangling comb.
In addition to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, jojoba oil is the closest substance to your own natural sebum on the market. That makes it the perfect oil for coaxing knots to loosen, so you don’t damage your hair the next time you attempt to comb out your ‘fro.
Like all oils, jojoba will deeply moisturize your strands, helping you prevent breakage – and more knots – in the future.
5. Moringa Oil
With plenty of crucial vitamins for improving hair strength – like vitamins A, B, and C – moringa oil can help you bounce back from heat damage or breakage without getting too oily up top.
“Moringa oil adds strength to fragile hair without weighing it down,” explains Kristin Collins Jackson at Bustle.
“Apply a small amount on your styling tool, like a rat tail comb or toothbrush, and gently smooth down the hairs that are giving you trouble.”
Think of it as the perfect serum for managing those pesky fly-aways.
6. Apricot Oil
Don’t just smell like a peach – use the Omega-9 fatty acids and linoleic acid in apricot oil to strengthen hair and help it grow.
According to NaturallyCurly.com, apricot oil also helps you find balance and stave off the effects of humidity.
“It not only seals in the moisture, but it also absorbs small amounts of water from the air’s humidity to help maintain that barrier of hydration inside the strand and scalp,” writes Sabrina Perkins.
Break this out when you want soft, shiny movie star hair for a night out on the town.
Using Botanical Oils for Your Hair: A Quick Primer
Natural and botanical oils are some of the best conditioners for healthy hair – not to mention some of the best vehicles for the essential fatty acids that can strengthen hair and prevent breakage.
But remember: oils are still, well, oily, which means they should be used sparingly – and not on the roots of your hair.
“It’s always best to keep the oil away from where your natural oils come from,” Michael Wilson, a stylist for Bumble and bumble, explained to Refinery29. “So avoid the scalp and roots of your hair and focus on your mid-shaft and ends.”
Still not sure whether botanical oils are for you? Here are some of the most common reasons stylists recommend that their clients use oil on their locks:
- To combat a dry or itchy scalp. When dandruff starts to build up on the scalp, it prevents your hair and scalp from receiving the natural oils that help keep hair soft and supple. An oil treatment can get your scalp back on track. Use a delicate oil like almond or olive oil to massage away dead skin cells and pour much-needed moisture back into your locks.
- To strengthen hair prone to breakage. Hair that’s been sapped of moisture is dry, brittle, and ready to snap. Use an oil treatment to soak up moisture and strengthen hair with fatty acids and other vitamins. Oils like moringa and coconut will be especially beneficial.
- To restore shine and lustre. Few of us take the time out of our busy routines to think about our hair’s future. (Admittedly, this is something we love to do.) But scheduling a regular hair mask with an oil treatment is like taking out an insurance policy on the future health and happiness of your hair. Plus, it’ll look extra shiny and feel super soft thanks to all those healthy fats. Coconut oil is a great all-around treatment.
- To repair heat damage. Too much heat from styling tools or blow drying spells frizz or breakage. If you have your straightening tools turned up too high, you might even damage the cuticle for good (Remember: anything higher than 350 degrees is too hot!). Take a break from all that heat and grab your nearest oil treatment to restore moisture and repair strands. Look for moringa or apricot oil to help with damage control.
- To moisturize dry, damaged hair. Whether you’re on-trend and bleached your hair ash-blonde, or use relaxer regularly, your hair is probably hurting. Combat damage with a serious oil treatment. Almond and olive oil will work wonders on dry, damaged hair.
Our hair comes into contact with all sorts of stressors every day. Pollution, heat styling, and other chemical treatments all take a heavy toll, leaving locks lifeless and in need of deep, restorative treatment.
Thank goodness botanical oils – from almond to apricot and everything in between – are the answer to soft, supple, and healthy hair.
Whether you need to bounce back from heat damage, or you just want a fun way to give your hair some extra TLC, find a way to introduce an oil treatment into your beauty routine.