No matter your hair type, moisture and strength are essential for healthy, growing hair and the product that delivers both in spades is hair oil.
One of the best things about hair oil is also its downfall – there are just so many to choose from – and if you’re looking for something specific to your hair type, picking the best oil for your hair can be overwhelming.
Hair oil has a ton of benefits for all hair types, the top five benefits includes:
- Strengthens hair – hair oil helps to strengthen hair by reducing fizziness and preventing breakage.
- Hair growth – hair oil helps to stimulate hair growth with its ingredients, but also when combined with a scalp massage.
- Protects from heat – hair oil helps to create protective layers around the hair shaft which helps to protect the hair from heat styling.
- Hydrates and locks in moisture – by creating a protective barrier around the hair cells, hair oil can both hydrate and lock in moisture into strands depending on the ingredients and components of the hair oil you’re using.
- DIY or store-bought – you can spend as much or as little as you want on hair oil. So many natural ingredients may already be in your kitchen or pantry and all you need to add is a little time to make your own hair oil at home. Not the DIY type? No problem, like we mentioned above there are so many hair oils available you are bound to find the best oil for hair with no challenges except a little trial and error – as with any new product you may be introducing to your hair routine.
Whether you want to make your hair oil at home or shop one, we’ve put together a list of the best hair oils for your hair type to help address everything from damage to dryness, split ends to scalp issues.
Best oil for all hair types: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil may just be the holy grail for all skin and hair types. What makes coconut oil the best for oil for hair is its fatty acids and natural vitamins, it has moisture-retaining properties that allow it to penetrate the strands more deeply to strengthen and nourish hair. Coconut oil is also a great moisturizer for skin, scalp and hair. It’s best to look for virgin, unrefined and organic coconut oil to get the most out of the natural benefits. Some products say they contain coconut oil, but it’s been processed or mixed with other ingredients that actually strip the natural, beneficial oils. Read products carefully and when in doubt, 100% natural unrefined coconut oil can also easily be found in some grocery and health food stores.
Best oil for damaged, kinky/curly hair: Castor Oil
Derived from roasted castor beans, this oil is commonly used for afro-textured hair to help treat dryness, but also to help stimulate hair growth. Similar to coconut oil, castor oil is a long-chained fatty acid which helps to provide the hair follicle with nutrients and essential proteins – hence, growth and more moisture. Castor oil is great as a pre-shampoo treatment for thick, curly hair. It can also be used on fine or medium-straight hair, but more so as a conditioning treatment.
Briogeo Strengthening Treatment Oil contains Hydrogenated Castor Oil, as well as a number of other vegetable or plant-derived oil that has proven to be effective on many hair types from straight to chemically treated, and curly, thick hair.
Best oil for frizzy hair: Argan Oil
Argan oil, also known as Morrocon Oil in its purest form does wonders for frizzy hair and hair prone to breakage. Packed with natural components such as vitamin E, fatty acids, antioxidants and ferulic acids, Argan Oil helps to keep moisture locked in the hair, combatting the main source of frizzy hair. Argan oil helps to prevent damage and breakage with its moisturizing properties.
Argan oil is also great for hair extensions. It helps to smoothen hair strands, reducing dryness, brittleness, and frizziness, perfect for soft, manageable hair extensions. Since argan oil is not as greasy as coconut oil, it can be used as a finishing oil after styling too.
When using pure Argan oil to treat frizzy hair and prevent breakage, use 1-2 drops in your hand and massage the oil starting at the scalp and working your way to your ends. Depending on the severity of damage use this practice a couple times a week for best results.
Best oil for dandruff and dry scalp: Jojoba Oil
Extracted from the jojoba plant, jojoba oil is especially good for the scalp. The reason for this is it already contains a chemical structure that is similar to sebum, the natural oil released by the scalp. The fatty acids and natural alcohols in jojoba work with the scalp to help keep it moisturized and therefore clearing up irritation and dryness which can lead to dandruff. A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair and with a nourished and moisturized scalp, this can help promote hair growth.
This Jojoba oil from Pattern Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross is particularly great for ladies with curly, or tight, coily textures.
Best oil for dry and dull hair: Olive Oil
One of those hair treatments that are literally good enough to eat. Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and also helps to treat UV damage and damage caused by dry locks. While olive oil does not penetrate the strands like coconut oil to nourish and repair, it actually forms a natural protective barrier around damaged hair strands. This protective layer helps strengthens the look and feel of your hair making dull hair healthy and shiny naturally.
Best oil for dry thick, curly, or coarse hair: Pracaxi Oil
Pracaxi oil comes from the seeds of a canopy tree found in South America, it’s also used for medicinal purposes and skin treatments. The best oil for thick, curly or coarse hair types, Pracaxi Oil naturally helps to hydrate the hair thanks to its natural fatty acids. It also helps to protect and promote the hair’s elasticity.
Best oil for unruly and frizzy hair: Almond Oil
Want to tame your hair for more soft, touchable strands? Reach for almond oil. What makes almond oil so good for hair is the way it fills “gaps” in your hair at a cellular level, this is because it is an emollient. Almond Oil is best for unruly, frizzy hair because it contains high levels of vitamin E, magnesium and omega-rich fatty acids, which create hydration and shine which makes styling and smoothing a breeze. Almond Oil would make a great smoothing hair mask. Apply the oil and leave in dry or damp hair for about 30 minutes before you rinse with shampoo and conditioner.
Best oil for brittle hair and hair loss: Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is packed with antioxidants and is easily absorbed into the hair, which makes it a great remedy for brittle hair. By acting as a natural sealant around the hair follicle, grapeseed oil helps to lock moisture in which strengthens the hair from the follicle to the ends. Grapeseed oil is also found to help with hair loss. It has a high amount of oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) that helps to lower the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the hormone linked to baldness or pattern hair loss. Grapeseed oil can help stimulate hair cell production which may help naturally treat hair loss.
Best oil for oily scalp/hair: Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil is well known for its cleansing properties and is known as a great remedy for acne and breakouts. It’s for the same reasons that tea tree oil is best for oily scalp and hair. Tea tree oil works to balance the scalp’s natural sebum or oil creation with its natural anti-bacterial properties. By cleansing and disinfecting the scalp it unclogs blocked follicles and creates the foundation for a healthier scalp and hair growth.
Best oil for thinning hair: Avocado Oil
Extracted from the pulp of the fruit, avocado oil is lighter than some other hair oils. Avocado oil contains minerals, vitamins and antioxidants – the combination of these components nourish the scalp and help to stimulate growth which will help with thinning hair. Avocado oil also helps to lubricate and nourish strands – especially important for thinning hair – to help prevent any breakage or fallout. By nourishing the scalp and strengthening the strands, locks will be shinier and stronger making for healthier thin hair.
Hair oil: The multifunctional hair treatment
All the hair oils listed above have cross-functional properties. Coconut oil is great for all hair types, but it also moisturizes and promotes hair growth. Argan oil treats frizzy hair and damaged ends, but also strengthens hair. In other words, using any of the natural hair oils mentioned above will nourish your scalp and hair when used properly. With hair oils, you can use multiple hair oils to treat your hair as needed. Hair issues can happen seasonally, which will call for different oils at different times of the year. Experiment with your needs with a simple routine that can work with any hair oil. Use as a leave-in treatment overnight or before a wash day and evaluate the results.
Hair oils are also multi-purpose, as mentioned above while they can treat specific issues, they can also be used daily in smaller amounts to help protect from heat styling or damage. A little bit of almond oil or even olive oil can also be used instead of some styling products to help smooth hair for sleek styles.
No matter which hair oil you reach for, most are safe for all hair types. Be sure to read products and ingredients carefully to ensure the type of hair oil is the top (or only) ingredient to fully take advantage of the natural benefits and properties.
Written by: Rosalyn Solomon