A couple of questions regarding oils and leave-ins

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I have noticed one of my favorite YT/blogger Naturals applying oil to her wet hair before a leave-in or moisturizer (depending on her style) prior to styling her hair. I understand using it after a leave-in and before gel, but before? I was curious as to why this might work for her so I did some googling and found this thread where another poster said that some hair types do better with oil before a leave-in, and some after.

Can anyone expand on this rationale? Does anyone here currently apply a little oil before their leave-in? If so, is your hair spongy, like the poster wrote about? I am presuming the oil would be one of the penetrating ones, yes? Like coconut, olive, or castor oil and not a sealing oil.

I am just curious if some people find that before works better for them than after (and what their hair properties are). I personally prefer it in small amounts on dry hair for my hair more. But am open to all techniques if they help me understand hair in general and keep my ends in top-notch condition.

thx
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
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Last edited by artemis513; 11-27-2011 at 02:06 PM.
I do that all the time with coconut oil because I heard its a penetrating oil , so I always apply it first (I prefer it on wet to damp hair).
I like the way my hair looks and feels with it, I watch the amounts of any additional oils I apply after to avoid the greasy feel.

High porosity , fine to medium strands

Last edited by ttlolla; 11-27-2011 at 02:48 PM.
i apply oil on my wet hair b4 the leave-in conditioner. i use castor oil. i also use shea butter AFTER the leave the leave-in. my hair stays moist for the week.
LOIS (OS); cottony, TYPE 4 hair, fine/med strands; no cones bcz my hair hates them; last relaxer '98; now low porosity, ignores most natural hair rules; BC #8

faves: suave, v05 shampoo, conditioner (my own), raw shea butter, castor oil, peanut oil, aloe juice
So essentially this is a good technique to use if you have normal-high porosity...makes sense.
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
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I have super high porosity hair and I like to use a leave-in BEFORE the oil unless it is coconut oil. Coconut oil helps protein absorption so I like to apply it sometimes before I shampoo and before doing a protein treatment. But with oils like castor, olive, etc..always after. I find my hair stays moisturized much longer with leave-in first then oil since I specifically use oil as a sealant.

For me, the logic is basically my hair is wet so moisture is there.. I'm further adding a conditioning product to my hair for softness and strength..the oil for me is a sealant and creates shine. I wouldn't want to put that on before my leave-in (which is always just conditioner) because it defeats the purpose in my case.

I think it's really a preference of what works better for an individual's hair. For me, I found a leave-in first works much better in the long run.
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Thanks y'all for replying. Really helpful.

I'm glad you responded Marah, I like how you approach hair care I have the same thought process as you posted here on the matter. If I needed to use more oil, I would automatically think to use the leave-in first. In fact, in my own hair, I try to get the leave-in on as soon as possible out of the shower so that my hair does not shut it out. And then I can take my time adding a styler or whatever. It seems like once my hair dries there is no adding product to that bad boy, lol. It's locked down! Anything on top is weight.
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Last edited by artemis513; 11-27-2011 at 03:31 PM.
Artemis.. my hair is quite similiar once it's all dry..it seems resistant to added product unless it's just plain water.

I like to add my leave-in conditioner directly after my daily shower as well. I used to do it in the shower but for my hair care needs I have come to learn the importance of seeing what I am actually doing to my hair. So I apply in front of the bathroom mirror.
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Same here! I tried applying in the shower once, and knew right away it wasn't practical for me. I am always in the mirror with my hair, sometimes with a hand mirror. Checking all the angles when I'm totally done to make sure I'm thorough and it looks good lol.
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My hair is resistant to product when soaking wet. Wont absorb. I usually blot my hair with a microfiber towel before adding my leave in. Then oil then gel or no oil and a curl cream Some people can rinse out condtioner and just use oil to seal. The only time i have able to skip leave in is with hugo naturals for dry curly hair.
My hair is resistant to product when soaking wet. Wont absorb. I usually blot my hair with a microfiber towel before adding my leave in. Then oil then gel or no oil and a curl cream Some people can rinse out condtioner and just use oil to seal. The only time i have able to skip leave in is with hugo naturals for dry curly hair.
Originally Posted by adthomas

You have low porosity hair ?

I used to be notorious for doing the rinse out conditioner and just oil way. I especially like that in the summer..and I just use a little bit of the oil. But man for these colder months.. I need me a doggone leave-in or my hair will be so darn dry. And I can't deal with super dry hair because for me I know that is a big set up for breakage!
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My hair is resistant to product when soaking wet. Wont absorb. I usually blot my hair with a microfiber towel before adding my leave in. Then oil then gel or no oil and a curl cream Some people can rinse out condtioner and just use oil to seal. The only time i have able to skip leave in is with hugo naturals for dry curly hair.
Originally Posted by adthomas

You have low porosity hair ?

I used to be notorious for doing the rinse out conditioner and just oil way. I especially like that in the summer..and I just use a little bit of the oil. But man for these colder months.. I need me a doggone leave-in or my hair will be so darn dry. And I can't deal with super dry hair because for me I know that is a big set up for breakage!
Originally Posted by *Marah*
Yes. Im low porosity. I have learned to apply products to damp hair regardless of what the directions say. I think sometimes people think products dont work for them and may be too quick to toss it. They should try wet, dry and damp before giving up.
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I apply oil straight to freshly shampooed hair, then put a DC over it (if it is time to DC) or a regular conditioner over it to detangle. I find that my hair detangles easier that way and I lose a lot less hair. My hair also stays moisturized longer when I do it that way.
I know I'm late, but I do the "sandwich" thing too: add a light oil to freshly washed hair - usually jojoba, a leave-in, and my homemade liquid balm on top.

My hair is very much like Marah's in that its super porous and need all the moisture and sealant it can get.
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I'm noticing that (minus castor) that the oils being mentioned here are oils that hydrate as well as seal (coconut, jojoba) and I think that's why these work because they tend to condition in lower and seal when used in higher concentrations depending on one's porosity.

It makes sense to seal after applying moisture to the hair bc otherwise, IA with Marah: what's the point? For me, I would only go straight to sealing if I used a heavy rinse out. I'm curious to know (in those that seal right away) what rinseout everyone used.
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i'm high porosity as well. i use a liquid oil and shea butter. i can't use coconut oil on my hair at all (as an oil). it doesn't absorb and just looks like rain drops of oil sitting on my hair strands. my hair loves and absorbs flax oil, castor oil, meadowfoam seed, tamanu and olive oils. my hair sucks up shea butter too!

i'm still testing oils but the ones i mentioned absorb for sure. oils still waiting to be tested alone (rice bran, hemp, sapote, wheat germ, argan).
LOIS (OS); cottony, TYPE 4 hair, fine/med strands; no cones bcz my hair hates them; last relaxer '98; now low porosity, ignores most natural hair rules; BC #8

faves: suave, v05 shampoo, conditioner (my own), raw shea butter, castor oil, peanut oil, aloe juice
@adthomas, my hair is like that too. It can't be soaking wet, but it can't be too damp either. What I do is straight out of the shower, squeeze just a bit of water, apply leave-in in moderate amounts, and if need be squeeze again. Trying to make sure the hair has more conditioner and less excess water.

@Naturalista, yeah that what I was thinking, like as long as it's one of the penetrating oils it's not counterintuitive, but if it was a sealing oil then how could it effective before a leave-in.

I've been doing some more research and I think because of my hair's properties, I might just be better off doing a pre-poo with one of the penetrating oils to get similar benefits. I am not a pre-poo person really, so we'll see if I stick to it. Less is more with my hair and I'm starting to give up fighting that fact.
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11
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Last edited by artemis513; 11-28-2011 at 11:06 AM. Reason: typo
I discovered by accident that water and castor oil can leave my hair very defined, tangle free, and shiny.

I am not sure of what my porosity is yet- these things can get confusing, but I think it may be normal.

I am now wondering if conditioners are necessary at all?
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I discovered by accident that water and castor oil can leave my hair very defined, tangle free, and shiny.

I am not sure of what my porosity is yet- these things can get confusing, but I think it may be normal.

I am now wondering if conditioners are necessary at all?
Originally Posted by Prettycurls
They still are for me, especially since my hair needs and thrives on protein and henna. When I do that, I need to do DCs after. Its never one or the other for my hair. Conditioners still condition my hair in ways oils cant - they serve a different purpose.
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Oh yeah..my hair seriously needs conditioner on a super regular basis. My hair feels, looks, and acts better when it's well conditioned. Plus my hair is naturally dry as I don't know what..could start a darn forest fire on it's own. So conditioner..makes a HUGE difference for me. I could live without oil if I had to do so (but I'd rather not)..but no conditioner..I will just like this dude with the curl:

Gimme my Activator, Man - YouTube

I'm not even playing either!
I discovered by accident that water and castor oil can leave my hair very defined, tangle free, and shiny.

I am not sure of what my porosity is yet- these things can get confusing, but I think it may be normal.

I am now wondering if conditioners are necessary at all?
Originally Posted by Prettycurls
They still are for me, especially since my hair needs and thrives on protein and henna. When I do that, I need to do DCs after. Its never one or the other for my hair. Conditioners still condition my hair in ways oils cant - they serve a different purpose.
Originally Posted by greenandchic
I know this is going to sound super creepy but I looked at your hair pics and my heart stopped. Your darn hair is pure magnificence on all types of levels! The shine...ohhh the shine! I melt when I see soft shiny curls like you have...WhatEVA you using..keep doing that..cause all this time I've known you on here I had no idea you was working with all that beautiful hair. I guess sistas at the gym do be on swoll when you take your hair down..cause daaaaaaaaaaayum!

Well excuse me Miss Greenandchic!
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