This article features Monoi Tiare (also called Monoi de Tahiti), the fabulous Tahitian oil featured in intoxicating soaps, shampoos, conditioners, oils and even styling pomades -- all designed to protect the hair and skin from the ravages of salt water, overexposure to sunlight and everyday dryness we curly tops are all too familiar with.

Uses of Monoi Tiare

Gardenia tahitensis contains many useful chemical constituents that contribute to the medicinal qualities of Monoi Tiare. These include:

  • Linalool—a volatile oil with antimicrobial qualities
  • Methyl salicyclate—a liquid ester that eases muscle and joint pain when applied externally using therapeutic massage.

The union of Tiare (Gardenia Tahitensis) with highly refined Tahitian coconut oil produces aromatic oil that penetrates and hydrates the hair and skin. It seals the surface of the scalp, hair cuticle and skin, preventing dryness. It is renowned for protecting the skin and hair against salt water and sun damage. The oil is hypoallergenic, moisturizing and nourishing. The Tiare extract has excellent rejuvenating and conditioning benefits for the scalp and hair cuticle. Minor scalp irritations and itchy scalp is alleviated.

Monoi Tiare Hot Oil Treatment

Monoi Tiare is an especially effective hot oil treatment. To create a Monoi Tiare hot oil treatment, heat an appropriate amount of the oil for your hair thickness and length (between ¼ cup and 2/3 cup) in the microwave (about 1 ½ minutes) on high. Allow to slightly cool. Apply warm Monoi Tiare to the ends of hair where split ends occur and to the scalp. A clean, dry paintbrush is a handy tool for applying the warmed oil to scalp. Part hair in small sections as you work. Work quickly, otherwise oil will get cold. Put on a plastic cap; sit out in the sun if possible or under a dryer for 30 minutes. Alternatively, cover head with a bath towel to retain heat. After a half hour, shampoo thoroughly and rinse.

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Stephanie Bird