Putting oils onto our hair seems counter-intuitive; most of us spend time trying to reduce the amount of oil on our hair after all. But did you know, oils can resolve many of the issues faced by curly people?
Curly hair doesn’t hold moisture as well as straight hair. As a result, a lack of hydration can cause dull, brittle hair. Interestingly, this can be a result of curl pattern, rather than a natural propensity for drier hair. The oil on your scalp – sebum – hydrates your hair, adding shine. On straight hair, the oils spread down the shaft easily, and brushing can aid with this; on curly hair however, the oil can’t travel as easily and curly-haired people also tend to brush hair less often – if at all! This is where adding oils to your hair routine can help.
Which Oil is Best for Your Hair?
It’s important to understand which type of oil you need to use. There are two types of haircare oils – sealing oils and moisturizing oils. Sealing oils do just that – they seal in moisture from water or conditioner. Examples of these are jojoba, olive and castor oils. Moisturizing oils have smaller molecules that penetrate and moisturize hair – think coconut, olive and avocado oils.
Whether you should use heavier or lighter oils depends on your curl pattern, hair density and porosity. The simplest solution is to use products with them already mixed so the lighter oils thin out the heavier; for example, the 100% natural Infinitii Oils Luxury Hair Oil which contains a mixture of olive, castor, almond, avocado, sweet almond and flaxseed oils for incredible nutritional properties.
Read on to find out which oils you should be using depending on your hair type attributes.
Best oils Type 2 wavy hair
Lighter oils work well on this hair type which can get weighed down. Wavy hair tends to be less dry than curlier hair so lightweight jojoba, grapeseed and sweet almond oils are good for sealing in moisture that is already present. Try The Jojoba Company 100% Natural Australian Jojoba Oil. Argan oil is also light enough to use daily, easily absorbed by the hair and is therefore good for moisturising your thirsty waves. Dr Organic Pure Moroccan Argan Oil is organically certified virgin oil.
Best oils for Type 3 curly hair
Get down to your kitchen! Curlier hair can handle heavier oils like olive and avocado oil in small amounts. Try the GoNaturals Cold Pressed Avocado Oil which can be used on hair and body. Alternatively, you can add heavier oils to lighter ones to thin them out.
Best oils for Type 4 coily hair
Denser textured hair requires heavier oils, such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil, to travel along the tightly packed spirals. The thick consistency is amazing for locking moisture in. Try SheaMoisture Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Hair Serum. Olive Oil is another great sealant and avocado oil is a wonderful moisturiser for coily hair.
Not sure what your curl pattern is? Take our hair type quiz!
Porosity is the measure of your hair’s ability to absorb and hold onto moisture, which means that your porosity has a huge impact on how your hair reacts to the products and ingredients you apply to it.
More: How to Find Your Hair Porosity & Density
Best oils for low porosity hair
Argan oil works wonders on low porosity hair because its small molecules easily penetrate the hair shaft, providing moisture. Other excellent oils for their absorbent properties are jojoba and grapeseed.
Best oils for high porosity hair
Coconut oil is a blessing for high porosity hair which loses moisture easily; as well as being great for your scalp, it fortifies the gaps in high porosity hair, providing protein and locking in moisture.
Hair density refers to the number of hair strands that you have per square inch on your scalp. A quick way to determine if your hair is low density or high density is if you can easily see your scalp through your hair then you are lower density, and if it is hard to see your scalp through your hair then it is higher density.
Best oils for low density/thin hair
As it’s similar to sebum (the natural oil in your hair”> jojoba oil is perfect for low-density or fine hair that is easily weighed down. Sweet almond oil is also lovely and light for finer hair.
Best oils for high density/thick hair
Coconut and olive oils are beneficial for thicker/coarser and higher-density hair as they are heavier oils and easily absorbed. Avocado oil is also good for thicker hair and with its amino acids, vitamins and minerals, it can boost hair growth as well as health.
More: Why Hair Porosity & Density Matter
There are a whole host of products containing different oils so you can mix and match to suit your hair!