If you have curly hair and an internet connection, you have probably seen the hype about using oils for your hair. However, with so many oils out there, it can be hard to know which one to choose, let alone what to actually do with it. You might have also heard about how oils can be not so great for your hair. So what’s the deal? Find out about the go-to oils for most curlies and how these popular oils can work for you.
Coconut oil is lauded as the do-it-all oil, fixing everything from dry hair to dry skin to problems in your love life. While coconut oil has not actually been proven to fix your love life, it is super popular among curlies. As Sister Scientist has taught us, coconut oil is great because its molecules can actually penetrate the hair shaft, giving your hair a boost of protein and strength. If you’d like to try it out yourself, you can leave it on your hair overnight and shampoo it out the next day. Make sure you use unrefined coconut oil — it is the least processed out of all the types of coconut oil, so your hair gets the most coconut benefits.
This oil is most widely known for cooking, but it’s also fantastic for your curls! The most commonly found type of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO, if you’re Rachael Ray), and this is the best kind for hair. Other types of olive oil can have chemical additives that lessen this oil’s effectiveness. Like coconut oil, olive oil can penetrate the hair shaft, so it’s another great option for a pre-poo treatment. Lots of curlies also love to mix it in with their deep conditioner as a nourishing booster. It can be great for sealing moisture into your hair too, so many curlies and coilies love it for the LOC method.
Jamaican black castor oil
This oil is derived from the castor bean, and you might be surprised to learn that it’s not actually all that different from regular castor oil. The main difference is the color — the ashes from roasting the beans are added to JBCO, and they are not added to regular castor oil. Although the differences are minimal, Jamaican black castor oil is far more popular than its regular counterpart. It is nearly synonymous in the curly community with hair growth. It is high in ricinoleic acid, which is anti-inflammatory and aids in maintaining a healthy scalp, which can help your hair grow. It is great for scalp massages, and many people use it on their eyelashes and eyebrows as well!
Jojoba oil is the oil most similar to our bodies’ natural sebum, i.e. the natural oil that the scalp produces. It’s also high in nourishing fatty acids and vitamins, according to hair stylist and founder of the 30-Day Hair Detox, Aisha Strickland. Because it’s so similar to sebum, it’s perfect for nourishing the mid-lengths and ends of our hair, where our natural sebum often has troubling reaching. It’s lighter than the other oils mentioned here, so it’s especially great for wavies, or anyone who wants to reap the benefits of oils without worrying about whether or not they will weigh their hair down.
While these oils are extremely popular among wavies, curlies, and coilies alike, others warn against overuse of these oils. They can build up on your hair so that water has a hard time entering the hair shaft, and you hair actually ends up more dry. Make sure to keep an eye out for the signs of product buildup and clarify when needed. Try out some of these popular oils and find what works for you, and you’ll see why so many curlies love using oils on their hair!
There is an oil for every curly hair concern under the sun, and just about every one of them is super versatile. It’s fun to experiment with treatments and styling and find what works—or doesn’t—for you. Want to keep experimenting? Learn how to make unrefined coconut oil at home!