Oils, oils, oils

Oils, Oils, Oils

What could be better for our curly coils than oils?  Oils offer a variety of benefits for natural hair from softening, to moisturizing to sealing in moisture; from supplying valuable vitamins to adding shine.  Our hair loves oils.  And what she wants, she should get.

Here, we will cover some of the more popular oils for our lovely locs.  Carrier oils, essential oils: here is the place to learn all about them.  And the best thing about oils is, you really can’t go wrong.  Pick the oil that meets your biggest need.  Or an oil that meets your financial need.  But you will not regret adding oil to your natural hair regimen.

Carrier Oils – Also known as base oils, Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils.  They can be used as a sealant or a moisturizer.  Popular carrier oils include:  Argan, castor, jojoba, sweet almond, olive oils, Grapeseed, and Coconut.

Essential Oils – Essential oils are derived from plants and offer numerous medicinal attributes.  They are highly concentrated and should not be applied directly to the scalp.  Instead small amounts should be mixed with carrier oils.

Argan Oil – Argan Oil is a plant based oil produced from the seed of Argan nuts.  This oil has been popularly used to treat bug bites, skin infections and rashes.  Featuring a high Vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is a natural hair and skin moisturizer.  This carrier oil penetrates the hair shaft adding to the elasticity of the hair.  It also nourishes the scalp contributing to hair growth.  It helps restore smoothness, treats brittle color treated hair and repairing damage.

Avocado Oil – Avocado is a versatile fruit (yes, fruit) packed with healthy fatty acids and chocked full of vitamins, including A, B, C, E, K, Potassium, Iron and Zinc.  It has recently grown popularity outside of being the well known ingredient in guacamole due to its ability to help decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes.  The oil extracted from its fruit also hosts a list of benefits for hair and skin.  The oil is light weight and absorbs into the hair easily making it moisturizing to dry hair.  The nutrients and vitamins help to provide nourishment that aids in hair growth.  And it has natural humectant abilities to draw and lock in moisture.  This carrier oil is safe to apply directly to your scalp, or add to shampoos and conditioners for additional moisture.

Castor Oil – Castor oil is obtained by pressing the seeds of the castor oil plant.  This oil has been contributed with improving circulation, balancing hormones, healing sun burn, relieving constipation and so much more.  It contains ricinoleic acid which is often used in hair moisturizers, but is also rumored to increase hair growth by improving circulation to the scalp.  This carrier oil can be applied directly to the scalp and is a great aid in massaging the scalp.

Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a cooking oil but can be used in multiple ways.  It’s used as the base in the manufacture of soaps, has been tested in some countries as an alternative fuel source, and has amazing healthy hair benefits.  This carrier oil is extracted from the “meat” of the coconut and is high in vitamins and essential fatty acids that nourish the hair and scalp.  Coconut oil helps to prevent hair loss, repair damage, retain moisture, condition hair and prevent dandruff.  This oil can be used as a stand alone or with the aid of other oils.

Grapeseed Oil – This oil derived from pressing grapeseeds is quickly gaining popularity through its many medicinal, nutritional and cosmetic benefits.  This light carrier oil is a great source of fatty acids and vitamin E providing antioxidants for your skin and promoting a stronger immune system to help fight illness.  Because of its light consistency grapeseed oil can be used for moisturizing as well as conditioning your hair without leaving it feeling weighted down and greasy.  It locks in moisture and helps to prevent frizz and split ends.  Grapeseed oil is full of nutrients that help nurture skin cell growth, combined with the antioxidants that block the production of the hormone that causes hair loss this oil is a great additive to your hair growth regimen.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil – Black Castor Oil is made through a detailed process of drying, roasting, and boiling castor seeds.  It is normally a light to dark brown and has a “nutty” scent.  This thick oil is popularly used as a hair moisturizer and conditioner.  It adds sheen; helps repair dry, damaged hair; stimulates hair growth and is great for sealing moisture into your hair.  JBCO can be used directly on your hair and scalp but due to the thickness and smell, most will add a carrier oil or an essential oil with a pleasant fragrance.

Jojoba Oil –  Jojoba oil is the liquid produced in the seed of the jojoba plant. It is actually the liquid wax product of the plant with uses too numerous to name….but we will try.  Jojoba oil closely resembles the natural oils created by our skin and hair.  It is used to treat acne, psoriasis, sunburn and chapped skin.  It soothes the skin and help improve the skin’s health, prevents razor burns, and contains Vitamin E which acts as an anti-aging nutrient.  Jojoba oil controls hair loss by promoting hair growth, it conditions the hair to aid in preventing frizz, can help control dandruff and act as an antifungal.  It can also treat alopecia, treat itchiness and has anti-inflammatory properties.  This oil is often used as a carrier oil and is mixed with essential oils to treat dry hair follicles.

Lavender Oil – Lavender Oil is obtained by distilling lavender buds.  This essential oil is best known to promote hair growth.  Lavender oil has antiseptic properties and can be used to help itchy scalp and/or dandruff.  Regular gentle massages with this oil is a great way to soothe your scalp while promoting growth.

Olive Oil – Olive oil, derived from pressing olives, is usually categorized based on the flavor, odor and fatty acid content.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil has the highest flavor, most favorable odor and contains the lowest acidity levels. Other versions of olive oil can have chemical additives so we recommend always using EVOO or at least a refined olive oil to obtain the best benefits for your hair.  This thick carrier oil will help condition your hair, improve elasticity and nourish the scalp.  Because it penetrates the hair follicle, it can help in retaining moisture and control frizz.

Peppermint oil –  Peppermint is a hybrid cross between water mint and spearmint.  The oil is extracted through the distillation process.  This oil has been reported to help with digestive issues, soothe a sore throat, relieve aching muscles, freshen breath, boost mental alertness and contain calming effects.  This oil also has amazing benefits for your natural hair.  Peppermint oil is antiseptic and has antifungal properties.  It helps fight dandruff and stimulates growth.  This essential is very strong and should be paired with a carrier oil before applying.

Rosemary oil – Originating from the rosemary bush, this essential oil is extracted from its leaves.  The oil and the fresh leaves are often used in preparing food.  Rosemary oil has also been discovered to offer multiple benefits for hair; including stimulating hair growth and treating dry scalp.  It is also rumored to delay premature hair loss and early graying.  Rosemary is an essential oil so you will want to add a small amount to a carrier oil.

Safflower Oil – Safflower oil is derived from the seeds of the safflower plant.  This oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids which help balance the cholesterol in the body.  So this oil can aid in heart health, reducing blood sugar levels, and helps the body burn fat helping in weight loss.  Rich in oleic acid, this oil helps in increasing circulation, adding shine and strengthens the hair follicle and can be used directly on the hair and skin.

Sweet Almond Oil – Sweet Almond Oil is extracted from the kernels of the almond tree.  There are some bitter almonds that produce a bitter oil that can be fatal if ingested. While there are some medicinal benefits of the bitter oil, the sweet almond is edible and, as suggested by the name, sweet in taste.  This mild oil is easily absorbed so it helps to encourage smooth skin and acts as a deep cleanser, while removing dark circles around your eyes and fighting eczema and psoriasis.  This oil has amazing benefits for your hair as well.  Due to being rich in Vitamins A, B, and E, this oil increases luster and shine in hair.  It is a great sealant to maintain moisture, fighting breakage and split ends.

Tea Tree Oil – Tea Tree Oil comes from distilling the leaves of the Australian tea tree.  This oil is a powerful antiseptic with abilities to help treat rashes, burns and acne.  This essential oil helps unclog hair follicles and nourishes roots which can lead to longer, thicker hair.  This oil fights the fungus that causes dandruff so it is a great additive to a carrier oil or shampoo to treat a flaky, itchy scalp.

Ylang Ylang Oil – Ylang ylang is an essential oil extracted through steaming the flowers from the ylang ylang tree.  Often used in aroma therapy, Ylang ylang oil is also an antidepressant, antiseptic, can helps treat some forms of eczema, and can be used as an aphrodisiac.  For our hair, this oil stimulates hair growth, can help prevent hair loss caused by stress, and conditions our locs.  It is an essential oil so it should be added to a carrier oil or water before application.  This oil also has precautions: ylang ylang oil can cause sensitivity and headaches after prolonged use.

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