As we all know, natural hair and oil are pretty much the perfect match. When it comes to Type 4 hair, particularly 4c, this match becomes especially important. Oil can be used for a multitude of purposes for natural hair, including:
- Hot Oil Treatments
- Scalp Massages/treatments
- Adding to conditioners/deep conditioners
- Adding to your spray bottle mix
- Sealing in Moisture
1. Coconut Oil (Pure & Unrefined)
Properties: You’ve probably heard all the rage about coconut oil by now. Well, it doesn’t disappoint! This oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, which both help promote hair growth and length retention, decrease breakage, and strengthen the hair. Coconut oil consists of hydrophobic properties that inhibit the penetration of water from the surrounding air and environment. This helps prevent the swelling of the strands (absorbing too much water) and also aids with keeping moisture sealed into your hair by creating a barrier. If you have high porosity hair, you may find this property highly beneficial.
Uses: It’s great to use as a pre-poo or mixed into your favorite conditioner because it will naturally help melt the tangles out of your hair. You can apply coconut oil to add shine, combat frizz and as a part of the sealing stage of the LOC Method.
2. Castor Oil (Jamaican Black)
Properties: Castor oil consists of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, protein, and minerals that work together to make it one of the best oils for boosting hair growth. You’ve probably heard of using Jamaican Black Castor Oil to help regrow your edges or simply to kickstart your growth journey. The rumors are true: this unrefined and nutrient-rich oil increases blood flow to the scalp, resulting in thicker, stronger, and longer hair. This is because castor oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that remove dead skin cells from the scalp and stimulate hair follicles for growth.
Uses: Take caution when applying castor oil- especially if you plan on wearing your hair out. This oil is super thick so a little goes a long way. And if you don’t like it at first, don’t give up on it: you may just have been a little too heavy-handed with the product. Apply it to your edges to get them in tiptop shape. If you find that your hair is dry, brittle, prone to breakage, or balding in any areas, Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a great natural way to combat all of these issues.
3. Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
Properties: Olive oil is its own natural conditioner: it penetrates the hair shaft better than some other oils and nourishes, softens, and strengthens the hair. Olive oil also has an anti-inflammatory property that helps rid the hair of dandruff and product build-up on the scalp. It also assists in reducing hair loss by fortifying the hair against any kind of wear and tear.
Uses: Make sure you purchase extra virgin olive oil from your local grocery store for best results. Olive oil works very well for scalp massages: it will help you stimulate hair growth and maintain a healthy scalp. Add it to your spray bottle mix to help keep your hair moisturized throughout the week. Since olive oil penetrates the hair shaft, it also works great for hot oil treatments and will result in hair that looks and feels softer and stronger.
4. Avocado Oil
Properties: Jam-packed with vitamins A, B, D, and E, protein, amino acids, magnesium, iron, copper, folic acid and fatty acids, avocado oil is superb for protecting and preventing damage to the hair. It also helps the hair lock in moisture and protects your strands against sun damage. Avocado oil has an even higher content (72%) of monounsaturated fats than coconut oil: these fats provide nourishment and make your hair super shiny.
Uses: Adding avocado oil to your shampoo will treat dry, itchy scalp and adding it to your conditioner will give you excellent slip to make detangling a breeze.
5. Jojoba Oil (Pure & Unrefined)
Properties: Jojoba oil doesn’t always get as much “shine” (no pun intended) as it deserves. Much like avocado oil, it is great for addressing dry scalp but also hair loss, and in preventing split ends. But unlike any other oil, jojoba mimics your hair’s own natural oil (sebum) which causes your strands to respond quite positively by absorbing it into the hair shaft, which results in more moisturized and shinier hair. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E, which work together to protect against damage. It has an even higher content of monounsaturated fats than avocado oil (98%!) which of course make it excellent for strengthening the hair against breakage. It adds volume, encourages hair growth, and helps the hair revert from damage.
Uses: Jojoba oil also works great for scalp massages because it gives you great benefits without weighing your hair down. It is excellent when used in deep conditioners because it helps the hair bounce back, especially from heat styling. Since it is a lightweight oil, it may be a good choice for low porosity naturals.
The best thing about oil for natural hair is that you don’t need them all at the same time but the more you have, the better! All of them are versatile and beneficial for the hair. Try one, try them all, and watch your hair prosper.
Update: Corrections to the wording of the info for coconut oil have been made because it previously was written in a way that may have led many to believe that coconut oil is a moisturizer. Oil on its own cannot moisturize your hair. Coconut Oil helps to prevent moisture loss by sealing in the moisture from water (the one true moisturizer), however by itself it is not a moisturizer.