Oils for hair Want glossier, more manageable, healthier hair? You need some oil in your life! Nut and seed oils really can help to transform your locks. Obviously, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough in your diet, but you can also use oils direct on your hair to achieve some pretty impressive results.
Argan oil is a great all-rounder, helping to condition the hair, tame frizz, add shine and make hair easier to style. Coconut oil adds moisture and shine, while olive oil soothes irritation and combats dryness.
Essential oils can also work wonders. Dilute a few drops in coconut or olive oil to make your own hair oil, or just add them to a spray bottle of water. Personally, I swear by ylang ylang. It can promote a healthier scalp, so helps with dry, itchy skin and hair-loss (it smells rather lovely too). Try adding a few drops to warm olive oil and using it as a hot oil treatment. Just half an hour, once a week, can make a real difference.
Damaged hair Lots of oils can help to strengthen and condition hair, if used as a pre-wash treatment. Argan oil is the first one that comes to mind, but coconut oil can also be very effective, as the fatty acids and minerals really ‘feed’ the hair shaft.
Dry hair Coconut, argan and even plain old olive oil can work wonders on dry hair. Warm the oil between your hands, and massage into the hair. For my long hair, I need about a tablespoon of oil. Leave the oil in your hair for half an hour, or overnight if possible. I like to apply my oils warm and then wrap my hair up in a towel, to lock in the warmth and moisture. If you’re looking for something intensive, murumuru butter is an excellent choice. A creamy tree butter, murumuru is well known for its powerful emollient, soothing qualities. It helps to retain moisture, restore natural sheen and softness and improve the flexibility of your hair. Try it as a pre-wash hair treatment.
Greasy hair Massage a few drops of lemon oil through your hair and into your scalp after shampooing. Drop on to your palms, rub briskly and swipe over the hair. Leave for a few minutes and then rinse out. (Make sure you don’t get it in your eyes!)
Flyaway ends Try warming a tiny amount of coconut oil in the palms of your hands, then running it through the ends of your hair.
Frizzy hair Avocado oil is high in Vitamin E and really helps to add moisture. It absorbs well, so can be left on rather than washed out, and helps to minimise frizzing, combat dryness and add shine.
Lack of shine Lemon oil doesn’t just add shine to furniture! Try adding a few drops to a bottle of water and spritzing it over your hair after the final rinse. Use in moderation though, as it can lighten hair if exposed to the sun. You can add a few drops to your oil treatment and your shampoo.
Thinning hair As mentioned, ylang ylang has been found to help with hair loss. Simply add a few drops to any hair oil treatment. Amla can also help to treat thinning hair. Just add a teaspoon of amla powder to some warm olive or coconut oil, massage it through the hair and into the scalp, and wash out after half an hour. You can also try cypress oil, rosemary, geranium, ginger and juniper. Rosemary oil can work well mixed with olive oil, massaged into the scalp and left overnight and is particularly good for dark hair and lacklustre locks.
Dandruff Amla is useful for treating dandruff (and far gentler than most high street dandruff treatments). Just use it a couple of times a week, as directed above. Lavender, myrrh and rosemary are good essential oils to try, as is olive oil. Tea tree oil will also help rid the scalp of any annoying flakes. Simply add a few drops to your oil treatment or apply a few drops to your shampoo.
Head lice If you have school age children, you’ve probably done battle with the dreaded head lice at least once. Tea tree oil can help to kill lice, and repel them. Try adding a few drops each of tea tree and chamomile oil to a water spray and spritzing it on after each hair wash. To kill lice, mix a few drops with warm olive or coconut oil, massage it into hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Comb through with a nit comb, rinse and repeat each day until you’re sure they’re gone.
Do remember that essential oils are very concentrated, so usually need diluting in a carrier oil, and you only need a few drops – any more can cause skin irritation. Some oils are not suitable for use in pregnancy, so do check first. I’m always happy to answer any questions, just leave a comment below, Tweet me @Akamuti or send me an email.
Hair Oil Recipe Guidelines:
Short Hair: 1 teaspoon of oil ( coconut, olive, avocado) 2 drops of essential oil of your choice
Long Hair: 1 tablespoon of oil, 3-4 drops of essential oil of your choice.