I’m not a fan of greases. I have nightmares about my mother slathering my scalp with B&B’s heavy green grease when I was a child. It left my forehead shiny and my hair a lint brush. No bueno.
Today, I lean heavily on oils of varying viscosities and my trusty shea butter. The reason for this dramatic deviation from the grease of my childhood is simple: Different oils do different things.
Grease was just grease. It kept my hair from being dry. But when it piled up, it clogged my scalp and weighed my hair down, doing less for the hair.
I have spent a lot of time within the past year researching via various natural hair blogs which oils to use for my hair and how to blend them. I have also learned the amounts that my hair positively responds to as well as how frequently I should apply them to my hair by trial and error. With that being said, I would like to share with you a few oils, their specialties and how to use them starting with the ones I use most:
This oil is very light and is one of the most penetrative oils to the hair shaft. It locks moisture into each individual hair strand. It is also rich in Vitamin E and it moisturizes the scalp to prevent itching and flaking. I use coconut oil in two ways: 1) I mix coconut oil with shea butter to make a smooth moisturizer for damp hairstyles including damp bantu knots and cornrows. I usually spritz hair with water and then apply this moisturizing mixture. 2) I use coconut oil by itself on hair that has been blown dry. I rub a small clump of coconut oil between my hands to melt it and then I smooth it through my hair, one side at a time daily or every other day as needed.
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Olive oil nourishes your hair and adds amazing shine just like coconut oil. It also aids in the prevention of hair loss. I used to use olive oil on my hair daily but found that after a few days my hair smelled really badly. I still wanted the awesome results of using olive oil so I switched to using it in some of my homemade deep conditioners.
My favorite homemade conditioner recipe:
- Olive Oil
- VO5 Moisture Milks Strawberries and Cream Conditioner
- Alba Botanica Hawaiian Mango Conditioner
The measurements vary depending upon how long your hair is. I use about 2 tbsp of olive oil, ½ a cup of honey, 1/3 cup of VO5 and 1/3 cup of Mango Conditioner.
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I tried Argan Oil on my hair after it was blown dry and flat ironed and the SHINE was to die for! Also, the smell was sweet and light. It did not weigh my hair down at all and I applied it just about every other day for the length of time I kept my hair straight. It helps to protect against heat damage and keeps hair from appearing dull.
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Jamaican Black Castor Oil
I love JBCO because it has proven itself as far as promoting hair growth. My edges had been pulled out by weaves that were sewn in too tightly. At first I thought that I permanently damaged the follicle and wouldn’t be able to grow them back but low and behold, after only two months of using JBCO on my edges a few times per week, I’ve seen the little curls popping up all around my edges!
JBCO is unrefined castor with a slightly darker color to it than the more widely distributed refined castor oil. It’s high ash content lends itself to hair growth and restoration. I normally apply JBCO to my edges only when I’m wearing a twist out/bantu knot out, two strand twists or the like. Applying it to my edges when my hair is pressed weighs the hair around the edges down.
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I know this is a BUTTER but it has become one of my staple products because of its moisturizing and sealing effects on hair. I began using shea butter about a year ago, mixing it with coconut oil and applying it to my hair in sections for twist outs and bantu knot outs and it has worked wonders on the texture of my hair. It smoothes my hair shaft, giving it a butter soft feel and makes my hair shine like you wouldn’t believe. I apply it daily to keep my curls fresh and I only use 100% organic shea butter (which is an off white color NOT yellow). What oils and/or butters do you use? Have you seen a difference in your hair as a result?
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La Truly is a late-blooming natural-haired Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome, and fear can cast its crown before courage, meaning fear loses out to courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change through her writing. Check out on her blog: http://www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.