Jan 16, 2013

Reader Question: What, where, and how? Oils for natural hair

Yesterday, I posted a handy info-graphic about the usage of oils/roots on natural hair -  CLICK HERE. One of our readers had a question about how to acquire the right oils to help aid your hair. Believe me, I was ULTRA confused when I first big-chopped. I had ALL these oils and didn't know how to use them.

Before I get into the questions, there two things you need to know about oils: Some oils are carrier oils and others essential oils (which are noted in the referenced article).
  • Carrier Oils are known as a base oil, vegetable oil, or butter that is used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin or hair.
  • Essential Oils are simply known as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted. An oil is "essential" because it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of that plant. Essential oils are VERY potent and should ALWAYS be used with a carrier oil such as Shea, Coconut, JoJoba, etc.

Are you all really using all of these oils and home remedies?

No, of course not! If I was using all those oils, my hair would be a greasy mess. Currently I use/take: Moringa Pills for health and hair growth, lavender (mixed with Jamaican Castor Oil) to retain my edges while wearing braids, and Coconut Oil (mixed with Shea Butter) for my own body butter.

And do they really work. I tried the coconut oil and had no glorious luck. Maybe I used it wrong. It was waxy and made my hair clumped.

It's really a game in figuring what your hair likes, what smells really good, and what's cost effective. The key is finding the right oils to work for you - lighter oils/butters for light/fine textured hair, dense oils/butters for thicker textured hair. Most carrier oils will help aid in moisture retention, hair loss, and shine. However, you must use them for an extended period of time to see the best results.

Coconut Oil and Shea Butter are the two carrier oils that people tend to love or hate. I found that using those oils alone gave me mixed results - my hair may be too greasy or I might get a waxy buildup. However, when I melted them in the microwave, with a teaspoon of Olive oil, I had a great sealant on my hands. Add a drop (or two) of Lavender Essential Oil, and you've got yourself a great smelling hair balm.

And are you buying them in Wal-mart, essential oils man, world foods? turnip truck, etc?

I buy all my oils (carrier and essential) from Ebay! Ebay has free shipping and no taxes. I usually receive my product within the week. Other readers buy their oils (carrier and essential) from the local flea market, Whole Food/Whole Body, Trader Joe's, and even you local grocery store.

So, I hope that answers the questions about oils. If you are still confused, hit me in the comments section or on the Facebook page.
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