Hair oil is great as a pre-wash treatment for extra moisture, or as a styling product. I especially love to use hair oil after washing with a shampoo bar and rinsing with diluted apple cider vinegar. Once my hair has air dried a bit, I apply a simple argan oil to my still-damp hair (just the ends) for extra moisture and shine. If you blow dry your hair, you may want to apply hair oil before doing so.
For a full rundown on the how’s and why’s of using hair oils, check out this article from Huffington Post.
The best part about hair oils, as far as we’re concerned, is that it’s one of the easiest DIY personal care products you can make. Choose your oils based on your hair type and add essential oils based on scent or needs if you wish — and voila! A completely natural and personalized, nourishing hair oil.
Here’s how to mix up your own personalized hair oil:
Choose Your Base Oil(s)
Choose 1-3 oils from the following list, based on your needs as well as what you already have on hand. If choosing one or more heavy oils, it’s a good idea to add at least 60% of a lighter oil like camellia for everyday use.
Start with a mix of just 60 mL in total (or less), to test and see how your hair reacts.
Argan — a wonderfully nourishing oil that is widely recommended for its softening and detangling properties.
Avocado — nourishing, moisturizing and conditioning. Good for all hair types.
Borage Seed — conditioning and vitalizing for the hair.
Calophyllum (Tamanu) — said to strengthen and condition the hair. Calophyllum is a good addition to weekly scalp treatments as it is beneficial for dry, flaky or irritated scalps.
Camellia — a good choice to lighten things up. Use at least 60% camellia for everyday use for something lighter; use 40% camellia with 60% of the other, heavier oils for a weekly, more restorative treatment such as a hot oil treatment.
Castor — this is a heavier and more intensive oil that is said to promote hair growth and even prevent hair loss. Great in combination with argan and hemp for over-processed or damaged hair.
Coconut — coconut oil helps to tame frizzy or unmanageable hair.
Evening Primrose — a soothing oil that is a good choice for hair damaged by over-processing.
Hemp Seed — a good choice for damaged or over-processed hair.
Jojoba — jojoba is a great choice in a hair oil because it has the same natural pH as our body’s own sebum.
Meadowfoam Seed — this oil locks in moisture and provides shine and smoothness.
Neem Seed — helpful with issues like dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.
Rice Bran — rice bran oil is a good choice for sun damaged hair and is said to have sun protective properties.
Sesame Seed — a heavy oil that works better for thick and/or coarse hair, sesame has slight sun protective properties and is a good addition to weekly scalp treatment oils.
Shea Butter — another very heavy option (it will be solid when you use it, or can be melted to mix with other oils in a blend), shea butter is wonderfully moisturizing for thick, coarse hair.
Sweet Almond — makes a good addition to any generally conditioning hair oil.
Choose Your Essential Oils
While it’s not essential (haha) that you add essential oils, you may wish to include some for the scent or for their purported benefits.
Here are some essential oil options based on whether you would like your blend to be soothing, revitalizing or stimulating, from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. Note that citrus oils can lead to hair lightening.
Add up to 30 drops in total of essential oils per 30 mL of carrier oil.
For recipes and further information, check out The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. Or, have fun playing around with your own recipe!