Essential Oil General Overview

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Essential Oils are one of the best natural reconstructors and moisturizers of hair! It is imperative to incorporate these into your hair regimen but remember NOT to overdue it! A little generally tends go a long way with essential oils. Rather than write a whole blog post about the use of essential oils and which ones are best for what, I decided to snag this article from Curly Nikki to share with you all. It sums it all up way better than I can and come from an expert in curly and natural hair cair: Hair Liberty’s Nicole Harmon!

Q: What’s the best oil to use on my hair? How should I use it?

A: There’s really no wrong way to use vegetable oils, but just like any other product, when you find the right oil for your hair, everything from detangling to styling will be easier.

Oils for Conditioning

Best Choices: Coconut, Olive, Avocado, and Castor Oil
These oils are high in saturated or monounsaturated fat. Oils in this category are easily absorbed through the cuticle layer into the inner cortex of the hair. Once the oil is inside it can give the strands a bit more strength against breakage.

Best Use: Apply generously to dry hair an hour or more before shampooing. For a faster treatment, cover with a plastic cap and sit under a bonnet dryer for 20 minutes on low.
These oils should not be applied to wet hair because water will only prevent the oil from absorbing (remember water and oil don’t mix).

Coconut, Olive, Avocado, and Castor Oil are considered medium to heavy oils. If you have fine natural hair, don’t use these to style or your hair may turn out stiff and piecey looking.

Oils for Sealing

Best Choices: Almond , Grapeseed, Flaxseed, and Sunflower Oil
These oils that are high in polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats stay on the surface of the strand instead of absorbing inside. When the goal is to seal moisture into your hair, you need oils that stay on the top cuticle layers.

Best Use: Make your own finishing spray by putting one of these oils in a mister or spray bottle. Spray on damp or dry hair to seal in moisture or add shine to a wet set or blow out.
These oils can also be used as pre-shampoo oil treatments when you don’t have time to wait for the benefits of a conditioning oil.

None of the oils mentioned here last longer than 1 year once opened. Expired oils make your hair more prone to sun damage, so they are not worth using. Maximize the shelf life of your oils by keeping them away from heat and light. Store them in a cool, dry place like a kitchen pantry or a closet instead of the bathroom cabinet.

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Homemade Deep Conditioners

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Although I’m a huge product junkie, if you can’t tell by now, I do love organic products and using essential oils (jojoba, avocado, almond, etc). Therefore, I have lately begun to dabble in making my own homemade deep conditioners. Here is a YouTube video that shows a great way to make your own DIY deep conditioner as well as the way to effectively apply the mixture.
Below I have a list of recipes that can be used to make your own deep condtioners. These recipes do NOT have to be duplicated exactly and you can make remixes of them of course!

Honey Humectant

2 tablespoons of mango butter
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of shea butter
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of jojoba oil

Coconut Conditioner*

3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of shea butter
2 teaspoons of jojoba oil
1 teaspoon of avocado oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Almonds & Avocados

1/2 mashed avocado
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon almond oil

When applying these DIY’s, I like to mix them with store bought deep conditioners but you can also use them without any store bought additions. My favorites to mix are Beautiful Textures deep conditioner OR the Anti Breakage Masque from SheaMoisture. When applying, after a fresh shampoo and conditioner, I like to part my damp hair into four sections. Within each section I will apply the store bought deep condtioner FIRST (paying special attention to the ends of my hair) and then the DIY second as it acts as a sealant, locking in all the yummy moisture that the deep conditioner is providing to my hair’s cuticle. As mentioned in a previous blog, I like to use the Tangle Tamer (available at any Sally’s) or a wide tooth comb in order to ensure equal distribution throughout my hair. Once I have done this, I pile all my hair into a top knot and cover with a plastic cap. At this point I like to sit under a bonnet dryer for about 25-30 minutes but recently I have begun using my Secura hair steamer as the steam opens up the hairs cuticle allowing for deeper penetration of both deep conditioners. A bonnet dryer, however, works just as well! Once the 30 minutes is up, rinse well and apply leave in’s and style prep products and you’re golden!

*very hydrating!

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