The Best Hair Oils for Every Hair Type
Here’s the thing about hair oils: It’s not so much a question as to whether or not you need one. It’s more so a matter of finding the one that’s best for you. (For the uninitiated, you’ll solve a host of issues—from frizz to split ends—with a couple of drops a night.) Afraid of choosing the wrong type and winding up a total greaseball? We got you.
So, why do we need hair oils?
Our hair craves oil in order to keep it healthy and strong. Natural oils contain a combination of vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants which help strengthen, moisturize and hydrate our hair. While we rely on our natural hair oils most of the time to get the job done, sometimes we need an extra boost to get it started (plus, who can resist the wonderful scent some of these popular oils possess?). From jojoba oil to coconut oil, here are the best hair oils for every hair type.
1. If You Have Dandruff
Seeing flakes? Massage some almond, peppermint or tea tree oil onto your scalp before shampooing (or add a few drops straight into your shampoo) to soothe itchiness, nix dryness and increase circulation to your hair follicles. Also, if you suffer from any other scalp conditions (i.e. dermatitis, psoriasis), consider using kalahari melon seed oil to soothe the irritation.
Shop the oils: Eden BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Hair Oil ($8); Artizen Peppermint Essential Oil ($9); OGX Extra Strength Refreshing Scalp + Tea Tree Mint Scalp Treatment ($9); Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil ($13); Virtue Healing Oil ($42)
2. If You Have Fine Hair
Though it’s true that thin hair is prone to getting greasy, this doesn't mean you should eliminate oils all together. Fruit oils like avocado or Abyssinian (aka organic crambe seed oil) have a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly so you get conditioning benefits without weighing things down. Also avoid applying it directly to the roots. Mix it into your pre-heat styling product or use it as deep conditioning treatment to protect hair against damage and boost shine.
Shop the oils: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Marvelous Oil Hair Elixir ($5); Giovanni 2chic Anti-Frizz Serum Oil ($6); Verb Ghost Weightless Hair Oil ($18); L’ANZA Keratin Healing Oil Hair Treatment ($46); Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil ($69)
3. If You Have Curly Hair
Fact: More moisture equals more defined curls. Massage a few drops of a heavier oil like coconut, kukui nut or black castor oil into damp hair (or mix some in with your styling cream) to reduce frizz and add shine as it dries. When it comes to coconut oil specifically, less is more, so try to focusing on the ends rather than the scalp.
Shop the oils: OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist ($6); Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil ($4); Vita Coco Organic Virgin Coconut Oil ($22); Shea Moisture 100% Xtra-Virgin Coconut Oil ($23); Briogeo B.Well Organic + Cold-Pressed 100% Castor Oil ($26)
4. If You Have Relaxed Hair
If you haven’t quite made the transition back to your natural hair, let oils help make the process a little bit easier (even if you’re not up for the big chop). Relaxing hair can chemically alter its texture (aka make it straighter) and lead to breakage, thinning and preventing any new hair growth. So, consider using argan, castor or jojoba oil to repair and replenish dry ends, reduce frizz and encourage healthy hair over time.
5. If You Have Color-Treated Hair
When you have chemically treated or processed hair, chances are your strands can get very dry. Look for something with baobab, argan or marula oil. Both have high levels of antioxidants, which will improve elasticity in your hair (key to preventing breakage) and protect against UV rays (key to preserving your color).
Shop the oils: Nubi Boosting Hair Serum ($8); The Ordinary Virgin Marula Oil ($10); Shea Terra Organics Baobab Oil ($16); dpHUE Color Fresh Oil Therapy ($35); Leonor Greyl Paris Pre-Shampoo Treatment Oil ($59)
6. If You Have Dry Hair
If you’re lacking moisture, chances are heavier oils like argan, moroccan (which is just even a more purer form of argan), macadamia or jojoba can bring your hair back to life. Both are rich in fatty acids and vitamin E and can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment to tame any frizz, soften your strands or put on split ends to seal them in. Just a dime-sized amount (or a nickel-sized if your hair is really dry) can do the trick.
Shop the oils: L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil ($6); Macadamia Natural Oil ($16); Pattern Jojoba Oil Hair Serum ($20); Moroccanoil Treatment ($34); Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil ($40); La Tierra Sagrada Jojoba Hair Medicine ($42)
7. If You Have Oily Hair
Yup, you read that correctly. Just because you have oily hair doesn’t mean you can’t get the benefits of hair oils. Tea tree, rosemary, lemon and lavender oil can help remove excess buildup and improve the scalp. It's important to note you want to use a small amount to avoid the oils weighing down your hair and leaving your scalp greasy.
Shop the oils: Renpure Tea Tree Lemon Sage Leave-in Treatment ($8); Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Oil ($10); OGX Hydrate & Color Reviving + Lavender Penetrating Oil ($11); Sunny Isle Rosemary Jamaican Black Castor Oil ($21); Briogeo B.Well Organic + Australian 100% Tea Tree Oil ($32); Christophe Robin Lavender Oil ($47)
Shop Our 5 Favorite Hair Oils
1. Aveeno Deep Hydration Almond Oil Anti-Frizz Hair Mist
Best for Dandruff
Do you have a dry scalp that occasionally gets a little flakey? This hair oil mist might be your best bet. It's infused with oats, almond oil and avocado oil that give strands an intense moisturizing treatment. It's great for most hair types, and it's super easy to use.
2. Aunt Jackie's Growth Oil Grape Seed & Avocado
Best for Dry Hair
Lifeless-looking hair is a real bummer. That's why we're obsessed with Aunt Jackie's grapeseed and avocado oil. The product was designed to help balance your hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture adequately, so if you find that your hair absorbs products too quickly and becomes dry again or vice versa, you might want to give it a go.
3. Shea Moisture 100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Best for Curly Hair
If you have curly hair, you know how tough it is to find products specifically for your hair type. Thankfully, this oil was designed with your hair texture in mind. It's formulated with 100 percent pure Jamaican black castor oil, which aims to restore and strengthen strands for more healthy-looking curls. Oh, and did we mention that it can also be used on the body? It's a win-win.
4. OGX Extra Strength Renewing + Argan Oil
Best for Relaxed Hair
If you have relaxed hair, keeping it moisturized is essential. With just a few drops, this thick, silky Moroccan argan oil is supposed to bring smoothness and shine back into the hair. You can think of it as a restorative, healing oil, making it ideal for damaged or coarser hair.
5. OUAI Hair Oil
Best for Color-Treated Hair
This multi-tasking formula was not only designed to protect hair from heat damage (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and maintain its color, but it also aims to smooth frizzy split-end hair. It's infused with African galanga, ama and Asian borage oils that give hair a glossy, sleek look. And it can be used on wet, dry and blow-dried hair.
OK, I found my hair oil, now what?
First off, woo! Secondly, consider trying a hot-oil treatment to really give your hair a little TLC. Start by heating up 3 to 6 teaspoon of the oil for 10 seconds before mixing it with your go-to deep conditioner. Once it cooled down a bit, start sectioning your hair and applying the mixture. Let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes and rinse. (It's also optional to use a heating cap, steamer or dryer to really get the mix to seep in.)
Aside from a spa treatment, consider incorporating a hair oil into your daily styling routine before blow-drying or smoothing any flyaways. Regardless of what you choose, begin to add the product weekly for better results. Hair oils are not one size fits all. Don't be afraid to experiment to find the one.