The 8 Best Oils for Natural Hair
By Qhemet Biologics
Natural hair gurus flock to oils for good reason. If you've been on this natural hair journey for any length of time, I'm sure you've heard of the favorites like olive oil and coconut oil. Here at Qhemet, we take the ingredient selection process a step further and seek out additional premium oils with excellent track records to ensure the health and growth of your hair.
An oil can be used to condition, seal in moisture and lend sheen or shine to hair. A full, healthy head of kinks and coils always has an oil behind it that's responsible for the glow, that extra factor that makes it look especially radiant.
By using a carefully curated selection of oils in our products, we're able to address the diverse needs of afro/coily hair. Whether it's 4C or 3C, thin or thick or high or low porosity, we've got you covered when it comes to the right oils to use to keep your hair healthy. In this article, we'll describe the benefits of the various oils we use so you'll know which oils are best for you and why, as the first step to healthy hair is knowlege. So let's get started.
1. Olive Oil
Most naturals are pretty familiar with olive oil. It's often used as a conditioner and a pre-poo oil. Pre-pooing or pre-shampooing is a moisture retention method that involves coating the hair with oil before shampooing it to keep it soft after rinsing.
Olive oil is an ancient beauty staple first used in Africa and the Mediterranean. It is a must have for hair health as it strengthens hair follicles while adding shine and luster to your curls.
Olive oil is packed with nutrients like vitamins E and K and omega-6 fatty acids which help protect the hairs keratin layer. It's no surprise that olive oil also possesses anti-fungal properties which can help combat dandruff.
Because olive oil works so well with water and humectants to boost their moisture retention capacity, we put it in all of our moisturizers!
Products that contain Olive Oil:
Our Amla & Olive Heavy Cream, especially, is a powerhouse moisturizer that keeps dry, parched hair dewy soft and supple for days!
2. Castor Oil
Naturals love this oil and swear by it for healthy hair growth, length retention, shine and overall hair health. Native to Africa, castor oil is derived from the castor bean and is traditionally used in hair care to hydrate, protect, boost growth and soften dry, coarse hair.
Castor oil is unique in that it is rich in ricinoleic fatty acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that also acts as a humectant. Thus, castor oil behaves not only as a softner, lubricant and occlusive but it's also capable of drawing moisture to the hair and locking it in.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, castor oil can be used to effectively treat dandruff caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis. Taking control of your scalp health by using our Castor & Amla Nourishing Pomade encourages growth and keeps follicles healthy by reducing the damaging effects of dandruff on the scalp.
Castor oil is so perfectly suited to afro/coily hair that we wouldn't be surprised if it was selectively bred many millenia ago to possess all of the properties needed to keep our hair healthy, soft and strong. We've witnessed the amazing benefits of castor oil use on dry, damaged and slow growing hair and can attest to its restorative effect so we use it extensively in all our heavier products! Our Castor oil products are especially well suited to coarse, thick and/or dry 4C hair.
Products that contain Castor Oil:
Take a look at our Castor Oil Collection here.
3. Moringa Oil
We're almost positive that you haven't heard about the benefits of this exceptional oil so we'll catch you up to speed.
The Moringa Tree, also known as the Miracle Tree, is native to parts of Africa and India. Its bark, sap, seeds, oil, leaves, roots and flowers are used in making traditional medicine.
Seeds from the Moringa Tree produce a nutrient rich, luxurious oil that readily sinks into the hair strands, creating a smooth, satiny feel and finish. Moringa oil imparts shine, slip and lubricity to dry, tangled hair. Its high vitamin E content helps stimulate circulation to the scalp and hair follicles, aiding hair growth and reducing shedding.
This miracle oil is used in both our lighter and heavier products.
Products that contain Moringa Oil:
4. Coconut Oil
This oil is a favorite among naturals and considered essential to healthy hair and growth.
The use of coconut oil is prolific in tropical regions such as South and Central America, Africa and most of Asia. The uses are so respected that they were documented in texts dating back as far as 1,500 BC.
The structure of coconut oil allows for easy absorption, giving both skin and hair a soft, smooth texture. This oil has an affinity to the proteins inside the hair which reinforces its structure, helping to strengthen each strand and limit the damage that exposure to the sun, heat and chemicals can cause. This oil also has the ability to re-establish the skin's natural antimicrobial and acid barrier.
You can find coconut oil in our lightweight formulas.
Products that contain Coconut Oil:
5. Green Tea Oil
Tea seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the camellia oleifera plant which is native to China. This nourishing oil is rich in vitamins A, B, C and E and is a great source of antioxidants, plant collagen and elastin, essential components that create strong, resilient hair. Its smooth, lightweight texture won't weigh down hair or cause build-up making it perfect for thin, fine and low porosity hair.
This premium, softening and finishing oil is used in our latest hair serum!
Products that contain Green Tea Oil:
6. Rice Bran Oil
Since we only use the best of the best, it makes sense that we'd use rice bran oil!
Rich in vitamin E and ceramides, this luscious oil helps protect and flatten the cuticle layer of hair to prevent protein and moisture loss. When cuticles lie flat, the moisture deposited into the strands doesn't leak out. Its high smoke point makes it ideal as a heat protectant during heat styling too. If your hair is protein sensitive, ceramides are a great way to strengthen your hair and reduce split ends without using protein.
Products that contain Rice Bran Oil:
This plant based butter smoothes down hair and reduces frizz, extending the life of twisted and plaited styles.
7. Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is made from the seeds of wine producing grapes. It is the lightest of oils and virtually odorless. Popular within Mediterranean and North African cultures, the presence of its leaves found in temples and houses testify that the vine was an important plant. Grape seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, phenols (tocopherols) and steroids (campesterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol). It also contains proanthocyanidins, potent antioxidants which have been shown in independent studies to help hair grow in thicker. Use our moisture packed Olive & Honey Hydrating Balm below to experience the impressive effects of grapeseed oil on the hair!
Products that contain Grape Seed Oil:
8. Amla Oil
The Amla fruit is a natural antioxidant and rich source of Vitamin C. When macerated, the fruit yields an oil that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to condition the hair and scalp. It is said to penetrate the scalp, delay pigment loss and strengthen hair at its root, reducing shedding and promoting stronger, healthier hair growth.
If you are looking for premium, effective products rich in African and Ayurvedic ingredients like Amla and Castor Oils to strengthen your hair and maximize moisture retention and growth, then you need the products listed below.
Products that contain Amla:
Get the hair you were meant to have.
When we endeavored to create nourishing hair products that do not contain mineral or petroleum oil, we looked to our past for inspiration. That search led us to explore the plant based ingredients found in the hair care dressings, oils and unguents used in traditional African, Mediterranean and Ayurvedic hair care systems. Kinky/coily hair is naturally long and lush but achieving healthy hair is hard when you're not using or don't have access to the natural treatments our forebears used and when most mainstream products marketed to naturals contain damaging ingredients that hinder its health and growth. At Qhemet, many of our products contain the same ingredients found in the centuries old, tried and true formulas our forebears used to keep their hair long and lush. We are selective about the ingredients we use because we genuinely care about the health of your hair and want it to reach its fullest potential, healthwise and lengthwise!