Our hair is a huge part of our identity. We are born with an average of 100, 000 hair follicles on our scalp and loose about 50 to 100 strands a day.
Every day life takes its toll on our hair. Everything from pollution, poor eating habits, stress, health reasons (chemotherapy), menopause, a sedentary lifestyle, over styling (hot irons, braiding or using weaves) .
We loose the hair follicles that aren’t getting the nutrition and support needed to provide a full healthy head of hair. To maintain a healthy head of hear we advice that you feed your body from the inside out. (we will do a post on that soon), moisturise, and condition your hair and avoid over styling or keeping in weaves for extended periods.
We also advice that you are proactive about choosing the right products for your hair type. We recommend sulphate free products and as natural as you can find (made with plant oils and butters) as they are able to penetrate into the scalp and repair dry, damaged hair. Always look for virgin oils where possible.
In this post, we will share our top 10 oils to soothe your scalp, nourish dry hair and encourage hair growth. We love Argan oil but it has become a wonderous find in the west in recent years. Prized by Berber women for centuries, this humble staple was a god send from the kitchen to the bathroom. The craze for Argan oil based products have spiked up prices and led us to researching alternatives that can help with hair growth.
We are still featuring it as our number 1 oil and with reasons, but we encourage you to consider other gorgeous plant oils too for longer hair, more volume and to soothe scalp conditions.
- Argan oil (Argania spinosa)
Argan (Argania spinosa) Oil is a product of Morocco and famous for its nourishing and moisturising properties. Also known as liquid gold, it is produced from the kernels of the Argan plant. Rich in carotenoids, tocopherol, aka vitamin E and fatty acids such as oleic acid it is an effective antioxidant that protects the hair against damage and can help boost cell production. It is not cheap. Recent price (2017) is about £25 for 50ml but a little goes a long way. Add a few drops to your conditioner to repair tired hair.
2. Avocado (Persea americana) Oil
Image credit : www.today.com
Avocado (Persea americana) oil is extracted from the seed of the Avocado tree -an indigenous Mexican plant. Avocado is abundant in mono saturated fats Vitamins C, E, K, and carotenoids and therefore has very high fat content .
This high absorbing quality makes it easy as it is able to penetrate into the hair shaft and promote shine and strength . It is also excellent for moisturising dandruff prone scalps and as a detangler as well as protecting heat damaged hair. You can use as a hair moisturiser by itself of consider a hot oil treatment to allow the oil to work its way into your hair. Your hair will thank you. We recommend organic (dark green in colour) Avocado oil where possible and advice that you store in a cool dark place.
3. Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil
image credit : holisticlifestyling.com/
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) we love jojoba (pronounced ho -ho-ba ) from jojoba shrubs which is native to Arizona, California and Mexico. It is just about the only oil with the same molecular structure as sebum. Sebum is the oil produced in your scalp. so it wont mess with the PH balance of your scalp. It is also great for treating scalp problems and dandruff and has a high mono saturate content so can penetrate hair follicles easily. add shine, elasticity, volume to your hair. We recommend you buy unrefined jojoba which is golden. It is expensive but a little goes a long way and it is worth every drop
4. Castor (Ricinus communis) Oil
image credit : www. dir.indiamart.com
Castor oil is extracted from the nuts of the castor plant. High in ricinoleic acid (a form of monosaturated fat) this usually light and thick oil (dark brown to black) when roasted promotes hair growth, helps to prevent hair loss, moisturises your scalp by easily penetrating into the pores of your scalp and hair shaft.
It is also said to have anti fungal properties as well as the ability to balance your scalp’s PH level. It is a very thick oil and can have a strong smell depending on method of extraction. The black castor oil smells a bit like liquorice. Our favourite way is to massage a few drops into the scalp to improve blood flow and shampoo off after 20 minutes.
5. Shea (Butyrospermum Parkii) Oil
Shea oil is extracted from the seeds of the Majestic African Shea tree. We call it the long lost cousin of Shea butter. Although they are off different compositions and chemistry, both are cupboard essentials. Shea oil (extracted from shea butter) is rich in palmetic, stearic , oleic and linoeic acids and help moisturise, stimulate hair growth, and control skin and scalp conditions it is also an excellent conditioner and even better as a hot oil treatment. We love it so much, we added it to our Regenerate hair oil.
6. Black sesame (Nigella sativa) oil
Black sesame oil Nigella sativa (black-caraway or kalonji), often called black cumin,[is an extracted from the seeds Nigella tree , native to south and southwest Asia. Revered for many centuries in a lot of cultures, this anti oxidant rich oil packs a punch. from protecting your hair from UV rays, it penetrates easily into your hair follicles making it a great choice for repairing damaged tresses and encouraging hair growth. It is also an excellent anti fungal and antibacterial remedy and therefore an excellent choice for treating dandruff, itchy skin/scalp conditions from chemotherapy and even head lice.
7. Andiroba (Carapa guianensis) oil
Andiroba (Carapa guianensis) oil is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, proteins and minerals. effective emollient used for repairing dry cracked skin . As a hair oil, it really is the bees knees, it intensely moisturises and repairs without weighing your hair down like castor oil for instance. It is particularly useful for dry hair, curly and natural afro hair types. It is best applied warm or as a hot oil treatment.
8. Baobab (Adansonia digitata) seed oil
Extracted from the seed of Baobab tree indigenous to Africa, this antioxidant rich and versatile oil is widely used in hair applications and highly prized for its restorative properties. Rich in Vitamin A, D, E & F as well as Omega 3, 6 & 9 Fatty acids . Apply baobab oil to wet hair, leave for 5 minutes and shampoo out for healthy, well conditioned hair. .
9. Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) oil,
Rosemary oil, is native to the mediterranean and extracted from the plant of the rosemary shrub. this versatile fresh oil is an excellent antioxidant, antibacterial and stimulant for the scalp. Many years ago, an inventor Francesc Casadó Galcerá patented a hair product that contained Rosemary oil amongst other things and found the product had the following effect
- New hair growth, by as much as 22%
- Stimulated “rapid” hair growth
- Improved scalp health via microcirculation
- Smoother hair
- Retained hair, with fewer incidences of loss after shampooing
We love the smell of Rosemary and find it soothes dandruff prone scalps created our Rosemary, Tea tree and Lemon Shampoo bar
What are your favourite oils? Are they on the list?
We created our Regenerate Hair oil with a few of the oils in the list. It packs a punch and smells fantastic too. If you want a ready made product with all the goodness, you can buy ours here www.etieno.co.uk