A while ago I asked for tips to get my hair to grow longer. One of them was using castor oil. I had never heard of it, but I was curious to try it out. I bought it first, and then did my research. Definitely not the right order, but what I learned blew my mind. Apparently I had to use it a certain way for it to work properly, and in general I had been using hair oil completely wrong!
Before I continue, I would like to stress that I’m not a hair oil professional, I just read a loooot of articles and blogs (eg. this one from Science-y Hair Blog, this article on International Journal of Trichology and many more) on this matter and collected some of the info here. There’s plenty of more information to find out about this on the internet.
Moisturising versus sealing hair oils
I love using hair oils. There’s a reason there’s one between my favorite hair care products. Besides the Trilogy one, I also regularly use coconut oil on my strands. But I’ve been changing my hair oil rituals lately. It all started with the discovery of castor oil, and my investigations afterwards. There are big differences between the oils, and what they will do to your hair.
You can divide the different oils used as hair oils in three types: there are moisturising oils and sealing oils. Basically, what they do best is in their name: some will moisturise your hair by penetrating them, while other will seal the hair shaft and not let anything else penetrate your hair. Some oils are also somewhere in between. Now this is what I’ve found out:
These are only some of the most common hair oils, but if you would like to know if your oil is sealing or moisturising, best to google it. FYI: Shea butter is apparently also sealing.
How to use different hair oils
Now you know which hair oils are moisturising and which ones are sealing, let’s get to the different ways of using them. Moisturising hair oils are used before sealing hair oils. If you use a sealing oil before a moisturising oil, the hair shaft is sealed and the moisture doesn’t get in anymore. Sealing hair oils should be used after moisturising oils. These are good to keep your hair longer moisturised or protect your hair ends better. You don’t need to use a moisturising oil before a sealing one: water is also a possibility to add moisture to your hair (as long as it’s not warm water), and a sealing oil will seal the moisture in as well.
Now I know all this, I’ll never be able to use whatever oil on my hair anymore. I’ve checked the hair oils I have in my cupboard, and for some I needed to do research on the internet because it wasn’t entirely clear from the packaging, but now I have a fairly good idea which one to use for what. My Vitality’s Trilogy oil contains argan oil, grapeseed oil (both in-betweeners) and mastic oil. I can’t find anything about that third one so I don’t know if it’s moisturising or sealing. My Ogx Moroccan Argan Oil on the other hand says on the bottle what type of oil it is. How easy is that?!
Now I also understand why you have to wash your hair before using the Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Mask since the cream contains caster oil. As I’ve said, I’m not an expert, so I might also only know the tip of the iceberg. But it’s definitely something that’s good to know when applying your next hair oil. 🙂
Did you know there was a difference between the different types of oil and their effects on your hair?