Oil for your curls: do they moisturize or seal your hair?
In this article:
As a wavy, curly or coily girl you often suffer from dry or fluffy hair. Moisturizing, care and providing that little bit of CG proof shine is a must!
Then think about oil for your curls! You can buy special so-called “commercial” hair oils that promise to make your hair frizz less, shine more, etc.
However, these oils often contain ingredients that are harmful to your hair and are therefore not approved according to the Curly Girl Method. Alternative: pure oils that are just for sale in the supermarket or organic shops!
Did you know that there are many different types of oils for your curls, each with their own effect?
We will discuss the differences here, list our favourite oils for you, teach you what you can use this oil for and how to use it for your hair.
Oil in general
Vegetable oil, which we will discuss further in this blog, is extracted from fruits, nuts, seeds and seeds. Oil is suitable for skin and hair care, among other things.
When we talk about hair care as now, we can distinguish between two types of oil:
On the one hand oils that have the property of being able to penetrate to the scalp and hair (moisturizing oil), on the other hand there are oils that remain on the hair (sealing oil).
Moisturizing vs. Sealing oils
Oils that can penetrate the hair are called moisturizing oils. They have the property of retaining water in the hair and thus prevent and treat dry and frizzy hair.
Small side note; oil is not hydrating by itself, but can retain moisture. Sealing oils on the other hand do not provide hydration to the hair strand, but rather keep a hair strand hydrated.
These oils do this by leaving a layer on your hair. That layer not only ensures that hydration stays in your hair, but also that your hair will shine.
Do these oils really have such a different effect? Yes.
If you use sealing oils as a moisturizer, you will notice that your hair still feels dry after using the oil.
The same applies the other way around: if you use a moisturizing oil as a sealing product, your hair may still look dry afterwards. Good news: there are oils that have both effects!
Moisturizing oils for your curls: effect and types
These oils can easily penetrate ‘into’ your hair and nourish the hair. Moisturizing oil on your scalp helps stimulate hair growth. Which oils are all moisturizing?
• Coconut Oil: We previously wrote a hymn to this miracle cure. This oil actually falls just a bit between the moisturizing and sealing oils: it does have the ability to penetrate the hair, but only in a limited amount. As a result, most of the oil remains on your hair. Good to know that it is better not to use coconut oil if your hair is protein sensitive.
• Sunflower oil: an oil that most do have in their pantry. This oil is very suitable as a cheap alternative to coconut oil if your curls are not good at protein.
• Palm kernel oil: not to be confused with palm oil! Palm kernel oil is made from the seeds of the palm fruit, contains many antioxidants, works well as a deep conditioner and has a light texture. That combination makes it very suitable for curlies who are looking for naturally curly hair!
• Babassu oil: from a Brazilian palm tree and often compared to coconut oil. Babassu oil is lighter compared to coconut oil and feels less heavy, greasy and oily.
Sealing oils for your curls: effect and types
So these oils stay ‘on’ the hair and ensure that your hair stays hydrated for longer (so apply moisturizing leave-in conditioner before sealing), because the moisture ‘leaks’ from your hair less quickly. Which oils are all moisturizing?
• (Jamaican black) castor oil: (not suitable if you are protein sensitive) castor oil is also known as a miracle cure. Not only the effect of this oil is miraculous, but also because the oil is extracted from the miracle tree. This oil has a thick, viscous substance and therefore stays on the hair faster: it seals your hair.
• Grape seed oil: This oil is pressed from grape seed and is known as a very light oil. Grape seed oil is therefore very suitable for women (and men) with thinner hair who want to seal in hydration, without the dots feeling heavy or greasy. Another nice advantage: grape seed oil is fairly cheap!
• Jojoba Oil: Like grape seed oil, jojoba oil is light, suitable for fine or thin hair with low porosity . It is again a bit more expensive than most oils. But, you do get something in return: not only a sealing oil, but also a good remedy for a dry or scaly scalp. It helps restore the pH of your scalp.
• Rice Oil: Rice oil is pressed from rice bran and is perfect for those with fine hair. Further additional advantage: it is not expensive!
• Almond oil: sealer that, unlike most sealers, is also good for your scalp: very suitable if you have a dry or irritated scalp. In addition, almond contains magnesium and is therefore also a good agent against hair loss.
Oils that are both hydrating and sealing
• Olive Oil: This oil is probably the best known and most used in the kitchen. It is best to use extra virgin olive oil. This is known as a good moisturizer that makes your hair shine and makes your hair more manageable. The oil is fairly cheap and widely available (what do we say, it’s probably already in your kitchen cupboard).
• Avocado Oil: Avocado contains vitamins, good fats and other nutrients that can penetrate the interior of the hair. This oil is therefore hydrating, but is often used as a sealer. It has a slightly less thick substance than castor oil.
• Argan oil: also called Moroccan gold! Unfortunately, this relatively expensive oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the hair against the sun, among other things.
Which oil is best for your curls?
Which oil is most suitable for your hair therefore depends entirely on your hair and what you want to achieve with the oil. Less dry and frizzy hair?
Choose the moisturizing oils! More shine? Choose sealing oils! A little bit of both? That is also possible, with the types of oil that can do both!
What is the best way to use oil for your curls?
In general, apply oil to wet hair, after shampooing and before applying your styling product.
For this you use the LOC or LCO method: this is a method or actually sequence in which you apply products to your hair, so that your hair is optimally hydrated or sealed.
You start with Leave-in conditioner, which provides hydration to your hair. Then you use Oil to your hair to be sealed, so that the moisture is retained.
Lastly, a Cream (or gel or mousse) a nice curl definition. When you reverse the steps Oil and Cream you do not speak of the LOC method but the LCO method. It just depends on what your curls like.
Read more: LOC Method: the ultimate hair routine for hydrated, frizz-free curls
Hopefully you can now determine which type of oil is most suitable for your curls!