Sunday, February 3, 2013

Consensus On Favorite Hair Oils, From Emails I Received

I get feedback on products used in hair care and how they are used. Here are results from the emails I received, on the top 2 favorite hair oils. Both of the following oils are natural, cost-effective and are preferred for different reasons and applications.

Coconut Oil
1. Works best on well clarified hair as a treatment (fractionated coconut oil did not work nearly as well and most contain no lauric acid for hair penetration)
2. Works best added to shampoo that does not cause build-up, after the hair has been well clarified, with no need of conditioner to follow
3. Works best for hair more frequently washed, as it cannot hold moisture in hair too long, without reapplication between washes, just like any other vegetable oil
4. Not the best detangler, or used over a lot of residue (it causes "crunchy" or dry hair) and not the oil to use when there are certain scalp conditions, like real dandruff, or in conditions of high or low humidity, or under conditions that can cause it to break down on the hair or skin (no vegetable oil is recommended under those conditions), See this post
5. Very little needs to be used as a grooming oil, or the hair can become heavy, greasy, sticky and stringy.
6. Works superbly as a pre-treatment before dyeing with a dye that contains peroxide, or lightening with peroxide alone, or bleach, to help with dye uptake and help prevent hair damage
7. Can work well  used as a pre-wash oil, or added to any shampoo as a surface oil, or used over conditioner, as a surface grooming oil
8. Although it is a honey lightening recipe booster oil, it has not been reported to lighten hair used on its own, in the applications listed above.

Cosmetic Mineral Oil (USP/BP)
1. It is the best oil for moisturizing, or keeping hair moisturized, detangling and preventing static hands down, compared to any other oil, or silicone. It can hold moisture in hair longer than other oils, silicone, natural sebum, or other detangling products, without causing build-up.
2. No need for reapplication between hair washes, if small drops of it are distributed well throughout the hair
3. It is the easiest oil to use. You do not need to use it as a pre-wash oil to prevent hair from getting too much water in it while washing. It is already on the hair coating and protecting it used post washing.
4. Can work very well used with other products, like conditioner, if too much conditioner or other product is not used, or residue present
5. It is lightweight enough as baby oil to prevent hair becoming heavy, greasy or stringy, when not too much is used. It spreads most easily to do that. It is never sticky. It is very easy to wash out. No need to clarify or use a sulfate shampoo to remove it
6. The best oil to help hair recover from any type of damage, by reducing mechanical friction, keeping needed water in hair longer than any other oil, or product and help protect hair from further abrasion, split ends and breakage
7. Can replace the need for conditioner, treatments and thermal protectants
8. Works well when there is real dandruff, or other scalp conditions present, without issues and works well under all atmospheric conditions, especially high and low humidity to help prevent frizz
9. I received several more reports of it helping protect hair from UV damage and helping protect hair from swimming in pools and sea water. I still believe the best protection to prevent UV damage to hair is covering it with a tight weave hat, scarf or using an umbrella. Regarding using it before swimming, very little of it is needed to coat the hair.

For those who do not want to pollute swimming waters, as any amount of oil, added conditioner or product can be seen as too much, rinsing hair with club soda following swimming and using it to saturate hair or help saturate hair, prior to swimming is a hair and environmentally friendly option. Club soda neutralizes chlorine and needs no dilution, as its pH is about 5 and it helps remove sea water minerals from hair, that can cause hair to become very dry. Club soda is different than plain soda water. A typical example of its ingredients can be found here. The sodium bicarbonate in it is used as a buffering agent, to keep the pH stable. Potassuim sulfate information can be found here.

The 3rd and 4th favorite oils are argan and camellia, respectively. Both are classified as vegetable oils and coconut oil is too. Argan oil is great as a pre-treatment before dyeing and lightening, used on top of coconut oil because it cannot penetrate hair as deeply to saturate it, or instead of coconut oil. Camellia oil is fairly lightweight and can help with tangles. The only issues with those oils are price and quality. The best quality pure oils, yielding the best results, tend to be expensive but definitely worth it, compared to lower priced versions. All 4 oils are safe to use. The only caution with argan oil is that it can make skin photosensitive (the link to that text no longer works) and it is best used at night for that reason.