Love them or hate them in your skincare regime, no one can deny that oils are amazing for hair and scalp health. “Natural oils are loaded with different types of vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids, all of which are important for both a healthy scalp and healthy hair,” explains Dr. Serkan Aygin, hair and scalp expert.
Nourishing oils can soothe scalp inflammation, restorative oils repair dry and split ends and some are even rumoured to help prevent hair loss. “As long as you pick the best one for your hair type and texture and use it in the right way, hair oils can be beneficial for everyone,” says Dr. Aygin.
But with so many different oils to choose from, each with its own specific abilities, it’s important you select the right one for your unique concerns and even after you have decided, there are a few things to consider. “Knowing your hair’s needs and the types of oils that work best is always helpful, as is where to purchase all-natural, high-quality oils. Application tips such as how to safely incorporate essential oils and the correct amount of oils to use for hair treatments are also important to know,” he advises.
According to Dr Aygin, you should always use high-quality, minimally processed oils; “Whenever possible, use organic, all-natural oils, as they retain their natural levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and do not contain any chemical or non-natural ingredients or additives.”
And when it comes to the application process, it’s key to use oils sparingly. “Since oil is greasy, you should use it sparingly. Always wash your hair thoroughly with a quality, alcohol-free shampoo after any hair treatment containing oil.”
We’ve grilled Dr. Aygin for the best oils to apply for your hair, as well as their individual benefits.
Great for: Dry, damaged hair.
“Coconut oil contains large amounts of fatty acids which allow it to penetrate hair deeply without evaporating,” says Dr Aygin. “Plus, it’s rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that makes it one of the best oils for hair growth.”
According to Dr. Aygin, coconut oil is especially good for dry hair, and can work wonders to repair split ends while also protecting against heat damage to prevent future damage. “For those with an oily scalp, just apply it to the ends of hair. For those with a dry scalp, massage it all over and leave it for 30 minutes before rinsing.”
Coco & Eve Like A Virgin Hair Masque, £34.75, Beauty Bay
Great for: Damaged, oily hair
Argan oil, also known as Moroccan oil, is derived from nuts produced from argan trees. “It’s rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and Vitamin E, and will not only makes your hair look wonderful, but also has many protective qualities.”
Argan oil is a great alternative to coconut oil for those who a prone to grease but who still want all the protecting and nourishing benefits. “It’s also particularly good at protected from heat and UV rays,” notes Dr Aygin.
Moroccanoil Treatment Original 100ml, £32.85, Look Fantastic
Great for: Dandruff
According to Dr Aygin, jojoba oil shares many characteristics with natural sebum, the oil our scalps naturally produce. “It won’t interfere with the scalp’s natural balance, but will deeply penetrate the hair shaft and follicle, working from the inside out to moisturize.”
Plus, jojoba oil is known for its antibacterial qualities, making it effective as a treatment for dandruff.
Hair Oil by Ouai, £24, Space NK
Sweet Almond Oil
Great for: Hair loss
Those who suffer from hair loss should be stocking up on sweet almond oil, which is rich in Vitamin E, fatty acids, proteins, antioxidants, and most importantly, magnesium. “People with mineral deficiencies are prone to slow hair growth and hair loss, so adding some almond oil into your diet can also greatly help with these issues,” says Dr Aygin.
Almond Oil, £12, Neal’s Yard Remedies
Great for: Frizzy hair
One of the most versatile oils available, olive oil is a bit of a multitasker when it comes to hair and scalp health. It has protective and moisturizing properties. “Since it coats the hair shaft and shields keratin, olive oil has protective, moisturising qualities, as well as a smoothing effect on the hair.”
Great for: Brittle hair
While it possesses the same moisturizing qualities as many other natural oils, grapeseed oil is superior in its ability to treat brittle and weak hair and hair loss. “It also blocks the production of DHT, a hormone that causes hair loss and the high content of Vitamin E in grapeseed oil encourages the production of linoleic acid, which helps restore strength and shine to weak and brittle hair.”
Great for: Dandruff
Lemongrass oil is an essential oil derived from an herb in the Poaceae grass family. “Lemongrass oil possesses antifungal and antiviral properties, so it is effective in relieving dry scalps and dandruff caused by yeast,” explains Dr Aygin. “Plus its smell is a real mood lifter.”
Oils to avoid
“Essential oils are usually well-tolerated when diltuted in a carrier oil” says Dr Aygin. “However, some people may experience allergic reactions, including itching, swelling, and irritation.”
Dr Aygin goes on to explain that some essential oils can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, including citrus oils like lemon and grapefruit. “It is best to apply these oils before bed, so that a person is not immediately exposed to the sun after use,” he suggests.