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Rachel’s Review: Oils that penetrate hair

Avatar • Oct 9, 2009


Beloved readers, if you’ve followed me for a bit, you know I am very for adding oils to deep conditioners. Oils, by themselves (on clean hair) can be used as a deep conditioner (the infamous “hot oil treatment” comes to mind, but one doesn’t have to heat up the oils from the start if your fear scalp burns). It is best to use coconut, avocado or olive oils for this. Why? They actually penetrate the hair strand.

The Beauty Brains, reference a particular study that found these oils do actually penetrate the hair shafts and others do not. My disclaimer for the Beauty Brains is as follows: I don’t agree with everything they’ve stated, as I’ve had experiences that have been to the contrary of things they’ve noted. That said, they’re more than willing to give you their credentials as cosmetic scientists.

You can read the whole article here, or my cliff notes version below on the penetrative abilities of these three oils:

 

…Yes, studies have shown that coconut oil actually penetrates the hair to help make it stronger. 

And as it turns out, olive oil also has penetrating properties. Scientists at the Textile Research (J. Cosmet.Sci 52, 169–184, 2001) tested Olive oil, Avocado oil, Meadowfoam seed oil, Sunflower oil, and Jojoba oil.

Their results showed that straight chain glycerides like olive oil easily penetrate into the hair.

Polyunsaturated oils , like Jojoba oil, are more open in their structure so they don’t pass through the layers of cuticles very well.

What does that mean in plain English?

Olive and Avocado oils penetrate all the way into the hair shaft.

Meadowfoam seed oil partially penetrates, and jojoba and sunflower oils don’t penetrate at all.…”
‑Left Brain
More information on each of these oils particular properties are to follow in the coming weeks.

Until then, want to do a simple treatment?

1. Mix equal parts of any of these or use one straight.
2.Apply enough to coat hair.
3.Apply a plastic shower cap for at least an hour or overnight.
4.Rinse THOROUGHLY. You may need to rinse with tea or co wash with your preferred conditioner (even possibly lightly shampoo) to fully remove excess oil (but not all of its oily goodness! ^_~)
5. Enjoy healthier hair! The more you use them…the better. ^_^

Until next time! We’ll explore properties of each of these oils individually in the coming weeks.

Rachel, our guest reviewer, waxes poetic on products every Friday.
For more from her check out her blog http://littlegoldenlamb. wordpress.com/

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Da Jadedpoet
Da Jadedpoet
11 years ago

I love coconut oil now this blog, including JC’s have put me on it, and me and my rampaging little one have benefited from it! I used avocado in a product once I think it was an oil LOL but it did a great job also in strengthening my hair. My hair just wouldn’t maintain moisture though! >_< Now me and olive oil alone have a small feud going on. Its hates me, I hate it, its just like a toxic love affair LOL. I have found that when it tag teams with shea butter its nearly an unbridled duo. Great… Read more »

Jc
Jc
11 years ago

Yeah,I love the beauty brains but they made a mistake on this one. I quoted them once too because I was too lazy but as I always recheck the references, I found out it was wrong.  The paper they are referring to talks only about coconut oil and mineral oil. It does not talk about meadowfoam, sunflower, avocado or jojoba oil.  I believe they were referring to a neutrogena patent. The problem with this is that patents are not peer reviewed, meaning a panel of scientists does not look at the results and check them. If this information was actually from… Read more »

Alicia
Alicia
11 years ago

I ordered Coconut Confidence (coconut oil and shea butter mix) from Peace Love and Sunshine Products (you featured ‘Sunshine’ on your blog before) and this is my first encounter with any type of coconut oil product. My hair LOVES it! It stays soft, curly, and moisturized all day!

thelady
thelady
11 years ago

my hair loves coconut oil

Kay
Kay
11 years ago

Any information on the hair penetrating properties of ghee (clarified butter)? I heard that it’s used a lot in traditional ethiopian hair care and would love to learn more about it from Rachel, Jc or anyone else.

Miss Tasha
Miss Tasha
11 years ago

A word to the wise, although not all oils may penetrate your hair, they serve the purpose of a sealant. Using them in combination works as double duty! Good post BGLH.

littlegoldenlamb
littlegoldenlamb
11 years ago

@ Jc

Good to know! I’ve read your blog for ages and appreciate the scientific nature of it.

jamie (aka afro)
jamie (aka afro)
11 years ago

nice, thats very informative b/c i use jojoba oil right now on my hair.
but i’m wondering if i should add another oil (like avocado oil) to my hair regime…

also do you all know any black/caribbean owned websites (or sellers on ebay) where i can buy oils/butters/etc?

Lisa
Lisa
7 years ago

Using Castor and Coconut for my hair is my combo.And I get all my oils and beauty products on iherb.Com You can also use reward code ZQL811 and checkout and get $10 discount on your first purchase.Check it out girls 😉

Luisa
Luisa
7 years ago

I learned how amazing olive oil is when I had to drench my daughter’s hair in it to treat her for lice! She has very thick, very long, multi-textured hair. Her hair was so luxurious, easy to comb, and healthy looking. I now use it when I’m twisting and combing out her hair. I will also be using it to PREVENT lice this school year!

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