Skip to main content

How Oil Penetrates the Hair

Avatar • Oct 25, 2011

By Jc of The Natural Haven

How long does it take for an oil to penetrate hair?

In scientific studies, the method used was a copy of the traditional Indian women’s technique where coconut oil is applied to hair the night before the wash (Journal of Cosmetic Science pg 169–184,2001). This overnight time period is useful as oils do require much more time than water to penetrate hair. Water is very small in size and can therefore easily pass under or even through the cuticle. Oils on the other hand need to twist and bend (the scientific term is reptate) in order to slide underneath the cuticle.

Which oils penetrate hair?

The only oil proven to penetrate hair so far is coconut oil. Scientists do suggest that due to its composition, olive oil may also penetrate hair but there are currently no studies that fully confirm that. Many more oils and butters may also penetrate hair (Journal of Cosmetic Science, pg 169–184, 2001). The suggestion is that saturated and monounsaturated oils are more compact in size and therefore can maneuver around and through the cuticle (for example avocado oil, castor oil, shea butter and even ordinary edible milk fat butter). However oils rich in polyunsaturated oils tend to be larger and therefore cannot manoeuvre around or through the cuticle easily (for example sunflower oil, soybean oil and corn oil).

How can you remove a penetrating oil from hair?

If you used coconut oil or a similar penetrating oil and did not like it, how can you get rid of it? There are no studies on this but logic implies that the same path that the oil used to get into hair is the same path that it can use to get out. If you want to get rid of a penetrating oil, simply stop using it and wash your hair as normal using shampoo or soap which can dissolve the oil on the surface. The amount of oil that can be taken up by the hair is very little so I would guess that you will be close to 99% free of the oil within 2–3 washes.

Avatar

About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
18 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago
Whitney
Whitney
9 years ago

Thanks for the information! This is very helpful. 🙂

Ebncurly
Ebncurly
9 years ago

I oil rinse with coconut oil.….. my hair doesn’t really like oils but it tolerates coconut really well.

Keyla
Keyla
9 years ago

Does it matter what type of Coconut oil i use? I have purhased it before and I just bought the coconut oil that was in the grocery section w/ the other oils. What is the BEST coconut oil to use??

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago
Reply to  Keyla

No. As long as it’s 100% natural coconut oil it’s fine.

Jc
Jc
9 years ago
Reply to  mangomadness

I agree with mangomadness 🙂

I get mine from a vitamin/natural food store. It is 100% coconut oil for cooking but I use it on my hair.

Leyanne Morgan
Leyanne Morgan
9 years ago

Does it matter what type of Coconut oil i use? I have purhased it before and I just bought the coconut oil that was in the grocery section w/ the other oils. What is the BEST coconut oil to use??

k
k
9 years ago

Coconut oil is the best! I used to use it in my oil rinses and due finances and possible laziness omitted it and now I am regretting it! Suffice it to say it has once again rejoined my regimen! It really did help reduce my breakage!

Rasheda
9 years ago

Coconut is GREAT for our dry hair. I use it in my Protein Deep Conditioner, which leaves your hair feeling soft!

trackback

[…] } // I read an absoloo fab post, How Oil Penetrates the Hair, by Jc of The Natural Haven at Black Girl With Long Hair that still has me thinking days later. My big takeaway from the post […]

ayankha (@ayankha)
ayankha (@ayankha)
9 years ago

I love that you include science-based information!!!!

BROWNBROWS
BROWNBROWS
8 years ago

Really great information.

Saints Jerseys for Sale Cheap

I wanted to thank you a lot more for that amazing site you have created here. It is full of ideas for those who are really interested in that subject, in particular this very post. Youre really all amazingly sweet and thoughtful of others as well as reading your blog posts is a superb delight in my opinion. And such a generous gift! Mary and I are going to have fun making use of your suggestions in what we must do in a few days. Our listing is a distance long and simply put tips might be put to excellent… Read more »

Andy
Andy
7 years ago
Reply to  Andy

^Study on olive oil penetration of hair

uggs slippers 419
6 years ago

online cheap ugg Cheap, cheap ugg Female Sale — SCE Group ugg Vest Women: cheap ugg, cheap ugg cheap
uggs slippers 419 http://nghelathich.com/?p=uggs-slippers-419.html

trackback

[…] Read more about the hair shaft penetration process Here. […]

La Starr
La Starr
3 years ago

Camellia oil also penetrates and works great for a hot oil treatment

18
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Shopping Cart