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25 More Oils, Butters and Natural Ingredients and How To Use Them on Natural Hair

• May 18, 2014


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Last year, I posted an article on 25 Popular Oils, Butters and Natural Ingredients and How To Use Them on Natural Hair.”  The list contained a number of well-known oils — such as olive, coconut, and avocado — that many of us incorporate into our hair care.  Obviously, not everyone is going to like some of those ingredients.  Also, there are way more oils and butters out there. Well, for those who want to use alternatives, here is a second list for you:

1. When you want to take advantage of the humidity:
Agave nectar, cupuacu butter
Why: Humectant properties (moisture retention).
How to use: Add to a moisturizer or a leave-in.

2. When you want an oil-based sealant:
Apricot oil, hemp seed oil, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil
Why: These oils can reduce moisture loss.
How to use: Use separately or add some to your moisturizer.

3. When you want a light sealant:
Apricot oil, hemp seed oil, soybean oil, hazelnut oil
Why: These oils are light compared to other oils.
How to use: Use separately or add some to your moisturizer.

4. When you want a heavy sealant:
Cupuacu butter mixed with any oil, soy butter mixed with any oil, avocado butter, cocoa butter (melted) mixed with any oil
Why: Many butters contain fatty acids like oils but are heavier than oils.
How to use: Use separately or add some to your moisturizer.

5. When your scalp is itchy:
Peppermint essential oil, sesame oil, sage essential oil, burdock root extract
Why: Some find peppermint oil and sage essentials oil to be soothing.  Sesame oil and burdock root extract also have anti-itching properties.
How to use: (Peppermint, sage, or burdock root extract) Use a few drops with water or a carrier oil. (Sesame oil) Use straight. NOTE: If you are pregnant or have a health condition, please consult your doctor before using essential oils.

6. When your scalp is dry:
Sunflower oil, amla oil, wheat germ oilmacadamia nut oil
Why: Many of theses oils are light, making them just right for a dry scalp. Macadamia nut oil contains squalene, which may help with a chapped scalp. Sunflower oil and wheat germ oil contain a good amount of linoleic acid, which has been shown to protect against moisture loss (British Journal of Derm. 1976 Sept;95(3):255–64).
How to use: Massage a few drops into the scalp.

7. When you want a moisturizing or softening oil:
Apricot oil, rice bran oil, wheat germ oil
Why: These oils tend to leave the hair feeling soft and moist.
How to use: Use separately on damp hair or add some to your moisturizer.

8. When you want shine or sheen:
Amla oil, soybean oil
Why: Those who use amla oil tend to like it for increased shine or sheen.  The same applies to soybean oil.
How to use:Use separately or add on top of your moisturizer. (Amla) Use as a post-wash rinse with cold water for 5 minutes.

9. When your shampoo is drying:
Amla oil, wheat germ oil
Why: These oils are moisturizing and lubricating.
How to use: Pre-poo with any of the above oils or add to shampoo.

10. When you want more slip in your conditioner:
Sunflower oil, murumuru butter
Why: Lubricating.
How to use: Add some to your conditioner.

11. When you want a more moisturizing conditioner:
Amla oil, rice bran oil, wheat germ oil, cupuacu butter, hibiscus petal powder
Why: Many of these ingredients have emollient properties.
How to use: Add some to your conditioner.

12. When you want a more strengthening conditioner:
Hydrolyzed quinoa
Why:  Hydrolyzed protein provides reinforcement by temporarily patching the cuticle layer.
How to use: Mix with an avocado, yogurt, and/or oils to create a strengthening conditioner.

13. When you want more hold and definition:
Cocoa butter, kokum butter
How to use: Melt slightly and mix with your moisturizer or use separately.

14. When you want to add fragrance to your mixture:
Lemon essential oil, lemongrass essential oil, tangerine essential oil
Why: The citrusy scent of these essential oils are great for adding fragrance to your mixtures.
How to use: Add some to your moisturizer or spritz.

15. When you want a lighter, less oil-based whipped butter (e.g., warm weather):
Apricot oil, hazelnut oil
Why: moisturizing, but light
How to use: Mix a 1:1 butter of your choice and apricot/hazelnut oil to create a whipped butter.

16. When you want a heavier, more oil-based whipped butter (e.g., cold weather):
Rice bran oil, wheat germ oil, kokum butter
Why: moisturizing and sealing
How to use: Mix a 1:1 or 2:1 butter of your choice and oil(s).


Ladies, do you use any of these oils/butters/ingredients?  How do you use it (them)?

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Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
8 years ago

wow, very comprehensive list. Thanks.

8 years ago

Thanks, a very useful composition. Out of all these, i have only Amla hair oil. I’m trying to get some peppermint oil and tea tree oil though. My staples are pure coconut oil, Amla hair oil and almond hair oil.

8 years ago

Thanks for this very well organized information !!!

Primmest Plum
Primmest Plum
8 years ago

So helpful!

Marra Joelle
Marra Joelle
8 years ago

out of these I think I’ve only used Apricot and Peppermint oil. I’d love to try some more but I need to get rid of the stuff I already have lol

8 years ago

Great list, thanks!

I’d like to suggest adding jasmine essential oil to any base oil/butter for those who like a wonderfully light floral fragrance. As with most things, a little goes a long way.

8 years ago

Good post.

8 years ago

The apricot oil is great and avocado oil is very moisturizing as well.

8 years ago

I love the list

8 years ago

I’ve used 20 so far from both lists and I’m still going. I’ve even used a few you haven’t mentioned, emu oil, baobab oil, and some others. Hopefully these other oils (like the ones I mentioned and yarrow oil) will be in the 3rd group.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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