It’s no secret that our hair craves moisture. The unique ways our strands coil, zig and zag can make retaining hydration a daily challenge.
There’s been a lot of chatter lately around the use of oils on coily hair types. Some critics say that oil can be damaging to our tresses, while others extol the virtues of using oils for coils.
In this series, we’re going to get the skinny on oils and how they can maximize your kinks’ and coils’ moisture levels and length retention.
Each week, I will spotlight an oil that should be on every Koilies hair routine list. This week, we are going to focus on Avocado oil. If you don’t know about this mega coily hair powerhouse, keep reading.
What Are Hair Oils and Where Do They Come From?
Oils are basically fats that are liquid at room temperature.
The hair shaft is made of a structural protein called keratin, a fibrous complex mixture of protein molecules.
Overall, hair strands are made up Carbon (45%), Oxygen (28%), Nitrogen (15%), Hydrogen (7%), Sulphur (5%), minerals and lipids (3%). Lipids help the hair strands retain moisture, as well as assist in the cohesion (sticking together) of the hair material.
Fats are one type of lipid that repels, or does not mix, with water. Oils form a light coating over the hair cuticles to help keep moisture in the hair.
Oils are extracted from various sources. Some oils come from plants, flowers, seeds and fruit. Some are derived from fish sources, while others come from fossil fuels like petroleum.
Does Coily Hair Need Oil?
I’m not gonna hold you. The answer is YES!
Coily hair strands do not grow in straight lines that would allow our natural scalp oil (sebum) to glide easily down the curls.
Coily hair grows in spirals, zigs and zags, making it more prone to dryness as the oils can’t coat the entire strand.
As stated previously, oil is an essential part of our hair composition to keep it healthy by retaining moisture in the strands.
Since our sebum can’t coat the hair, we need to add oils to our strands to help it keep vital moisture inside.
The application of external oils can help do the job the sebum is unable to do.
The right hair oil can work wonders for your hair if you’ve been struggling with dryness and frizz.
Be mindful, however, that oils are not moisturizers. They work by sealing in moisture, so your hair must have water in it to see the benefit of using oils.
Without water in your hair, oils will block out any moisture from getting in the strands, which will lead to more dryness and breakage.
Never use oils as a substitute for moisture (water). Always apply your water (hydration) first and then your oil. They go together like peanut butter and jelly!
Which Oils are Best for Coily Hair?
There are MANY oils that offer amazing benefits to coily hair. Selecting the right oil for you is going to depend on several factors, like your natural level of oil production, your hair porosity, the hair texture (fine, medium, thick), the level of humidity in your area and so much more.
To keep things relatively simple, there are some oils that are well-tolerated and work well for most situations.
One of those is the star of this post today: Avocado Oil.
Avocado oil is pressed from the avocado fruit and its many benefits include:
- Contains Vitamin E oil, a natural antioxidant that can help with preventing hair loss, improve scalp circulation, add shine to the hair and support a healthy scalp (check out this article for more info on the hair benefits of Vit E)
- Rich in Oleic acid and monounsaturated fats, avocado oil is one of the few oils that actually penetrate the hair shaft to add moisture to the hair
- Lightweight, so it won’t wear down fine and/or low porosity hair
- Can be used as a scalp oil without the heavy build up or clogging hair follicles
- Penetrates the dermal layer of the skin, so can be used as a deep moisturizing treatment for dry, itchy scalp due to psoriasis and dandruff
- Packed with Vitamins A and D, and lecithin. Vitamin A assists with the production of sebum, the scalp’s natural hair oil. Vitamin D helps regenerate hair follicles, supporting hair growth. Lecithin enhances protein synthesis, a necessary structural component of the hair strand that helps combat dryness, improve shine and silkiness
- Provides great slip so can be used for easy detangling
- Used as a hot oil treatment, this wonder oil helps lift the cuticles of your hair to allow more moisture and nutrients to penetrate. This is especially good news for my low porosity coilies
Fresh Avocados are also rich in Vitamins B and C, but these are mosly lost to the extraction process. You can still eat Avocados to get all the vitamin goodness for hair growth from within.
It is best to only use cold-pressed virgin Avocado oil to be sure you are getting the most nutrients that can be available for your coils.
How To Use Avocado Oil for Coily Hair?
Using Avocado oil in your coils is super easy.
Try pouring the desired amount into the palm of your hand and massage into your hair and scalp. You can also use this super oil to seal in moisture as part of your LCO, LOC or LO methods.
My personal favorite use for Avocado oil is to pre-poo overnight with a plastic cap. In the mornings, I just follow my normal wash day routine and my hair ALWAYS feels so soft and moisturized.
This works especially well for me on the weeks I use a clarifying shampoo to remove all of the butter and product build up.
Clarifying shampoos have heavy detergents in them, which can leave coily hair feeling stripped and dry.
Allowing my hair to soak up all the Avocado oil goodness before shampooing helps to minimize this and I’ve seen such an improvement in my hair since I started doing it.
Avocado oil is one of the absolute BEST oils for coily hair types. If you’re looking for an oil to add to your hair care regimen, this is definetly one you should try.
Have you ever used Avocado oil for your coils? If so, what did or didn’t you like about it? Will you be trying Avocado oil after reading this post?
Share this post with a coilie bestie and let’s keep it GROWING!