Donna Kim-Brand

Life is full of choices, and one I seem to make more often these days is “which hair oil should I buy and why?” Lined up on store shelves, and now on my shower ledge, are product assortments of Argan oil, Morrocan oil of various varieties, Keratin oil, Marula oil, Ayurvedic Kesh King Hair Oil,  … and that’s before we get to natural essential oils! Most of us generally know that oils are used to lubricate dry hair and skin and add luster to dull tresses. Beyond that, what is best to use with yours and my respective hair and skin/scalp types, to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth? Let’s take that journey together.

Argan Oil-

Argan oil, referred to as Liquid Gold, has come on the scene strong in recent years as a multi-purpose intensive hair treatment, natural sunscreen and frizz reducer. The oil increases hair elasticity and adds bounce to brittle, damaged hair, in turn reducing further breakage. At the same time, hair growth is stimulated. You’ll find argan oil nowadays in shampoos, conditioners, special intensive oil treatments and after-wash add-ins for shine. Price varies depending on degree of purity or dilution.

Keratin-

Hair, nails and skin are constructed primarily of protein, of which keratin is one. Breakage in the outer layer of hair or skin exposes cells underneath to damage, which shows up as brittle hair or cracked, rough skin or scalp. Using a keratin hair treatment fills in damage and smooths the hair’s cuticle layer.  This treatment is semi-permanent, and depending on hair texture, lasts around 3 months. Keratin treatments are intensive and can be expensive. You need to make sure that the type of keratin used is not loaded with toxic formaldehyde, as some earlier products were.

Coconut Oil-

Just the scent of coconut takes me to tropical islands in my mind, so any hair care product with coconut is a hit with me. The natural, organic properties of coconut oil render it good for balancing both dry or oily hair and scalp, creating a safe environment for hair growth. Add the power to restore luster to dried out hair and protect hair vitality and you have a timeless winner. Depending on the product, you apply coconut oil for intensive treatment by leaving on your hair for several hours or over night, then wash out, or just add a drop of oil to hair after washing for a restorative sheen.

Tea Tree Oil-

When scalp issues leave your skin itchy and raw, haul out Australian tea tree oil with its natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. You’ll be cleansing and healing your scalp, which promotes conditions for healthy hair growth or at least removes possible conditions for hair loss. Nowadays you can also buy tea tree shampoos and conditioners for regular gentle treatment. The sharp aroma and tingle of tea tree oil products lets you know it’s working for you.

Grapeseed Oil-

Ever universal, non-greasy and odorless grapeseed oil is the most often used base host for all other oils. It’s the oil used for most massages. Applied to hair it acts as a sunscreen as well as a gentle anti-dandruff treatment. The vitamin E and linoleic acid of grapeseed oil contribute to hair strengthening and repair. This is the oil to use if other varieties are too strong or invasive for you.

Do you see the range of options at your fingertips? In some cases, it’s purely a matter of preference or habit, sometimes dictated by price or advertising, as to which hair oil you choose to use. The good news is, you are now in a strong position as a consumer to get access to all these products for treating winter hair woes on a daily basis. Of course, take the advice of your stylist and in severe cases of need or for intensive maintenance treatments, let him or her treat you. NUTRIfuse M and W by PRO|GEN are also excellent choices to consider.

We’ll continue our exploration of discovery next time with more hair treatment oils to choose from, as well as reviewing essential oils for specialized functions.

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