The woman in the TV commercial must have washed her hair for dozens of times to give her hair that sleek, luscious look, but I don’t believe my hair could achieve that look even with all the wash, conditioner and treatment in the world. Maybe it’s genetic reason (my mom happens to have the same hair type), my hair seems to have that coarse look all times of the year. Touching my hair is sure not a pleasant experience. To change this, I’ve succumbed to conditioner. But this isn’t a rescue enough to transform my hair from hellish to heavenly. It’s then I decided to take one step further: oil treatment.
Okay, it isn’t ground-breaking news that oil can be used in hair care. Neither is it an innovative method. But as long as it works, I don’t care if it’s run-of-the-mill or turn-of-the-century. However, what is most important is what oil benefits your hair most. The availability of oils and oil products in the market may have you thinking that all oils can be applied to your hair with the same amazing result, but in fact, it’s not. Just one oil can penetrate your hair shaft doesn’t mean the rest of them can. Let’s have a peek at what oils can do wonder for your tresses (by the way, I only name a few oils, which I’m more certain of its penetration ability based on the small research I’ve done).
Oils That Can Penetrate Your Hair
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
Oil That Can’t Penetrate Your Hair
- Jojoba Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Mineral Oil
One thing to note is, though these oils can’t penetrate your hair shaft, it doesn’t mean it is completely useless to apply them to your hair. At least, they can seal in the moisture in your hair so your hair won’t become brittle and dry at the end of the day.
Why the Difference?
So you may wonder, what makes one oil differ from another? According to this report I find on the Internet, saturated (like coconut oil) and monounsaturated (like olive oil) oils generally can penetrate into hair because of their compact molecular structure and affinity to hair proteins. Polyunsaturated oils can’t. In the case of sunflower oil, although it also has triglyceride of lauric acid (fatty acid) like coconut oil, its molecules are too large to be absorbed by your hair shaft.
Holy Grail: Coconut Oil
And among the three oils listed above, attention should be given to the omnipresent coconut oil. Although I do think that people’s raves about coconut oil are in part due to the overwhelming advertisements online, but for coconut oil to stand firm among the masses of oils, it has got to possess something really good. For one thing, it can penetrate both cuticle and cortex of our hair. Research has even shown that when used as a pre-wash conditioner, coconut oil can provide protection for damaged hair. The protection applies not only to undamaged hair, but also to chemically treated hair, UV-treated hair, and hair treated with boiling water.
Do you use oil in your hair care routine? What oil do you use? How do you like it?