Vegetable oils are great for restoring hair vitality and for adding gloss and shine to dry hair. The health of your hair is affected by a number of factors, such as diet, stress and the environment. Many store bought shampoos, conditioners and treatments contain a myriad of chemical ingredients that can sometimes leave your hair in a worse condition than when you started. Here are three natural vegetable oils that are popular for natural hair treatments.
About Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oils are used in aromatherapy in massage oils, skin care and beauty products, and hair treatments. Vegetable oils have natural therapeutic benefits, depending on the type of vegetable oil. However, you need to make sure that you use cold pressed vegetable oils in preference to oils that have been exposed to excess heat in the manufacturing process; excess heat destroys many of the original benefits of the plant from which the oil is extracted from (Source). Most store bought vegetable oils are not cold pressed; check with a reputable aromatherapy supplier for the best cold pressed vegetable oils.
1. Almond Oil for Hair
Sweet almond (Prunis dulcis) oil is extracted from the almond tree. It is a popular vegetable oil in aromatherapy because it is relatively cheap to buy and is not a heavy oil. Almond oil is pale yellow in color. It contains a high percentage of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, in addition to vitamins such as A, B1, B2, and E (Source).
2. Coconut Oil for Hair
Coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil is extracted from the fruit of the coconut tree. It has traditionally been used in hair applications in tropical regions where it is said that the use of coconut oil prevents hair from turning gray in color (Source). However, there is no concrete scientific evidence to support this theory. It is a popular ingredient in hair shampoos and treatments because of its lubricating properties.
3. Jojoba Oil for Hair
Jojoba (Simmondsia sinensis) oil is extracted from the jojoba plant, a native of southern California and Arizona (and north west Mexico). Jojoba oil is in fact a golden colored wax and will solidify in cold temperatures; it is composed of long chain fatty alcohols and esters formed from long chain fatty acids. It has a long shelf life but is currently in short supply, making it expensive to obtain. Jojoba oil is good for conditioning dry hair.
How to Make a Natural Hot Oil Treatment
You can add all of the above vegetable oils to natural shampoo and hair conditioning recipes. However, one of the best ways to enjoy the full benefits of these vegetable oils is as a hot oil treatment. Simply mix your chosen vegetable oil with complementary “hair” essential oils. An example of an aromatherapy hot oil treatment for dry hair is:
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 5 drops sandalwood essential oil
- 3 drops of chamomile essential oil
- 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil.
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl, heat the bowl up in the microwave for 2 minutes and apply the hot oil directly to your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave the oil on for at least 30 minutes. Wash the oil out and shampoo as normal. After a couple of treatments, you should notice a difference in your hair.
Consult a qualified aromatherapist for advice if you are unfamiliar with the properties of essential oils and how to use them. Never apply essential oils direct to the skin or scalp undiluted; adjust quantities for children, the elderly and pregnant women. You might have to experiment with various aromatherapy recipes before finding one that works well for your own hair but the above vegetable oils, in general, are suitable for hair treatments.
Using natural oils on your hair is a great alternative to store bought shampoos and hair conditioners. You can help restore your hair to it natural condition with only natural oils – meaning both you and your hair will be happier and healthier!