You’re going to use oils at some point during natural hair care. It’s inevitable. If you haven’t ever used them, you should really re-evaluate your hair care regimen/routine. Oils are vital because they help to lock moisture into your hair and prevent it from drying out. They also help to nourish your hair, and some oils even carry moisturizing properties all on their own. Not all oils will suit your hair though, and this has a lot to do with porosity and texture. This is why some oils might work wonders for others and not do anything for you (enter: coconut oil). You need to choose the right oils are vital in ensuring that your natural hair is getting the best care possible.
What is hair porosity?
Hair porosity basically explains how your hair deals with moisture. Low porosity hair puts up more resistance to moisture, while high porosity hair easily accepts it. You can use this guide to figure out your hair’s porosity very quickly.
What is hair texture?
Hair texture describes the feel of your hair. It is of three types: Coarse, thin/fine, and medium. All three textures have different characteristics and interact with oils, products, and even hairstyles differently.
How to choose the right oils for your hair –based on porosity
Low Porosity Hair
Low porosity hair does better with light oils that easily pass through the cuticle. It would also be beneficial to use moisturizing oils because low porosity hair is so prone to dryness. Some light oils to try are;
- Jojoba oil
- Avocado oil
- Almond oil
- Sunflower oil
- Argan oil
These oils are light and carry powerful moisturizing properties.
High Porosity Hair
High porosity hair tends to play fast and loose with moisture. It absorbs it easily and if not properly sealed, lets it out just as easily. Heavy oils and/or butter are exactly what you need to keep your high porosity natural hair moisturized. Some good options are;
- Olive oil
- Castor oil
- Coconut oil
- Shea butter
These oils are heavy and help to effectively seal moisture in your hair.
How to choose the right oils for your hair –based on texture
Coarse Texture Hair
This hair type is thick and full. It is usually characterized by high tensile strength and resilience. Coarse hair is also tough and naturalistas are always looking for ways to make it softer and more malleable. People with coarse low porosity or high porosity hair can stick with the suggestions above.
Thin Textured Hair
Thin hair is easily weighed down by heavy products. Your hair can begin to feel sticky and look limp when it’s overloaded. If you have thin low porosity hair, the suggestions above are perfect for you. However, if you have thin is high porosity hair, heavy oils are not going to be the best choice here. In this case, you should prioritize your texture and go with medium-weight or light oils. Another way out is to use light butters. These have thicker consistencies than light oils, but are not as heavy as heavy oils. Good options are; avocado butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter.
NB: Moisture retention will still be an issue for you even after you choose the right oil for your hair if you don’t know how to moisturize correctly. Try either of these methods for the best results.
As always, you can try mixing a couple of the oils suggested and figuring out what mix serves you better. For better penetration, you can apply mild heat on your low porosity hair so the oil can easily do its job. This heat can be achieved by slightly heating up the oil before application, or covering your hair with a plastic cap after application.
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