What oil you use will depend on your hair needs.
“Different kinds of oils have different vitamins… and with direct application of these oils, the shaft of the hair gets strengthened,” says Garodia.
Reading: How to use hair oil
Keep in mind, when using oil on your scalp, it may be worth testing to be sure you don’t have an allergy. Do a patch test before using oil in your hair for a full treatment.
Oils used may include:
According to Ayurveda, the texture and health of hair is determined by the doshas. These are believed to be bioenergy or life forces that make up the constitution of the body.
They are known as vata (wind), pitta (fire), and kapha (water and earth).
“If vata is high, the hair will be thin, frizzy, and dry and will need regular oiling,” says Ayurveda health coach Dr. Varalakshmi Yanamandra.
Ayurvedic practices also suggest that people with high pitta have a mix of oily and dry hair. They may also be more prone to premature graying and alopecia. Those with high kapha have oily, thick, long, and curly hair.
Picking the right kind of oil depends largely on these factors. Here’s a list of oils suggested by our experts.
Virgin coconut oil is the most commonly used hair oil, especially in South Asia.
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Its principal fatty acid is lauric acid. It has a high affinity for hair protein which means it bonds to protein and can easily penetrate inside the hair shaft. This makes it one of the best oils to reduce protein loss from both damaged and undamaged hair.
Having low molecular weight, the oil is light and can easily penetrate the hair shaft. Coconut oil can deep condition, provide natural protection, and is generally a good choice for most hair types.
Shop for coconut oil online.
Ideal for vata type hair, sesame oil reduces frizziness and may also prevent split ends.
“It’s high in vitamin B1, calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc,” says Garodia. “Sesame oil also provides deep conditioning to the scalp and smooths the hair shaft. Its antibacterial and antifungal qualities may help in preventing dandruff.”
Shop for sesame oil online.
Almond oil is lighter weight than sesame oil, but slightly thicker than coconut. It’s a good oil for pitta types. Garodia notes that almond oil contains vitamins B, K, and E.
Vitamin E can reduce oxidative stress. One study showed a 34.5 percent increase in hair growth in those who supplemented orally with vitamin E for 8 months, though it’s important to note that results may be very different when applied directly to the hair.
Vitamin B7 is also known as biotin. It may also help support hair growth, though research is limited, especially when it comes to topical application.
Shop for almond oil online.
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Jaborandi is an herbal plant from the tropical forests of South America used extensively in shampoos and gels.
Garodia notes that jaborandi is more therapeutic than most oils and may help with hair growth, nourishing a dry scalp, and preventing premature graying. It also moisturizes hair and may prevent split ends and dandruff.
Argan oil is commonly known as Moroccan oil. Garodia points out that it’s high in vitamin A, C, E, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
“It acts as a natural conditioner and helps strengthen the hair,” she says.
Shop for argan oil online.
Moringa oil works well for dry hair, says Garodia. It contains oleic acid, which makes it a good moisturizer for hair.
Garodia recommends using Moringa oil with a carrier oil such as almond oil.
Shop for moringa oil online.
Bhringraj or amla oil
Apart from the oils mentioned above, Varalakshmi also suggests using bhringraj oil or amla oil for pitta hair type. Both the oils have a cooling effect and help balance the pitta dosha.
Banyan Botanicals offers a formulation especially for hair oiling that contains bhringraj oil as well as other herbs like gotu kola.
Shop for amla oil online.
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