This summer gave me a case of serious dry hair. I hated every minute of it. After having my hair in a crown braid for most of the winter, my 'fro longed to come out and play, but that air conditioning and that humidity rained all over my hair parade. At some point in July, I gave up blow-outs and elaborate dry hairstyles that would either shrink up or become coarse and brittle by the time I hit the subway platform. Instead, I started applying water to my hair daily and used hot oil treatments a few nights a week.
Those daily doses of water turned my 'fro into fine, oiled
machine. I'm not talking about casual spritzes either; these were complete soak
fests that helped me spring back from some seriously dry times this summer. Now that the
humid nights have taken a backseat for crisp, fall weather? I am in desperate need to restore some serious
moisture that mother nature rudely stole away this summer. One of the healthiest and
most luxurious ways to do this is with a hearty, hot oil treatment made
from ingredients mother nature herself can provide. These treatments are amazing for your
hair regardless of the density of your mane, just adjust the frequency depending on your thickness.
Our hair sees a lot of crazy shit throughout the day, from over-styling and dying to pollutants like car exhaust and second-hand smoke. Even greasy food at a 24-hour diner can mess up your mane. Hot oil treatments restore balance and moisture that's stripped by those toxins, enabling your scalp to grow healthy, strong hair. Don't fear the oil, our scalp craves the ability to be able to naturally produce oil that many of our fave OTC products can even strip while attempting to increase volume or decrease dandruff. You can purchase a treatment at your favorite beauty supply store or you can make your own hot oil treatment specific to your personal hair needs.
Here is how to make a bomb hot oil treatment, turn your
bathroom or kitchen into a spa, and get ready for your hair to say "ahhhh.".
Heat up your oil in a sauce pan (the microwave can zap out natural nutrients in the oil) and apply directly to your hair, massaging the scalp and treating your ends like a precious child. A hot oil treatment works best on freshly washed hair, but if you are a kinky gal you can get away with doing this as your co-wash. My hair loves it!
Wrap your hair in a heated towel from a dryer or towel warmer for 30 minutes for best results. If you've access to a hair dryer then put on a shower cap and get under a low heat setting for about 15 minutes. Now, which recipe is best for your strands' texture? Read on, my DIY-minded friends.
1. For Fine Textured Hair...
- 1 part jojoba oil
- 1 part grape seed
- 1 part chamomile oil
Jojoba and grape seed oil produce an oil very similar to the stuff our scalp naturally produces, so this is going to be the jam for those hesitant to apply any extra grease to an already oily scalps. Chamomile is great at strengthening hair and it can also bring out natural highlights.
2. For Medium Hair Types...
- 1 part olive oil
- 1 part argan oil
- 1/2 an avocado
This is the jam for those with hair that grows in fine and dense, curly hair types, and women transitioning from relaxed to natural. These ingredients will restore moisture and promote hair growth without weighing your locks. The avocado is the jam because it's got amazing fatty acids that can eliminate frizz, soften, and detangle that unruly mane. Mash your avocado up as best as you can so it doesn't leave any build up when you rinse your treatment out.
3. For major ringlets...
- 1 part coconut oil
- 1 part apricot seed oil
- 4-5 drops of clary sage essential oil
This hot oil treatment is awesome for ladies with a lil kink and a lot of curl pattern; hair types 3Cs and 4As will especially love this recipe. Coconut oil and apricot seed oil are restorative and moisturizing oils that are long-lasting enough to get you through to your next deep-condition. Add clary sage essential oil to restore curl patterns and moisture to your mane and you'll also stimulate healthy hair growth.
4. For kinky, coarse hair...
- 1 part castor oil (Jamaican black preferred)
- 1 part coconut oil
- 4-5 drops of lavender oil
This one goes out to my gals with some serious kink and dryness: I feel your pain. Castor oil is a life saver when it comes to fighting dry, brittle hair. Most of us who've used it know the wonderful moisture and restoration castor can provide, but did you also know that it's a natural warrior at detangling? Combine it with coconut oil, which is amazing at sealing in moisture and of course, super nourishing as well. Lavender oil is also super moisturizing and promotes a healthy scalp free from itching and dandruff as well as antiseptic properties that our hair craves. This is perfect for in between shampoos!
5. For me... (Type 4B and a strange 3C hairline)
- 1 part castor oil
- 1 part apricot seed oil
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 3 drops of lavender oil
- 3 drops of rosemary oil
Here's the thing — the back of my hair wants to die. I know
that sounds over-dramatic, but you haven't been back there so you'll have to trust that it really, really
hates me. The only thing the back of my hair responds to is castor oil while the front of my
hair needs little to no help.
I use apricot seed oil AND coconut oil because my hair loses moisture so quickly and these are both amazing hair sealants. Lavender oil cuts the smell of castor oil down to a much more pleasant scent and I use the rosemary essential oil to ward off grey hairs because I need to control the three white-ish strands that have been following me around since I was 25.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (2); Giphy (6)