Moisture is the curls’ BFF! What better way to quench curls than with oil? Indians know the benefits of oiling their hair, and most of us fondly remember our moms or grandmothers braiding and oiling our hair.
The CGM is a tradition we can continue, but some tweaks exist. For example, you should NOT brush or comb it down to maintain the natural curl pattern. Discover our detailed guide to hair oil and its benefits, uses, and application.
Are you ready to oil?
Oils are a great way to hydrate and nourish dry curls. Curly hair is a blessing, but it can also be a curse. It tends to dry out faster than other hair types.
Curly hair and the occurrence of this condition:
Curly hair does not retain moisture as, well. This lack of humidity can lead to dull, dry, and brittle-looking hair. The curl pattern is another factor that can have a direct impact. Wondering how? Sebum, or natural oil secreted by the scalp, keeps your scalp moisturized.
Imagine pouring oil into a straight funnel versus a curved or squiggly one. Which one is better at transporting oil to the bottom? Oil spreads quickly down straight hair but not so much with curly hair. Brushing is also essential for extending natural sebum along the length of hair. This can be a deterrent when you have curly hair since curl care discourages dry brushing.
Oil for Curly Hair:
The right products and techniques can help you fix curly hair issues, including Frizz, dullness, and brittleness. They can also reduce split ends.
Let’s first understand which oil is best for your hair. Hair oil is divided into two broad categories: Moisturizing and Sealing Oil.
Moisturizing oils contain smaller particles that can penetrate the hair shaft and add moisture to curls. Coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil are all good moisturizers.
Sealing oils, on the other hand, can lock in moisture from water and other moisturizers. This keeps your strands plump and bouncy. Castor oil and Jojoba oils are both excellent sealing oil.
How do you choose the right oil for your hair? There are several factors to consider, including hair density and porosity. We’ll explore this further to understand better.
What is porosity?
The porosity of hair is determined by its ability to hold and absorb moisture. This determines the ease with which water and oil can pass through them.
Let’s start with the basics: a hair strand. Each strand has a cuticle layer. Cuticles are what determine the porosity of hair. Hair with a high porosity has more open cuticles, while hair with a low porosity has fewer. Tall porosity hair is more porous and absorbs products and moisture better, but it’s also more vulnerable to environmental factors like heat and pollution. If your hair is low porosity, it will repel water and keep damage at bay.
How can you measure porosity?
The most accurate way to determine your hair porosity is by examining your hair under a microscope. You can perform simple tests at home to determine your hair’s porosity.
The Float Test- To test your hair’s porousness, drop a few loose strands in a bowl and see if they float or sink. Low-porosity hair tends to swim, while strands with high porosity sink. If the strand is floating in the middle, it indicates medium/normal hair.
Slip & Slide Test – Clasp a portion of hair between your fingers and slide it upwards. If it feels bumpy, your porosity level is high. If it feels smooth, your porosity level is low.
Probability- Does your hair feel heavy after styling? Low porosity is evident if products sit on the hair and do not absorb. If your curls are soaking up moisture-rich products, this indicates high porosity. A good balance between these two is average porosity.
Tangle Test- Is Frizz a silent roommate who never leaves? If your hair is easily tangled, this could be a sign that you have high porosity. This happens when the hair shafts rub against each other. They then become entangled or bound.
Now that you know how to measure porosity, let’s find out what oils are best for it.
Argan is an excellent option for hair with low porosity. Its small molecules penetrate the hair shaft easily and provide enough moisture. Low-porosity hair can also benefit from Jojoba or grapeseed oils.
If you have high porosity hair, choose a sealing oil that is nourishing and nourishes the hair. Coconut oil will add protein to the coat and seal in moisture.
What is hair density?
The number of hairs per inch square of your scalp is called the hair density. Check if your scalp is visible through your hair. If you can see your scalp, then you have a lower density. However, if your hair thickly covers your scalp and you can feel it covering your scalp, your density is high.
You can also check the density of your hair by:
Get counting – Measure an inch square (or half, if time is short) and count how many strands there are. You can then scale it or extrapolate to get your strand count.
Scalp test- As stated above, note if you can see your scalp without moving or parting it. Do not use wet hair strands. Damp hair is usually less dense.
Ponytail Measuring- Put your hair into a ponytail or a pineapple, and measure the circumference. Low-density hair is typically 2 inches or less, while high-density hair will be three or more.
It is easy to determine that hair with a low density will be thinner and coat with a high density will be thicker.
Jojoba oil can be an excellent option for low-density, thin hair. Its texture is very similar to the sebum naturally produced by your hair. Almond oil is also ideal for fine hair.
Do you have thick and coarse hair? Use heavier oils like olive or coconut oil. They are easily absorbed and will benefit your hair.
Hair oils are also categorized by their weight. Lighter oils work better for wavy hair, while heavier oils work best for curlier hair. Hair oils should be more severe and moisturizing the curlier your hair is.
Curls are our passion, and we want the best for them. Here are some oils that will nourish and moisturize your curly hair and bring it to life.