They may sound slick, but hair oils are a hot trend right now. They’re popping up from just about every beauty brand. While the initial reaction towards them may well be, “that’s not for me,” trust us when we say that there truly is an oil for everyone.
Matrix Artistic Director Nick Stenson feels that oils are not a fad. “They are used in many ways, to preserve texture and color and to make hair look and feel healthier,” he says.
Hair guru and creator of his eponymous line, Philip B., agrees. “The new breed of oil treatment is a whole different thing from the heavy, occlusive oil treatments of the past. Those simply coated the outside of your hair and were hard to remove.”
The word “oil” — especially when it comes to hair care — has a bit of a negative connotation. The last thing most of us want to do is slather grease all over our hair. But the new crop of oils are anything but heavy. Here are some that we love, and we have a feeling you will, too.
For All Hair Types
If you want to invest in a universal oil, look for ones that are light and all purpose. Biolage ExquisiteOil ($14, matrix.com) has a good balance for any hair type. “Whether someone has baby fine blonde or thick, coarse grays, it hydrates the hair without the weight and leaves the hair with lasting shine” says Stenson. ExquisiteOil features a Moringa oil blend and imparts brilliant shine without buildup.
For Color-Treated Hair
The Pureology Precious Oil Line is filled with gentle ingredients perfect for color-treated hair, with its proprietary OleoAntiFadeComplex. Among the line’s standouts is the first of its kind Shamp’Oil ($29), an oil based, sulfate-free cleanser, along with the Versatile Caring Oil ($40, pureology.com for salons). The Caring Oil is the first product to be Green Seal certified for sustainability. This formula contains a blend of sunflower, coconut, olive and jojoba oils, which help improve color vibrancy and hair radiance. This is also perfect if your hair is particularly dry. Another excellent product is L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Color Glow Oil ($32, lpsalons.com), which contains an UV filter and is enriched with linseed and cranberry oils.
For Frizz-Prone Hair and Split Ends
The new Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment ($5.99, drugstore.com) might be just the ticket for those who are passionate about eliminating frizz. It’s lighter than typical Moroccan argan oil formulas, and has a delicious amber color that looks richer than it feels. You can use it in the shower, on wet or dry hair. How’s that for versatility?
For Fine Hair
Kérastase Elixir Ultime Rose Millénaire ($54, kerastase-usa.com) is specifically designed for fine hair, with its lightweight liquid texture. A blend of maize, pracaxi, camellia and argan oils plus vitamin E rich Millennium Rose nourish damaged hair without weighing it down. Philip B.’s Rejuvenating Oil ($30, philipb.com) is another good choice for fine hair because it’s made with sheer plant and flower oils. The molecules in the formula are tiny enough to slip inside the hair shaft and plump up each strand from the inside out. Any excess on the surface simply shampoos away, so you’re left with perfectly hydrated, glossy hair with lots of bounce and volume.
How to Use Them
Once you’ve found the perfect oil for your hair type, what do you do with it? Stenson advises that less is more, and not to overdo the oil. “You can always layer on more,” he advises. “A drop before you blow dry will protect the hair and make it easier for the brush to flow through the hair.”
Philip B. advises that you rub a generous dollop of oil into dry hair, and focus on saturating the ends but also a bit on the scalp. You can also heat the oil with a blow-dryer for a few minutes to help it sink in. “If you can, sleep with the oil in your hair overnight.” he says. Wash the following morning with a clarifying shampoo.
Have you tried hair oils? Which ones have worked for you?