3 Essential oils that are great for afro hair

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If you have natural afro hair, you know that there are few things more challenging than keeping your beautiful locks moisturised. The great news is that there are three natural oils that will keep your hair looking amazing, by strengthening your hair and preventing damage from the environment and from styling products. These essential oils–avocado oil, olive oil and coconut oil–should be kept in your home at all times to be sure you have some on hand when you need them!


Natural hair challenges

Some of the complaints that women with natural afro hair have include tangles, which take hours to unravel even with finger-combing, single stranded knots which just will not go away, huge amounts of hair shedding, onto your brush or onto your pillow. Ladies with natural afro hair will need to be ensure that you don’t get too bored or demoralised with your hairstyle choice, as it could be the first step towards returning to chemicals or getting a dye job that can ruin all the great work you have done in growing out your long locks! It took so long to grow it, you definitely want to take good care of it.

Afro envy

Are you jealous of someone’s beautiful ‘do? You are not the first person to feel this envy and probably will not be the last, either. You have to learn to love what grows out of your scalp and just enjoy it, no matter what it looks like. Another trap that it is easy to fall into is becoming a hair product junkie, experimenting with product after product that still does not give you the results that you need or want. Be careful that you are not affecting the health of your hair with all of your testing.

Complete frustration

Natural hair can be a constant battle between what you think it should look like, and other people’s perception of beauty. So what if your curl pattern isn’t like your favourite blogger’s. Don’t listen to the naysayers who just haven’t got the memo – natural hairwhatever it looks like rocks! Keep in mind the look that you are going for, and the health of your hair and condition it often. One of the most challenging problems with natural hair is keeping it moisturised, and that’s where our three ‘essential oils’ come in.

Avocado oil

Hair that is dry and damaged from multiple products, needs an amazing boost of vitamins such as A, B, D and E–all of which avocado has in abundance. All of these nutrients, including folic acid, iron, copper and protein, provide protection for the scalp and help restore healthy cell growth and provides fatty acids to help hair stay soft and super-shiny. This light oil absorbs easily into the scalp and the skin and seems to mimic the sebum, or naturally occurring oil, in the scalp. It can help lock in moisture and reduce scalp itching–use it as a shampoo additive, a sealant or as a deep moisturising treatment. It can be a bit pricey, so you may want to balance your use of it with our other two powerhouse essential oils.

Olive oil

Lightweight olive oil provides a terrific level of protection to your hair, because it can penetrate deeply into the hair follicle and provides anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep your scalp in top health and even prevent dandruff. Olive oil is also hypoallergenic, meaning you can use it on even the most delicate skin without being concerned about having an adverse reaction. You can easily go to your grocery store and find olive oil, and the best kind to get is the extra virgin olive oil that is incredibly pure and cold-pressed to maintain all its antioxidant properties.

Coconut oil

Finally, we have coconut oil, which is the wonder oil for hair and skin. It can not only decrease protein loss from your hair, but it can also prevent breakage and damage brought on by environmental factors. It is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, meaning it is the perfect concoction to use to prevent hair loss due to fungus or bacteria buildup on the scalp. Of the three essential oils, coconut oil is shown to add the most protein back into the hair, a prime combatant to minimize overall hair loss. Coconut oil is not only one of the best oils that you can use both before and after washing, it is also one of the most cost-effective and easy to find. You can find it many places online or in your local grocery store in the baking aisle.

Natural hair can be dry, but by incorporating these three essential oils into your daily and weekly routine, you will find that your hair is longer, lusher and healthier than ever.
What’s your favourite oil? Let us know in the comments box below…

Guest Blogger: Maja Tisma is co-founder and editor of ShampooTruth.com and works as a freelance graphic designer and blogger. She has a big passion for beauty & health and contributes hair and beauty articles to various blogs and magazines.



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  2. by Thomas on 13/03/2021  2:12 PM Reply

    I actually have a question... My wife and I are constantly at odds over how to take care of our daughter's and son's hair. Our kids are mixed and our daughter has got afro hair and our son has the mixed hair. I told her I wanted to get some olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil so I can start treating her hair on the weekends. She tells me I'm not allowed to use avocado or olive in her hair cause those two are bad for afro hair, and I told her no, it's not, because not only do afro hair care products include them but every person I know with afro hair uses them, and I got told I wouldn't know anything about "black hair" cause I'm white.
    We also get into the argument of using a comb over a brush. I use a brush because I've noticed it doesn't pull out as much hair and it hurts her less but my wife doesn't agree, stating that you're not supposed to brush "black people's hair" and again says I wouldn't know because I'm white... So I guess with you knowing the story, are these oils and methods okay for my child's hair?

    • by The BBH Team on 12/04/2021  4:15 PM Reply

      Hi there
      There are two types of oils to use for afro haircare: penetrating oils or sealing oils. Coconut, olive and avocado oils are all penetrating oils and can be safely used on afro hair.
      Penetrating or moisturising oils are capable of entering your hair shaft and their primary use is to help lock moisture inside your hair. They also prevent too much water from entering the hair shaft which can damage the cuticle. Moisture is one of the key elements needed to strengthen your hair. Applying as a post-wash while your daughter's hair is still damp, the water will help the oils sink deeper into the hair. Once absorbed hair is softer and easier to detangle. You can also use penetrating oils as a pre-shampoo, a hot oil treatment, or by adding them to a leave-in conditioner.

      While penetrating oils can get inside the hair shaft, sealing oils are used to go on top of your hair and keep the useful moisture in! Typical sealing oils are: Jamaican Black Castor Oil, jojoba oil and grapeseed oil. Sealing oils are the final step of the moisturising process because they will keep in the moisture you've added previously and won't let any new moisture in. Because they are heavier and thicker, they will form a film over your hair once you've applied them. The trick is not to overload her hair with a sealing oil as it can weigh down hair and make it look dull.

      As for brushing, you don't really have to run a brush through your daughter's hair every day. Too much manipulation by styling tools can snag and break her hair as afro hair is very fragile. You can use a boar bristle brush but many prefer a plastic brush with bendable bristles like a Tangle Teezer. Many naturalistas use a wide tooth comb to detangle the hair when conditioning. The conditioner gives hair slip and makes it easier to manipulate while combing through. Others prefer finger-detangling to remove knots or strands, as it's less damaging.
      Kind regards
      The BBH Team

    • by Vijay on 27/12/2023  4:48 PM Reply

      Well it depends, avocado oil is perfect for Afro hair, so is coconut oil but coconut oil can cause clogged pores on both the face and scalp due to build up, if you brush Afro hair, it might form a “free form loc”. That’s why you have to comb and condition it at least twice a week…but if the individual has dry skin, then a nice soft coconut oil is good

  3. by Lourie on 14/01/2021  4:00 PM Reply

    People have no knowledge of the fact that shampoos that grow your hair faster and longer (of course with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) exist. Folks are now able to enjoy longer hair and experience more options. Certainly worth looking up. If you're exploring alopecia, hair damage, preventing scalp disorders, fast hair growth, hair health generally, almost the same ideas apply. In most cases, you have to stay away from hair products and treatments that use chemicals like parabens, DEA and sulfates. What's healthy for your hair is good for your skin all the same. For obvious reasons your content above hits the nail in the head for so many reasons. It steers away from the accustomed errors and traps so many fall into- purchasing bad alternatives. Thank you!

  4. by Mickieriah on 02/10/2019  9:41 PM Reply

    In my afro hair I use coconut and castor oils and since I started using them my hair is very healthy less breakages and its always moist , impressively eye catching natural looking afro.

  5. by lenora on 01/02/2017  2:13 AM Reply

    I really like Pro Naturals :)

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