I receive a lot of AskKaren questions about the overall benefits of using oil as an ingredient for deep conditioning the hair.
While there are many oils that can be used to condition the hair, the type of oil you select should depend on your hair type, personal preference, budget and conditioning needs.
Some hair types like coarse or thick hair will usually respond very well to the heavier oils like olive and coconut. Other hair types like fine or thin hair will generally do better with lighter oils like sesame and almond oil.
Extremely damaged hair or hair that tends to break, split or tangle will often respond very well to Jojoba oil. Jojoba is a very healing and moisturizing oil for the hair. I have found over the years that jojoba oil will work for just about all types of hair.
The beauty of jojoba is that you can use it straight or in a mix. Depending on your hair type and needs you can buy various compositions that include heavy, medium or light concentrations of the jojoba in the mix.
What Is Jojoba Oil?
What is this mystical elixir? Jojoba oil is the oil of choice for many people suffering from a variety of hair woes. This is a excellent oil for adding moisture to the hair.
The reason that Jojoba is such a great choice as a hair conditioner and moisturizer is that the molecular structure of Jojoba is very similar to the natural oil that is produced by the sebaceous glands in the scalp. This natural scalp oil is known as "sebum".
It is a well-known fact that sebum is required for proper moisturizing of beautiful and healthy hair. Hair that has a good moisture basis tends to be more resistant to daily damage, tangles, dryness and split ends.
Jojoba oil comes from the jojoba plant which grows spontaneously in the northwestern parts of Mexico, as well as Arizona and California.
The Jojoba plant is so strong that it actually bears its berries in the intense heat and dryness of desert. Jojoba oil is the transparent, resilient and golden oil, and is often called the liquid gold of the desert.
According to extensive Japanese studies with natural and refined Jojoba oils, it was found that the Jojoba oil is not toxic in any way to human hair or skin.
As a rare tidbit it should be noted that Jojoba oil is very similar in its properties to sperm whale oil which is used in the creation of some forms of penicillin.
Straight Jojoba Or In A Mix
As I mentioned above, jojoba oil can be purchased either as pure oil or as part of a "composition" or conditioning mix designed for the hair.
A well known oil with a high concentration of Jojoba is Beautiful Hair Oil (BHO). I personally have been using this oil since I developed it for my own hair over five years ago.
While I believe that there are lots of other ways to deep condition hair besides using Jojoba or other oils, I also find that the use of oil, from time to time, adds lots of benefits that I don't get from other methods of deep conditioning.
Besides a high percentage of 100% pure organic jojoba oil the Beautiful Hair Oil includes pure essential oils and essence.
The Beautiful Hair Oil is a synergistic blend of pure 100% organic Jojoba oil, essence of flowers, vibrational elixirs of gems, pure essential oils of lavender, bergamot, grapefruit, rosemary & lime which are designed to moisturize dry hair and scalp. The BHO oil is not only loaded with goodies for your hair, it smells fabulous.
Many of the additional ingredients are also excellent for moisturizing and healing the hair. Rosemary oil is a well-known hair tonic. Lavender provides relaxing properties for the scalp while bergamot is very nourishing.
I have tried home grown recipes that required me to use a straight pin to pop open E tablets and squeeze the vitamin right onto my scalp. I never really noticed any benefits from using straight E vitamins although it was definitely greasy and hard to shampoo out.
I always encourage everyone to try whatever treatments that they think will help their hair, however I have found that some treatments (like the mainlining of E vitamins to my scalp) are more trouble than they are worth.
How To Use The Oils
I use the Beautiful Hair Oil for both deep hot oil conditioning, pre-shampoo moisturizing, emergency detangling and instant oil replenishment for the hair cuticles. The Beautiful Hair Oil can be used in many different hair care capacities depending on your own needs.
Is Beautiful Hair Oil the only game in town? Absolutely not. I believe that the key ingredient that makes Beautiful Hair Oil such a great mixture is the high concentration of 100% pure organic Jojoba oil plus the added secret ingredients of essential oils and essences.
I also believe that Jojoba used in any type of 50/50 mixture with any over the counter hot oil treatment will work well as a deep conditioner.
In the past I have experimented with mixing a few drops of the Beautiful Hair Oil with standard olive or coconut oils. I did not find the results to be as successful as using the Beautiful Hair Oil alone.
However, I have mixed pure Jojoba with olive oil and had good results.
The key is to experiment and find the formula that works best for you and your hair.
Deep Conditioning Treatments
My hair is naturally coarse, dry and wavy. I also have it highlighted with tends to make it even drier. In recent years I have had some thyroid challenges which has dried my hair even more. With all these factors, my hair can never get too much conditioning.
My own weekly hair care routine involves using one of the Phyto shampoo products and some form of rinse out conditioning mixture. I also will use a Phyto leave-in conditioning product when I know that my hair will be subjected to lots of heat, sun, wind or drying weather conditions.
Every 8-10 weeks or depending on the condition of my hair I will do a hot oil treatment. Although I personally do well with olive oil, I have found over the years that the BHO works very well, if not better than the olive oil, and the Beautiful Hair Oil is a lot easier to apply and shampoo out.
Hot Oil Treatments Can Be Messy
I have to warn you, any type of oil that you might use for deep conditioning treatments will probably be messy. Take the time to handle the necessary preparations to minimize the messiness factor.
Unless appropriate care is taken, Beautiful Hair Oil can be messy. I have learned through years of use that I have to be very careful. The mess is worth it, but I try to keep it contained as much as possible.
The length of time that I allow for the BHO application is determined by the dryness of my hair. Although I generally try to limit the conditioning time to just one hour, I have also slept with the oil in my hair overnight when I felt it would really help.
Just recently a very dear friend of mine liberally applied straight jojoba oil to her super long hair and allowed it to remain "cooking" in her hair for more than a day with excellent results.
Listed below are the steps that I follow for a deep conditioning treatment with Beautiful Hair Oil:
Note: These steps would work for any type of hot oil treatment as well.
1. Pour a small amount of oil into a bowl and heat by placing the bowl gently over boiling water. A microwave will also work but I am always concerned that the microwave may damage some of the properties in the oil. Will it? Probably not but I always prefer to take the safest route in everything I do.
If you prefer to use the microwave, make sure the oil remains warm and not hot to the touch. Be careful not to burn your fingers or your skin.
2. Using your freshly washed fingertips or clean cotton balls, apply the warm oil to the ends and middle of your hair. Focus on the most damaged or dry areas first.
While I apply the oil to dry hair, some people find they get better results when they apply the oil to damp hair. Experiment and find the best solution for your hair type.
Note: Avoid getting the oil within one inch of your scalp area. Whether you tend to have an oily scalp or not, there is a danger that oil applied directly on the scalp will cause it to become clogged with excessive oils.
3. After all the oil is applied, braid or wrap the hair into a bun and pin up to minimize dripping. Cover the newly oiled hair with a plastic shower cap or plastic Saran wrap.
Although you have the option of sitting under a hot bonnet type of hair dryer or sitting out in the sun, you can also use warm towels.
4. Apply a hot towel in a turban around the plastic shower cap or plastic wrap. You can heat the towel in your clothes dryer.
You can also use a blow dryer but the benefits are not as high as a bonnet hair dryer or hot towel.
I allow at least the minimum of an hour on the hair covered with warm to hot (not scorching hot) towels changing the towels as they cool.
5. After letting the oil soak into your hair cuticle for the appropriate time, remove the towel, plastic shower cap and shampoo the oil from your hair.
Because the concentration of oil in your hair may be hard to remove, a good trick is to apply a mixture of 50% moisturizing shampoo and 50% water directly to your hair before wetting it. Work the shampoo/water mixture carefully into your hair to break up the oil and then carefully add water to form suds and wash away the oil.
6. Follow the shampoo with a light rinse out conditioner and then do a cool to cold water final rinse to seal the newly conditioned hair.
7. Carefully towel blot your hair and then pick out the tangles with a wide toothed comb or pick.
8. If possible let your hair air dry.
9. Be prepared for major hair shine and softness.
Jojoba As An Overnight Treatment
If you want to leave your jojoba or Beautiful Hair Oil on for longer than an hour feel free to experiment.
On the rare times that I have decided to leave the Beautiful Hair Oil in overnight I have draped a thick towel across my pillow case to avoid stains. I have found that it is virtually impossible to sleep in a slower cap because of the heat. I will usually loosely braid by hair, wrap the ends in rags or cotton wraps.
Jojoba As A Daily Treatment
Jojoba is also superb to use as a daily supplement to sebum on the hair shaft, especially with long hair.
The amount of sebum a person produces depends on various circumstances and varies widely by the individual. Sebum can be impacted by a myriad of events that may be happening in our daily lives and is linked to glandular production.
Sebum, if produced in sufficient amounts, is typically distributed along the length of the hair shaft through normal combing and brushing.
How do you determine if you have the proper amount of sebum for your hair? After you comb or brush your hair pay careful attention and if your hair seems to have excessive dryness, you are probably short on sebum.
When excessive dryness does occur, a little jojoba can be applied on a daily basis to the hair to add moisture.
Although I do not use either jojoba or HairBoutique.com Beautiful Hair Oil on a daily basis, the following steps are recommended:
1. Apply a few drops of jojoba or HairBoutique.com Beautiful Hair Oil on the hands and vigorously rub the hands together.
2. Begin "finger picking" or running your hands and fingers through your hair from the area where it is driest down to the ends of the hair.
3. Keep the oils within 1 inch from the scalp.
4. Be careful not to over apply the oils or your hair may begin to become heavy or even slightly oily. Remember, a little goes a long way.
Jojoba As A Pre-Shampoo Moisturizer
Jojoba can be used for people with dry hair as a means to pre-condition the hair before a shampoo. Although this may seem a little unusual, shampoos and harsh waters will actually strip the hair of required moisture.
The application of jojoba or a similar oil will create a moisture barrier so that the shampoo will not strip too many oils from the cuticle.
Because the jojoba and related oils can also soften hair, it is excellent to use as a pre-shampoo detangler. All tangles and knots should be carefully removed before washing the hair. A few drops of jojoba or a similar mix can be applied to the tangled areas of hair and will help soften the knots for easier removal.
During times when the hair has become knotted from high winds or other conditions, a little jojoba can go a long way to helping untangle hair without causing damage or breakage.
A little jojoba on split ends will help temporarily "bind them" back together prevent further tears to the ends.
An Instant Moisturizer
A few drops of either Jojoba or HairBoutique.com Beautiful Hair Oil rubbed into the palms of the hands and smoothed over newly air dried hair can work wonders as an instant moisturizer.
I discovered that by carefully rubbing it through the dry parts and ends of my hair before leaving the house after my hair is dry works wonders at adding lots of shine and gloss.
Jojoba As A Scalp Treatment
Although it is not wise to get jojoba directly to the scalp, a very small amount of jojoba applied to the palms of your hands and then used as part of a scalp massage can be a wonderful treat.
A scalp massage using a very tiny amount of jojoba can be particularly beneficial and enjoyable. When possible ask a loved one to help you with a scalp massage that will not only relax our scalp but moisture your hair at the same time. Remember, a little goes a very long way.
Straight Jojoba vs HairTopia Beautiful Hair Oil
The jojoba oil that I have bought over the years is always odorless. I found it helpful to add a drop or two of my favorite aromatherapy fragrances.
There are several brands of jojoba oil to select from and many have excellent ingredients for moisturizing hair. Many people find natural jojoba the best bet for them.
In the past I have bought just straight jojoba oil from different sources but oddly my hair responds much better to the HairBoutique.com Beautiful Hair Oil than just straight jojoba oil or a mixture.
I have tried making my own version of the Beautifying Composition with some good results but I still prefer the quick and dirty...buy it at the store.
Buying HairTopia Beautiful Hair Oil
The cost of the HairBoutique.com Beautiful Hair Oil might be considered to be high in some circles. The reason for the cost is because it is hand blended by an aromatherapist using 100% organic Jojoba oils and 100% organic essential oils and gem elixirs. It is created for HairBoutique.com by an aromatherapist using my own personal recipe that I developed for my hair.
The reality is that there are other oils on the market that are extremely high in comparison. While the BHO may seem a high cost for a small bottle of oil, the BHO oil lasts a very long time. If you are frugal and use only a few drops, a little bottle can last many months, if not years, when it is stored properly.
It is also possible to mix a few drops of the BHO with other oils. That did not work well for me and my hair but it may be perfect for your needs.
While the oil is considered by some to be quite pricey...it lasts me for a very long time. The key is to only use a few drops and then a bottle goes a very long way.
Buying Jojoba Oil
You can buy straight natural Jojoba oil in a health food store. The cost will vary depending on the quality of the oil that is used. The cost of organic Jojoba that is 100% pure is much more expensive than non-organic.
Also, Jojoba oil has become more scare over the past few years and the price is constantly going up as a result. It is always wise to shop around for the best deals and for the best base Jojoba oil you can find.
If you happen to find jojoba oil for a lot less than any of the other products on the market aware that you may be buying something other than jojoba oil.
It is possible that you are only buying a watered down mix or possibly some sort of imitation. Yes, labeling can be confusing. Make sure that if you need jojoba oil that you are getting the "real deal".
Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil
I recently bought Weleda's Rosemary Hair Oil which includes almond oil, clover blossom extract, lavender oil and rosemary oil.
This composition does not contain any jojoba. I did lots of experimenting with this oil to check out the differences. I was not happy with the results and decided that while the rosemary oil was nice, I really needed the jojoba kick.
I have also tried avocado oil mixtures but find I had better luck with jojoba and almond oil as the base oil.
My experiments also found be adding drops of lavender and rosemary to a mixture of jojoba and sesame oil. This home brewed concoction worked pretty well although it was still a pain and the Aveda still seemed like the best deal in terms of saving time and mess.
While there are many methods for deep conditioning the hair, using a variety of different conditioning oils can provide lots of benefits. It is always important to select an oil that is right for your type of hair and other considerations.
Jojoba is widely recognized as an oil that can work with most hair types and can offer major benefits. Besides providing deep conditioning, jojoba or compositions that include jojoba, can work for daily moisturizing, detangling and as a pre-shampoo conditioner.
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Original Publication Date: 4/10/1999 - Revised Date: 08/06/10
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