Playing with my oil sampler has been one of the more revealing experiments I've conducted. Different women on the boards at naturallycurly.com swear by different oils. Jojoba is supposedly the most similar to human hair and skin. Neem is praised by some. Others swear by olive oil (and I like it, too). When I read (at the Beauty Brains) that only coconut oil actually penetrated the hair and got to the core, I had to try it.
And by god, those Beauty Brains are right. Coconut oil has become my very favorite oil.
It's light, odorless, and from what I can see, is also helping my hair to curl more (healthy curly hair will do that!). I bought the version that's kinda hard but melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit -- you have to melt it in your hands, but it melts very easily. I'm loving this stuff and use it just about every night now.
Runner-up in the oil contest is avocado oil. Also very light and odorless, avocado seems to be fairly well absorbed into my hair, too, but it's not quite as perfect as coconut. But really -- it's close.
And what of the shea butter, you're wondering? Well, that's still good and in fact I'm using it tonight. I think, however, that it's a little too heavy to use on my hair every night. I don't use much at all, but still ... I notice a wee bit of buildup if I use it consistently. By buildup, I mean that it weighs my hair down a little. Nothing major but in comparison with the coconut oil, well, there is no comparison!
Although I have no head for science, I really do wish I were a scientist. Then maybe I could tackle the perplexing question: Why does everyone's hair react differently to products and treatments?
I have 3a hair. It's thin but there's a decent amount of it, so people often think I have thick hair. But it gets weighed down easily so I do have to watch how much oil I put in my hair.
Or so I thought!
The shea butter experiment continues to yield terrific results. And this surprises me because most of the shea butter proponents at naturallycurly.com have thicker, curlier, coarser hair than I. But then, maybe I am just using the right amount for my hair.... When I scrunch a dime-size amount of this stuff into my hair at night, I have great curls the next day. I don't even co-wash it out -- I just condition my hair like normal.
I used to sleep in Too Shea once a week or once every two weeks, but I haven't done that in at least a month. The shea butter treatment seems to do the job just as well, and I don't have to rinse it out before taking my crack-of-dawn daily walk, like I would have to do with conditioner.
I have also started experimenting with oils. I found this fabulous oil sampler at Oils by Nature and got Avocado, Coconut, Rice Bran, Sweet Almond Oil, and Apricot Kernel Oil. I haven't tried the almond or apricot yet, but I am very happy with the avocado and coconut. The rice bran, I'm still not sure about. Again, the amount is key. For me, coating my hands and scrunching it in seems to be the way to go. The avocado oil in particular left my hair soft and curly, and gave me great curls the morning after.
I just find it very interesting that any of this works for me, because my first experience with oil was with Jessicurl's Oil Blend. Now, that has coconut, jojoba, and avocado -- so you'd *think* I'd like it! But no matter how I used that stuff, my hair looked awful: flat, frizzy, not curly. I am now inclined to believe that my hair doesn't care for jojoba oil.
Another nighttime treatment that I really like is plain ol' olive oil!
It's fun to experiment with all of this. Have you got oils or nighttime treatments that work really well for you? I'd love to hear about them.
After discovering that curls can be nurtured into fabulousness instead of frizz, I began my quest to cultivate healthy, moisturized hair. I don't use anything with sulfates or silicones, and like my hair at last! This blog is one way I am indulging my obsession.