4C hair is the most coily hair type and it can be naturally dry and spongy. A great way to care for your hair is by using the right oils. Here are the best oils for 4C hair and how to use them effectively.
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Why Use Oil On 4C Natural Hair
4C hair has the tightest curl pattern and is consequently more prone to frizz, dryness, and damage.
4C hair is more fragile than other hair types as the tightly coiled strands are packed together which can make it more difficult for oils to reach the lengths and ends of the hair.
This can result in lost moisture and in some cases, this can lead to breakage. To avoid this, you need to be using oils regularly on your hair to keep it hydrated and healthy.
Related: The Best Gels For 4C Hair
6 Best Oils for 4C Hair
Choosing the right oil for your 4c hair can be difficult, which is why we’ve carefully compiled a list of the best ones for natural hair.
1. Nutiva Organ Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil
Nutiva uses a natural, cold press extraction process that ensures the coconut oil retains all of its nutrients without the use of chemicals or dangerous practices.
It contains 63% medium-chain triglycerides and 50% lauric acid which is responsible for its deep penetration of the hair shaft. For people with 4C natural hair, this is one of the best oils to use, as its high penetration levels lock in moisture and prevent hair from drying out.
Why we like it: Nutiva uses organic virgin coconuts for maximum quality, there are no added preservatives, and the packaging is BPA-free.
2. Aromatika Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is naturally thicker and heavier than other oils, making it a great choice for 4C hair. Olive oil is a good source of fatty acids and vitamins E and K, making it highly moisturizing and great at soothing dry strands.
Olive oil has abilities to penetrate the hair strand, which helps to seal in moisture and leave hair far more manageable. Aromatika’s extra virgin olive oil is pure and natural and completely free of additives or synthetic ingredients. It retains all of its essential vitamins and minerals to leave your hair looking and feeling much healthier.
Why we like it: Undiluted, cold-pressed, and not tested on animals.
3. Sky Organics Castor Oil
Castor oil is a good source of omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E, which helps to tame and nourish curly hair. As it’s thicker and richer than other oils, castor oil is one of the best choices for 4C hair due to the way it softens and moisturizes the hair strands. When used on the scalp, it can soothe and calm any irritation and dryness, which then promotes hair growth.
This castor oil by Sky Organics is pure and unrefined, meaning it does not contain any additional ingredients or chemicals. This oil is responsibly sourced, so you know that you are getting the highest-quality castor oil that contains all of the essential nutrients to keep your hair healthy and manageable.
Why we like it: This castor oil is hexane-free, USDA certified organic and cruelty-free.
4. Cliganic Organic Jojoba Oil
Rich in vitamins B, C, and E and essential minerals, Jojoba Oil is a top choice for natural hair because it’s highly moisturizing. Applying Jojoba Oil to the roots helps to regulate sebum production, which can relieve a dry scalp and help to control an oily scalp.
As 4C hair is the tightest curl pattern and more prone to dryness, applying Jojoba Oil can help the natural oils to reach the lengths and the ends of the hair, resulting in healthier and more manageable locks. This can also promote hair growth.
This organic Jojoba Oil from Cliganic is lightweight and fast-absorbing, so there’s no need to worry about it weighing the hair down. It is 100% pure and natural and it’s suitable for low, medium, and high porosity hair.
Why we like it: Certified organic, cruelty-free, and no other added ingredients.
5. Majestic Pure Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is rich in Omega-9 fatty acids, protein, amino acids, and minerals that are beneficial for maintaining strong, healthy hair. It’s naturally lightweight and fast-absorbing, making it suitable for most hair types.
The great thing about avocado oil is it contains a range of vitamins which help to support growth and protect it against damage from heat styling and harmful UV rays. Majestic Pure’s avocado oil is the best choice because it’s cold-pressed, free of any harmful additives, and it absorbs into the hair and scalp quickly. It can be used on its own or it can be diluted with carrier oils or essential oils to boost the moisturizing benefits.
Why we like it: Lightweight, 100% pure, and contains no additives.
6. Maple Holistics Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is one of the top choices for soothing and cleansing the scalp. The scalp can get quite dry, which can then lead to the rest of the hair becoming dry, frizzy, and brittle. To keep the hair healthy and protected against damage, adding a couple of drops of lavender oil to a base oil such as jojoba or olive oil, can do wonders.
It helps to remove debris from the scalp and leave it feeling cleaner, which in turn, promotes hair growth and reduces hair fall. This pure lavender oil from Maple Holistics contains only 100% natural lavender oil and it’s designed for treating dry hair and a dry scalp.
Why we like it: No additional ingredients, fast absorption, and long shelf life.
Difference Between Moisturizing and Sealing Oils
There’s some confusion between moisturizing and sealing oils and whether one is better than the other. But the truth is, both of these oils have their own benefits.
Here’s what you need to know:
Moisturizing oils is the name given to an oil that can penetrate the hair shaft. Some of these include coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil.
These oils have high penetration, which helps to provide intense hydration to the hair.
Moisturizing oils are an important part of a hair care routine because they keep the hair healthy and less prone to breakage.
If you have 4C type hair, you will need to use moisturizing oils to prevent hair from drying out.
While sealing oils can’t penetrate the hair shaft as moisturizing oils do, that doesn’t mean they aren’t beneficial for your hair.
But the key to using sealing oils is knowing when to use them. The clue is in the name – they seal everything in.
That means they seal moisture in and prevent moisture from getting it.
You need to ensure that your hair is thoroughly moisturized before using a sealing oil so that your hair remains healthy and hydrated.
For that reason, a sealing oil should be used at the end of the hair routine. Some examples of great sealing oils are grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and black castor oil.
How Often To Use Oil On Hair
How often you use oil on your hair greatly depends on your hair type, the type of oil you are using, and the treatment you are doing.
Another thing to take into consideration is the current condition of your hair.
If the hair is very dry and damaged, using oil on your hair 2 – 3 times a week would be highly beneficial to restore the hair and improve the overall condition of the strands.
But for some people, once a week is sufficient and any more than that can lead to their hair becoming limp and greasy.
It’s recommended that you use oil on your hair once a week to begin with and then increase it if you feel it’s necessary.
If your hair becomes greasy or it still feels dry, it’s likely that the oil you’re using isn’t suitable for your hair type.
It could be too lightweight or too heavy. Experiment with moisturizing and sealing oils until you find one that leaves your hair feeling smooth, shiny, and healthy.
This could mean mixing 3 or more oils together until you get the perfect combination for your hair type.
3 Ways To Use Oils On Natural Hair
There’s more than one way to use oils on your 4C type hair. Here are the top 3 most effective ways to keep your hair healthy and manageable:
Both the LOC and LCO are great methods to incorporate oils into your hair.
But one method could be more suited to your hair type than the other.
The LOC method refers to using a liquid, oil, and then cream on your hair in that exact order.
The liquid is often water, the oil could be any oil of your choice and the cream could be shea butter or some other form of whipped cream.
The liquid hydrates the hair, the oil adds further moisture to the hair and the cream is the final stage to seal everything in and keep hair moisturized throughout the day.
The LCO method finishes with oil instead of cream and many people prefer this method as it means the cream isn’t left sitting on top of the hair.
Typically, the LCO method works best for people with low porosity hair.
But it’s worth trying both methods and switching between different oils and creams to find the best combination.
When you apply oil to your hair before washing it, it lessens the drying effect of the shampoo. This means your hair will feel smoother, healthier, and more manageable once dry.
To pre-poo, choose an oil that works best for your hair types such as avocado oil or coconut oil.
- Detangle your hair and separate it into sections so you can apply it more evenly.
- Start by focusing on the roots of your hair and work your way through with your fingers, distributing the oil evenly so it coats each section. If your roots are too oily, you can skip them and just focus on the lengths of the hair.
- Leave it in for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it out with shampoo and conditioner.
- If your hair still looks oily, wash it once more with shampoo until it looks soft and healthy.
- Dry and style your hair as usual.
Hot Oil Treatment
A hot oil treatment is similar to the pre-poo treatment but the main difference is that you heat the oil up first.
Heating the oil allows for better absorption and it often involves a longer treatment too.
- Warm up your chosen oil for a few seconds in the microwave until it’s warm but not hot.
- Apply to the scalp and begin massaging it in – this helps to soothe a dry, irritated scalp while removing debris and product build-up.
- Work the oil through the lengths and the ends of your hair so it the hair is fully saturated.
- Put a cap over the hair and leave it for 1 to 2 hours so it has enough time to moisturize the hair.
- Once the time is up, wash your hair as usual and leave it to dry.
Your hair should feel noticeably softer and smoother.
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