View Full Version : oils: how do you KNOW it's doing anything?

March 9th, 2008, 09:49 AM
Over the months I've seen people post, "my hair LOVES _________ oil!" What should one see if it's doing something beneficial? Sounds like a dim question, I know :D

Point in question, I use coconut oil on the length, regularly. I had tried other liquid oils but they made my hair look oily but it still seemed dry and "fly-away".

I use coconut oil because it doesn't make my hair oily and I figure it can't hurt....maybe add some protection. However, I can't say I notice anything different about my hair.

I figured if my hair was well moisturized to begin with, it wouldn't soak up the c. oil and it might look oily (which it doesn't). I figured if my hair was dry it WOULD suck up the oil -- maybe it does, since the hair still looks dryish and frizzy.

Hmmmm, maybe I've answered my own question (?) Maybe I should be adding more? I've been sticking to the "fingernail" amount, sometimes a bit more.

I've always just assumed that ultimately the hair should look/become better moisturized. I've been doing this for many months now, so I figured I should have seen something by now.

March 9th, 2008, 09:55 AM
I know olive oil and coconut milk worked on my hair because my hair has a richer, softer and shinier look.

BUT, I think the big secret to my success was ditching the blow dryer and every day washes.

I have never tried coconut oil. Olive oil was wondrous, however. It was an instant difference, but I did over oil at first and looked like an emo kid.

March 9th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Coconut oil could bee too light for your hair. You could try a mix of coconut oil and olive oil (thebeautybrains says a mix of these oils provides the best protection against protein loss). Have you tried to do a pre-wash treatment?

March 9th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Normaly you can tell your hair likes oil if you can feel a difference in some way after using it. Like for me with coconut oil my hair feels softer and smoother after using it.

You don't have to stick to the fingernail amount, you can play around with it to see what you like. It might also be an idea to try a heavy oiling to give the hair a good soaking overnight in it. I use a light oiling to add a bit of shine and to protect my hair....but for actual conditioning i smother the oil on and leave it soaking as long as possible.

HTH :)

March 9th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Your question is not dim at all. There were a couple of oils that I tried in the beginning that did nothing for me. I don't even remember what they are now.

I know that jojoba oil and EVOO work for me, because my hair is softer and shinier when I use them.

Future CCC-SLP
March 9th, 2008, 10:04 AM
I noticed a huge difference after using jojoba oil and coconut oil. I find that my hair is easier to manage, doesn't tangle as much, looks shinier and feels super soft especially after my heavy oil treatment.

March 9th, 2008, 10:08 AM
Are you using the oil on dry or wet hair? I cannot use coconut oil on my hair unless my hair is wet or damp. If I do my hair gets drier, almost brittle. This does not happen with other oils, only coconut. Maybe your hair rebels like mine.

March 9th, 2008, 10:42 AM
I say that my hair loves sweet almond oil because I like the way my hair feels when I apply it. It's as simple as that for me.

When I say my hair doesn't like a certain oil, it usually means that my hair feels like crap when I apply it. Jojoba does this to my hair--it turns my hair into a crunchy, dry, crappy mess.

As far as what sweet almond (or any oil that I "like") actually does for my hair, besides making it feel nice: Well, I know it doesn't have the same protein-loss prevention qualities that coconut oil has, so it doesn't do anything there. What it does do for me is provide slip, which makes my hair much easier to detangle than it would be without. It makes my hair more supple and soft, which I believe helps to prevent breakage. Because I apply it to wet hair, I believe it helps seal in moisture. And all oils are full of essential fatty acids, which are supposedly good for the hair's health. You can argue that most oils don't penetrate the hair enough for these EFAs to actually have any effect--honestly, I don't know the answer to that, nor do I care. I'll still use oils either way just because they make my hair feel wonderful.

March 9th, 2008, 11:00 AM
Before I started oiling my ends lightly after washing, my ends were really, really dry and I trimmed regularly because they got so bad, I never managed to grow my hair past BSL. Now I've oiled the ends for over 2 years and my hair has grown to almost tailbone length without the ends drying out as bad as before. That's proof enough for me that my hair likes coconut oil.

March 9th, 2008, 12:01 PM
I say that my hair loves sweet almond oil because I like the way my hair feels when I apply it. It's as simple as that for me.

When I say my hair doesn't like a certain oil, it usually means that my hair feels like crap when I apply it. Jojoba does this to my hair--it turns my hair into a crunchy, dry, crappy mess.

Talullah put it well. Except I use Coconut oil. I honestly don't know if it benefits my hair, but I LIKE my hair much better with it on!

On the amount... I use more than a finger nail.... probably 2-3's worth, but my hair is classic length, so that might be why?

March 9th, 2008, 12:22 PM
I first noticed the benefits of oils after I did a overnight oiling with EVOO.I gradually starting using first jojoba and then coconut.I haven't used other carriers but it did wake my hair up again when I started to slowly add EO's to my oilings.

I had much softer and less frizzy hair with that first oiling.I also put down the hairdryer and straightner balm.So,it's hard to tell what made that big difference.I just know I'll use oils from now on irregardless what initially gave my hair that softness.

March 9th, 2008, 12:23 PM
Mine simply feels much better when I oil than when I don't. Due to some medication I was on about a year ago, much of my length is brittle and dry. I know I should probably cut some of it off, but I can't bear to lose that much length, so I oil. Because my hair is super fine I have to CO every other day, so I do a heavy, heavy oiling the night before each of my washes, plus light oilings in between. This has kept the length manageable, reasonably healthy looking and will hopefully let me reach my goal of waist length sooner rather than later!!

March 9th, 2008, 12:45 PM
I think the best way to determine what oiling does for your hair is to stop doing it and see if there is a difference. I note that my hair feels rougher and drier and looks more fly-away when I don't oil it. Every hair has a tendency to twirl off in its own direction without oil and aloe vera gel. I get a cloud instead of smooth, shining hair.

March 10th, 2008, 12:43 AM
Well, I am still not sure if oiling actually does anything to my hair, I tried light oiling, deep oiling and all I can say is can't really see much difference beyond the first time. Anyone else have this problem. The first time I oiled, it felt wonderful, then blah, nothing

March 10th, 2008, 02:55 AM
well, i depend on CO.....without it i CANNOT detangle my hair without ripping them all!!!
It smoothes fly aways and adds instant slip and shine and SMELL! : )

March 10th, 2008, 09:05 AM
And all oils are full of essential fatty acids, which are supposedly good for the hair's health. You can argue that most oils don't penetrate the hair enough for these EFAs to actually have any effect--honestly, I don't know the answer to that, nor do I care. I'll still use oils either way just because they make my hair feel wonderful.

Bear in mind, the study that proved coconut oil penetrates hair as opposed to other oils only tested coconut, mineral and sunflower oil.

Given that i'd say that it would be a bad idea to discount the possibility that other oils do the same, or at least to some extent.

I found sweet almond oil fantstic for heavy oilings and found it had a very softening effect. So if it's working for you keep at it i rekon :)

March 10th, 2008, 09:20 AM
The basic answer to your question is the same answer to the same question for any product or treatment. When you use the thing in question, your hair is "nicer" for any value of "nice" that you happen to personally appreciate. Curlier, straighter, softer, more controlled, more full, etc.

When I first tried oils, I did a series of very heavy oil treatments - as much as my hair could take. I found that at first, it was impossible to wash out. The oil "clung" like mad. But as my hair got more moisturized, it washed out more easily. And it tended to cling to the areas that needed it most - feeling greasy in those spots even after washing. Eventually I reached an equilibrium where I could oil heavily, wash the next day, and my hair would be soft and nice but not oily.

I didn't experiment with post-wash leave in oils until later - I try to limit myself to one experiment at a time, and that was the experiment that seems relavent to your question. Do with it what you will.

March 10th, 2008, 09:33 AM
My hair is alot softer. I also do my oiling when my hair is damp and use a max of 2 drops on my hair so it doesn't get oily.

March 10th, 2008, 11:35 PM
I use oils before and after CWC. It makes for much softer hair. Although, I'm still experimenting.

But the real difference was in how my hair behaves. It isn't piecey and frizzy anymore.


March 11th, 2008, 05:54 PM
Thanks for all the wonderful replies and ideas!

A question about EVOO...for a daily use, is that applied like other oils, a couple of drops rubbed between the hands?

I haven't really done any pre-wash treaments other than coconut milk twice, and I haven't done any heavy oilings. Maybe I should try an oiling and maybe jump start my hair.

The c. oil, which I apply to damp hair, definitely makes it easier to detangle. I gave up the blow dryer last summer, but have used it briefly once or twice, in a pinch.

I should take an "after" picture sometime. It's about 6 months since the first picture I took of my hair. Maybe it's better than I thought: I started back on a "conditioner only" wash a couple of days ago. Yesterday one of the old gals at the care home got chatting with me then started stroking my hair (hehe - I guess that makes me one of the "don't mind" category) and she said, "my, it's getting LONG isn't it?? And it's so SOFT!!" She made my hair day :)

March 11th, 2008, 06:39 PM
A question about EVOO...for a daily use, is that applied like other oils, a couple of drops rubbed between the hands?

Got it in one! The amount varies depending on the type of hair and what the person wants for texture.

March 11th, 2008, 06:52 PM
Intothemist....i never really use olive oil so i can't say specifically but i would assume it can be used as you describe providing you don't mind the smell.

It might be worth trying some heavy oilings......i found that with me, they had more of a cumulative effect over time than an instant huge difference. That's not to say the difference wasn't noticable but it was more a long term benefit for me of proper long soaks in oil of about 3 days at a time.

The story you told about the old lady i thought was lovely, made you feel good and i expect it made her feel good too.....fab stuff :)

March 11th, 2008, 07:46 PM
I love olive oil. It could be because I use it so much, but I don't notice the smell at all. I put 3 drops in my leave-in or just put a few drops in my hair after washing. It's one of the few oils that is molecularly small enough to penetrate the hair shaft. I also love it for heavy oilings. It actually makes my hair have MORE body rather than less when I wash it out. Good stuff.

March 11th, 2008, 10:41 PM
Oil makes a big difference in my hair. It's much softer and less poofy, and the curls are more distinct. I didn't get the obvious benefits until I started doing overnight heavy oilings on wet hair, though. I wet my hair in the shower, squeeze it out, and put as much coconut oil in as it will hold. Then I put a shower cap and a warm hat over it, and sleep like that. Finally I CO it out in the morning. It's like having a whole new head of hair. When I just put a few drops in, or oiled on dry hair, it didn't have anywhere near as much of an effect.

March 20th, 2008, 02:48 AM
I cannot comb my hair without coconut oil in it!!!

March 20th, 2008, 03:12 AM
If it doesn't make my hair soft, my hair hates it with a blinding fury undocumented. Flyaways, grease, etc. etc.

My hair used to hate coconut oil, but I made some of Kimberlily's hair butter and added some olive oil (whihc my hair likes) and now it's amazing. ^_^

March 20th, 2008, 11:47 AM
My favorite post-wash oil right now is fractionated coconut oil. It is coconut oil with the 'heavier' fractions (stuff that makes it solid at room-temp) removed. It is very light and shelf-stable for a long, long time, and my hair loves it. By saying my hair loves it, I mean that it makes my hair less tangly, shiny without looking greasy, and softer. I can use more of it than regular coconut oil without looking oily, so I feel as though I get more of the benefits of the oil into my hair than the waxier parts.

ETA: I use different oils for pre-wash oiling than for post. Those tend to be thicker like regular coconut, butters, etc.

March 21st, 2008, 03:44 PM
I've started using both coconut and jojoba before and after every wash. Small amounts of each. But it makes my hair softer and shinnier than without. Also it's much easier to comb.

March 21st, 2008, 06:48 PM
I used to swear by a heavy EVOO oiling pre-shampoo. I haven't done it in a while, so I intend to try it again soon. It made my hair very silky and shiny, rather like the effect of silicones. However, when it comes to post-shampoo oil leave-in, although EVOO softens and moistens - it doesn't give me much shine at that point.

Only coconut oil does that for me...

If this helps - I went 'cone-free about six weeks ago (hellish hair until it began to settle down!). Prior to that, when I would use coconut oil as a leave-in (on damp/dry hair) I got amazing gloss plus the 'crunchies'!

Now that I'm silicone-free, I've discovered that my hair loves to drink the coconut oil. I can also apply liberal amount to my hair ends between shampoos, and it still sinks in happily over the hours.

I don't really understand why that's happened - but I'm not complaining!

March 24th, 2008, 08:10 AM
camellia oil seems to actually make my hair stronger... or atleast i see less breakage and frizz when i use it

March 24th, 2008, 08:26 AM
The "nice" effects I like from oiling would be that my hair feels softer and it tames my scalp frizzies. I'm an oddball, not only do I oil my scalp, I do it daily! I normally use coconut or shea, jojoba is too heavy for me.

March 24th, 2008, 07:39 PM
Ok, well, I've been doing a little experiment and have found that the coconut oil just might work out after all!

I switched to the virgin oil, and after my last wash a couple of days ago I applied it to the damps length (and well as adding a bit more then I usually do), and then again when it was dry.

Although it looked great, it was borderline TOO greasy looking/feeling so I'll try a few different things over the next while to see which works best.

Maybe it was just the switch from non-virgin to virgin? I had also clarified and conditioned, followed by a vinegar rinse. I don't know for sure which too the credit, but I think it was the oil.

I'm very thrilled! Except that I put a tad too much on, I actually had THE HAIR I'VE WANTED ALL ALONG, the last couple of days! :D