Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hair oils

I bang on about hair oils and their benefits to anyone who will listen. I was brought up in an Indian household so hair oil was always being bandied about the place willy nilly. I used to HATE having oil put on my hair because it stank but I was still forced to use it.

Fast forward a good few years and I'm glad I was forced to use it because it gave me great hair, my hair was, and still is, super thick thanks solely to oil.

This post is solely about the different types of oils I use on my hair and what they do for the hair.

These are the oils I currently have in my bathroom cabinet and the ones I buy again and again.

Going from left to right we have:
  • Cactus oil
  • "Blood" (kakai) oil
  • Castor oil
  • Blood oil x2
  • Amla oil
  • Olive oil
  • Amla and almond oil
  • Coconut oil
My hair washing routine is thus:

Oil hair up with any of the aforementioned oils. Wait an hour or so. Blast hair with water to get most of the oil out. Wash and condition hair. Spray hair with leave in conditioner if hair is to remain curly. Spray hair with heat protectant if hair is to be straightened.

The traditional Indian way of using hair oil is as a styling aid but I don' think anyone really does that anymore, even my grandmother who used to do this now uses serum.

I should point out that you should ideally use this oil at least once a week or whenever you wash your hair for maximum results.

Cactus oil
  • Used when I've got a headache
  • Nice and cooling
  • Easy to wash out
  • Doesn't smell
  • Makes hair super smooth and shiny
Blood oil
  • Nice and cooling
  • Easy to wash out
  • Doesn't smell
  • Makes hair smooth and shiny
  • Easy to tell when you've washed it out as water runs clear
Castor oil
  • If not diluted, it will burn your scalp
  • Even when diluted it makes your hair grow really quick so I love using it for when I've miscut my hair at home
  • Not much of a smell
  • Easy to wash out
Amla oil
  • Smelliest oil in the world
  • Makes your hair stronger, longer, shinier and smoother
  • Hard to wash the smell out so it's recommended that you mix it with something
  • Nice and cooling though the smell drives you mad
Olive oil
  • The shine giver, use this and watch your hair dazzle like glass
  • You can't keep it on your hair for too long because it starts to smell like plasticine
  • Easy to wash out
Amla and almond oil
  • You already know what amla does but the almond smoothes your hair and makes it stronger
  • Almond oil doesn't smell at all, regardless of how long you keep it on
Coconut oil
  • Oldy but goody
  • Godsend for damaged hair, don't bother with any treatments which say they will heal you hair, this badboy actually will
  • Can be used warm or cold, warm is best if your hair is really damaged
  • No smell, not even coconuts
All the oils are pretty cheap, they all come in at under £2 and considering how long they last you, they are well worth it.


  1. i definately agree, oil is the best treatment for hair and it definately runs in the asian roots, thanks for the post x

  2. Hey, welcome to my blog. Thanks for commenting :) I've been home for about 20 minutes and I oiled up my tresses with the cactus oil so that's doing its work. I KNOW oils work better than conventional haircare but does that stop me buying stuff from Boots? No, it doesn't. It's an addiction, I swear!

  3. Such a fab post. I'll happily admit to having been curious about hair oils for such a long time. I tried coconut oil once, but even after I'd washed it - my hair was still greasy. I really want to try again, especially as my hair is a lot thiner/finer since having Leila. Thickening sounds GOOD! Any tips as to how much you should use, do you keep it away from the roots? Help me out!

  4. Why thank you very much :)

    How much oil did you use on your hair? You don't really need a lot but it can be hard to judge with liquid oils. Thankfully, coconut oil comes in a solid form and you melt it down. There is a jar version of the one I have but it wasn't in the shop when I got mine. You could just scoop out a tiny amount, warm it on your hands and then "scratch" your head. Basically go to run your hands through your hair but stop whilst your palms are on your head and then do the action you do when massaging shampoo in.

    I apply it mainly to the roots but then also down the actual hair too. If you apply too much then just use a bit extra clarifying shampoo when you wash your hair.

    I think I might do a step by step post of application but it may get messy..

  5. Why is blood oil named so? It sounds scary! I agree that oil is really good for your hair but I HATE putting it in. I recently bought coconut oil but didn't notice much difference?

  6. Thanks Rhamnousia,

    I was using (and still do) a big tub of coconut oil from Holland & Barratts. I used about 2 teaspoon sized spoonfuls which I warmed in my hands before concentrating mainly on the hair shaft. Wrapped my head in one of those microfibre towels and washed it out a couple of hours later with normal shampoo. Grease central! I don't even know what clarifying shampoo is.

  7. Une tasse: Blood oil is called so because to me, it looks like blood when you pour it in your hands, rest assured there is absolutely NO blood in it :)

    Oil is annoying to put in your hair so I use gloves (just cheapo plastic gloves, though I doubt ANYONE reading this would think I meant woolly gloves) but persevere (sp?) with it and you will see results.

    How long did you leave it in for? I find that leaving it in for half an hour does the trick.

    Lippers: Share it equally out between your roots and the shaft, you don't really need a microfibre towel, you can just clip it up and go about your normal business.

    Clarifying shampoo is any which claims to "remove product build up" but you have to be careful as some can be quite stripping. My favourite, non stripping ones are the one by Umberto Giannini and Revlon's Flex Clarifying.

  8. Awwwwww man I used to love Flex (the one with the brown lid)... I've gotta hunt some down now! TY for the tips!

  9. I completely agree that Hair Oils are one of the 'must-have' hair care products for any hair type, be it long or short. so far I have tried coconut oil, olive oil, mustard oil, amla oil, almond oil and some Ayurvedic oils.

    I have heard great things about the Castor oil but yet to try it.


  10. I use hair oils. :)

    I have a draw full of them! Castor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, amla, and so on! Must be an Indian thing. ;)

    Not sure if they make my hair grow but love the way it softens my hair.


  11. @ Lipglossiping. Best way to get oil out of the hair is by applying shampoo straight onto dry hair, DO NOT wet the hair first. Because oil & water don't mix, so once you've applied the shampoo, try to lather it as much as you can, it won't lather as much but it will do the trick. Then wet the hair, lather, rinse and repeat if neccessary. :) xx

  12. The Beautifier: I love that name, it's so cute. I'm always oiling my hair up, even if it's pretty greasy at the time, I find the end result so much better. Castor is good but if you use it alone then use a tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny amount and don't leave it on for longer than 20 minutes. If you want to leave it for longer, dilute a small amount with coconut oil as that counteracts the heat. I wouldn't advise mixing with olive oil as they heat each up.

    PCMP_Forver: Welcome to my blog :) I find that castor oil helps the hair grow if you use it consistently, my mum was convinced she was going bald so she used it non stop for a couple of weeks and the hair on her head got a lot thicker and it grew super fast too.

    When I wash the oil out I always douse my hair with water first and I find it clears the hair a bit, I'm washing it tomorrow so I may try the shampoo first method. Thanks!

  13. Hi, I just found your blog. And WOW, that's a lot of oils you have.

  14. First of all, thanks for being a follower of my blog :)
    And second, I like this post...coz I can't get enough of hair oils myself! Been thinking to try Amla hair oil next.

    Cynthia. Z.

  15. Music: Thanks..I think! I get through them all so they're always being replaced.

    Cynthia: No problem, I love reading about makeup we can't get in the UK so I can pick some up when I'm off on my travels. Amla is good but stinks to high heaven, I have to shampoo my hair a few times to get the smell out

    Thanks for your comments


  16. Hey,

    Am I right in thinking that you're RedRibbon from HB? I used to post (lurk more) before they butchered the site earlier this year... can't compain too much though, I discovered blogging afterwards!

    This is a really interesting post... I've been trying to find Castor Oil to use on my eyebrows but can't seem to get it in Boots/Holland and Barretts etc... do you have any recommendations on where I could pick some up?


  17. LLT: You are indeed right in that assertion. It was a great website before they messed it up.

    You can find Castor Oil in any Indian shop :)


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