Natural oils play a vital role in the health of your curls. Sebum is the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in your hair follicles. It protects your scalp and hair, and keeps them moisturized.
So how can adding oil to your curls help with their overall health and appearance? There are sooo many uses and benefits of natural oils, it’d be almost impossible to cover them all. Never used an oil in your hair? That’s okay! Today we’re going over some of the ways you can incorporate oil into your curl routine.
Curly hair is prone to excessive dryness. Why?
The natural oils your scalp produces travel down the length of your hair to protect it from the elements and moisturize your curls. The more twists and turns in each strand, the harder it is for sebum to reach the full length of your hair. The result is hair that can sometimes appear frizzy, dull and less soft to the touch.
You can easily combat dryness and get bouncy, ultra-hydrated curls by adding oil to your routine. Not only do some oils have natural conditioning properties, but they also work to seal moisture into the hair shaft and keep out the excess water in the air that makes our curls misbehave on a hot, humid day.
A hot-oil treatment is a great way to get the most out of all these benefits. You simply apply your oil section by section, from your scalp to the roots and then to the ends of you hair. Cover your head with a shower cap, allowing the hair to absorb the oil for no longer than 30 minutes. Wash out the oil with a sulfate-free cleanser, and follow up with your regular wash day routine. Once you’re done, you'll notice that your hair is much softer and shinier.
When it comes to frizz, the main culprit is moisture. Too little moisture and you can have dry, frizzy curls that refuse to clump. Too much moisture can make the hair shaft swell and cause your curls to pull apart. That’s why humidity wreaks havoc on your curls.
Adding oils to finish off your look encourages your cuticle layer to close and seal in moisture. It creates a protective barrier that keeps in that hydration and stops your cuticle layer from taking on too much excess moisture from the air.
Split and damaged ends can also cause excessive frizz and keep your curls from looking defined. By lightly coating your ends with oil, you can temporarily smooth and seal them. Not only will this reduce how frayed and dry they appear, but it can also help protect against further damage.
Styling & Defining
It’s important to remember that even though oil will soften and condition your hair and help retain moisture and hydration, oil on its own will not keep your hair moisturized.
If you’re styling with an oil and your LUS All-In-One styler, it’s best to apply the oil while your hair is still wet. You will probably have to experiment with adding it before and after applying your styler to see what works best for your hair type.
Since oil helps to smooth the hair cuticle, it helps your strands clump together, making your curls look more defined.
You can also use oil to smooth down frizzy, dry ends or halo frizz at the crown once your hair is fully dried and styled. You just have to be careful with how much you use: too much can weigh your curls down and leave your curls looking limp and stringy.
Some curly girls struggle to get the light to hit their curls just right, and we're not just referring to those glam shots for the 'gram! While this could be due to damage or dryness, some hair types naturally experience more of a low sheen than a shine.
Hot-oil treatments nurture your curls and add some extra shine, but using oil as a finisher is also a quick and easy way to add instant shine to your hair.
If you’re using it post-styling, try starting off with a dime-sized amount. You can always add more if your curls are extra thirsty. Rub your palms together and then gently scrunch the oil throughout your hair or smooth it down the length of your curls by sandwiching your curls between your palms.
Why Hair Type Matters
Depending on your texture and density, you may need more or less than another curly girl. For instance, looser curls and waves should use the less is more rule of thumb when applying oil. Curly girls with thicker or tighter coils can sometimes get away with applying oil more liberally since their hair types soak up water, oil and product.
When it comes to curls, kinks and waves, there is no one-size-fits-all magic formula. Finding the perfect amount of oil to use for your curls can be tricky. Our best advice is to have fun experimenting. Think of yourself as your own curly chemist learning how to master the art of effortless curls that are healthy and hydrated.