A head full of grease isn’t glamorous, but a little oil is necessary to keep hair looking and feeling hydrated — regardless of your hair texture or type. But are all hair oils created equally? Not so much. “Rather than choosing an oil for your hair type, you should consider what you need the oil to do for your hair,” shares Sophia Emmanuel, a certified trichologist and hairstylist at Crown Worthy in New York City. Paying attention to ingredients will also help you decide which product you truly need.
For example, if you’re looking for something to enhance shine, carrier oils, like olive, carrot, or jojoba, are helpful. Avid users of hot tools, on the other hand, should reach for silicone-infused products to protect your hair. “Silicones form a barrier, so there is no direct heat damage,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King.
Those who recoil at the mention of silicone: don’t. “Generally speaking, silicones are safe to use in hair-care products,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. “They coat the surface of the hair to smooth, add shine, and protect from heat,”
Do use silicones (like dimethicone, for example) in moderation, though. “Continued used of silicones over time can weigh down the hair, so it is important to regularly wash the hair to remove them so they don’t build up,” he explains.
Ingredients aside, hair oils should be used with a light hand — and only when necessary. Below, you’ll find 17 hair oils for all hair types, including dry, thick, thin, frizzy, and fine, recommended by editors and experts.
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