Sometimes you turn your hair oil bottle over and can't even pronounce the first ingredient. If it's a hair oil, shouldn't the first ingredient be . . . oil? With the PhytoSpecific Baobab Oil ($40), you don't have to worry. Castor oil, shea butter, and sunflower oil all make the list. However, the star ingredient is something you've likely never heard of: African baobab oil. It quickly hydrates a dry scalp (which is a primary Winter worry) and gets rid of the itch. I like to use it before I shampoo as a hot oil treatment. Then, I apply one drop to my scalp and ends every night to keep flakes away. It's so light, you don't have to worry about having greasy strands at the end of the week.
Blowout bars have taken the country by storm, and Drybar has recently launched its own line of products so you can get professional results at home. While all of Drybar's products are made to be lightweight and the perfect building blocks to a flawless blowout, the 100 Proof Treatment Oil ($35) is the star of the collection. This dry oil concoction is everything that you'd want from a hair serum. It enhances shine, controls frizz, tames flyaways, and seals damaged ends. But unlike most oil treatments, this one absorbs so fast that you don't even feel a film on your hands after you use it. And because it's full of nutrient-rich oils like sunflower seed, watermelon seed, and olive oils, you even get a splash of nourishment with every voluminous blowout. Shiny, happy hair, indeed.
Camellia flowers may be best known as the floral muse of Coco Chanel, but this flower's oil is currently making waves in the beauty arena. "Camellia oil, or tsubaki oil, has been popular in Japan for thousands of years as a cooking oil," explains Vicky Tsai, founder of skin care brand Tatcha. And over time this healthy cooking oil eventually made its way into Japanese women's beauty routines for their skin and hair. While this traditional moisturizer has been around for centuries in Japan, its beautifying benefits are just starting to gain popularity on a global scale. Learn why you should be giving it a try when you read more.
Even though hair oil is expected to be a little bit, well, oily, here is a way to use it without getting limp and greasy strands. Enter: SoftSheen Carson's Optimum Alma Legend Billion Hair Potion ($10). More of a serum than an oil, this product melts into the hair and scalp, leaving no residue behind. Plus, the eyedropper applicator ensures that you get the product just where you need it and not all over your hands (and face). But the standout ingredient in this elixir is amla oil from India, a key component in ayurvedic rituals to remedy hair loss. To make the amla extract, the fruit is soaked in sesame and coconut oils, which means, in turn, you're getting the benefits of vitamin C, antioxidants, and proteins. Perhaps it's time your hair booked an ayurvedic spa experience.
What's the first thing you think of when you hear "hair oil"? If you're thinking argan, you're in the majority — it seems as if lately this amber oil has dominated the hair oil discussion. But argan isn't always enough, and Kérastase's Elixir Ultime ($54) is here to prove that. A potent cocktail of four different oils, this hair serum can be used in a slew of ways: as a preshampoo treatment, a leave-in conditioner, for postblow-dry smoothing, or for a serious dose of shine.
The secret? The four fabulous oils, of course. Maize oil delivers on the shine, while pracaxi oil deep-conditions your strands. Camellia oil smooths out the hair fiber and our old friend argan acts as a barrier to protect hair from external aggressors. A four-in-one treatment that takes care of all of our beauty woes? We're thinking 2013 will be the year of flawless hair.
If you have coarse or medium hair, I'm probably preaching to the choir, but no matter your texture, hair oil is one of the best ways to keep your locks looking good. My favorite oil delivery method is a hot oil hair massage using a nice amla or almond oil, but there are tons of options and lots of different oils, at least some of which you almost certainly already have in your kitchen. If you already know how to do a hot oil massage, I'd love your tips and tricks in the comments. And if you'd like a how-to or a refresher, just read more.
Hot oil treatments are a fast and easy way to help restore elasticity, shine and moisture in dry, over-processed hair. They should instantly make your hair look and feel healthier, and they can be done anywhere from once to twice a week depending on the condition of your hair. I found this at-home hot oil treatment recipe from the Long Locks Hair Care Cookbook and have been eager to test it out.
Although I haven't tried this exact combo of ingredients yet, I have created a wonderful DIY treatment from a blend of jojoba oil, avocado, geranium oil and soybean oil. I loved the results, but found it to be fairly messy — and I didn't love the feeling of mashed-up avocado in my hair. That being said, feel free to add in fresh avocado, or a little jojoba oil if you desire. This recipe is simple, neat (you can bring it right into the shower with you) and it doesn't require a ton of ingredients. You'll need:
For three step-by-step directions, read more
Did you take yesterday's beauty history quiz? If you haven't, be forewarned: I'm about to reveal all the answers, along with some other oddball facts about the lengths to which Victorians went to look pretty. Are you sure you can handle reading about the lard-based beauty treatment? If so, then read more