For some people, growing longer hair is no easy feat. Oftentimes, it could feel like you grow an inch and then have to cut two off because of dry ends.
"People do the most damage to their own hair by over-processing and over-drying using various hot tools," shares Dhiran Mistry, master stylist at Spoke & Weal in New York City. "They are also very rough while pulling at tangles, which will cause breakage. The more brittle the hair, the quicker the damage will accumulate," continues Mistry. For hair to grow, the strands and scalp must be healthy. "Ideally, strengthening the hair from within the body will help."
As for external care, oils can help to fill in the "gaps of the hair shaft, which will prevent the tangling and act as a lubricant and protect from heat damage."
Want to break the hair-damage cycle and learn which oils could help hair growth? Keep scrolling. Ahead, we’ve rounded up seven oils that’ll help nourish your hair and scalp, prevent breakage, and in turn help hair growth. (PS: You can even find some of them at the grocery store for less than $10, or you probably already have it at home.)
This super-versatile oil penetrates the hair in ways other oils cannot,” says Lauren Thompson, stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon. Adds Mistry, "Coconut oil stays inside the hair shaft instead of evaporating."
"The lauric acid in coconut oil is great to help prevent the loss of protein in the hair. This is a natural hair remedy that has been used for thousands of years and always works to hydrate the hair," shares Thompson, who recommends applying coconut oil to dirty hair at night, sleeping with it, and then washing it the next day. "Make sure not to put too much near the scalp," she cautions. What’s the best kind to use? She suggests organic coconut oil straight from the jar that you can find at any grocery store. Note: Run the coconut oil in your hands to melt it down with the heat you create before applying it to the hair.
The vitamin E, fatty acids, and antioxidants in argan oil provide extra moisture for the hair and scalp shares Thompson. "I love to put argan oil, such as Moroccan Oil, through the ends of my hair when it starts to feel dehydrated or before my blow dry," Thompson tells us.
This oil, which you can pick up from most pharmacies or Whole Foods, is great to help stimulate hair growth shares Thompson. "Castor oil is high in antioxidants, omega-6 and 9, as well as vitamin E and proteins to help prevent the hair from breaking." Bonus: "The anti-fungal properties in castor oil also help to prevent scalp infections, dandruff, and folliculitis (which can cause the hair to fall out)."
Massage castor oil into scalp twice a week to make hair grow stronger and faster recommends Erin McKay, hairstylist at Ramirez Tran Salon.
Also found at supermarkets, avocado oil is useful for hair health because it contains proteins, fats, and amino acids, as well as vitamins A, D, E, and B6, according to Mistry.
Produced from the seed of a shrub native to parts of Arizona, California, and Mexico, jojoba oil contains qualities that resemble the chemical structure of the oil produced by our scalp (sebum), says Mistry. "This will help the hair from within the hair shaft."
Apricot Kernel Oil
This key ingredient in Windle & Moodie Shine & Smoothing Oil (sold at Violet Grey) functions to improve scalp condition and nourish hair. Apply it on wet hair prior to blow-drying or as a finishing product. “Oils feed the hair,” explains Windle & Moodie co-founder Paul Windle. "They can also simulate the scalp, blood supply, and promote healthy flora."
Do you use oils to prevent breakage and promote hair growth? How do you apply it?