I sometimes get emails asking me, "Heather, I've tried this oil and that oil but my hair simply doesn't get soft and moisturized - why?!" The answer is an oil won't soften and moisturize your hair because although oils do have a moisturizing quality to them, this function is very incomplete without water.
Why don't oils moisturize hair?
Because moisture means water and oils and water do not mix.
This is why in the LCO and LOC methods of moisturizing hair the water is always first:
- L is just plain water or a special water that's been pimped up with glycerin and maybe herbs, extracts etc to give it additional power.
- C is a water-based cream moisturizer that's a mixture of oil-based products and water-based products that have been blended together using a process called emulsifying.
- O is an oil or water-free hair butter. Hair butters are just solid oils.
Even when you have dry skin: have you noticed that when you rub oil directly onto the dry skin it doesn't look as good as when you shower first and then oil yourself up? In fact, if you don't want to bath/shower, rubbing a wet towel over dry skin and then oiling it up hydrates the skin better than direct oil application without the moisture first.
As I mentioned in THE Best Oil For Natural Hair. A Mega Summary! you can use oils for:
- Scalp massages
- Pre-shampoo hot oil treatments and
- Sealing in moisture
I also use oils in many different ways as seen in Neno Natural's DIY Hair Recipes.