While Autumn pleasantly cools Summer's heels, it can also bring with it a unique set of challenges when it comes to our hair. Fortunately for us, many of these obstacles can be over come with a sealing oil! September's blog post will help shed light on sealing oils: What they are, how they can help and how to effectively apply them.
Isn't an oil an oil?
Absolutely not! Oils 101 covers the different types of oils (Moisturizing/Penetrating, Sealing, Essential) and their purposes, so if you haven't checked out the post or need a refresher, take a moment to take a look! The topic of today's post is all about Sealing oils and their benefit to our hair during the cooler weather. Sealing oils are typically made of larger molecules that sit on the outside of the hair shaft rather than penetrating it. Some examples of Sealing oils include:
- Jojoba oil
- Castor oil
- Shea butter
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
How do Sealing oils work?
In a nutshell, Sealing oils create a protective barrier that retains the moisture inside. Since curly hair naturally tends to be drier, sealing oils are especially beneficial in the cooler weather when the air is drier, ensuring that moisture doesn't easily escape. Without this barrier, you might notice that your hair becomes more brittle and prone to breakage during the cooler temps. This protective layer not only keeps the moisture in but, in a two-way fashion, minimizes the absorption of outside moisture, helping to keep the cuticle layer flat, reducing frizz and boosting shine. Applying Sealing oils to the ends of the hair (which are the oldest and most fragile part of the hair) also helps reduce the occurrence of split ends and adds slip, increasing detangability.
When choosing a Sealing oil blend, select one that contains moisturizing and sealing oils. This combo punch will increase moisture and then lock it in! Also, be mindful of your diameter and density. If you have fine hair and are low density, stay away from Shea butter as it's probably too heavy for you! Finally, think of oils as an easy way to increase your nutrient count! Many sealing oils are packed with vitamins and essential fatty acids beneficial for hair health. For instance, Jojoba oil closely mimics the hair's natural sebum, and Argan oil is rich in Vitamin E.
How to Use
There are numerous ways to use Sealing oils - here are a few of our favorites:
- After washing your hair, apply a water-based leave-in conditioner, followed by your sealing oil, then apply your gel or mouse and style as usual.
- LOC/LCO Method:
- LOC Method: Similar to Gel/Mousse Styling, LOC stands for Liquid (or Leave-in conditioner), Oil, and Cream. After washing your hair, apply a water-based leave-in conditioner, followed by your Sealing oil, and then a cream or butter to further seal in the moisture.
- LCO Method: A variation of the above, where you apply the Liquid/Leave-in conditioner, then the Cream, and finally seal with the Oil.
Pre-Shampoo (Pre-Poo) Treatment:
- Before shampooing, apply the Sealing oil to your hair. This can help to protect your hair from being stripped of its natural oils during the shampooing process.
Twists, Braids, and Protective Styles:
- Before installing braids, twists, or other protective styles, apply Sealing oil to the length of the hair and ends to ensure they remain moisturized while tucked away.
Seal the Ends:
- The ends of your hair are the oldest and most prone to splitting and breakage. Concentrating the application of sealing oil on the ends can help protect them.
- On non-wash days, if you want to revive or refresh your curls, you can spritz your hair with a little water or a light leave-in, and then apply a small amount of sealing oil to lock in the moisture.
Mix with Conditioner or Hair Mask:
- For an extra boost of moisture retention, mix your favorite sealing oil with your conditioner or hair mask during your deep conditioning treatments.
I hope this post helped to shed a light on Sealing Oils to demystify them and show you how they can be beneficial as the temps drop. What are your favorite Sealing Oils and how do you use them?
Until next month,