Oils 101

Posted by Adria Marshall on

In December's blog, we'll delve into the world of oils and explore their various categories to help you choose the right ones for your hair's specific needs. Whether you're seeking moisture, nourishment, or other benefits, understanding the different types of oils can guide you in selecting the most suitable options for your hair. Keep reading to discover how oils can work their magic for your curls and natural hair!

Carrier and Essential Oils


At a high level, there are 2 types of oils: Carrier and Essential. Carrier oils are derived from the fatty portion of a nut, seed, fruit or kernel of a vegetable or other part of the plant using one of two main methods of extraction: maceration or cold-pressing. 

Maceration is a method that involves placing a dry plant in warm oil to extract the properties of the desired plant. Cold-pressing, however, is the preferred method.

Cold-pressed carrier oils are extracted through a gentle process called expeller pressing. This method involves pressing nuts, seeds, fruits, or kernels at temperatures below 122 degrees Fahrenheit to extract the oils. The low temperature helps retain the beneficial properties of the plant, making cold-pressed oils a preferred choice for many. With their higher nutrient content and desirable qualities, these oils offer a natural and effective option for hair care.

Essential oils are obtained through steam distillation, a process that involves placing plant flowers, seeds, roots, leaves, fruit, herbs, buds, etc. over boiling water. The steam carries the oils from the plant material, and it is then captured and condensed into a vessel. This method allows essential oils to retain the nutrients and essence of the plant.

One of the remarkable aspects of essential oils is their ability to address various hair and scalp concerns. They offer a wide range of benefits and can be used to treat and improve different conditions. For a comprehensive reference, you can refer to the chart below detailing the benefits of various essential oils. It provides valuable information on the specific advantages associated with each oil.


Carrier oils typically have a thick consistency, a mild fragrance, and take some time to absorb into the hair and scalp. On the other hand, essential oils have a thin viscosity, are highly fragrant, and are quickly absorbed. Due to their potent nature, it is often recommended to dilute essential oils with carrier oils before applying them to the hair or skin. Carrier oils act as a vehicle to "carry" the essential oils, making them easier to apply and reducing the risk of irritation or sensitivity.

Penetrating and Sealing Oils

Carrier oils are broken down into 2 categories as well: Penetrating and Sealing.

Penetrating, or Moisturizing, Carrier oils are oils that have molecules small enough to allow them to penetrate the hairs’ cortex. These oils tend to work best when used with a water-based leave in conditioner or with water by itself, as the moisturizing agent.  These oils are great for pre-poos and hot oil treatments because they won’t leave a film on your hair (since they actually penetrate it). Some examples of Penetrating oils are: Coconut, Red Palm, Avocado, Olive and Argan. You'll notice Red Palm oil in our Hot Sauce and Avocado and Argan in our Moonshine and Banana Cream!

Sealing oils, on the other hand, are unable to penetrate the hair shaft. For best results with sealing oils, you should use them after you’ve moisturized with your water-based product and Penetrating oil.  Once a sealing oil is applied to your hair it literally creates a seal which serves a barrier that helps prevent moisture from getting out of your hair but also prevents additional moisture from getting in! Some examples of sealing oils are: Apricot, Canola, Castor, Jojoba, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter. You can fine Castor and Jojoba oils in our Moonshine and Jojoba in our Banana Cream as well!

Which one do I need?

Here's a little chart that you can use to quickly determine which oil might fit the bill

Yes No
Scalp Conditions/Nutrition Essential  Penetrating or Sealing Carrier
Aromatherapy Essential Penetrating or Sealing Carrier
Dry Hair Penetrating Carrier+ Sealing Carrier Sealing Carrier or None
Frizzy Hair Penetrating Carrier + Sealing Carrier Penetrating Carrier or None


I hope that you guys found this post helpful and will use it to choose the right oils for your hair's specific needs! What oils are your favorites to use and why?




(Sources: https://www.levenrose.com, https://fleurandbee.com, https://curlyhairlounge.com)

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