Smooth Operators: Exotic Hair Oils
Left: Schwarzkopf Professional Essential Look; Right: Kiehl's Magic Elixir
From styling gels to waxes and serums, the vast range of hair potions currently available in the market, have relegated the once essential hair staple, oil, to the back of most of our shelves. But don't be so quick to dismiss this concept as outdated. For years, Indian women have relied on oils to get long and lustrous locks. Mumbai based dermatologist, Dr.Swati Srivastava confirms the benefits, "Oil is a good conditioner that has been known to restore natural moisture to hair. It has the ability to penetrate the shaft and work its way through all layers, and helps reduce loss of protein. Oiling the hair also assists in repelling harmful UV rays and indoor incandescent or halogen lighting." Instead of coconut and olive oils, here's a list of the variety of exotic oils available today.
Moringa Oil: This luxurious oil has been used since ancient times to improve the hair and is also known as behen oil. In fact, ancient Egyptians were believed to have placed vases of moringa oil in their tombs. Clear and odourless, it's full of antioxidants and skin rejuvenating properties that make your hair and scalp healthy and strong. Rich in
Vitamins A and C and unsaturated fatty acids, a weekly oil treatment is recommended to avoid split ends and dandruff.
Marula Oil: Painstakingly extracted, this oil is cold-pressed from Marula nuts to produce omega-rich oil that works wonders for the hair. Marula oil, enriched with antioxidants and oleic acid is perfect for dry, damaged and fragile tresses, It has high amounts of Vitamin C and nourishes, protects and imparts elasticity to hair.
Argan Oil: A Moroccan hair solution that has fast become one of the most popular treatments for all hair problems, Argan oil is obtained from the fruit and nuts of the Argan tree, indigenous to Morocco. It is suited to all hair types, but works especially well for curly, unmanageable hair, and coloured hair. With a high concentration of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, it nourishes hair and increases its growth. It can be applied either before or after washing your hair.
Rosemary Oil: Rosemary oil is distilled from the leaves of the rosemary herb and has a minty-balsamic aroma. When warmed and applied, it helps stimulate blood circulation on the scalp, which in turn stimulates hair growth. It also darkens hair over time and reduces the occurence of dandruff.
Avocado Oil: Extracted from the avocado fruit pulp, this oil has a light texture and contains lecithin that allows it to easily seep into the scalp. It contains essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, magnesium, copper, iron, amino acids and folic acid. It's nourishing and protects the hair and scalp from sun damage.
Jojoba Oil: Extracted from the seeds of the jojoba bush, this is an effective hair softener and detangler. It also helps add shine. It resembles sebum so, if, you have an itchy scalp, it acts as a reliever, moisturising the hair follicle and reducing tangles and coarseness.
Apart from the new varieties of oils, another trend in hair care is the use of plant-based oils. When mixed with a carrier oil and used carefully, these essential oils can rejuvenate lack-lustre tresses and make you feel good with their mood-enhancing properties. Here are the ones we recommend:
- Rose: Soothes and moisturises damaged and irritated scalps.
- Ylang Ylang: This fragrant oil is reputed to stimulate hair growth and is a natural conditioner.
- Lavender: Helps to balance the oil secretion and possesses the ability to stimulate hair growth.
- Cedarwood: Works well for an itchy scalp. Its sweet, woody and subtle aroma also creates a soothing, balancing environment.
- Basil: It helps control the oil production of your scalp. It is also recommended for promoting hair growth.
- Lemon: Helps control oil and dandruff.
- Peppermint: An energising oil which can help add moisture to parched hair and is often thought to promote hair growth.