In 2020, natural oils are considered to be a superior, healthy hair option compared to their synthetic counterparts (such as petroleum and mineral oil), which have traditionally reigned supreme in the black hair community.
When it comes to achieving your very best natural hair, many professionals place a focus on moisture – and oils definitely do the job. Not only does a great oil deliver replenishment and renewal but it aids hair growth, too, and works as a barrier against the elements.
"Textured hair is naturally drier, so using an oil coats the hair and results in a much smoother cuticle," says hairstylist Charlotte Mensah. "Natural oils soften the hair's outer layer and allow moisture to penetrate deeply. As well as a nourishing treatment they can be used as a styling primer too," and that's what makes them better than serums or creams.
As a result, more brands are sourcing new and natural oils that will help support the strength and growth of natural hair. From coconut oil to grapeseed oil and everything in between, it is important to find an oil that works for your hair's needs, whether you want to enhance shine, health, softness, flexibility or all of the above.
Ahead, three of the best black hair experts explain the properties of 12 natural oils, and why you need to add them to your hair routine.