While itching my über-dry scalp all winter, my thoughts drifted to that iconic early-’90s VO5 Hot Oil television commercial. You know the one: “Don’t be so mean to your hair!” That commercial was my last memory of hair oil until the recent popularity of Moroccan oil products that include other oils, like argan. Since rejoicing in its glory myself, I became curious about other oils, like the ones present in most household pantries, and if they might also offer benefits to my hair and scalp.
It turns out that olive oil has been used for centuries to moisturize and strengthen long manes of hair. A tablespoon of the fatty liquid, applied when warm and beneath a towel for 20 minutes, will nourish your tired hair and help improve its strength and elasticity. Excess oil will rinse out easily with a gentle shampooing, and extra virgin oil will work wonders on more oily scalps. For extremely dry hair, coconut oil will condition the scalp and even promote a healthy shine on formerly crunchy and brittle strands. To effectively cleanse greasy hair, ingesting a daily spoonful of sunflower oil will refresh and revive from the inside out.
For all you skeptics out there—trust. Applying oil to your hair doesn’t mean you’re destined to suffer an oily scalp. It actually means that your body may stop over-producing natural oils to compensate for your dry scalp, especially after enjoying a regular Sunday night oil treatment.
<b>Rene Furterer Karite</b> Intense Nutrition Oil is a pre-wash treatment with 100% natural shea, phospholipids, copra oil from coconuts and quince pectins to penetrate, repair and nourish even the driest scalps and hair. (<i>$56 at Sephora and Ogilvy</i>)
<b>Palmer's</b> Olive Oil Conditioning Spray (<i>$11 at Shoppers Drug Mart</i>) has extra virgin olive oil, can be sprayed on clean, dry hair, and is packed with vitamins A, B, and E for repair and protection.
MoroccanOil Treatment (<i>$41, <a href="http://www.moroccanoil.com/”<br />
target="_blank">moroccanoil.com</a></i>) contains omega 6 to moisturize, vitamin A to improve elasticity, and argan oil to strengthen and nourish.
<b>Live Clean</b> Exotic Nectar Argan Oil Treatment (<i>$12 at Shoppers Drug Mart</i>) has certified organic grape seed and olive oils, and contains none of the following: petroleum, parabens, phthalates, or phosphates.
<b>Kerastase</b> Elixir Ultime has pracaxi oil from the Amazon to deep condition, argan oil from Morocco to repair, maize oil from Central America to anti-oxidize, and camellia oil from Eastern Asia to smooth hair fibres and add shine. (<i>$55, <a href="http://www.kerastase.com/sites/_en/_ca/store/salon-locator.aspx” target="_blank">kerastase.com</a></i>)