Hair oils are multi-functional products that make the hair healthier and more beautiful. They can work both as treatments and as styling products, depending on the hair oil you choose and how you apply it. Below, we give a large list of the best hair oils on the market, as well as tips on how to choose the right one for your unique hair needs!
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Our Picks for the Best Hair Oils
Whether you prefer natural hair oils or commercial ones, you are sure to find your favorite hair oil on the list below.
1. Shea Moisture Coconut Oil
Unrefined coconut oil is proven to be one of the most effective oils for treating hair from within. I can say with confidence that this oil goes above and beyond as one of the best hair oils available anywhere. It has an incredible ability to penetrate, so it makes the hair shaft stronger, more elastic, and more resistant to damage. It also increases the hair’s ability to hold moisture, keeping it supple. It’s available at Ulta.
2. Josie Maran Argan Oil
Argan oil has become the center of a hair oil craze, and it certainly deserves its place as one of the best hair oils. It is an oil rich in protective vitamin E, and is able to penetrate the hair, although not as deeply as heavier oils. This means that it also saturates the hair with a healthy shine, so it can be used both as a treatment and for styling. This organic version by Josie Maran comes in a convenient dropper bottle that is UV-resistant, so this delicate oil will stay fresh for a while. Pick up a bottle for yourself at Sephora.
3. Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is a light wax that mimics the natural sebum our skin produces. It is excellent as a scalp moisturizer and a moisture sealant for the hair. Unlike other natural hair oils, it does not penetrate into the hair, but this means it is great as a styling aid, to tame frizz and provide the hair with a bit of shine! It is available for sale at Walgreens.
4. The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
A little bit like olive oil, marula oil has a medium penetration into the hair. This means it can give some moisturization from within, while also sealing the cuticle. I think it would be an excellent post-shower oil to lock in moisture. This The Ordinary oil is loaded with antioxidants to fortify the hair against environmental damage. Grab yourself a bottle from Adore Beauty.
5. Herbivore Citrine Glowing Hydration Body Oil
This all natural body and hair oil blend from Sephora is the very definition of luxury, with a gorgeous floral scent and really luxurious oils that both coat and penetrate the hair, for ultimate shine and strength. There is just a hint of rosehip oil, for a very serious dose of antioxidants that you will rarely find in most hair products.
6. MoroccanOil Hair Treatment
I’d be remiss not to mention the hair oil everyone is raving about. It is important to mention that while this is one of the best hair oils, it is not pure argan oil, even though that is what it is often mistaken for. This luxurious blend is primarily silicone, although it does feature a healthy dose of argan oil, so it still has some hair nourishing properties. It is available for sale at Nordstrom.
7. Redken Diamond Oil Glow Dry
This hair oil will give your hair an impossible shine, and seriously upgrade any hairstyling look. Unlike some of the other best hair oils on this list, this one doesn’t have any hair nourishing properties – it is straight silicone with fragrance, although the texture is light enough so that it’ll also work for oily hair. It does what it does extremely well, but nothing beyond. If that is what you need, you can find it at Ulta.
8. Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil
This hair oil from Sephora behaves like a botanical oil, and should definitely be used as such. Its main ingredient is Caprylic/ Capric Triglyceride, a unique compound that penetrates and strengthens the hair, as well as coconut oil. There are other oils and natural extracts in here that will greatly improve the hair’s functioning, but in a unique formula that feels dry and silky on the skin. You can use it as a long-term treatment, or for styling!
9. CHI Argan Oil Plus Moringa Oil
A collection of nourishing oils and silk proteins makes this a comprehensive styling hair treatment, and truly deserves a place as one of the best hair oils. It tames flyaways and leaves the hair silky soft, but it will also fortify the hair with a lot of incredible nutrients. It is also lightweight and amazingly scented, so get one for yourself at Ulta.
10. Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil
Nothing puts me in a better mood than a hint of rose fragrance. The oil blend itself, here, is a mixture of deep penetrating and medium penetrating oils that beautifully moisturize the hair. There is no silicone in sight, but there are mattifying ingredients that lend this nourishing hair oil a hint of a silicone-feel. You can use it both as a treatment and for styling. These are available for sale at Sephora.
How to Choose the Perfect Hair Oil for Your Hair Type?
While most hair oils have the magical ability to give that healthy glow to your tresses (like hair serums), it’s important to know how to choose the best hair oil for your hair type and concern.
Best Hair Oils for Dry or Damaged Hair with Split Ends
Botanical oils with the ability to penetrate the hair are a must in your routine! Coconut oil, olive oil, and babassu oil are the perfect examples. You can mix them with oils rich in vitamins that maybe don’t penetrate as deeply, like argan oil, camellia oil, or marula oil, for antioxidant protection and moisturization on both the inner and outer layers of the hair shaft.
Best Hair Oils for Frizzy or Difficult-to-Style Hair
If you find it very difficult to keep your hair from becoming a tangled mess, a styling commercial hair oil would be your best bet. The silicones would do the best job of smoothing down the hair cuticles from the outside, to mitigate any frizziness and to make the hair softer and easier to style.
If you prefer to stick to natural ingredients in your hair care routine (after all, silicone doesn’t work for everyone, and it is usually difficult to wash it out completely if you prefer a sulfate-free shampoo), some hair oils work quite well for hair styling. Grape seed oil is a light, dry-feeling oil that will tame your strands without looking greasy. Jojoba oil will also help seal the hair from the outside, but is a little more moisturizing than grape seed. You can even experiment with a mixture of both!
Best Hair Oils for Dull Hair
Dull hair is usually a sign of dryness. For an immediate fix, aim for a commercial hair oil that provides a bit of a shine. Alternatively, jojoba oil would also have a light-reflective effect that will make your strands gleam and shine. In the long term, increasing the level of moisture in the hair is key! Much like the treatments for dry hair, opt for a rich hair oil like coconut, avocado, etc.
Best Hair Oils for Dry or Sensitive Scalp
If your scalp gets dry and irritated, a natural hair oil could seriously help moisturize and soothe. Coconut oil might be a little heavy, but it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that are excellent for sensitive skin. If you opt for an oil with a lighter texture, jojoba, almond, and argan oil would all be excellent. You can blend in a few drops of a soothing essential oil like lavender or chamomile.
Best Hair Oils for Dandruff
Lemongrass essential oil has shown to be a fairly effective treatment for dandruff. Blend it with a light botanical oil, so it makes up about 10% of the solution, and allow it to sit on the scalp as a treatment before washing. You can pair this treatment with a dandruff-fighting shampoo, for a comprehensive solution.
Best Hair Oils for Oily Hair
If your scalp naturally produces a lot of oil, you will likely want to avoid hair oils, especially as a styling option. You may use the occasional astringent oil, like grape seed oil, as a pre-wash treatment on your scalp. It will nourish and moisturize it without causing oil-related issues. Adding a clarifying essential oil from citrus peel can also help to de-grease the hair.
You can still use coconut oil, but only on the ends of the hair. The key in maintaining oily hair is not to overwash or over-style, and to avoid using too many styling hair products.
Best Hair Oils for Thick Hair
Everyone thinks they want thick hair, although it requires quite a bit of maintenance. If your thick hair gets tangled very easily, the tiniest amount of commercial hair oil will help soften the hair and prevent a mess from being formed.
Best Hair Oils for Thin Hair
Assuming your hair isn’t oily, a hair oil that won’t absorb into the hair will help give your hair texture. Using one of the best hair oils on my list of commercial hair oils will certainly do the trick, as would using a botanical oil that doesn’t absorb into the hair like jojoba oil. Run it through the mid-length of your hair, but make sure to volumize the top so it won’t get weighed down.
Photos via @telleish_hair_studio, Sephora, Ulta