If there's one thing you might think you shouldn't be slathering onto your mane, it's oils. We are often quick to associate oils with greasiness; thick formulas that'll leave you looking like you haven't washed your hair in weeks. But this is far from the case. Hair oils are often packed full of vitamins and fatty acids which can do the world of good for your barnet. Since bleaching my hair back in January as part of an ombre/balayage look, my hair has suffered the consequences. We are always told to keep you hair nourished by using regular hair masks, and this is all well and true. What we are rarely told is that using an oil can not only boost that hydration and protect damage hair, but that certain oils can also boost hair growth.
The best way to use hair oils is to pop a few drops (or a small pump if you are using a product with a pump dispenser) onto your fingertips and work the oil a bit before massaging it into your hair. The trick is to avoid getting too close to the roots, as this is when you risk that 'greasy' wet-hair look that is probably best kept on the catwalk. As the majority of the bleaching was at the ends of my hair (through an ombre style), this is the area on which I focus the oil. After washing, I roughly towel-dry and mainly apply the oil to the ends of my hair, roughly concentrating on the bottom third of my hair. Scrunching and rubbing the oil on or even combing it through is absolutely fine, as long as the ends are covering in a light coat. After blow-drying, my hair is left feeling absolutely gorgeous- you would never know that it was ever bleached or in need of a good chop!
I've recently been mainly using this Envy Professional Super Oil which feels more like a serum in texture yet retains all the qualities of an oil. I also often use my beloved MeruMaya Everything Everywhere Beauty Oil which is a great multi-tasking product which I would most definitely recommend. This can be used, believe it or not, everywhere; I find it's best used as an overnight face oil (you can read about why you should be using one and some of my favourites here) and as a hair oil to give you those soft, nourished ends. Whilst these oils are great for quick treatments before you dry your hair, if you can't be bothered to do this regularly after washing your hair (it's so easy to forget!) then leaving a heavier-duty oil in overnight as a treatment may be better for you.
I'm sure there are loads of great treatments out there, but it's also just as easy to create some DIY recipes at home for a much smaller cost. Olive oil mixed with a little bit of honey is known for its lightening qualities (perfect for those summer highlights to go with silky smooth hair), whilst castor oil is famous for its hair growth properties due to it being rich in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins and fatty acids. Coconut oil makes for a lovely mask whilst smelling of summer holidays, but can often be tricky to apply because, like castor oil, it is quite thick. It might be a good idea to mix your castor or coconut oil with another oil (like almond oil) to still benefit from those wonderful qualities without feeling like you're slathering a solid lump of oil onto your head!
Once you get into the routine of setting one evening a week aside for a hair oil mask, or remembering to massage a few drops into your hair between washing and blow-drying, your hair will really start to benefit. For other qualities, you may be waiting a little while to start reaping the benefits, but for softness, the difference will appear after the first use. It definitely helps to keep my hair in far better condition, meaning I can prolong that hair cut for a little while longer (hey, they can be expensive!).
Do you regularly use a hair oil? Which ones do you find the most beneficial?