An Intro to Penetrating Oils

5min Read

An Intro to Penetrating Oils

So…you’re one of the many women out there who's been doing some FBI-type research on your own and think you want to get into the oh so complicated yet highly valuable world of oils so that you start to soak up and enjoy the benefits for your luscious locks, huh? I know it was a mouthful, but I bet it’s true. Lucky for you, you’ve reached a great source to help you make some sense out of all the information that you’ve come across. When you’re on your way to getting healthy hair by adding oils to your hair care regimen, it’s important to realize that every oil is not created equally. Yes, there are levels to this oil thing, and you want to make the right decisions…particularly if you’re natural. So, that just leaves one question: what kind of oils should you be using? The answer—penetrating oils. Penetrating oils are an absolute must for a successful healthy hair journey by incorporating oils because they arguable give natural headed sisters the most bang for their buck. Shedavi Elixir contains some of these oils...but do you really know what they do? Take a look below to see why you should be using penetrating oils.

What do penetrating oils do?


So before we talk briefly about the different types of penetrating oils, it’s important to understand what makes a penetrating oil a penetrating oil.  It all starts with how your hair reacts when it gets wet. As your hair starts to get saturated with water, the strands get more and more susceptible to damage from that water. How? Depending on the condition of the outer layer, the water can get to the inner hair shaft and cause it to expand. Unfortunately, the outer cuticle layer of the hair shaft is not able to expand the same way, so your hair starts to look...different to say the least. Have you ever looked at a Twinkie that had too much filling? Or even looked a burrito that’s gushing out everywhere because it’s overstuffed? Well, your hair starts to have a similar effect appearing scaly and dry like an alligator. Your strands should look smooth and even, and if they’re not, there’s a chance that your hair could be damaged.  This sounds terrible, but you do have a way to combat this….penetrating oils!

While things like mineral oil sit on top of your head and gives the hair a glossy look, penetrating oils get a little deeper and literally do what their name implies. They penetrate or get into each hair strand to provide you with all the nutrients that your hair craves in order to keep the hair healthy and also protect that outer cuticle layer. Also, when used as a co-wash, they amp up your natural hair proteins so that they can do a better job of keeping your hair healthy as you use sometimes harsh shampoos. Penetrating oils do for your hair proteins what spinach does to Popeye. Still a little fuzzy on how all this works? Think of it like the sunscreen you put on after you put on your moisturizer. The only difference is that you’re not just protecting your hair from the sun, but you’re also protecting it against water, wind, and other things that have the potential to damage your tresses.


Examples of Penetrating Oils


Believe it or not, you’ve probably already been using penetrating oils and just didn’t know it. Most of them you have probably heard of and even used, but there are a few that a worth mentioning that you might want to check into.


Castor Oil

Babassu Oil

Olive Oil

Camellia Seed Oil

Coconut Oil

Avocado Oil


Apart from coconut oil, each of these oils is a bit on the thick side and contains fatty acids that make them an excellent choice for getting deep into your hair strands. While some offer growth benefits (castor oil) others have moisturizing (olive oil and camellia seed oil) and strengthening (babassu oil) properties as well. In all honesty, you cannot go wrong with any of these choices if your end game is to have healthy hair. Do a quick search to see which one best fits your pocket. Although there are some butters such a shea and ucuuba that can be classified as having penetrating benefits, the ones listed above are some of the best penetrating oils in the hair game.


When to use penetrating oils


So… when do you use them? We hinted before that a co-wash was one way to go. Other options include the infamous hot oil treatment which can be done before a shampoo or a pre-poo treatment. Also, some people opt to use their oils as an overnight treatment so that their hair can really saturate all the nutrients. Whichever way you decide, just don’t leave too much oil in your head when it’s all said and done. We like sheen, but not greasy 😊.


Authored by Bianca Scott

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