the DIY hair oil

Just look at their gorgeous shiny hair! And how happy and healthy they seem!

Secrets, tips, special treats:

1. eat fats: the right/good ones

2. apply fatty stuff to self, inc. hair.

That’s it. 

On item 1: well, not lard proper.
But cooking with oils like olive, sunflower, safflower, sesame.
Using oils like hazelnut, hemp seed, avocado (and more olive, why not, any excuse!) on salads and other dressings.
Using these in desserts too: while butter’s lovely stuff, there’s more to life and plenty other ways to richness, luxury, and decadently lascivious lusciousness:

Dennis Cotter’s olive oil chocolate mousse (clicking image links to the recipe)

Item 2:

There’s the DIY multi-purpose skin oil. Currently, that’s become more boring: just plain sweet almond oil right now.
Plus other oils applied to the face: rosehip seed oil (for a while now) like a sort of serum, plus shea butter as eye cream and on dry patches. OK, it’s a solid butter not an oil: but once melted between finger-tips and applied to skin, it’s an oil dagnabit.

And then there’s the DIY hair oil, the subject of today’s post.

Assorted incarnations:

  • Weleda rosemary hair oil
  • jojoba oil
  • argan oil
  • olive oil
  • argan oil mixed with olive oil, at a ratio of about 4:1
  • coconut oil: disaster, too heavy on fine hair
  • argan oil mixed with silicones, in various ratios

The recent experiments have revolved around avocado oil, substituting it for olive in the argan+X equation.

Why avocado?

chocolate-avocado entremet (mushitza blog)

1. Same reason as coconut or olive. These three (see: The Beauty Brains for starters) have demonstrable benefits for the hair root and cortex; whereas most/all oils, and silicones, are all great for smoothing down the cuticle on the outside of the hair.

2. Of the three, avocado’s the lightest-weight [LATER EDIT: allegedly. I tested olive and avocado side by side, in two separate small containers. Dipping fingers in and smoothing some on skin. Applying to hair, on different sides of head. Results: I found avocado felt somewhat heavier, denser, less fluid, flowed more slowly. I’ve also preferred olive oil on hair. More on that later.]

3. It’s also one of the oils that’s been best on my skin, when afflicted with eczema, or even when its plain normal self (but slightly dry). Good on scalp. Unlike coconut, with which I get breakouts on my scalp (when in normal condition) and further irritation when in eczematic mode. Same goes for other areas of skin that are in contact with whatever’s on my hair: ears, neck, shoulders, back, parts of face.

cheat’s quick & easy avocado cocoa mousse (HUG: The Hip & Urban Girl’s Guide)

Results so far: excellent for avocado alone, also for mixes in anything to about 50% with the argan. See, here are the other factors. Argan oil is lighter-weight (it’s also good on scalp, I’ve found) but this also means you can end up using quite a lot of it. Avocado goes further. And avocado’s cheaper. Also smells better: neutral to greenish; whereas argan, I admit, smells what it would be delicate and diplomatic to call “earthy.” I find it’s more manageable when mixed with other oils (or you could add essential oils to it; I’d rather not, with my skin, but the option’s out there for those with less silly skin).

I may end up moving to plain avocado alone.

take avocado and some other stuff, mix, and …

What I’m using it for:

  • pre-wash deep treatment: about once in a blue moon or so. Wet hair. Actually, works OK dry too. Apply oil all over. Massage into scalp. Wrap hair up (towel, old t-shirt). Leave to do its stuff for at least half an hour, at most overnight. Wash out, washing hair as normal.
  • pre-wash (1) : about once a week. In shower, dampen hair. Head downwards. Apply oil to the lengths of hair, from the ears downwards. Pile hair on top of head (and resume upright position). Wash rest of self, while leaving that oil in for a few minutes. Then wash and condition hair as usual.
  • pre-wash (2): the usual one: as above, but instead of just using the oil, mix it in with conditioner: 1-2 splodges of oil per blob of conditioner.
  • mixer with conditioner: same ratios, but using conditioner for its regular purpose, as, well, a post-wash conditioner.

… lo! magic!! all hail the resulting chocolate avocado pistachio cake with avocado crème anglaise!!! There was more to it than waving a magic wand, though; image links to recipe at the Tastespotting blog, and they in turn link c/o a lovely patchwork of further pretty picture to more avocado recipes at Tastespotting.

UPDATE (2012-04): Cut hair. Had other issues with shorter hair. Keeping all the above as it’s useful for longer hair with dry ends. I still occasionally do a pre-wash deep condition with avocado and/or olive. Current DIY hair oil for using after washing and while hair drying = an oil/serum blend (like those things like Moroccanoil that call themselves “hair oil”), a mix of argan oil and silicones (again, rather like Moroccanoil and suchlike, but cheaper–NB the silicone is actually the expensive ingredient here–and without its noxious nauseous scent).

And experimenting with oil/silicone mix vs. plain oil.

The experimental approach is for life, not just for Christmas…

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