Embracing Cosmetic Oils
Summer seems an unlikely time of year to recommend hair oils, hell any oils, but sometimes the heat calls for extra moisture. Whether used as a leave-in or a conditioner, this carefully selected choice of oils will suit all consumers. Plus, we’ve added a home grown oil from a mom-and-pop shop out of Oregon that’s a bargain and works on both body and hair.
ArganMagic is your run of the mill mass produced product. Every major beauty company and even some small ones jump on the ingredient of the moment just as the food manufacturing companies jump on trendy edible ingredients. For the former, the ingredient of the moment is argan though we here at Trendcetera first covered it back in 2008. Because the ArganMagic formulas contain some chemicals and silicon they do offer a bit of hold and control. It’s a good price point at around $10-ish. A similar line is the Christophe collection, whose Argan Oil Treatment is a great finishing product. On wet hair, the silicon-argan blend is a pre-blow dry oil, and on dry hair it smoothes a bit.
For higher end, serious moisturizing, macadamia nut oil is a well kept secret. These conditioners and leave-in creams are great for fall and winter, but can even transition to spring and summer if used every other wash or as a mask. The travel kit is great for long weekends and a good way to try to these products since they fall in the drugstore prestige section.
Sold at every mom’s favorite escape spot, Target, Umberto‘s Roman Oil Serum is a luxury item for the masses. It’s not all natural, readable products but it’s not all chemicals. The blend of silicon, and olive, macadamia nut and coconut oils makes for a nourishing luxurious product that truly seems to relax hair. When I apply it after a detangler and use it as a serum and air dry, the usual result is softer curls.
All of these oils are great, but none feel like the Indian and African oils that honestly don’t smell great but are near miracle workers. But MaaDisha‘s Oil6 is a happy medium. Since I first tried this, the company has come out with a line of soaps and shampoo that blends amla (Indian gooseberry), neem and a few other ingredients. The patent-pending oil is a proprietary blend of six agreements, which I’m guessing includes amla. Amla is the next goji, acai, coconut and argan. You heard it here.
I’ve long been told by Indian friends that amla-based hair oils are meant as a mask not a leave-in but I beg to differ. The problem is that most oils with amla tend to have a strong smell but they work wonders by moisturizing and strengthening the hair somehow. At $20 a bottle this is definitely worth a try. If your hair isn’t super damaged or dry, apply at night, tie up hair loosely, drape a towel over your pill and dry shampoo in the morning (apply shampoo before you wet your hair). Then proceed with normal conditioner and style regime.
Finally, though there are plenty of products in American sizes, such as Dove‘s haircare line with my beloved coconut, the gem I’m obsessed with now is a little apothecary-style bottle of oil I found at the Saturday market in Portland, OR. The company, By Our Hands Natural Products, sells its products at the outdoor market in Portland and on Etsy. Unfortunately my new obsession, the Nail Oil, does not show up on the Etsy storefront but here are the details. The Nail oil is comprised of the following oils: argan, hempseed, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, and lemon. It’s just minty enough, not too greasy and suitable for hair and body. I haven’t yet dared to use it on my face yet but I wouldn’t rule it out yet. As is though, it’s a fast absorbing oil that works great after a shower or bath and can also smooth flyaways. At $9 for a 2.8 oz bottle, it’s a fab find.
By Our Hands products are available at Etsy or via email at winsor5 (at) comcast (dot) net
All other products are available at Target and most drugstores. Most items are under $15.