The top oils for locs

Well, the floor's the limit with these powerful oils! Asha Mandela, Guinness World record holder for the longest locs.

Looking for the best natural oils for your locs? Here’s a list of the best oils for loc health, moisture, and growth, courtesy of

Oil #1:
Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil has been used for centuries to protect, clean and nourish hair. It’s used as a base for soaps, and its softening properties make it the perfect candidate for conditioners. As we wrote earlier, (see our post Go (Coco)nuts!) the chemical composition of the oil (with two types of fatty acids) passes easily though your hair’s cell membrane to deeply penetrate the shaft of the hair itself. It helps prevent the loss of proteins, replace natural hair oils lost due to daily exposure to toxins and frequent shampooing, and helps keep the hair shaft healthy—the recipe for growth. A topical massage with natural coconut oil is the best way to apply.

Oil #2:
Olive Oil

The hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) decreases hair follicle size and chokes hair growth as a result. It helps blocks and promotes normal hair growth. Being loaded with antioxidants, olive oil rids the skin of free radicals (which causes cell damage), stimulates circulation and brings nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles as well.

Oil #3:
Lavender Oil

As well as being the most popular essential oil, lavender is also considered to be one of the most effective natural treatments for the prevention of hair loss. Its ability to combat Alopecia areata (a common condition responsible for excessive hair loss) allows for considerable re-growth within months of regular use. Along with the preventative effects, lavender oil is a powerful antiseptic. The disinfecting properties of the oil not only treat many scalp conditions, but also fight microbes, fungi and other viruses which lead to hair loss.

Oil #4:
Castor Oil

Although commonly known for its use as a natural laxative, castor oil is also very effective in the treatment of hair loss. Castor oil contains Ricinoleic Acid: a strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal agent, which protects the hair and scalp from infections. The omega-9 fatty acids and humectant properties in the oil moisturize and nourish hair leaving it thick, shiny and strong. (We wrote a post on how to use it to help regrow those edges lost to braiding, and years of way-too-tight ponytails.)

Oil #5:
Jojoba Oil

Derived from the seed of the jojoba plant, this liquid wax is similar in composition to sebum (hair’s natural hair oil). Unlike most other oils used in hair growth treatments, jojoba oil does not penetrate the hair. It seals the hair follicle to seal in moisture. Breaking up crusted sebum build-up is how jojoba benefits hair health. Crusted sebum makes hair brittle and creates a blockage at the root. (That’s where more frequent shampooing can help, but not too much—once every 7-10 days, and more frequently as needed during the summer months or if you work out.)

Oil #6:
Almond Oil

Cold-pressed from the seeds of almonds, almond oil is as good as olive oil for its ability to protect and moisturize hair. When massaged into the hair, almond oil removes the build up of dead skin cells, which alleviates scalp inflammation and allows the hair to grow freely. Although almond oil is not known to re-grow hair, it does protect and stimulate the growth of existing hair follicles making them less prone to breakage. Almond oil is also very effective in treating skin conditions like seborheic dermatitis. People with allergies to nuts should use caution when using almond oil and discontinue use if any allergic skin reactions occur.

Oil #7:
Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil is distilled from the rosemary herb, a member of the mint family, for its many internal and external health benefits. The oil is known to dilate blood vessels and stimulate cell division. This, in turn, encourages hair follicles to produce new hair. Rosemary oil is also believed to inhibit both hair loss and graying in addition to removing dandruff and soothing dry, flaky scalps. The disinfectant properties of the oil also aid in preventing bacteria and other harmful organisms from thriving on the hair and scalp. (Pregnant women should avoid using rosemary.)

Oil #8:
Fish Oil

Containing 2 essential omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fish oil has long been known to be a critical component for health as our own bodies do not produce these acids themselves. Although there hasn’t been sufficient enough research done on the benefits of fish oil on hair growth to establish a direct link, it is suggested that the nourishing effects the oil has on the skin would also apply to the hair. Unlike other essential oils, fish oil is not used topically. It is taken in a softgel form and puts its healing powers to use from the inside out. (Another way: eat lots of salmon!)

Oil #9:
Emu Oil

This all natural oil is derived from the emu; a flightless bird similar to an ostrich. Emu oil has been used for generations in Australia by aboriginal tribes for its regenerative and therapeutic properties. Its potent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial aspects break up residue around the hair promoting better hair and scalp health.

Oil #10:
Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil (commonly known as melaleuca oil) in a diluted solution helps to unblock clogged pores on the scalp. It also moisturizes the skin, conditions the hair and its anti-bacterial properties protect the skin from bacterial and fungal infections. By promoting the general health of the hair and scalp as well as boosting the body’s entire immune system, tea tree oil is very effective in healing damaged hair and allowing it to grow long, thick, strong and healthy.

Oil #11: Argan Oil

Rich in Omega 3 and Omega 9 fatty acids, argan oil effectively penetrates the hair shaft. This ability to penetrate and deliver the nutrients directly to the hair helps to repair damaged follicles and promote growth. Argan oil also has a high concentration of Vitamin E, which increases cells’ ability to absorb oxygen. More oxygen means better circulation in the scalp which allows for more nutrients to penetrate the hair follicles.

Oil #12: Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil contains powerful moisturizing properties for the hair and scalp; it has the ability to transform our hair like no other hair treatment system. This particular oil is considerably lighter and less greasy than its rivals such as olive oil, and because of its lightweight composition it is easily absorbed into the hair and skin without weighing it down. Grape seed oil is suitable for use with any hair type and because it contains non-allergenic qualities—ideal for those who have sensitive skin.

Go to your natural food grocer or your local health food store to find these oils in the quantities you’ll need. You can also use products with these oils listed as its main ingredients to reap even more benefits.

2 thoughts on “The top oils for locs

  1. Pingback: Loc Q & A « Loc'd Life Magazine Blog

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