Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York. She's worked with clients like Instacart, Tailwind, Columbia, Esurance, and LifeLock.
It’s not a secret that many African and African-American women have had trouble growing and keeping their natural hair long in the past.
But in the last decade, the Natural Hair Community has debunked the myth that black women can't grow long hair.
And by long, I mean bra-strap length to waist length. YouTubers like Naptural85 (with and others) have provided videos on natural hair care for the rest of us trying to play catch up.
I've been natural since 2012 and I've been using some of these oils to grow my own hair (although admittedly, not consistently but even so, I've still seen results from using some of the oils I'm about to discuss.
Here are 10 of the best oils for Afro-textured hair.
1. Burdock Root Oil
Burdock (Arctium Lappa) root oil (or Bur oil) is one of the best herbs for Afro-textured hair (especially hair in the Type 4 group). The oil relieves scalp irritation and improves blood circulation to the hair follicle. Burdock root oil also supplies the natural phytosterols and important essential fatty acids to hair roots.
It's also traditionally been used to reduce the occurrence of hair thinning, and for that reason is used as an ingredient in hair restoration treatments.
Burdock also has other interesting and useful purposes, including curing acne and eczema, regulating blood sugar levels, protecting the liver, improving kidney function, preventing cancer, and fighting arthritis.
It's also known to boost your immunity. However, pregnant or nursing women shouldn't use burdock root.
And practice caution when buying or taking burdock root, because it's very strong. To be on the safe side, talk to your healthcare provider or a an herbalist that knows about it before using it.
2. (Jamaican Black) Castor Oil
Castor oil is great for scalp circulation and helps to re-grow hair. It’s a great moisturizing oil that helps seal in moisture, preventing split ends and subsequently, breakage. But it can be kind of sticky.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil works even better for Afro-textured hair for the same reasons. It moisturizes, thickens, strengthens, and causes rapid hair growth.
JBCO (as it's known in the Natural Hair Community) supplies valuable nutrients to the hair follicles and prevents breakage and a dry itchy, scalp.
Some say that JBCO is more effective than the other types of castor oil.
3. Nettle Leaf Oil
Nettle Leaf, known as “Common Nettle,” or “Stinging Nettle,” is rich in Vitamin A, C and K and Vitamin B. It’s also a good source of iron, potassium, calcium, silica, sodium, silicon, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur.
Nettle Leaf is high in protein and amino acids. It also has a low calorie and fat count. For these reasons, it helps treat hair loss.
Stinging Nettle is available in capsule form or or tea form.
It can also be massaged into the scalp for the same effect. Nettle Leaf’s silica and sulfur properties help give your hair a healthier, shinier appearance.
Try rinsing your hair with the oil to help with hair re-growth.
4. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil helps stimulate the hair follicles, allowing you to grow thicker, fuller hair. Rosemary oil also helps prevent gray hairs and reduces dry flakes in the scalp.
When combined with tea tree oil or basil oil, rosemary oil works even better. Rosemary also works well with oils like juniper, cedar wood, geranium, and basil oils.
5. Jojoba Oil
Plenty of sources say that jojoba oil is the most closely related oil to our hair’s natural oils (called sebum). Jojoba oil thoroughly moisturizes, reduces dandruff, controls frizz, removes buildup around the hair follicles, and prevents hair loss.
According to The Indian Spot, Jojoba oil can make hair stronger and healthier, hydrating the hair from the inside of the hair shaft.
Use jojoba oil as part of an oil mixture to seal the hair after a daily moisturizing routine.
6. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is great because it penetrates the hair shaft, which we need at least one of the oils we use to do. We need one to sit on top of the hair to coat it and hold moisture in, but we also need one that enters the hair and soaks in, which is what avocado oil does.
Mixed with heavier oils like olive oil, this mixture can make a great sealant to retain moisture and length. Avocado oil also helps smooth the hair cuticles and protect the hair from future damage (which is something extremely beneficial for Afro-textured hair). We lose moisture very easily so oils like avocado oil can help keep our hair moisturized.
7. Olive Oil
As mentioned in the last section, olive oil is a great heavy oil for coating the hair. It’s a great sealant that also helps with frizz, shine, and dandruff. Olive oil also softens hair and gives it shine. It’s a great deep conditioning oil and is a natural SPF 2-8.
Great for split ends, olive oil offers amazing benefits for Afro-textured hair. Because it's so moisturizing and our hair needs maximum moisture, olive oil is the perfect staple oil for any hair regimen.
8. Peppermint Oil
Though peppermint oil can carry a strong smell, it has antimicrobial properties that help your hair thrive. Adding 2-3 drops of peppermint oil can stimulate the scalp and also remove any dandruff or lice.
Peppermint oil can naturally thicken and repair damaged hair. Mixing it with other better-smelling essential oils is recommended (but mainly because I hate the smell of peppermint).
9. Almond Oil
Almond oil is full of vitamins and healthy fats and helps add shine to dull hair. Because it has such a high concentration of vitamins A, B and E, fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9, which helps with the dryness Afro-textured hair often succumbs to.
This oil also helps protect hair from damaging UV rays and keeps it strong and healthy.
Almond oil has natural moisture-sealing properties to fight against split ends by retaining moisture longer.
10. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil promotes hair growth by penetrating deep into the scalp to improve blood circulation. Great for penetrating the hair shaft, sesame oil helps heal chemical damage and nourishes your hair shaft and follicles.It also protects hair from harmful UV rays and treats premature graying, head lice, and dandruff.
Sesame oil is great for deep conditioning, dryness and shine, making it a great oil for Afro-textured hair.
If your problem is dryness, Style Craze recommends mixing equal parts root juice, sesame oil and lemon juice and applying it to your scalp using your fingertips.
Massage in a circular motion and leave on overnight. Wash it off the next morning.
You could also opt to use it as a deep conditioning treatment and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing off.
Have you tried any of these oils for growing your hair? Let me know in the comments which ones worked best.