Why Are Moisturising Oils Good For The Hair?

Throwback to when I wrote about the Science Behind Deep Conditioning, I realised that there are oils that can penetrate the hair shaft and oils that act as a sealant and coat the moisture in the hair. So for today I will be going into details of good penetrating oils for our beautiful hair.

What are Moisturising Oils?

Moisturising oils are said to be oils that are able to penetrate the cuticle of the hair shaft and and stay within the hair and by doing this they keep the hair soft as well as retain moisture from within. Moisturising oils are also known as penetrating oils and they keep the hair soft and healthy from within.

What Makes Moisturising Oils Able to Penetrate the Hair Shaft?

Type of Fats

Moisturising oils have monounsaturated fats and these type of fats are able to penetrate the hair haft and scalp.

Fatty Acids

Moisturising oils contain larger amounts of fatty acids like lauric acid, caprylic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, or linloeic acid. and these penetrate easily int the hair shaft and scalp because they are short-chain fatty acids.


The presence of triglycerides in moisturising oils are small enough molecules to soak into hair. Triglyceride components in plant oils can be polar (slightly positively charged) and that allows them to be attracted to the polar (negatively charged) proteins in your hair.

Oils With High Penetration

Babassu Oil

Babassu oil is able to penetrate the hair cuticle almost completely and I believe its light texture and low viscosity (it is very runny compared to oils like castor oil) play a part in it. There are presence of polar triglycerides in babassu oil; the keyword here is polar. Polar meaning there are strong ions present and they are able to interact with the ions in the hair in a positive way.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an excellent moisturising oil as it can seep past the hair cuticle and retain moisture from within. This is why type 4 hair feels dry from the outside when you feel it day after applying coconut oil. This is not a bad thing as retaining moisture from within is a plus but we also have to add some sealing oil to protect the hair shaft from external factors.

Sunflower Oil

It penetrates the hair shaft just as much as coconut and babassu oil does. yes, the sunflower oil in your kitchen right now can be used for your hair. if it is good for the mouth, it is good for the hair.

Avocado Oil

This oil is definitely a moisturising oil. It contains polar triglycerides, which means it is able to bond with the ions on the hair. Also, its penetrating improves with heat.

Rapeseed Oil

It is also known as canola oil. You can find this in our local shop as a cooking oil although it can be used as moisturising oil as it is able to penetrate the hair shaft.

Olive Oil

It has been researched, experimented on and documented that olive oil is a great moisturising oil. The chemical structure of olive oil allows it to penetrate the hair shaft.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the many known oils used for hair treatments and it is because it is able to penetrate the hair shaft and help fight infections, which will aid in hair growth.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is another anti-fungal oil that is able to seep through the hair shaft and treat infections and boost hair growth

More Oils with Some Penetration

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Rosehip Oil
  • Hempseed Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Mustard Seed Oil

Although, remember that it takes hours for oils to seep through the hair cuticles. Personally, I prefer to add oils to my hair in the morning so I don’t have to deal with the discomfort of oily hair when I’m sleeping at night.

So, to get that extra lock in moisture, add some moisturising oils to your daily hair care and spice it up, don’t just g for coconut oil.


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