They say “patience is a virtue,” but choosing patience seems especially painful when you’re trying to grow out your hair. Luckily hair oils can help speed up the process. Not only do they help to stimulate hair growth, they also strengthen existing locks and help maintain a healthy scalp by mimicking the oils (or sebum) our bodies naturally produce.
“Sebum is produced to keep your hair and scalp healthy—it forms a natural barrier on the skin to keep microbes out and the skin moisturized and at the right pH, which is between 4.5 and 6.2, slightly acidic,” says Eva Proudman, MIT, IAT, Cel Consulting Trichologist. “Sebum travels along the hair shaft to naturally moisturize each strand of your hair, and to prevent oxidative damage that causes premature aging and drying of the hair and scalp.”
When on the hunt for a great hair growth oil, Proudman suggests looking for stimulant ingredients like ginseng, rosemary, mint, and even chili to “ensure good blood flow and stimulation of the hair follicles, which in turn leads to consistent hair growth,” she explains. “Antioxidants also help to prevent [hair] damage along with premature aging of the scalp and hair,” says Proudman. Ingredients like apple stem cells, asparagus stem cells, vitamin E and vitamin C are all great ones to look for.
Lastly, Proudman suggests looking for hair growth oils with proteins. Hair is primarily made up of (80 – 85%) proteins called Keratin; therefore, it isn’t surprising that your diet needs to include lots of protein to keep your hair strong, healthy, shiny and growing. Proteins added to shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments work to strengthen the hair shaft, and to cosmetically thicken the hair. Look for wheat, rice, and keratin, which all add strength to the hair, protecting it from damage and leave it feeling smooth and shiny.
Hair growth oils should be applied directly to the scalp and massaged in for best effect. “The active ingredients can be absorbed through the scalp to stimulate the underlying dermal papilla—the part of the follicle which regulates growth,” says Proudman. “The act of gentle massage is also stimulating to the scalp’s micro circulation, which in itself encourages hair growth.”
Ahead, 12 of the best hair oils for when you want to go the distance.
Biotin & Collagen Weightless Healing Oil Treatment
Initialiste Scalp & Hair Serum