A lot of hair blogs discuss the importance of adding oils to a hair regimen. But why is oil so important to natural hair?
Before I can get into why oil is important to the hair and skin, I have to talk about the natural oils that are produced by our bodies internally. Humans have these things called sebaceous glands that secrete an oily matter called sebum; sebum lubricates and protects the skin and hair of mammals. Sebaceous glands are are located every where on the human body except the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. However, sebaceous glands have the highest numbers on the face and scalp. When the sebaceous glands over-produce sebum, some people can suffer from greasy scalps and greasy faces which can lead to acne.
Sebum helps to keep our skin healthy. It prevents our bodies from losing too much water and prevents too much water from entering our bodies (ex: when you sit in a bath too long you will start to get ‘pruny’ because the sebum acting in your skin has washed away and because this protective layer has been removed your skin loses water which creates the ‘pruny’ effect).
But how is sebum related to my hair regimen?
It’s a common fact that most people with straighter hair textures tend wash their hair frequently. This is because sebum travels down the hair shaft from the scalp. Because those individuals have straighter hair textures, sebum has an easier time traveling which leads to limp, greasy hair in a matter of days. On the other hand, people with kinkier or more coiled hair may not need to cleanse their hair as often because the sebum has a difficult time traveling down the hair shaft due to the hair texture. But this difficulty in traveling, my friends, is why kinky haired individuals are always facing an uphill battle with hair dryness. We need to add oils to our hair because the oils our bodies naturally produce have a hard time getting to where it needs to go. And this is why other oils are important to the kinky-haired individual. This is also why the ends are driest part of the hair shaft and a lot of products geared towards natural hair contain oils.
So find the oil that you think best suits your hair and incorporate it into you regimen.
What’s your favorite oil? Comment below!
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