Most people often ask, what oil is good for dreads? Well, the answer to that question depends on a different factors. Such as your locs requirements, sensitivity to oil and others.
In this article, we’ll discuss a detailed comparison between essential oil and vegetable oil, a buyer guide and how to use the oils with dreads.
What Is Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oils are extracted from a variety of plants, and the part of the plant that’s extracted for oil depends on the type of plant.
For example, they are extracted from fatty fruits like avocado or grains like corn, nuts, and sesame.
They are quite different from essential oils, though often confused because they come from the same plants.
They are hydrophobic and waterproof, meaning that they don’t mix with water and will create a thin film around your hair.
These two properties are what make vegetable oils great for softening your dreads and reducing moisture loss. In addition, after cleaning dreadlocks, apply a small amount of vegetable oil on dry locs. (*)
The fatty acid triglycerides in vegetable oils gives them their softening properties.
Does Vegetable Oil Moisturize Dreads?
Vegetable oils are only used to soften dreadlocks. However, to moisturize your dreads, a mix of water and oil is required.
Click here to learn more about moisturizing your dreadlocks.
Recommended best vegetable oils to soften dry, brittle dreads:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Sunflower oil
What Is An Essential Oil?
Essential oils are extracted from plants through process of distillation or cold pressing.
They are also known as volatile oils and smell strongly depending on whatever plant the oil is extracted from.
Additionally, these oils are extracted from glandular sacs, hairs, glands or veins of a plant including grasses, leaves, flowers, trees, and roots. They evaporate at or above room temperature. (Source)
Unlike oily vegetable oils, essential oils don’t contain fat and hence are not oily. They are insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol and vegetable oils.
Because of their antiseptic property, essential oils can help with reducing dandruff and soothe scalp itching. Often, they are too harsh for the skin in their pure form. Mix them with vegetable oil (carrier oil/base oil).
Below are essential oils for a healthy scalp:
- Bay St. Thomas
- Tea tree
- Himalayan cedar
- Atlas cedar
How to Choose the Right Vegetable Oil for Your Dreads?
There are three important factors to consider when choosing the right vegetable oil for your dreadlocks. They include:
- Your dreadlocks requirements
- Your locks sensitivity to oil
While the notion that cheap is expensive can be true to some extent, expensive oil doesn’t mean it’ll be best for your hair.
There are some affordable yet effective oils such as olive, sunflower, avocado, grape seed, coconut, and macadamia, which you can buy in department stores.
They’ll still serve you equally as the most expensive vegetable oils on the internet.
Your dreadlocks needs
The type of oil will highly depend on your dreads and oil application process.
Below are some questions that will help you figure out the best oil for your dreadlocks.
- Locs damaged? Or do you want something for your hot oil treatment? If that’s the case, penetrating oils like babassu or coconut oil will protect and strengthen your hair during washes.
- Do you need to soften your dreads? Go for vegetable oils such as almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, and olive oil.
How to Test Your Dreadlocks Sensitivity to Vegetable Oils
Different types of hair react differently to oils and other beauty products.
Experts recommend a sensitivity test before to find out which oils your dreadlocks can handle.
Here’s how you do it:
Apply a small amount of the vegetable oil of your choice on a few dreads and observe how they react”
- The oils work if they make your dreads feel softer and shinier
- Avoid the vegetable oil if it makes your locs harder and dry
How to Use Vegetable and Essential Oils with Dreadlocks
How you apply these oils depends on your requirements. Below are three different ways:
1. Relieve itchy scalp and dandruff
- Add a few drops (ideally six drops) of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils to a few mls (30ml) of almond oil and apply the solution directly to your scalp.
- Then massage gently, wait for 30 minutes and then wash the locs with non-residue shampoo.
2. Soften dry and brittle dreads
- Mix grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil and then apply the solution on dry dreads.
- Alternatively, you can apply pure grapeseed oil on your dreads. Press on the locs to allow penetration of the oil.
3. Hot oil treatment
- Mix your dread “compatible” vegetable oils into a bowl and warm the oils in a bain-marie.
- Apply directly to your dreads and then wrap the locs in a plastic bag.
- Lastly, let the oils penetrate overnight and wash the locs in the next day with a non-residue shampoo.
You can perform hot oil treatment 3-4 times a year, but that depends on how dry the locs are.