This post comes to you courtesy of Aurora Jennifer (hey!) who wants penetrating oils demystified!
What are penetrating oils?
Penetrating oils are oils which are high in saturated fats and therefore composed of smaller molecules. This enables them to slip under the cortex of the hair and enter the strand. Hence the term penetrating oils.
What are the benefits of penetrating oils?
As stated earlier, they enter the strand and are thus able to nourish the hair from the inside. The fatty acids they contain soften the hair. When they enter the strand their presence limits the excess absorption of water, this in turn reduces the expansion of the cuticle and prevents hygral fatigue.
What do I use them for?
These are great for pre-shampoo treatments and hot oil treatments. If you are going to use them to pre-shampoo they are best left overnight or for as long as possible to allow the oils to absorb.
They are also ideal for moisturising your hair when you use heat. Most moisturisers are water based and will make your hair shrink or lose definition when you apply them to your freshly blown out hair. I found a little olive oil applied to my hair after a blow out keeps the hair soft until I wash/am tired of the straight hair. You can also use them to maintain flexi-rod sets, perm rod sets e.t.c. which you would like to last a lil longer before you moisturise and re-set, or wash.
A penetrating oil will greatly enhance moisture retention when used as the first oil in the LOCO (Liquid Oil Cream Oil) method of moisturising. The final oil should be a non-penetrating oil which will seal in the moisture from the first three products. Also great as the first oil in the LOCB method (exchange the oil for a natural butter of your choice)
Soooo which oils are penetrating?
Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, palm oil, and babassu oil.
Sources naturallycurly.com, nadia's notes
What's the difference between penetrating oils and non-penetrating oils?
Non-penetrating oils have less saturated fats and thus are composed of larger molecules. So although they do not penetrate the shaft, they coat the strand which makes them perfect for sealing in moisture way better.
Which oils do you incorporate into your regimen?