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From budget-friendly buys to luxurious liquid gold, here are the 10 best hair oils on the market.
With just a few drops, hair oil has the power to transform even the thirstiest tresses. And don’t worry if the words “hair” and “oil” in the same sentence cause a little trepidation; we’re sharing why everyone needs a good hair oil on their bathroom shelf, regardless of hair type.
What to look for in the best hair oil
Like most hair products, finding the right hair oil for you is an entirely personal process that depends on your goal. This ranges based on your hair type. The one thing we can agree on across the board? The use of a hair oil is a surefire way to elevate the average hair routine — but don’t just take our word for it.
“With over two decades of experience as a hairstylist, I have personally witnessed how consistently using a high-quality hair oil can drastically improve your hair’s health,” says Toronto salon owner and founder of haircare brand THIC, Morgan Tully. “It prevents breakage caused by heat styling, harsh chemical processes and environmental factors which often lead to issues like dryness, frizz and breakage.”
Tully reminds us that a “one size fits all” approach does not apply to choosing hair oils. To begin your quest for the right hair oil, she suggests narrowing down what you’d like your oil to do for your hair. For example, if you’re seeking an oil that specifically boosts moisture and shine, that may differ from an oil with featured heat-protectant qualities.
Start small if you’ve been steering clear of hair oils for fear of making your hair look greasy or weighed down.
“Take a few drops and massage through the mid to ends of your hair first. If it makes a noticeable difference right away but doesn’t feel heavy, add a few more drops and work your way up.”
Tully’s final pro tip? Always test new products on wash day! (Before you suds up, of course.) That way, if you’re not loving the results, you can restart your routine with a head of freshly washed hair. And if you’re fighting an oily scalp on a non-wash day, there’s nothing a little dry shampoo can’t fix, she assures.
The hair oils 2023
Olaplex No. 7 Bond Oil
Olaplex’s No.7 Bonding Oil is an all-around hair hero. Using a first-of-its-kind patented bond-building technology, this oil works to rebuild broken and weakened hair bonds over time.
With a formula that hydrates all hair types, protects against heat, and increases shine, what more could we ask for? It’s more than just a hair oil, it’s practically liquid gold.
- Eliminates frizz
- Strengthens your strands
- Protects against up to 230 degrees Celsius
- Richer than pure jojoba oil, so use it sparingly
- On the more expensive side
Best for chemically treated hair
Kérastase Blond Absolu Intense Blonde Strengthening Oil
Keeping up with chemically treated hair is no easy feat, but Kérastase is up for the task. The brand’s Blond Absolu Strengthening Hair Oil was made to meet the demands of sensitized, lightened, and highlighted hair types.
Infused with antioxidant-rich edelweiss flower, this lightweight oil softens damage and reduces split ends and frizziness to help get your hair on the road to recovery after intense colour treatments. Plus, it defends against colour fading so your new dye job maintains that fresh-from-the-salon look.
- Provides intense nourishment
- Protects against heat of up to 230 degrees Celsius
- Some reviewers don’t love the scent
OGX Extra Strength Damage Remedy + Coconut Miracle Oil
For something low-budget yet high-performance, reach for OGX’s Extra Strength Damage Remedy + Coconut Miracle Oil. Powered by a reparative blend of coconut oil, essence of tiare and vanilla bean extract, this oil is like a tropical treat for parched hair.
You only need to work a few drops of this oil into towel-tried hair before you’ll be able to witness its transformation from desperately dry to silky, smooth. It’s not called a “miracle oil” for no reason!
- Tames frizz
- Boosts shine
- Has a coconut milk, tangerine and vanilla scent that may be overbearing if you prefer to shop fragrance-free
Best for dry/damaged hair
Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Deep Treatment Hair & Scalp Oil
One of the most impressive qualities of great hair oil is its ability to revive even the most dry and damaged hair types. With a blend of seven oils, Carol’s Daughter’s Goddess Strength Deep Treatment Hair & Scalp Oil is the top pick for resuscitating dry and damaged textured hair.
Castor oil and black cumin seed oils are two standout ingredients that moisturize and protect both the hair and scalp. These oils also prevent split ends. Proven to deliver 15 times stronger hair after a single use, the numbers don’t lie — it’s got goddess-level strength.
- Weightless formula
- Prevents breakage
- Excellent for frizzy hair
- 99 percent naturally derived
- Can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment
Best for fine hair
Verb Ghost Oil
The idea of using a hair oil when you have a finer hair type may seem like a major no-no — but it doesn’t need to be! Overcome your fears with a lightweight option like Verb’s Ghost Oil.
Just two to three drops of this conditioning oil on damp (or completely dry) hair will fight frizz, tame flyaways, and enhance shine by 75%. The star moringa seed oil ingredient allows for a weightless boost of hydration, without leaving hair feeling heavy or greasy.
- Colour safe
- Enhances elasticity
- Improves hair strength
- Easy to apply hair oil thanks to a pump dispenser
- Thicker hair types may require a more intense oil
Best for curls
Living Proof Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil
Curly hair often requires more moisture and upkeep than most other hair types, which is why curly-haired shoppers should keep their eyes peeled for products specifically catered to curls. For textured tresses, we love this Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil by Living Proof.
The five-oil blend within this product’s formula mimics the natural oil found in our hair, so it’s able to replenish moisture and eradicate frizz — which can be one of a curly girl’s worst enemies. In addition, its emollient base increases the smoothness and manageability of all kinks, coils, and curls.
- Fast absorbing
- Safe for chemically treated curls
- Mimics the hair’s natural lipids to boost smoothness, hydration, and shine
- Makes it easy to choose the right oils for your hair type
- Made specifically for curls, therefore not as suitable for other hair types
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil
From high-temperature heat tools to environmental damage, we put our hair through a lot. Shu Uemura’s remastered cult-favourite hair oil is a luxurious way to combat it.
Inspired by the Japanese tradition of hair-oiling, this oil draws upon the powers of Japanese Red Camellia Oil to coat hair with antioxidants, essential lipids, and vitamins A, C, and E to keep the hair nourished, protected, soft, and shiny.
- Protects against UV damage and heat up to 230 degrees Celsius
- Made for multi-use including intense conditioning, blowouts, and quick touch-ups
- Reduces frizz
- Can also be used on damp hair
- Some reviewers say it made their hair a tad too oily, so a little goes a long way
Best heat protectant oil
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
Whether it be lotions, sprays, or creams–there are many ways to incorporate a heat protectant into your haircare routine. But if you’re on the market for an oil that protects against high heat, Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil will be your best bet.
Designed to deliver “sublime softness,” this hair oil is infused with grapeseed, sweet almond, argan, sunflower seed, coconut and macadamia nut oils. Not only does it protect against high temperatures, but it also acts as a UV filter to protect the hair from being dried out by the hot sun.
- Ultra lightweight
- Frights frizz
- Adds shine
- Hair stylist-recommended
- Some reviewers say this oil isn’t their top choice for coarse hair
Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil
Mother nature is responsible for some of the best hair ingredients, and one of our faves is coconut oil. Shea Moisture offers a tub of 100% extra virgin coconut oil that bathes hair in antioxidant vitamin E and natural triglycerides, which form a barrier over the hair to help retain moisture.
After use, your hair will be left nourished, protected and softened for ease of styling to come.
- Suitable for all hair types
- 100% natural
- Can also be used as a body oil on the skin
- Makes hair look and feel incredibly glossy
- Can be a bit messy to work with
THIC Daily Perfecting Hair Oil
Made in Canada, Tully’s own THIC Daily Perfecting Hair Oil is a treat for dehydrated hair. We love that it’s lightweight enough for daily use and suitable for use on all hair types, from straight to coily.
Within this salon-quality, 100% natural blend of cold-pressed grape seed, hemp seed, and argan oils, it helps fortify, moisturize, and protect hair against split ends, as well as UV and heat damage. Use it as a pre-blow-dry product, a finishing oil, or a touch-up treatment. A few daily drops make hair look smooth, glossy, and gorgeous.
- Locally manufactured in Canada
- Boosts shine
- Protects against heat and UV damage
- Suitable for all hair types
- Can be used with other styling products
- One reviewer noted they wished the scent lasted longer
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