Let’s Talk About Hair Oils

Let’s Talk About Hair Oils

I love hair oils, but I think some explaining has to be done. There are a million and one hair “oils” on the market, and even more misinformation and BS about what the actual ingredients are, and what, if any, the benefits are for your hair.

There are oils, and there are silicones, more commonly known as serums, but often masquerading as “oils”. Let’s be clear – silicones, per se, offer no healing or conditioning benefits for your hair. NONE. Silicones coat the hair, and can protect the hair from heat styling as well as reduce the appearance of frizz. They do not nourish the hair, or provide conditioning benefits. Think of applying body lotion and wearing a coat. The coat will protect your skin from rain, cold and other environmental assaults, but the lotion will add moisture and nourishment to the skin. But if you only ever wear a coat to protect your skin, under the coat your skin will eventually get dry and dehydrated. Imagine, to push my analogy further, trying to apply lotion to your skin over the coat. Ridiculous, right? But we do this all the time when we try to condition or treat hair that is coated in silicone.

So what does this mean? Well, it depends on your needs. Do you want to protect your hair from a flat iron or hair dryer, and is your hair already healthy? Then a silicone based serum product is perhaps a good choice for you. My two cents? Serums are old news and there many things you can do for your hair that are better and more effective at healing and protecting. Also – if your hair is so frito that the only thing that flattens it is silicone serums, consider: trimming, stopping chemical treatments & letting it dry naturally, for pity’s sake. Few things look worse than blow dried/straightened hay hair. It’s not worth it, ladies! Suck it up & get a trim.

Now, as a rule, I try everything so my dear readers don’t have to. I have had long, thick, wavy coarse colour treated hair for a long long time and have tried every thing in the market to calm it. I will discuss conditioners and leave in conditioning treatments in another post, but for now I am addressing oils. Again, silicone is not oil. The elephant in that room would be Moroccan Oil™. It was one of the first commercially successful argan oil hair products on the market and managed to own that market share quickly. Let’s get this out of the way right now- argan oil is the 6th listed ingredient in Moroccan Oil™, the first five being silicone variants. I call silicone a “false friend”. Silicone seems like magic: it makes your hair shiny, helpts with detangling and smoothes the ends. But, that magic is temporary, and over time your hair can get increasingly dry, and can start to lose it’s suppleness. Why? Silicone is like an invisible plastic film that is not easily washed away by shampoo, except the very detergent-y ones, which are very drying for your hair and totally counterproductive! The silicone coats the hair which blocks the nourishing substances the cuticle needs. Moroccan Oil™ smells good, but unless you want to coat your hair in plastic, there are better products out there.

argan plant


So- what oil is best for your hair, if you want to condition and treat your hair?  Our hair is actually a rough coated thing, with cuticles held together by ceramides, constituted by essential fatty acids. We need them to stick together for a smooth surface, which helps the hair protect itself, and also makes it shiny. They also work as a barrier to keep the moisture inside the hair shaft from escaping, as well as absorb moisture from the air around us to keep the hair’s moisture levels optimum. Damaged and dry hair becomes rough, porous and vulnerable, as well as losing it’s shine. You want thin, viscous oils with fatty acids – one of the reasons argan oil is so heralded for hair and skincare is that argan oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 9  which are a direct source of essential nutritional components for hair pore/cuticles and roots. Camellia oil has been the traditional beneficial beauty treatment for hair in Japan used for centuries for its effective properties as a hair nourisher and conditioner as it has a high amount of vitamin e which is essential for healthy hair. It also contains oleic acid, which softens  – you find oleic acid in shea and olive oils as well, although their denser properties makes them better for skincare.

So, I’ve tried many many many hair potions, dear readers. I can honestly say that the only “oil” that has had a positive and quantitive effect on my hair has been a potion that combines both camellia and argan oil (as well as other good oils), Aroma M Camellia Oil for hair.  My hair is instantly smoother and shinier when I use it, and is never greasy. I can almost watch my thirsty hair drink it up. I would invite you to do your own research with argan and camellia oils to find a brand that works for you. If you want a simple argan oil, I would recommend Josie Maran Argan Oil. It’s pure, easy to find at Sephora, and reasonably priced. You can use it on your skin too! I love it, but found it a bit heavy for my hair, so I’m sticking with my Aroma M Camellia Oil for hair. I have a sample of Aroma M Camellia Face Oil that I plan to try this week, so stay tuned for that review.

Top Ten Beauty Winners For 2012

Top Ten Beauty Winners For 2012

Grace Kelly Marlon Brando Oscars

Wow – is it already almost 2013? Funny, I don’t feel a year older….It’s a good time to look back on my most favourite and beloved beauty finds of 2012. Note that I am not numbering my choices, as they are all equally loved and important. So, in no official order, here they are:

Emergen-C Vitamin Powder: this may not seem on the surface to be a beauty item, but beauty isn’t just skin deep! Emergen-C provides hydration from the inside out. So, if you’ve had too many coffees, not enough water, brutal central heating or desert climate, you need this. Bonus: kills colds & hangovers. Get it. I always have a little packet in my purse for hydration emergencies. Neat fact: this company  also has a touching connection to the troops.

Skinceuticals Skincare: Most notably  the Skinceuticals serums – they are exceptional. I am so grateful for having discovered this line of skincare. The serums are gorgeous and sink into the skin- you can feel them working. My faves are Skinceuticals Blemish & Age (no pimples are safe with this!) and the Retexturizing Activator  (review to come). Do yourself a favour & search out this line. Aging and/or oily skin is conquered. Honorable Mention: Skinceuticals Physical Fusion SPF 50 – the only facial sunscreen you will ever need, protects your skin while making it look all glowy & gorgeous.

Vichy ProEven Dark Spot Corrector: Unless you have the perfect skin of a child, you also need this miraculous lotion. It evens out skin tone like it’s nobody’s business. I’ve recommended it to many people who have told me they use less concealer than they used to. Vichy ProEven can also help correct sun damage and uneven pigmentation caused by hormones. Get it.

Charlotte Ronson Closer Finishing Powder: Instant matte skin in a brush, this container/brush mattefying powder is a must-have for every make up bag. It’s a sheer powder that is dispensed through the brush. Got shine? It’s unscented and so far has proven non irritating and non-comedogenic. Can’t be without it.

Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil: Basically the perfect conditioning and softening hair oil. Forget silicones and silicone concoctions masquerading as hair oil *cough* Moroccan Oil *cough*. Silicone may improve the appearance of your hair…for awhile. But the reality is it just coats your hair. Camellia Oil smooths and softens your hair- it never feels heavy or greasy (unless you use too much) and a tiny amount goes a long way. My hair has never been in better condition. If you’ve tried everything but nothing is working, clarify the junk out of your hair and get Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks: Plain and simple love. These softening balm- lipstick hybrids are basically perfect. Chose your shade- I love several, from the soft Royalieu, to the perfect “your lips but better” Boy, to the sassy hot pink Bonheur. They can all be applied without a mirror, they never look thick cakey or “lipsticky” and they leave your lips soft and kissable.

Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain: The review for this miraculous product will be posted shortly. Honestly- the best lip stain I’ve ever  used. I have the bright pink shade, Flush, and although it is bright, it isn’t exactly  light either. It provides a gorgeous healthy bitten-just-kissed-for-an-hour lip tone. Used with a matte balm, like La Mer or Chanel, it looks softly gorgeous. With a gloss like Lip Fusion Clear or a sheer pink like Bobbi Brown Popsicle, this stain always works. It feels soft and invisible on the lip, doesn’t bleed and is not drying.

Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer: Another Hourglass bit of genius. Again, the review for this is upcoming. I will say this much: this concealer is very close to the famous/famously expensive Cle de Peau Concealer. A replacement? Not sure yet, but it’s pretty darn amazing. Stay tuned.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Polish in Malice: Honestly, just one of the most beautiful vampy shimmer colours that exists in nail polish. The most subtle shimmer, that only Chanel can do, and the perfect tone of crimson/burgundy. It wears very well too, with chip wear only after several days. I will always love this.

ICON India 24k Richly Exotic Mask: If you have dry, coarse, processed, fried or damaged hair, you need this stuff. It is miraculous and transforms your hair from dead to devastatingly gorgeous. It is my number one deep conditioner, tied for first place with L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Conditioner. Cheating a little as I haven’t reviewed that one either yet. So much good reading to look forward to, people! Both of these conditioners smell incredible. The ICON smells like spicy woods, and the L’Occitane like almond candy. Divine.

What are some of your Top Products you discovered in 2012?

Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil For Silky, Touchable Tresses

Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil For Silky, Touchable Tresses

I love oils- skin oils, hair oils….I love the idea of a product that sinks in, gives immediate results and nourishes the body and mind. Therapeutic oils usually smell wonderful, and if they don’t, well, I don’t want to use them. Aroma M knows scent well- as a matter of fact she has a gorgeous line of perfumes, her Geisha line. Why I don’t have a bottle of Geisha Blanche yet is a mystery. Must fix that. Her whole delicate and beautiful aesthetic is so lovely and soothing. Even the packaging is thoughtful and pretty. Back to her oils.

Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil is based on, well, camellia oil. From  her site:

“Camellia oil softens, nourishes and restores health and sheen to hair damaged by heat, colorants and perms. It prevents breakage and split ends, softens scalp and relives itchiness due to dryness, allergies or dandruff. It is believed that camellia oil will increase hair growth, making it fuller and healthier in just a few weeks, even restoring color to the first white hair. It transforms dry, brittle, neglected hair into gleaming strands. It provides vitamins and nutrients that can strengthen hair and to prevent damage and split ends. Camellia oil, also known as tea seed oil, contains a high amount of natural vitamin E, essential for healthy hair and quick hair growth.”

Who doesn’t want all of these benefits in a hair treatment? I sure do. I highlight my hair, which dries it out, and my hair is quite long, which means the ends of the hair can get dry as well. I’ve used many oils, and I’ve tossed many products than claim to be oils but that are actually just bottles of silicone. To be fair, silicone can temporarily improve the appearance of your hair, but it does not actually have any benefits other than how it looks. And, it also builds up and needs to be stripped out on a regular basis, and can block actual conditioners from reaching the hair shaft, which can in the end dry out your hair even more. So I was quite excited to try Aroma M’s Camellia Hair Oil and it has so far garnered impressive results.

Even in idea conditions, my hair is thick with a somewhat coarse texture. Getting to behave and taming the mane can be a challenge at the best of times. I rarely even blow dry it, as even the slightest hint of humidity makes it pouffy, and if I’ve wrestled the wave out of it with a brush and blow dryer, pouffe without wave just looks awful. Ladies- there is a lesson here. Fight your hair’s texture at your peril. It has taken me many years & many bad hair days to learn to work with my hair’s natural texture and tendencies. So to wear it wavy, I still want it to be soft and smooth, without being flat, greasy or limp.

camellia white flower

White Camellia flower

I applied a bit of Aroma M Camellia Oil to my damp hair, after taking it out of the towel I leave it in for a few minutes after my shower, and before applying any styling products. I rubbed the oil between my palms to warm and distribute it evenly, then gently pulled it though my hair from around my temples down. I was very careful not to use it close to my roots, as I did not want to get them greasy, but instead stayed close to my dry ends. I used around half a teaspoon’s worth, and to be honest, I should have used less. Considering how much hair I have, that is saying a lot. This oil is rich and concentrated, and truly, a little goes a long way. My hair is silky soft, and shiny, with no frizzy or coarse ends. It smells soft and gently herbal but the best part is the hint of tuberose oil. Wow. It is very subtle, and I have to stuff my hair under my nose to smell it, and that is only while wet. The scent dissipates, and to be honest, I wish a bit of that delicious tuberose remained! I am obsessed with the idea of hair perfume.  But, that is not what Aroma M Camellia Oil promises. It does all kinds of good healing stuff, and I plan to give myself a scalp massage with it before my next shampoo. I also plan to try a more intensive treatment, perhaps applying it to my hair before bedtime and letting it sink in before shampooing. Verdict: LOVE! I can’t imagine getting through winter and our drying central heating without this lovely oil!

Aroma M Camellia Hair Oil is available on Aroma M’s site for $65 for a 40ml bottle