The three essential oils you need to add to your skin and hair routine are Coconut oil, Shea butter, and Castor oil.
For many years, I have spent tons of money buying fancy lotions, creams and hair products that promised me smooth skin like a baby, and flawless hair like Beyoncé (ok a tad bit of exaggeration). Some of the ingredients found in hair and skin products only a chemist or pharmacist would indeed know what it is and how to pronounce them lol. I believe the majority of people including myself do not pay attention to the ingredient list of beauty/hair products but settle on what promises the manufacturers sells us. Meanwhile nature has provided us an abundant of oils that are truly effective and work miracles, and can be found in our backyards (Africa). I will list the 3 oils that I commonly use and provide some insight on the associated benefits.
Coconut Oil: The holy grail of oils in my opinion.
Why? Coconut oil contains saturated fats, is filled with antioxidants, and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
How? I use it on my skin right after showering, focusing on my elbows and knees, on my lips before sleeping to keep my lips smooth, my relaxed hair, and my kids’ natural hair. I also use it on my face after I washed off my makeup and leave it on overnight. Coconut oil is absorbed into my hair and skin faster than any of the other oils I use.
To get the best benefits of coconut oil for skin and hair care purposes, please purchase one that it organic, virgin, unrefined, and cold-pressed. Trader Joe’s has the best quality coconut oil that fits the above criteria for less than $6!!!! Click here for more uses and benefits of coconut oil.
Shea Butter Oil:
Why? Shea butter is a natural oil derived from the nut of the African Shea tree. It contains fatty acids and vitamins A and E. Shea butter is incredible moisturizing to the skin and also has anti-inflammatory properties.
How? I first used Shea butter while I was pregnant with my second child. A coworker of mine had returned from vacationing in Ghana and gave it to me as a present. She instructed me to use it daily on the areas that are prone to getting stretch marks to prevent or minimize them. I was a skeptic at first because of how it looked (beige, smelled weird, and looked like old butter). After some quick research, I used it religiously throughout my pregnancy and did not gain any new stretch marks!! Other common uses are for treatment of dry skin, eczema, small skin wounds, skin allergies, and sunburn.
I now purchase shea butter in West African stores or supermarket. Look for one that is raw/unrefined, unbleached, organic, and Grade A.
Castor Oil: My preference is the Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
Why? Castor oil is rich in omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, vitamin E, minerals, and ricinoleic acid. It is derived from the seeds of the castor oil plant.
How? Castor Oil is well known for promoting natural hair regrowth. I was instructed by my hair stylist years ago to use castor oil on my edges at least 2 times a week after a bad sewin weave killed my edges off. After a few weeks my edges grew back much fuller. I also use castor oil on my eyebrows and lashes especially when the lady that threads my eyebrows gets too excited and takes out more than I want smh. The only downside is that the castor oil I use has a strong smell, and it is thick as hell.
Well, that’s my take on these natural oils. There is so much research and articles about the benefits of these oils out there, don’t just take my word for it. Also, check out Youtube for testimonies and further reviews. Knowledge is Power!
For the brave women with natural hair, check out Naptural85 on Youtube for tips on maintaining natural hair using oils.