Natural oils are integral components in many hair care treatments. Popular oils run the gamut, ranging from baobab to olive oil, and they all help address different qualities in our hearts that we might want to improve. But sustainability is an issue – we want to ensure our personal choices don't harm the environment. This roundup will highlight some of the most common sustainable oils found in hair care products and how they can help improve the look and feel of your hair.
Coconut oil appears in many hair products - and for a good reason. It enhances the luster of hair while softening the strands. Because of its anti-fungal properties, this oil is particularly useful in keeping a dandruff-free scalp. Furthermore, coconut is terrific for reducing frizziness and maintaining moisture. Finally, coconut oil is one of the most fragrant oils on the market, providing a naturally pleasant scent to your hair products.
Certified Organic and Fairtrade certifications help to guarantee that the oil is sustainably produced. In addition, since 95% of coconut farms are smallholdings, they do not fall into the pitfalls of monoculture, increasing their sustainability.
The Ancient Egyptians cleverly employed oils for their skin and hair, including almond oil – and they knew what they were doing. Almonds have a high vitamin E content, a natural antioxidant that makes your hair seem younger and healthier. Almond oil is excellent for moisturizing hair strands and decreasing breakage and broken ends. Furthermore, its moisturizing properties may help to reduce scalp flakiness. And almonds have a high concentration of natural emollients, making them excellent for softening hair.
Although almonds require a large amount of water, farmers in the US have become much more efficient in their growing methods. For example, in California, almond farms use 33% less water than 20 years ago and are on track to reach zero waste by 2025.
You may use this oil for more than simply cooking. Like almond oil, it is abundant in natural emollients, which help soften and smooth our hair. In addition, olive oil is beneficial for coarse, naturally wavy hair. While it may help to moisturize the scalp, it can also cause dandruff; however, this varies from person to person. Overall, trying it on your hair will help determine whether it is suitable for your scalp.
Olive trees are resilient and highly resistant to drought conditions. As a result, organic olive oil is very sustainable, and well-maintained olive farms can be a net carbon sink.
Avocado oil is a lightweight choice that works particularly well on fine hair. Whereas heavier oils may make thin hair seem greasy, avocado oil avoids this problem. It may also work nicely on thicker hair. Avocados benefit the scalp and may enter the skin even through thick and curly roots. It is also high in minerals, which help with hair cuticle healing.
Avocados are linked to unfair labor practices and deforestation in Mexico. However, US producers are regulated by the FDA, and organic brands have a lower environmental impact.
Baobab oil comes from a tree native to Southern Africa and Australia. These trees may survive hundreds of years yet only bear fruit once a year. However, the trees are incredibly resilient and may remain productive in the face of climate change. Moreover, newer certification standards may increase their sustainability further.
Baobab oil is high in nutrients and helps protect your hair from pollution, UV damage, and harsh weather conditions. It is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and includes vitamins A, C, E, and F. It also leaves hair feeling far less oily than other oils. It is
- Brand Focus – Most of the time, sustainability comes down to practices, not specific crops. Once you find a brand with sustainable practices, incentivize them to continue by staying loyal and spreading the word.
- Regulation Matters – Fairtrade and Certified Organic labels are important. Unfortunately, many oils produced outside the US are poorly regulated or monitored. It may be best to source oils closer to home, where more regulatory agencies oversee production.
- Trends Can Be Costly – Every oil is subject to the laws of supply and demand. So hopping on a trendy oil bandwagon can have devastating consequences for the country where the oil is produced, making staple crops too expensive for the locals to buy and putting their health and lives at risk.