Because I hate my hair right now and want it to just be pretty and easy, dammit.

My hair My goals
Long Clumps nicely and is free of frizz
Type 2c Easy to manage, ie, not a shit-ton of work to keep nice
High porosity Has “clean” products being applied to it - sulfate-, paraben-, silicone-free
Very fine Smells great and not like the beauty entrance of Belks
Living in a humid climate Relatively cheap = as in, under $$/month

Enter a trial and error period of using oil to achieve these goals. There will be three routines attempted:

  • Routine 1, Pre-Poo - applying oils as a hair mask, letting it sit on dry hair before shampooing it out.
  • Routine 2, Boost - adding an oil blend directly to my shampoo and washing as normal
  • Routine 3, Co-Sub - using the oil blend as a substitute for conditioner

The following base/carrier oils have been identified as most likely to align with my hair type and goals; they are marked as penetrating vs. sealing (read more about penetrating vs. sealing oils here):

  • Avocado Oil - a penetrating oil; lightweight, growth, detangler
  • Grapeseed Oil - a sealing oil; frizz-easing for those with fine hair; best used after you’ve applied a leave-in conditioner to seal in that good moisture
  • Baobab Oil - a penetrating oil; for curls, enhance hair’s elasticity, increase suppleness, and add a non-greasy shine
  • Sweet Almond Oil - a sealing oil; treat dullness and dryness without weighing hair down

The following essential oils have been identified to align with secondary hair goals, and also because they smell the best:

  • Eucalyptus Oil - antifungal and antiseptic properties that can act as an anti-dandruff treatment; may increase hair growth Switched Eucalyptus for Spearmint because I didn’t have any in the house,and their effects were similar
  • Peppermint Oil - hair drop, itchy scalp
  • Tea Tree Oil - hair drop, prevents buildup on shaft, general hair health
  • Spearmint Oil - naturally anti-fungal and antibacterial; stimulate the hair follicles and increase blood flow

There will be four blends created to experiment with over the three routines. Each blend contains one penetrating oil and one sealing oil. The blends also contain all of the above essential oils.

Blend 1 Blend 2
1 Avocado Oil : 1 Grape Seed Oil 1 Baobab Oil : 1 Sweet Almond Oil
Blend 3 Blend 4
1 Avocado Oil : 1 Sweet Almond Oil 1 Baobab Oil : 1 Grape Seed Oil

All blends additionally receive 10 drops of each essential oil.

Wow that’s a lot of details.

How will the four blends be experimented with over the three routines?

Each routine/blend combination deserves 4 wash cycles to determine if it is getting the results I want. 2 washes per week comes out to 2 weeks per wash experiment.

With 3 routine experiments and 4 blend experiments, we have a total of 24 routines to attempt. For 2 weeks per routine, this will take, at most, 48 weeks (or approximately 11 months).

(This is getting ridiculous now).

A matrix will be used to track results for each of the three routines. View the full spreadsheet here.

Photos will be taken before/after starting each routine to help give a higher-level view of what is being accomplished.

End Results

This experiment ended up being largely short lived - I didn't try every combination of oils, largely because each iteration of it showed how much this just doesn't work for my hair.

A brief breakdown of the problems

  1. First, it seemed that this method of hair management was more susceptible to tiny changes in the environment, as well as in preparation/application than I am willing to handle. A too-dry day, or slightly too-much oil meant that I had a grease bomb on my hands. Similarly, not enough oil used, or an extra humid day, meant that it seemed I hadn't done anything at all. Course correcting by using any amount of oil at all usually meant I was back to the grease bomb problem.
  2. Certain methods did seem to work better than others (eg, having oil in with my shampoo as part of the wash was by far the superior method) but getting the proportions/blend correctly was finnicky. In addition to making sure the ratio of oil:shampoo was exactly right, it regularly separated in the bottle. It never really seemed that shaking it got all the ingredients fully integrated back to one another, meaning that even if the ratio in the bottle was 100% correct to start, separation made the ratio off when I actually used it.
  3. Creation the mixtures was, continually, a hassle. It didn't matter how much counter space I had or how many funnels I used - combining oils into containers and then transferring into tinier containers always resulted in a mess that I hated cleaning up

I can clearly see the benefits, but since the goal is to get a hair process that is quick and easy to do, I think this can firmly be placed in the “losers” pile. Sorry!