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The Best Hair Oil For Every Hair Type, Broken Down By Top Stylists

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Photo by Alessandro Grandini/Adobe Stock Images

Ready to bid farewell to bad hair days for good? It might be time to add hair oil to your daily hair care routine. “Hair oil penetrates the cuticle of the hair and repairs it from within,” says Nikki Ferrara, celebrity colorist at Nikki Ferrara Hair Color in NYC. “Your hair ends up being more silky and smooth and will be able to retain more moisture.”

We know, hearing the words “hair” and “oil” in the same sentence might remind you of the way your hair looks after a spin class. But the reality is that the right hair oil can give you shiny, Instagram-worthy strands—even if you frequently heat-style, bleach, or struggle with tangling after wash day. This quick fix can tame frizz, infuse much-needed shine, and mask split ends, all while adding major moisture—but, in order to get the most out of the product, it’s important to select the right hair oil for your hair type. “There are different oils that are better for different uses. Argan oil is great for chemically-damaged hair, while camellia oil can keep frizz at bay and castor oil and jojoba oil is said to promote hair growth,” says Ferrara, who recommends honing in on what you hope to achieve and doing your homework before you start slathering oil all over your strands.

Now that we’ve covered what hair oil does and what type to look out for, we can’t leave our mane audience (pun intended) without tips on how to properly use the miracle worker. While hair oil can be used on wet or dry hair, if you use it on dry hair after styling, Hayleigh Hatcher, hairstylist in NYC, recommends using it sparingly. “When working with dry hair you want to use [it] much more sparingly, since oil can actually make the hair look wet if over applied,” Hatcher says. Your application technique really depends on the thickness and length of your hair, but when all else fails, adhere to this tip: “Add some oil starting from the ends and working your way up the head, and lightly comb or brush it through,” Hatcher says.

Not sure which hair oil is right for you? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We rounded up the best hair oils for every hair type to take the guesswork out of restoring the health of your hair.


About the Experts:

Nikki Ferrara is a celebrity colorist based in New York City. Her celebrity clientele includes Ellie Kemper, Olivia Wilde, and Mila Kunis, among others. After years working at esteemed salons, including Oscar Blandi and Sally Hershberger, Ferrara opened her own bespoke salon, Nikki Ferrara Hair Color.
Hayleigh Hatcher is an esteemed hair stylist based in New York City. In addition to the red carpet, her looks have also been featured in Vanity Fair and Vogue. Her work is centered on the belief that hair should be effortless, functional, and a form of self expression. She currently works at Nikki Ferrara Hair Color.

1. Best for mature hair:

NATURELAB. TOKYO Perfect Smooth Hair Oil

NATURELAB. TOKYO Perfect Smooth Hair Oil

Hair that’s lost some verve due to heat damage or aging will bounce right back with this NATURELAB.TOKYO Perfect Smooth Hair Oil. Argan stem cells stimulate growth in the hair follicles, quinoa proteins reinforce limp, lifeless strands, and marula oil adds moisture from root to tip. Not convinced? Don’t just take our word for it. One Ipster wrote in her Glam Bag review of this hair product, “I love this so much. I put a few pumps into my conditioner and my hair is so soft and smooth.” Apply it to damp hair as a styling aid or to dry hair to slick away flyaways throughout the day.

2. Best-smelling hair oil:

OUAI Hair Oil

OUAI Hair Oil

We use this hairdresser-favorite OUAI Hair Oil to smooth frizz, protect strands from heat styling, and lend an extra luster to dull hair, but we also low-key use it as hair perfume because it smells that good. Trust us. “This scent is divine, and it calmed my frizz without heaviness,” one Ipster wrote in her review. “Makes my hair so shiny!” another Ipster added. Work 1-3 drops through damp hair or toss it in your favorite makeup bag for on-the-go frizz control.

3. Best multitasking oil:

EVA NYC Hungry Hair Oil Treatment

EVA NYC Hungry Hair Oil Treatment

Hair craving nourishment can look brittle, dull, and lifeless. Give it life with this EVA NYC Hungry Hair Oil Treatment. This potent formula delivers a healthy dose of hydrating argan oil (naturally packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, and hair growth-promoting essential fatty acids), plus Keravis Protein for extra strand strength and protection. All of these ingredients are great for skincare, as well, which is why some Ipsters use it to soothe dry areas everywhere: “non-greasy, moisturizing treatment. Good for cuticles and hands as well,” as one Ipster said.

4. Best for bleached hair:

KERASTASE PARIS Blond Absolu Huile Cicaextreme Hair Oil

KERASTASE PARIS Blond Absolu Huile Cicaextreme Hair Oil
Courtesy of KERASTASE PARIS

Ideal for blondes (and anyone who bleaches their hair), this strengthening hair oil is specifically formulated for sensitive, post-bleached hair that’s in its most vulnerable state for breakage. Not only does it smooth, strengthen, and amplify shine, but it also works as a heat protectant to seal the hair fiber before heat styling.

5. Best strengthening oil:

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Regenerating Serum with Prickly Pear Oil

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Regenerating Serum with Prickly Pear Oil
Courtesy of CHRISTOPHE ROBIN

If you want to strengthen your tresses, reach for this nourishing combination that’s made up of 94% natural-origin ingredients. It’s got a heaping dose of prickly pear seed oil, which is rich in omega fatty acids and amino acids to fortify your strands without weighing your hair down. It also provides heat protection and minimizes the appearance of frizz and split ends, leaving you with shiny, healthy looking hair.

6. Best with SPF:

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Hairdresser's Invisible Oil

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Hairdresser's Invisible Oil
Courtesy of BUMBLE AND BUMBLE

Sun protection should also apply to your hair, and this cult-favorite dry oil is like sunscreen for your strands. It offers up heat protection while also preserving your hair color by preventing oxidation from the sun’s UV rays.

7. Best for split ends:

SHU UEMURA Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil

SHU UEMURA Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil
Courtesy of SHU UEMURA

If you want to smooth split ends, reach for this rapidly-absorbing hair oil that will amplify your shine factor and leave you with silky smooth strands. Made with camellia oil, this nourishing formula will promote hair health and hydration while it seals the cuticle and lets your split ends blend seamlessly.

8. Best for frizzy hair:

ORIBE Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil

ORIBE Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil
Courtesy of ORIBE

This lightweight oil will tame frizz and flyaways, leaving you with a smooth and shiny mane. A potent blend of jasmine, edelweiss flower, lychee, sandalwood, cassis, bergamot, and argan extracts which work together to condition, strengthen, and smooth.

9. Best for detangling:

DRUNK ELEPHANT Wild Marula™ Tangle Spray

DRUNK ELEPHANT Wild Marula™ Tangle Spray
Courtesy of DRUNK ELEPHANT

Knots won’t stand a chance once you spritz on this unique blend of nourishing plant oils. It works to improve strength and make your hair more manageable, ensuring your tangles won’t lead to breakage. Argan oil, marula oil, pracaxi seed oil, and sacha inchi seed oil are combined to make hair more manageable without weighing it down. The result? Never greasy, just gorgeous hair.

10. Best for 4c curls:

SHEAMOISTURE Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Oil Serum

SHEAMOISTURE Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Oil Serum
Courtesy of SHEAMOISTURE

This magical elixir will bring chemically processed hair back to life, and it’s a great go-to for curly haired beauties. Jamaican black castor oil, shea butter, and peppermint work together to provide deep hydration, strengthen curls to prevent breakage, and promote healthy hair growth. It’s perfect for natural hair or anyone hoping to hydrate their curls.

11. Best for fine hair:

PLAYA Ritual Hair Oil

PLAYA Ritual Hair Oil
Courtesy of PLAYA

If you’re looking for a nourishing oil that won’t weigh your hair down, reach for this nutrient-dense blend. It’s made up of coconut oil, kukui oil, and sunflower oil that deliver vitamin E, vitamin K, and an ample dose of antioxidants to protect. Pro tip: Apply prior to swimming in the ocean or in chlorine to protect your hair from damage.

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About the author
Katrina-Mitzeliotis-headshot
Katrina Mitzeliotis Lanza
Katrina is a freelance writer and on-air correspondent with over a decade of experience covering beauty, fashion, and entertainment. When she isn't freelancing, you can catch her on QVC or chasing after her two-year-old son.
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Article Last Updated February 4, 2021 12:00 AM