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Yes, everyone can benefit from hair oils — experts weigh in on the right one to use

These formulas deliver more than just glossy locks.
Woman in bathroom rubbing her hair
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For many beauty lovers, "hair oil" may hint at greasy tresses. But contrary to popular belief, oiling your hair has been shown to benefit your locks in a multitude of ways, from encouraging hair growth and scalp health to adding much-needed protection from heat damage and breakage.

Shop TODAY talked to two hair professionals about why your beauty routine could benefit from using a hair oil. We also found several of the best oils for hair that are expert- and shopper-approved, plus trending (but effective) formulas you'll want to lather your locks with from here on out.

How do hair oils benefit your scalp? | Can all hair types use hair oil? | Ingredients to look for in a hair oil | Top-rated hair oils | How we chose | Meet the experts

Best hair oils

How do hair oils benefit your scalp?

According to a study from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, using essential oils on the hair and scalp can deliver serious benefits, including nourishing your hair follicles and adding additional moisture to your roots to providing extra strength to your tresses. Additional data also suggests that using a hair oils helps with regulating sebum secretion, stimulating hair growth, relieving scalp inflammation and other benefits when oils are combined with other formulas.

Certain hair types can also see significant perks from using a hair oil, according to board-certified trichologist Dr. David Kingsley.

“People with very dry, curly and brittle hair,” he explains, can benefit from using hair oils mainly because they have antioxidant properties that protect tresses from free radicals, inflammation, pollution and dandruff.

However, he believes that individuals with thin or oily hair, along with those who have sensitive scalps, should probably avoid using this product. “I’m not a great advocate for using hair oils directly on the scalp, as they tend to make it greasy and may make any dandruff condition worse in the long run. The oil should be applied mainly to the hair shaft,” Kingsley says.

Can all hair types use hair oil?

Yes, all hair types can use hair oil including dry, oily and color-treated hair. “However, the type of hair oil and the frequency of use may vary depending on the specific hair type and concerns,” shares hair restoration surgeon Dr. Alan J. Bauman.

Here are some of the tips and requirements he recommends for each hair type.

  • Dry hair. “People with dry hair can benefit significantly from using hair oil, as it helps to moisturize and nourish the hair strands. Look for hair oils that contain hydrating and moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil or olive oil. These oils can help replenish the lost moisture and improve the overall texture and shine of dry hair.”
  • Oily hair. While some people with oily hair feel hesitant to use a hair oil, this can still be beneficial if used moderately. “Lighter oils like jojoba oil or grapeseed oil can be suitable for oily hair as they are less likely to weigh down the hair or make it greasy. Apply the oil sparingly to the ends of the hair, avoiding the scalp if you have particularly oily roots.”
  • Color-treated hair. You need a safe and gentle oil if you have any color in your hair. Bauman suggests looking for formulas specifically designed for color-treated or damaged hair. “These will help protect the color and provide nourishment to the hair without causing any fading or damage.”

Ingredients to look for in a hair oil

Bauman suggests looking for ingredients that benefit your hair type and concerns. “It’s essential to consider your hair’s specific needs and choose a hair oil that aligns with them. Additionally, conduct a patch test before using any new product to ensure you don’t have any allergic reactions or sensitivities to the ingredients,” he says.

Here are some common ingredients he recommends looking for in an effective hair oil:

  • Carrier oils. “These are the base oils that form the majority of the hair oil. Examples include coconut oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil. Each carrier oil has unique properties, such as moisturizing, nourishing or providing shine to the hair.”
  • Essential oils. “These are concentrated plant extracts that are often added to carrier oils. They can provide various benefits, such as promoting hair growth, improving scalp health and adding a pleasant fragrance. Some popular essential oils for hair include rosemary, lavender, peppermint and tea tree oil.”
  • Vitamins and antioxidants. “Look for hair oils that contain vitamins like vitamin E, which can help nourish and protect the hair. Antioxidants can also help combat free radical damage, keeping your hair healthy and vibrant.”
  • Proteins. “Some hair oils contain proteins like keratin or hydrolyzed silk, which can strengthen and repair damaged hair strands.”
  • Herbal extracts. “Herbal extracts like aloe vera, hibiscus, and neem can have soothing and nourishing effects on the scalp and hair.”
  • Silicone-free and natural oils. “If you prefer a more natural option, opt for hair oils that are free of silicones and artificial additives.”

Best hair oils, according to shoppers

Mielle Sea Moss Anti-Shedding Scalp & Hair Oil

What we like
  • Works great for braids
  • Helps with itch relief
Something to note
  • Light fragrance

Key ingredient: Irish moss extract | Size: 2 ounces

The powerhouse ingredients in this bottle — sea moss and saw palmetto to start — are meant to prevent breakage while promoting good scalp health and adding moisture to your strands. It has a lightweight texture and enough nutrients to improve the density of your hair. Also, you can stop worrying about constant shedding since this scalp oil formula will promote hair retention, according to the brand. One reviewer said this product even helps with their scalp psoriasis.

Moroccanoil Light Treatment Hair Oil

What we like
  • Lightweight texture
  • Smells amazing
Something to note
  • Pump can be tricky

Key ingredient: Argan oil | Size: 0.85 ounces

The experts we've consulted in the past highly recommend argan oil products like this one. They're particularly helpful when it comes to protecting hair from heat damage, soothing sensitive scalps and taming frizz, they say.

That's thanks to the vitamin E, other antioxidants and fatty acids in their formula. This light treatment hair oil checks those off, and its combination of argan oil and linseed extract help to hydrate, nourish, smooth and detangle your hair, according to the brand. And the scent is not overwhelming, according to one Shop TODAY reviewer.

We also like that this is available in a mini size, perfect for travel, as well as a value size if you want a bottle that lasts longer.

Uhai Oil Blend

What we like
  • Lightweight texture
  • Helps in reducing frizz
Something to note
  • Can be too oily for scalp

Key ingredient: Baobab oil | Size: 4 ounces

Calm the frizz in an instant with this lightweight hair oil that blends seven natural and essential oils. The bottle contains vitamin E, omega fatty acids, tea tree and rosemary oil to promote blood circulation — all while leaving your hair frizz-free. Without a greasy feeling and with the help of its sweet aroma, this hair oil is said to be one of the best moisturizers to coat hair ends.

Heart Hair Essential Hair Oil Treatment

What we like
  • Great for braids
  • Has a moisturizing texture
Something to note
  • Made in small batches

Key ingredient: Organic sunflower oil | Size: 1 ounce

Whether you need a conditioning treatment or a quick repair, this hair oil will give your tresses a natural concoction of ingredients. The product is infused with cold-pressed sunflower oil, organic black castor oil and bergamot essential hair oil that works well on sensitive scalp. Basically, these ingredients will help restore split ends, thicken your strands and add shine. You can use it as a natural heat protectant, as well.

Kiehl's Magic Elixir Scalp and Hair Oil Treatment

What we like
  • Helps add shine
Something to note
  • Takes 10 minutes to work

Key ingredients: Rosemary leaf oil, avocado oil and safflower oil | Size: 4.2 ounces

This magic elixir from Kiehl's is meant to improve hair shine thanks to its use of rosemary oil. According to a 2021 study, this ingredient helps promote increased blood circulation in the hair follicle. And the glowing reviews echo those findings — many with sensitive, dry or dandruff-prone scalps say this treatment has worked wonders.

Naturalicious Spanish Almond Regrowth Oil

What we like
  • Thicken hair strands
  • Smells fruity
Something to note
  • Not ideal for fine hair

Key ingredient: Spanish almond oil | Size: 4 ounces

Customers rave about how this oil naturally helps their hair's regrowth. The brand and shoppers say the oil is ideal for people with thin and curly hair, with one verified reviewer sharing how this oil helped fill in patchy areas in their scalp while promoting shine throughout their tresses.

IGK 100% Plant-Powered Nourishing Hair Oil

What we like
  • Ideal for curly hair
Something to note
  • Use sparingly

Key ingredients: Baobab oil, marula oil and maqui berry oil | Size: 1.7 ounces

Whether you have curly, coily or thick hair, this hair oil will nourish your tresses while leaving your hair smooth and shiny. The formula has a lightweight texture and UV protection that will safeguard your hair during the hottest days. You can use it before blow-drying your hair or as a leave-in for a finishing step.

"If you have coarse hair that is hard to manage or have extensions that need moisture, this is for you. I only use 2 drops and my hair feels amazing," shared one shopper.

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

What we like
  • Ideal for thick hair
Something to note
  • Use in small amounts

Key ingredient: Grape seed oil | Size: 1 ounce

Olaplex's bonding oil is formulated to protect colors, fight frizz and provide heat protection. Plus, with over 38,000 five-star ratings from Amazon verified purchases, customers agree this oil will control fly-aways and provide that salon finish when you blow-dry it.

Ouai Hair Oil

What we like
  • Tames frizzy hair
  • Ideal for thick hair
Something to note
  • Strong scent

Key ingredients: Ama oil and borage oil | Size: 1.5 ounces

Seal your split ends with this multitasking hair oil with over 2,600 five-star ratings at Kohl's. Ouai's formula provides a super-smooth finish while delivering a frizz-free texture after your styling session. Also, the galanga root extract ingredient will prevent your color from fading over time. Reviewers report that while this small bottle is a bit pricey, a little goes a long way, which makes it worth the investment.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Glossy Nourishing Anti-Frizz Hair Oil

What we like
  • Great for damaged ends
Something to note
  • Can be a bit greasy

Key ingredients: Patauá oil, pequi oil | Size: 2 ounces

Repair your split ends with Sol de Janeiro's tropical blend of pequi oil (an antioxidant-rich oil), patauá oil (a fatty-acid rich oil) and buriti fruit oil. While it only hit stores recently, one Shop TODAY editor already swears by it since it leaves her locks frizz-free after air-drying.

In addition to frizz-fighting properties (which the brand claims lasts up to 72 hours), it's also said to protect your hair from heat of up to 450 degrees, as well as deeply moisturize your mane while still boosting shine.

Hairstory Hair Oil

What we like
  • Great in cold/dry weather
  • Controls frizz
Something to note
  • Heavy for fine hair

Key ingredient: Vitamin E | Size: 2 ounces

Those with fine hair will adore Hairstory's oil blend for its multipurpose quality. This rich oil is meant to transform dull and brittle hair into lustrous and supple strands. Plus, your hair will look less frazzled, thanks to its mix of eight essential oils, including argan, evening primrose and jojoba oils. Bonus: Its subtle, flowery fragrance is non-synthetic.

Dae Prickly Pear Hair Oil

What we like
  • Provides shine
  • Lightweight consistency
Something to note
  • Texture can feel thin

Key ingredient: Hydrogenated olive oil | Size: 1.7 ounces

Arizona-based brand Dae says its products are inspired by glorious sunsets and simplicity, and this hair oil, with its fruity scents that harken "the desert in full bloom," certainly fits the bill. For those with damaged, dry or curly hair, this oil promises to provide smooth texture and moisture to their strands. The bottle holds a nourishing blend of vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids for a silky finish.

Need more proof? Reviewers gave this an average rating of five stars, with many praising its frizz-taming properties and incredible smell.

Oribe Gold Lust Hair Oil

What we like
  • Ideal for dry hair
  • Can be used as heat protectant
Something to note
  • Slightly improve frizz

Key ingredients: Watermelon, lychee and edelweiss Flower | Size: 3.4 ounces

Sydney Weber, a commerce partnerships coordinator at Shop TODAY, loves this formula for its lightweight texture and how well it distributes on her hair.

"Oribe has been my go-to for hair, smells delicious and makes my hair truly smooth. I feel like I just went to the salon/got a fresh blowout once applied & dried. Hair physically looks silky too!"

Kérastase Paris Blond Absolu Strengthening Hair Oil

What we like
  • Great for colored hair
  • Leaves her shiny
Something to note
  • Moderate use on fine hair

Key ingredient: Hyaluronic acid | Size: 3.4 ounces

This strengthening hair oil from Kérastase is for all the blondes looking for a post-bleach recovery. According to the brand, this oil leaves hair 91% stronger and twice as shiny. This is due, the company claims, to its formulation, which is "highly concentrated in strength and reparative actives [that] will improve weakened blonde hair and protect it against heat and oxidation."

One verified Sephora shopper said they saw instant results after using one pump of this "miracle worker" after showering for a week. "My hair is completely revived and healthy-looking!"

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil

What we like
  • Ideal for dry hair
  • Smells like honey
Something to note
  • Use moderately in fine hair

Key ingredient: Honey | Size: 3.4 ounces

This honey-infused formula from Gisou is based on a family recipe that targets dryness and hair breakage. If you're looking for a luminous finish without a heavy texture, this hair oil is the solution. In addition to Mirsalehi Honey, a natural humectant that draws and maintains moisture, it also contains coconut oil and almond oil to help protect hair from breakage, tame frizz and add shine.

René Furterer Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Concentrate

What we like
  • Ideal before shampoo
  • Stimulates hair growth
Something to note
  • Has a warm sensation

Key ingredients: Orange and lavender essential oils | Size: 1.6 ounces

For the perfect pre-shower treatment, massage your scalp with this stimulating oil from René Furterer. From reducing hair loss to restoring hair strength, this weekly scalp treatment's warming oils (it's formulated with 53% pure orange and lavender essential oils!) will stimulate your scalp and give you that nice spa feeling.

"I have noticed, after only using this three times, that my hair seems to have more volume at the roots," says one Amazon shopper. A caveat, though, according to reviewers: It will likely intensely tingle for the first few minutes or first use, but move through the sensation, which they say will fade, and it'll be worth it.

How we chose the best hair oils

We chose the best hair oils based on customers' reviews and selected those with ingredients recommended by our experts. The list compiles a mix of hair oils for different hair types and textures.

Meet the experts

  • Dr. David Kingsley, PhD, FWTS, is a board-certified trichologist who has been specializing in hair and scalp treatments for more than 30 years.
  • Dr. Alan J. Bauman is a hair restoration surgeon and CEO and medical director of Bauman Medical Hair Transplant and Hair Loss Treatment Center.