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Here's why you need a hair oil — 18 brands to give you that shine and growth

These formulas deliver more than just glossy locks.
Woman in bathroom rubbing her hair
Getty Images

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 a trichologist, a doctor who specializes in hair and scalp treatments, about why your beauty routine could benefit from using a hair oil. We also found several shopper-approved products and formulas you'll want to lather your locks with from hereon out.

Use the links below to see our 18 top-rated picks, as well as expert answers to your frequently asked questions.

Top-rated hair oils | Hair oil FAQs, answered | Meet our expert

Best hair oils, according to shoppers

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

Olaplex's bonding oil is formulated to protect colors, fight frizz and provide heat protection. Plus, with almost 30,000 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.

Uhai Oil Blend

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, rosemary and tea tree 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. Plus, it rings up at just under $11.

Moroccanoil Light Treatment Hair Oil

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.

JVN Complete Pre-Wash Scalp Oil

For those experiencing hair breakage, this scalp oil from Jonathan Van Ness's hair line will restore your strands. The oil, which has garnered a remarkable 57,000-plus "hearts" on Sephora, works as a pre-shampoo to promote shinier and healthier hair. According to a consumer study, customers saw a decrease in hair loss by 97 percent after just 21 days.

Ouai Hair Oil

Seal your split ends with this multitasking hair oil with over 1,000 five-star reviews on Ulta. 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.

Dae Prickly Pear Hair Oil

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.

I.C.O.N. India Dry Oil

Whether you're using this on wet or dry hair, you'll be able to give it the protection it needs with this lightweight oil. (According to the brand, using this on wet hair helps to soothe the hair cuticle, and on dry hair this is said to protect your hair from heat and UV while giving it shine.) The blend contains moringa oil, argan oil, amber and clove for a glowing finish.

äz Elixir Nourishing oil

This healing oil contains a blend of silicone amino fluids, coconut oil and lipids to de-frizz your strands while protecting your hair from humidity and thermal damage. The brand calls it a "keratin treatment in a bottle" because of its healing properties and ability to protect your color. Use it as an extra dose of cuticle protection after your blowout to protect your locks from breakage and to get a more polished look.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Glossy Nourishing Anti-Frizz Hair Oil

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.

Kiehl's Magic Elixir Scalp and Hair Oil Treatment

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 promotes 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.

Kérastase Paris Blond Absolu Strengthening Hair Oil

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 percent 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!"

Hairstory Hair Oil

Those with fine hair will adore Hair Story'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.

Terra Beauty Bars Floral Multitasking Oil

Reduce tangles with this floral-infused hair oil that captures the essence of jojoba, coconut and lavender for an extra soothing treatment. The waterless formula is made with a 100 percent potent oil blend that can be used on your hair and body.

Melanin Haircare Multi-Use Pure Oil Blend

Feel the antioxidant power of vitamin E with this multi-use oil blend designed to gently undo those pesky knots. The product is made with safe synthetics and natural oils to ensure your strands are hydrated. It also contains argan oil, which is known to be rich in powerful micronutrients like tocopherols and polyphenols.

Reviewers love its non-greasy application, with one frequent user raving, "The oil is lightweight, yet very moisturizing. I use it between washes on my scalp, and also on wash day and between washes to seal in my leave in. I also use it to take down braids and twists."

Naturalicious Spanish Almond Regrowth Oil

With a perfect five-star rating on the brand's website, 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.

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil

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.

Marc Anthony Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Dry Styling Oil

According to a study from the International Journal of Trichology, coconut oil is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft more deeply due to its low molecular weight and straight linear chain. This ultra-lightweight formula from Marc Anthony not only contains the hydrating ingredient, but its list of ingredients also features biotin and shea butter to control frizz and promote shine.

René Furterer Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Concentrate

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 percent 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.

Questions about hair oils, answered by an expert

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.

What is the difference between hair serum and hair oil?

Hair serums and hair oils may seem interchangeable, but they have their fair share of differences when it comes to treating scalps. While hair serums usually have a silicone-based formula that acts like a styling product and adds shine to your tresses, hair oils mainly serve as heat protectants while hydrating your hair at the same time.

In addition, most hair oils are used on damp hair to help with detangling and frizz control. This class of hair products also reduce the amount of water absorbed in your locks, leading to less intense scalp sweating over time.

Meet our expert

Dr. David Kingsley, PhD, FWTS, is a board-certified trichologist who has been specializing in hair and scalp treatments for more than 30 years.