Essential Oils versus Carrier Oils for Natural Hair Care

Hello you beautiful person, you!

In my last post about what to put in your Spray Bottle, I mentioned oils as one of the ingredients usually found in the mixture for your natural hair care regimen. Kenyan Mystic also showed us how to do a Hot Oil Treatment earlier this week. In my post, I mentioned the fact that you should know which oils are essential oils versus carrier oils, as that knowledge would determine how much of an oil to use, and whether or not you can apply it directly to your hair. So let's get cracking on this topic, shall we?


These are also known as base oils, and they are typically derived from the fatty parts of nuts, seeds or plants. They usually don't have a fragrance (except for the faint smell of olive oil), and they can be used for aromatherapy and cooking. They are used to dilute and "carry" essential oils for use in spa treatments, hair care, and more. Some examples of carrier oils include:

  • Olive Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil
They are great for moisturizing your hair, in that they seal in moisture. Remember, moisture = WATER. Oils do not moisturize, but they aid in keeping your hair moisturized. Carrier oils can be stored in clear or dark bottles. They don't evaporate, but can spoil over time.

These are volatile oils derived directly from plants. The reason why they are called 'Essential' is because they carry the "essence" of the plants they are derived from. They have the distinct scent of the plants they come from. They can be used for perfumes, soaps, incense, and when mixed with carrier oils or water, cosmetics and beauty products. They should never be applied directly to hair or skin, as they can cause severe irritation, allergic reactions, and can be toxic. Some of these are dangerous during pregnancy too. Examples of essential oils include:
  • Carrot Oil
  • Cedarwood Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Lavender Oil
They have many benefits from dealing with itchy scalps to eliminating dandruff, to stimulating hair growth. Again, they must be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to your natural hair. Never use more than a few DROPS!!! Essential oils are to be stored in dark containers, as light/sunlight can adversely affect them. In addition, they evaporate and lose their therapeutic benefits, but don't spoil over time.

I didn't want to bombard you with too much information this time around, so maybe in my next post, I'll have a list of the different oils commonly used for natural hair and their specific benefits. 

What oils have you used or do you use in your natural hair care regimen? Olive oil is a staple for me, and I recently added castor oil, tea tree and cedarwood oils. 


  1. Another thing that clarified this for me when I was learning about this topic is their source and process of extraction.

    Essential oils are mostly derived from leaves, back, roots, and other plant parts, while carrier oils are derived from nuts, seeds, fruits.

    Carrier oils are usually extracted by cold pressing and boiling, while Essential oils are extracted by distillation of the plants. I also read somewhere that sometimes, one has to distil as much as 4000 flowers to extract one table spoon of its essential oil. No wonder its so expensive. The good part is that a little goes a long way, so we don't need too much.

    In my opinion, there's so much to learn on this topic. Thumbs up Berry.

    1. wow, insightful! you truly are a guru. I haven't done an indept study on these two oils.

      i currently have castor, olive, jojoba coconut, lemongrass, teatree, peppermint & lavender.
      of course i've ried sweet almond, wheatgrass, grapeseed and a few others.
      one more thing is that essential oils LASTS! I mean i've had my 30ml tea tree oil for over 3years, and the thing is only half empty. and mind you, i use it for other things but hair.

  2. I use coconut,castor and olive oil.Looking forward to trying grapeseed and jojoba

  3. Very informative post berry. I currently add quite a bit of Coconut oil & Olive Oil in my spray bottle with water. It just works magic in softening my hair and the general appearance. I've heard alot about tea tree oil. Not sure where to get it though.

  4. Hello,
    The article is very nice. I got many valuable information's. I am very much fond of articles related to essential oils.Thank you for your nice shearing.

  5. Essential Oils is a good care, this article is very inspiring, thanks!


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