We all know our thick, curly hair is beautiful, but we also know that it can be challenging to work with, especially if it’s not properly moisturized.
This article will break down 11 options of the best oil for natural black hair and describe why we chose these specific trusted products for the job.
Leven Rose Jojoba Oil – Best Overall
Leven Rose Jojoba Oil for us is truly the leading choice for natural black hair, especially for the scalp. That said, this highly rated oil is multidimensional and can be used for the whole body.
Thus, if you are looking for 100% pure and organic jojoba oil, this product is excellent.
So what’s so great about jojoba oil for natural black hair?
For starters, the composition of jojoba oil has similar properties to the sebum our scalps naturally produce. Thus, our scalp and hair quickly absorb it, and it’s a great way to replenish the natural oils that get stripped after an intensive wash.
Additionally, jojoba oil helps add shine to our hair, prevents split ends, and generally keeps the hair and scalp healthy, which aids natural growth.
This product’s bottle is dark, which prevents the oil from light damage and increases the oil’s shelf life.
The Mane Choice Multivitamin Oil – Premium Option
The Mane Choice is a little pricier than some of its competitors, but it’s one of the top options for good reason. It combines a host of popular carrier oils like castor oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, tea tree oil, and essential oils like rosemary oil.
Tea tree oil is an excellent ingredient in this hair oil product, as it provides a natural cooling agent, which is ideal for the scalp.
As an essential oil, tea tree oil is highly potent, so it cannot go onto the hair by itself but has to be diluted by water or carrier oils. That’s why this product is an excellent choice because it automatically dilutes tea tree oil with carrier oils.
In addition, this product contains several of the multivitamins that your hair will thank you for, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin D.
Finally, this product contains an often overlooked ingredient in the black hair community – aloe vera oil – which helps soothe the scalp, reduce dandruff, and open up blocked hair follicles.
All in all, if you want a daily oil mixture that will readily give you a healthier and happier head of hair, we recommend adding this oil to your family regime.
African Pride Moisture Miracle 5 Essential Oils – Best Budget Option
If you want a combination of the most trustworthy oils for natural black hair, but you don’t want to pay a pretty penny for it, this African Pride product will be your best bet.
This bottle contains some of the most moisturizing and strengthening oils for African American hair, including castor oil, grapeseed oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.
That said, regardless of how unique or complex you think your hair is, it’ll be hard for your hair and scalp not to love at least one of the ingredients in this product!
These combined ingredients will make your hair shiny, provide thermal protection before heated styles, smooth out your hair for easier management, condition your hair, repair your hair, add shine, and prevent breakage.
Plus, you’ll get the benefit of additional vitamin E to top it all off.
This option is agreeable, especially if you’re on a budget. However, it might be a bit heavy for your particular hair. You may not need all of these oils and find that your hair is better off with just one or two of these major oils.
In that case, keep reading below to see which specific oil may be a more suitable choice for your hair.
Shea Moisture 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Best for Moisture Retention for High Porosity Hair
If you have high-porosity hair, you need a highly-moisturizing oil. High porosity hair means that your hair can easily absorb oils and water, but it doesn’t easily retain them.
Coconut oil is excellent for high position hair because it is deeply moisturizing and helps your hair retain all the moisture it provides with its vitamin E and K properties.
Coconut oil is also one of the most versatile oils out there, so if you’re looking for an all-in-one oil — for your hair, skin, nails, and even for cooking — look no further than coconut oil.
Shea Moisture is a trusted brand for all things hair and skin, and their 100% extra virgin coconut oil is no exception. If your hair usually feels dry and brittle, this coconut oil will help soften and strengthen your hair in no time.
NOW Solutions Sweet Almond Oil – Best Lightweight and Protective Oil Option
Almond oil is a staple for skin, but it works great for natural black hair as well.
Almond oil is lightweight and doesn’t weigh your hair down but still provides a strong moisturizing effect. It also contains vitamin E and antioxidants and prevents split ends.
This oil is rich in omega-rich fatty acids for softer hair and also naturally contains SPF 5, which helps prevent sun damage. In that way, it’s an appropriate choice for those of us who love to be outdoors.
Finally, it prevents dandruff due to its antibacterial properties. Clearly, there is a lot to love about sweet almond oil for hair.
NOW is a trustworthy brand for your almond oil, and this product is a highly-rated, well-priced option.
Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil – Best for Repairing Damaged Edges
Black castor oil is a go-to oil for people looking to promote hair growth, especially those who want to repair damaged or thinning edges.
This product is a heavier oil that people should use sparingly, but it still is an ideal option for strengthening and restoring your hair.
Black castor oil is an exceptional choice if you are transitioning from relaxers or color dyes or have had your hair in protected hairstyles for a long time.
Tropic Isle Living has an excellent black castor oil product that can not only strengthen your hair follicles but also provide sheen and luster by working with your hair’s natural moisturizing capabilities.
If you want to continue dying, heating, or styling your hair in unique yet risky ways, black castor oil will also serve as a protective force for your hair.
Mielle Organics Rosemary Oil – Best for a Healthy, Moisturized Scalp
A primary ingredient in the Mane Choice oil product mentioned earlier, rosemary oil is one of the best oils for African American hair because it targets the root of the problems — literally!
This oil uses anti-inflammatory properties to focus on the scalp to prevent dandruff, treat an itchy scalp, and promote healthy hair growth.
If your hair is in a protective hairstyle, this oil can prevent the dry and itchy scalp you may have gotten way too used to. We like this product because it allows for easy and mess-free application directly to the scalp.
Aunt Jackie’s Repair My Hair Argan Oil – Best for Treating Thinning Hair
Argan oil is an antioxidant-enriched hair oil that promotes growth by repairing thinning and damaged hair. It works to enhance the elasticity of natural hair to prevent breakage or split ends.
Additionally, argan oil makes kinky hair smoother, thus easier to manage and style. The vitamin E in argan oil makes it a solid choice for pre-heat styling.
We like Aunt Jackie’s argan oil because it not only contains argan oil to provide users with these benefits but also includes some castor oil for anti-damage support.
This product will be an excellent choice for people looking for argan oil who have chronically dry hair or scalp issues.
Cantu Shea Butter Daily Oil Moisturizer – Best for Extra Dry Hair and Heat Protection
Shea butter is a deeply moisturizing oil suitable for most dry hair types. If you live in a dry environment or use a lot of heat on your hair and need to moisturize your hair follicles significantly, consider shea butter.
If you want to continue using heat to style your hair, you don’t have to wait until the damage comes to use shea butter, either. This oil is a suitable heat protectant so that you can add it to your hair before styling as well.
Shea butter is also one of the best natural hair oils for hair that has spent a lot of time in the sun because shea butter helps repair the harmful effects of sun damage.
Cantu Shea Butter is a popular, trustworthy product that will make your hair shinier and bouncier, as well as reduce frizz and tangles without drying your hair out.
Genuine African Formula SuperGrow Hair and Scalp Oil – Best Nutrient-Rich Olive and Avocado Oil Option
This product is enriched with olive oil, a true staple in black hair products. Olive oil has gained popularity due to its vitamin e, vitamin a, and antioxidant properties.
Olive oil helps protect the keratin in your hair, making hair softer, stronger, and shinier. Plus, if you have an itchy scalp, olive oil can work magic to relieve itchiness as well.
This product also contains avocado oil which also includes vitamin e. Additionally, avocado oil contains amino acids that help reduce and prevent frizz and promote shiny hair.
Avocado is also a relatively light oil, so you don’t have to worry about the oil building up or clogging your pores.
Overall, Genuine African Formula’s SuperGrow Hair and Scalp oil helps stimulate clogged hair roots to provide better circulation and promote healthy and sustainable hair growth.
Aunt Jackie’s Grapeseed & Avocado Oil – Best for Ultimate Protection
Aunt Jackie’s Grapeseed and Avocado Oil is a fantastic oil choice if you’re looking to protect your beautiful hair.
We now know that avocado oil will work to give your hair vitamins, and grapeseed oil will work to repair breakage and prevent further breakage and thinning.
This product balances your hair’s porosity and helps your hair naturally absorb and maintain moisture for the best protection against dryness and breakage.
This product is great if you already have healthy hair, but you’re thinking about trying out new heat- or chemical-heavy styles and want to protect your hair from any harm.
However, compared to some of the other oils on this list, it may not be the best for hair that is already dry, damaged, thinning, or brittle.
What to Look for in Oils for Natural Black Hair
Finding the best oil for natural black hair is crucial for proper treatment and easy maintenance, but there are many different oils and even more oil products to choose from.
And not all oils are created equal or are meant to have the same effect on your hair. Each type of oil works in different ways to moisturize, soften, smooth, strengthen, grow, or protect your hair or scalp.
What you will ultimately want of your hair oil will depend on several different factors, as we’ll explain below.
You might have noticed a notable price range when it comes to hair oils, from as low as $2 to as high as $20 and beyond.
Most quality oils will be around $7-$10. However, because different oil products come in varying packaging and sizes, the price per fluid ounce is more critical than the total price.
If you need to choose between different oils and are concerned about price, compare price per fluid ounce to determine which one will give you the best bang for your buck.
Ingredients to Choose
If you want to get one specific oil, try to choose a product that only consists of that oil alone. For example, if you want 100% extra virgin coconut oil, your selected product should only have that one ingredient.
However, many oil products for black hair combine several different oils and other ingredients, which can be very beneficial for your hair.
Just make sure that the product contains oils, essential oils, vitamins, and not much else.
Ingredients to Avoid
You might want to actively avoid certain ingredients because they tend to damage or weaken hair in the long run — especially natural black hair.
Look for products containing no parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, or sulfates.
Current State of Hair and Hair Goals
Perhaps most importantly, if you are in the market for some hair oil, you should consider the current state of your hair and your personal hair goals.
These two factors will help you determine which oil products are best for your specific needs.
For example, coconut oil is helpful if you have damaged hair because it is extra moisturizing and strengthening.
Olive oil also helps strengthen hair and is an excellent choice for super kinky hair that is typically difficult to comb through because it works to smooth hair out.
If you have thinning hair, especially around your edges, black castor oil will help rejuvenate your scalp and promote growth.
Further, you may be interested in purchasing lighter oil if you have a protective hairstyle or if you have locs and want to avoid too much buildup.
Finally, you may be focusing on the health and appearance of your hair, or you may want to focus on your scalp. Some oils work well specifically for the scalp, like jojoba and tea tree oil, because they are lighter and have a cooling effect.
Your hair porosity is another essential factor to consider before purchasing hair oil.
If you have low porosity hair, it’s typically more difficult for your hair to receive moisture, but once your hair gets that moisture, it retains the moisture efficiently.
Lightweight oil will help penetrate the hair cuticle more easily if this is your case. Opt for oils like jojoba, almond, and grapeseed.
If you have high porosity hair, it’s typically easy for your hair to receive moisture, but it doesn’t last – that moisture escapes quickly, and your hair is dry again.
If this is your case, opt for heavier oils like coconut oil, castor oil, and olive oil because they are extra moisturizing, helping to retain moisture and reduce dryness and frizz.
Best Oil Brands for African American Hair
There are dozens of brands that produce some of the best oil for natural black hair, but we’ve selected a few of the best oil brands that cater specifically to the 3A – 4C hair that African Americans typically have.
The Mane Choice is an excellent oil brand that provides many natural oil collections for kinky, curly, wavy, and straightened African American hair.
They even have a collection of products called “Do It Fro The Culture” that caters specifically to people with afros.
Aunt Jackie’s is another excellent oil brand choice for natural black hair because they make their products specifically for curls and coils. Their products tend to emphasize coconut oil, which is terrific for hair in need of ample moisture.
Cantu offers award-winning hair care products for textured hair that primarily features shea butter. And remember, shea butter works wonders not only to moisturize but also to repair, revitalize, and protect your natural hair.
Tropic Island Living has a DIY pure oils collection so that you can choose which specific oils you want to use on your hair and even make your own oil blends at home. They offer several oils featured in this article, including jojoba, grapeseed, sweet almond, coconut, argan, and avocado.
Shea Moisture also prioritizes the best oil for natural black hair in their product line. No matter what the product is — from shampoos to conditioners to masks and even to skincare products — they make sure to include oils and other natural ingredients. Some of their ingredients include but are not limited to castor oil, shea butter, dragonfruit, coconut, and aloe vera.
Other trusted oil brands for African American hair include Genuine African Formula, African Pride Moisture, Mielle Organics.
There are clearly many different kinds of oils for natural black hair that can help improve various elements of your hair and scalp. Coconut oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, olive oil, and argan oil are some of the best, but there are others that might be even more suitable for your hair type.
It may seem confusing at first, but simply think of what your hair and scalp need the most and find the best oil to match that need.
Top Oils for Natural Black Hair, Final Thoughts
All of the oils on this list do a great job moisturizing and smoothing your hair, making it softer, shinier, bouncier, and more manageable.
But if you want an easy application, moisture retention, significant repair, or long growth, you may want to focus on a specific oil. We wish you the best of luck in selecting the best oil for natural black hair that will suit your specific hair requirements!