Hair oil is an oil-based cosmetic product intended to improve the condition of hair. Various types of oils may be included in hair oil products. These often purport to aid with hair growth, dryness, or damage.
Many cosmetic products including shampoo, heat protectant, hair drops, or hair masks contain oils.
Humans produce natural hair oil called sebum from glands around each follicle. Other mammals produce similar oils such as lanolin. Similar to natural oils, artificial hair oils can decrease scalp dryness by forming hydrophobic films that decrease transepidermal water loss reducing evaporation from water from the skin. Oils on the hair can reduce the absorption of water that damages hair strands through repeated hygral stress as hair swells when wet, then shrinks as it dries. Oils also protect cuticle cells in the hair follicle and prevent the penetration of substances like surfactants. Saturated and monounsaturated oils diffuse into hair better than polyunsaturated ones.
Mineral and vegetable oils are used to make a variety of commercial and traditional hair oils. Coconut oil is a common ingredient. Other vegetable sources include almond, argan, babassu, burdock, Castor, and tea seed.
Natural oils are used more commonly as cosmetic products on the scalp. Natural oils come from natural resources that are very high in nutrients such as vitamins and fatty acids.[better source needed]
Coconut oil has properties that reduce protein loss in hair when used before and after wash. Coconut oil is known to have lauric acid, which is a type of fatty acid that may penetrate the hair shaft due to a low molecular weight and linear conformation.
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