The 14 Best Hair Oils for Healthy Hair

Plant-derived goodness.

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The 18 Best Hair Oils in 2022

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

The thing about applying oil to your hair is that it can make it look, well… oily. If you have particularly thick or curly hair, you might be able to use oils for styling, but for everyone else, it's more about nourishing, moisturizing, and protecting the follicles.

Final Verdict

Olaplex's No.7 Bonding Oil is our favorite hair oil, thanks to its patented bond-binding technology that can repair damaged hair. For a more budget-friendly option, the plant-based Bio:Renew Argan Aloe Repair Hair Oil Mist from Herbal Essences is lightweight and effective.

According to celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein, every hair type can benefit from oils. "Fine or coarse, the ends of anyone's hair need an oil," she tells Byrdie. "It can be a lot or the smallest amount, but please seal at least the very ends."

UK-based trichologist Kate Holden says oils are also good for the scalp. For instance, "tea tree, peppermint, ginger, and cade oil can help alleviate itchiness and reduce inflammation." Whether you're looking to add shine, smooth flyaways, seal split ends, or encourage new growth, there's a formula out there for you.

Here are the best hair oils you can buy online.

Best Overall: Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

4.9
Olaplex No.7 Bonding Hair Oil

Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Repairs broken bonds

  • Improves elasticity

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Olaplex does it again. The brand's No.7 Bonding Oil clocked a 4.9 out of 5 overall score from our home tester, who appreciated that the lightweight formula left her hair shiny while smoothing flyaways and reducing frizz. It also offers heat protection from temps as high as 450 degrees, so if you flat-iron or blow-dry often, this one's for you.

Though Olaplex's patented bond-building molecule was developed to reverse some of the damaging effects of bleach, hair dye, and chemical processing, any hair type can reap the benefits. The technology is blended with grape seed and green tea oil to offer nourishment and improve elasticity.

Key Ingredients: Bis-aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, grape seed, fermented green tea oils | Free of: Sulfates, gluten | Dosage: Small amount as needed | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What Our Testers Say

“The product excels at taming flyaways, whether you're leaving your hair down or styling it in a slicked-back ponytail.” — Melony Forcier, Product Tester

Best Budget: Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Argan Aloe Repair Hair Oil Mist

Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Argan Aloe Repair Hair Oil Mist

Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Lightweight

  • Nice scent

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains PEGs

Herbal Essences was plant-based before it was cool. This lightweight hair mist contains a blend of argan oil and aloe vera to smooth flyaways, define curls, and replenish weakened hair. The lush botanical scent is pretty amazing, too.

Key Ingredients: Argan oil, aloe vera | Free of: Sulfates, mineral oil | Dosage: A few sprays on damp or dry hair | Size: 4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment

Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Versatile

  • Lightweight

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains BHT

"Coconut oil is sometimes recommended as an emollient to help with dry skin and dandruff," says Holden. L'Oréal combines this natural moisturizer with sunflower oil to seal the hair cuticle and condition brittle hair.

Key Ingredients: Sunflower and coconut oils | Free of: Sulfates, mineral oil | Dosage: Small amount to wet or dry hair | Size: 3.4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Splurge: Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil

Sephora

What We Like
  • Strengthening

  • Seals split ends

  • Leaves hair shiny

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains dyes

We realize this is a lot of money to shell out for a few ounces of product, but if you can swing it, your hair will thank you. Gisou infuses honey with sweet almond oil to moisturize dry, brittle hair, seal split ends, and deliver stronger, shinier hair.

Key Ingredients: Honey, sweet almond oil | Free of: Mineral oil, parabens, sulfates | Dosage: 1 to 2 drops | Size: 1.7 oz. or 3.4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Serum: The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Serum

The Body Shop Ginger Scalp Serum

Amazon

What We Like
  • Non-greasy formula

  • Balances oil production

  • Trichologist-recommended

What We Don’t Like
  • Oil isn't primary ingredient

Holden is a fan of The Body Shop's Ginger Scalp Serum. The non-greasy, nourishing blend promises to balance oil production while relieving dry, itchy skin on your scalp.

Key Ingredients: Ginger essential oil, birch bark extract | Free of: Sulfates, parabens | Dosage: 1 to 2 drops per section when hair is dry | Size: 1.7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best K-Beauty: British M Annatto Hair Oil

British M Annatto Hair Oil

Amazon

What We Like
  • Award-winning product

  • Suitable for all hair types

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

This award-winning Korean treatment contains a medley of hair-loving oils, including argan, sunflower, and pumpkin seed. The star ingredient is annatto, a highly pigmented carotenoid that provides antioxidant benefits while giving the mixture a glowy golden hue.

Key Ingredients: Argan, sunflower, and pumpkin seed oils, annatto | Free of: Mineral oil, silicone, sulfates | Dosage: 1 to 2 pumps on dry or damp hair | Size: 4.7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Shine: Ouai Hair Oil

4.5
Ouai Hair Oil

Ulta

What We Like
  • High-gloss formula

  • Smooths frizz

  • Nice scent

What We Don’t Like
  • Contains silicone

If it's shine you're after, look no further than Ouai Hair Oil. A few drops of the high-gloss formula are all you need to smooth frizz, add bounce, and achieve all-around healthier-looking hair. The musky-floral fragrance is delightful, too.

Key Ingredients: Ama, borage, and baobab seed oils | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, phthalates | Dosage: 1 to 3 drops on wet hair | Size: 1.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Argan: Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

Amazon

What We Like
  • Only one ingredient

  • Smooths frizz

  • Versatile

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

This best-selling tincture contains nothing more than 100 percent pure argan oil (aka hair's favorite ingredient). It restores moisture to dry hair, tackles frizz, temporarily seals split ends, and helps condition damaged, brittle hair.

Key Ingredients: Argan oil | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, gluten, alcohol | Dosage: A few drops | Size: 1.7 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Castor: Briogeo B. Well Organic + Cold-Pressed 100% Castor Oil

Briogeo B. Well Organic + Cold-Pressed 100% Castor Oil

Amazon

What We Like
  • Only one ingredient

  • Organic

  • Fair Trade product

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

This 100 percent pure, cold-pressed, organic castor oil is ethically sourced and Fair Trade certified. Rich in fatty acids, it provides moisture and nourishment while protecting your hair follicles and improving elasticity.

Key Ingredients: Castor oil | Free of: GMOs, mineral oil, fragrance, dyes | Dosage: Small amount as needed | Size: 1.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Damaged Hair: Carol's Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair & Scalp Oil

Carol's Daughter Goddess Strength 7 Oil Blend Hair & Scalp Oil

Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don’t Like
  • May weigh down fine hair

True to its name, Goddess Strength is formulated to bring damaged, brittle hair back from the brink. It calls on jojoba and castor oils to nourish, protect, and condition while encouraging new growth.

Key Ingredients: Castor and jojoba oils | Free of: Parabens, mineral oil, dyes | Dosage: Small amount as needed | Size: 4.2 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Curly Hair: Pattern Jojoba Oil Hair Serum

Pattern Jojoba Oil Hair Serum

Ulta

What We Like
  • Adds bounce

  • Leaves hair shiny

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don’t Like
  • May weigh down fine hair

If you're rocking curls, Pattern's ultra-moisturizing serum is your best bet. A medley of olive, jojoba, rosehip, and safflower oils coats each strand to add bounce and shine, then focuses on repairing your scalp's skin barrier to support healthy hair from root to tip.

Key Ingredients: Jojoba, olive, rosehip, and safflower oils | Free of: Parabens, sulfates, silicone | Dosage: A few drops to targeted areas | Size: 3.9 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Tight Textures: Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil

Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil

Bread Beauty Supply

What We Like
  • Award-winning formula

  • Vanity-worthy bottle

  • Leaves hair shiny

What We Don’t Like
  • May weigh down fine hair

Formulated for tight textures and curls, this oil-based gloss enhances your natural pattern, adds definition, and leaves you with shiny, healthy-looking hair. The fruity—but not overwhelmingly sweet—scent and vanity-worthy bottle are icing on the cake.

Key Ingredients: Sweet almond, castor, safflower, and argan oils | Free of: Mineral oil, sulfates, silicone | Dosage: Small amount on wet or dry hair | Size: 3.3 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Fine Hair: Monat Rejuveniqe Light Oil

Monat Rejuveniqe Light Oil

Monat Global

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Conditioning

  • Non-greasy formula

What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

  • Small amount

Rubenstein recommends the light version of Monat Rejuvenique for the fine-haired set. "It's like a conditioning treatment that stays in your hair after the shower," she tells Byrdie. "Start conservatively and add more if your hair needs it."

Key Ingredients: Meadowfoam, carrot, bergamot, and sunflower seed oils | Free of: Silicone | Dosage: Generous amount pre-shampoo or to damp hair | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Scalp: Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Alleviates itchiness

  • Supports healthy growth

What We Don’t Like
  • May weigh down fine hair

"There is some evidence that rosemary oil may help with hair growth," says Holden. Mielle combines this natural ingredient with peppermint and castor oils to tackle dandruff at the source, reduce itching, and provide nourishing moisture.

Key Ingredients: Castor, rosemary, and peppermint oils | Free of: Sulfates, synthetic fragrance | Dosage: A few drops as needed | Size: 2 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

If we could only recommend one hair oil, we'd have to go with Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil, a lightweight treatment that calls on patented technology to repair broken bonds, protect from heat damage, and improve elasticity. For something more budget-friendly, go with Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Hair Oil Mist, a non-greasy, versatile formula that smooths flyaways and replenishes weakened hair.

Meet the Expert

  • Clariss Rubenstein is a celebrity hairstylist specializing in scalp maintenance and damage control.
  • Kate Holden, AIT, is a trichologist consultant based in the United Kingdom. She provides diagnoses and treatments for various hair and scalp conditions.
  • Shelly Aguirre is a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. She specializes in cutting, blowouts, extensions, and keratin treatments.

What to Look For in a Hair Oil

Nutrient-Rich Plant Oils

When it comes to the very best oils for your hair, hairstylist Shelly Aguirre recommends a handful of natural, plant-based oils. “Coconut oil is very conditioning and is rich in vitamins and minerals that help heal the hair,” she says. She explains that it's also great for protecting against heat damage, making it a top choice for drier textures. In addition to coconut, she recommends nut-derived argan and almond oils, both of which are rich in protein and antioxidants. Castor oil is another favorite for thicker, curly hair and is great when used as a pre-shampoo treatment.

Avoid Mineral Oil

While the above oils are all great choices for deeply nourishing the hair, some oils shouldn't be slathered all over your scalp. Case in point? Mineral oil. Already considered to be an iffy ingredient in the beauty world, it’s known to cause excess buildup, which will not only lead to scalp issues down the road but will leave the hair feeling heavy and weighed down.

Fragrance-Free Formulas

Some hair oils smell heavenly, but if your scalp is particularly sensitive and prone to itchiness, it's best to avoid formulas with any added fragrance—even natural ingredients like essential oils. This can lead to irritation, inflammation, and more serious scalp breakouts. If you’re loving the scent of a particular hair oil but you aren't sure how your scalp will react, be sure to only apply it to your ends, keeping it as far away from the roots as possible. 

FAQ
  • Can you use a hair oil on oily hair?

    Aguirre says that experts have pretty mixed opinions when it comes to applying hair oil to oily hair. "There are a lot of conflicting views on oil for oily hair," she says. "Most dermatologists won’t recommend applying oil on oily scalps, while some haircare companies do."

    She goes on to explain that oil can clog pores, which isn’t good long-term, especially if you're prone to scalp blemishes and breakouts. At the same time, the cause behind an oily scalp will vary from case to case, and it can sometimes be hard to diagnose. “I would recommend asking your professional stylist what steps to take and which products to use if you're dealing with an oily scalp,” she says.

  • Do hair oils cause scalp acne?

    Scalp acne occurs when hair follicles get clogged with oil, dead skin cells, or product buildup, and several different factors can cause it. “If you’re experiencing occasional scalp acne, that’s totally normal—it may just be hormonal,” says Aguirre. However, she mentions that more frequent breakouts can be caused by something internal, like stress, or they can be triggered by the products you’re using—hair oils included. Hair oils and other products that contain a lot of oil can contribute to scalp buildup, causing acne or exacerbating an existing breakout. If your scalp is already prone to breakouts, be sure to avoid applying any oil-based products too close to the scalp or roots.

  • How do you apply hair oil?

    Hair oils can be used in a multitude of ways depending on the formula, weight, and your hair’s specific needs. Hair can be soaked in oil as a deep-conditioning pre-shampoo treatment, or it can be applied to wet hair pre-blowout as a shine-boosting styling treatment. Lightweight formulas can also be used on freshly styled hair to tame frizz and lock in shine.

    If you’re not using hair oil as a pre-shampoo treatment that you'll be washing out, Aguirre recommends avoiding applying it too close to your roots and scalp—especially if your hair is already on the oilier side.

  • When should you apply hair oil?

    Hair oil can be applied at any time to wet or dry hair, again, depending on the formula, weight, and your hair's needs. Aguirre prefers to apply hair oil on damp hair before a blowout. “Depending on the density, less might be more,” she adds. “Your brush will glide through the hair easier, and it will act as a protectant from the heat of your dryer. It also adds shine and body."

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is a freelance beauty writer and content creator. She interviewed two experts for this story, including a trichologist and a hairstylist, for insight into the benefits of hair oils and product recommendations. Before choosing the final products, she pored over user reviews and referenced scholarly journals to cross-check ingredients. Theresa has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, where she covers haircare, skincare, and lifestyle products.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview. Int J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450

  2. Al-Waili, N S. Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. European journal of medical research vol. 6,7 (2001): 306-8.

  3. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. Published 2017 Dec 27. doi:10.2147/CCID.S144180

  4. Oh, Ji Young et al. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs. Toxicological research vol. 30,4 (2014): 297-304. doi:10.5487/TR.2014.30.4.297

  5. Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damageJ Cosmet Sci. 2003;54(2):175-192.

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