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The essential men’s guide to oiling hair right, best products included

Growing up in India, we have all, at some point, had our hair oiled and massaged on a Sunday morning by our parents and grandparents. This seemingly innocent ritual, to which we rarely gave a second thought, is now becoming big globally. Hair experts world over are declaring hair oil the hottest grooming product of the season, with enthusiasts wanting to know which are the best hair oils for men.

“Oil plays a vital role in your hair care regime. Natural oils are loaded with different types of vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids, and are also considered as a quick remedy for dry scalp and hair,” says Bony Sasidharan, Schwarzkopf Professional, India. “The most commonly used oil in Indian households is coconut oil. These days, however, your neighbourhood salons stock a variety of innovative hair oils.”

Oils can be broadly classified into two main categories: Pre-shower and post-shower. The former is usually thicker and has a strong smell. It is to be applied, left on, and washed off. The latter is, as you would expect, applied to your hair after a shower, to style and finish your hair.

Pre-shower

hair oil
Image: Courtesy Kama/Myntra

“Oiling your hair at least once a week is an integral part of keeping it smooth, shiny and healthy. In addition to preventing excessive hair fall, hot oil hair massages also prevent premature greying. Oiling also stimulates circulation, thereby providing the essential nourishment for hair to remain nourished and healthy,” says Dr Sharad Kulkarni, Kama Ayurveda.

Pre-shower oils are traditionally used to soften and nourish the hair, as well as to curb hair loss. A hugely popular pre-shower hair oil is Kama Ayurveda’s Bringadi Hair Oil. Thick and strong to the smell, this oil is to be applied for 20-30 minutes before a thorough wash. This time-tested Ayurvedic product, after continued use, leaves your hair visibly thicker and healthier.

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Post-shower

Image: Courtesy Schwarzkopf’s

We recently discovered Schwarzkopf’s luxurious Oil Ultime bottles, which are perfect for post-shower use. These oils can be applied in small quantities to finish a hairstyle, to add some sheen to a blow-dried do, or even to replace hair gel or wax, which might dry your hair.

Experts say that applying a small quantity every day is the hair equivalent of regularly moisturising your face. “We have four different oils, Argan, Marula, Barbary fig, and Rose oil, which have different properties ranging from moisturizing to antioxidants for dry and coarse hair,” explains Sasidharan.

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Wella’s SP Luxe Oil Reconstructive Elixir
Image: Courtesy of Amazon

Another product that we recently discovered is Wella’s SP Luxe Oil Reconstructive Elixir. This particular oil has the texture of a serum and is packed with keratin, which can do wonders for your hair. This can either be used as a finishing product after you have set your hair or just as a leave-in product, combed in.

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hair oil
Image: Courtesy Suki’s

If you have dull hair that’s looking for some shine, we tried and tested Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime beautifying oil with Amla extract, Argan and corn germ oil, which, after a couple of uses, leaves your hair looking brighter and healthier. It can be best applied to damp hair, worked in with your fingers, and left all day to soak.

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Hair experts will, however, recommend washing your scalp thoroughly after use to prevent any extra oil residue on your scalp.

Take a look at some more hair oils that enhance hair growth and keep it frizz free while lending shine, nourishment, strength and smoothness to your hair.

Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil

Redken
Image credit: Redken

This premium hair oil gives dry and brittle hair the necessary moisture. Argan is an excellent oil, containing a mix of fatty acids and antioxidants.

Although this is more suited for dry hair, the omega-6-rich oil works superbly on all hair types. No wonder it’s hailed as “liquid gold”.

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OUAI Hair Oil

OUAI Hair Oil best hair oils men
Image: Courtesy of The Ouai

Created by celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin, this product is designed to smoothen frizzy hair and seal split ends. The OUAI Hair Oil contains a blend of some of the best oils like jojoba, sweet almonds, ama oil, Asian borage oil and African galanga, among many others. It seeps deep into every strand of hair and promotes a lustrous sheen.

The hair oil is great for dry hair but can also deliver the needed moisture to other hair types.

It emits a floral fragrance, comprising notes of violet, gardenia, ylang ylang and white musk. The aroma is calming and accentuates the senses on application.

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Charlotte Mensah Manketti Hair Oil

Charlotte Mensah
Image: Courtesy of Charlotte Mensah

Considered one of the best hair oils for men in the world, the main source of this product is a nut called Manketti.

The nut comes from the Mongongo tree and is widely used as a hair oil in parts of southern Africa. The nuts are rich in linoleic acid, vitamin E and omega-6, among other minerals.

Renowned hair stylist Charlotte Mensah found a way to merge organically-sourced nuts with Ximenia oil to produce a liquid that gives the hair an unparalleled shine and lightness to dehydrated hair. It also nourishes the scalp.

Though created especially for Afro-textured and curly hair, the oil works exceedingly well on other types too.

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Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil
Image: Courtesy of Shu Uemura

This outstanding product contains camellia oil, an extract produced from the seed of the camellia flower.

Known for rapid absorption, the oil lends shine, nourishment and hydration to the hair. It can be applied on coloured locks as it does not affect the shade and keeps hair healthy.

So the best hair care can be obtained without compromising on a trendy look.

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Rene Furterer Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Concentrate

Rene Furterer Complexe 5 best hair oils men
Image: Courtesy of Nykaa

Unless the scalp is extremely sensitive, this hair oil is a blessing for those grappling with hair fall.

A pre-wash oil, it has lavender and orange essential oils that rejuvenates the scalp and strengthens the roots, leaving you with your desired thick and shiny hair.

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Riaan George

Riaan J. George is a luxury journalist and blogger based between Mumbai, India and Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has also worked for several leading luxury publications including L’Officiel India, Eat Stay Love, Blackbook India and India Traveller. He is passionate about covering beats like luxury trends, grooming, men’s fashion, auto, hospitality and aviation.