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Natural Oils for Hair and Beauty

written by: Lindsay Evans•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 7/6/2010

The oils of many plants and nuts have been used for centuries in beauty regimens. Learn how to use natural oils, including olive and almond oils, in your skin care and hair care routines.

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    Natural Beauty

    Expensive beauty products often include petroleum-based ingredients and other synthetic materials that have questionable safety testing records. Why not use safe, natural oils in your beauty routine instead? When you know an ingredient is healthy to eat, you can be sure it is safe to use on your skin, your body's largest organ.

    You can use many common oils to maintain the health of your skin and hair. Olive oil, almond oil, and coconut oil are just the beginning of the natural products you can use to compliment your beauty routine. Feel free to add a drop or two of your favorite essential oils to add fragrance naturally.

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    Olive Oil

    Olive oil is terrific for your skin. Olive oil absorbs quickly to provide instant moisture and protection from the elements. Rub olive oil into your skin wherever you need it - on your hands, your cuticles, and even your face. Olive oil makes a wonderful non-allergenic light moisturizer for babies and young children.

    You can also use olive oil to moisturize your scalp and make your hair soft and shiny. For scalp care, rub a few tablespoons onto your scalp and let sit for 15 minutes. Comb your hair, then follow with a normal shampooing.

    To moisturize dry hair, gently warm a few tablespoons of olive oil, then comb through dry hair. Top with a plastic shower cap and let sit for 15 minutes. Follow with a normal shampooing. You can also add olive oil to your current conditioner to boost moisture.

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    Almond Oil

    Also called sweet almond oil, almond oil is a staple of natural beauty routines. Almond oil naturally contains Vitamin E and other beneficial nutrients and is light enough to use on the whole body, including the face.

    Make your own scented massage oil by adding a few drops of essential oil to a base of almond oil (ones to try include lavender, sandalwood, and rosemary essential oils). Use the oil not only during massages but as an after bath skin moisturizer on the whole body.

    Almond oil can benefit your hair and scalp when used in the same manner as described for olive oil above. Try any of the suggestions with a combination of olive and almond oils to find your favorite mix.

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    Coconut Oil

    Though it may seem rich and heavy, coconut oil is absorbed quickly into your skin. Use coconut oil wherever you have very dry skin or need extra moisture. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature but melts quickly from body heat when applied to the skin.

    Plain coconut oil makes a wonderful stretch mark prevention cream when rubbed on a pregnant woman's growing belly. Add the contents of a Vitamin E capsule to the coconut oil to make an extra-nourishing belly butter. Coconut oil is also a fantastic after bath moisturizer when applied to the whole body.

    Coconut oil is used extensively for hair care in India and many other countries. You can find coconut oil listed as an ingredient in many hair care products from conditioners to hair serums. Skip buying the expensive products and simply apply coconut oil to your scalp and hair once a week for a deep conditioning treatment. Rub in a few tablespoons, top with a shower cap, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Shampoo the coconut oil out and follow with a cold water rinse for healthy, shiny hair.