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8 Thoughts on No Oils No Butters

8 Thoughts on No Oils No Butters

Today’s post is about my honest opinion about the No Oils No Butters trend in the natural hair community.


So first, let’s make it real quick: YES, I personally think the way we use raw oils and butters can prevent us from having hydrated hair! But it’s actually not that easy to point fingers on them solely. That’s why I said “the way we use raw oils and butters“. Let’s discuss it.


1. Oils and Butters as a Sealant

Have you heard of the LOC or LCO Method? This method used to be my holy grail when I first went natural in 2010. We all know that if you’re blessed with especially type 4 hair the quest of preventing dry hair is totally real. Both methods actually sound very plausible in the way that we should layer products to keep the moisture in the strands.

But if we’re really honest, how many of us are really successful with these methods? Why, why and why do we have to frequently wet or dampen our hair and apply a cream and oil base on our strands? And there are no limits to how often we do this. Some naturalistas do this from several times a week to even daily. If it would really help to seal the moisture in the strands with creams and oils, then why are we consistently fighting dry hair? Why can’t we just seal after finishing the hair wash and be good until the next one?

These questions made me to stop the use of oils, butters and creams as a sealant. When I left the Maximum Hydration Method for good, I was back to desert land. I found myself in the never ending cycle of spraying the hair with water, then putting a cream (moisturiser or leave-in conditioner) on top to seal it! There was a time where I hated to restyle my hair every night with this method. So I would simply just leave my hair in a bun, uncombed, slap the products over and leave my hair be for several weeks. Until today my mum teases me on how I don’t like to comb my hair.

I didn’t care anymore how it looked and neglected the breakage on my shoulders and on the floor. Whenever I wanted to look nice I would apply my “LOC” on the hair, believing I had low porosity hair. Water in the sense of washing the hair was my enemy, so I was consistently creating buildup on my hair. Also, with every hair wash my hair felt dryer and more brittle then ever. There was absolutely no hydration happening in my hair strands.

This is also why I reintroduced shampoos into my hair care. My clay washes and co-washes couldn’t handle the buildup I had on the strands with my infrequent washes. Sealing the hair with oils and butters while doing the Curly Girl Method won’t help because most of the conditioners are not strong enough to cleanse the hair from oil residues.

Now comparing how my hair looks and feels now, it has definitely something to do with me abandoning the use of raw oils and butters to seal my hair. But I also use shampoos that cleanse my hair and scalp throughly. Without the use of shampoos I could find myself back in buildup-land. Because we have to be honest. Most of us use more than just raw oils and butters. It begins with leave-ins and ends with multiple layers of gels and edge control!

2. Oils and Butters as a Moisturiser

Oils and Butters aren’t moisturisers. The word moisturiser comes from moisture. Moisture means the tiny drops of water in the air, on a surface or on the ground. Other words are for ex. damp, liquid and water.

So if you think you’re moisturising your hair with grapeseed oil, olive oil or coconut oil, please stop it. A moisturiser has to have water inside. Oils and butters will make your hair feel soft and pliable, but hydration can not happen without the use of a water based product.

And trust me I’ve been there… Especially when I wanted to prevent my hair from reverting. I new that water based products would give me shrinkage and thought I could just use oils and butters instead.

3. Oils and Butters for the Scalp

This is not really easy to answer. I love to make hair “growth” oils for my family. Shea butter was my main resource to open extension braids, remove the dreaded section und detangle my hair. I can only talk for my own scalp, but it has never worked for me. If you’re suffering with scalp issues, you go better see a doctor!

4. Oils and Butters as a Prepoo Treatment

The idea behind it sounds very plausible. A pre-wash treatment for hair that will prevent the stripping effects of shampoos. Since oils and butters don’t easily get rinsed out of hair, a lot of it will remain on the hair strands which will give you a soft feeling. Many do it also to prevent hygral fatigue.

But here I seriously wonder how many of us actually are suffering from “over moisturised” hair from the use of shampoos? Isn’t it more likely to get hygral fatigue from conditioners that are left inside the hair with heat for a couple of hours? I have really soft hair when I use regular shampoos or moisturising shampoos. Even after the third lather it still feels soft. If the hair feels too stripped and too clean isn’t it better to switch up your regular shampoo? Instead of putting a barrier on your hair which will later prevent the conditioner (emulsion of oil, butter and water based agents) to work on the hair strands?

What I also don’t understand is when naturals say an oil prepoo prevents the removal of moisture during shampoo sessions. How can moisture be removed while streams of water run down the strands? In fact hydration or moisture happens effectively when the hair cuticles are slightly raised in order to let water in. Hair strands have a ph of 3.7. I’m not a scientist but here’s the thing: If using cleansing agents with a higher ph raises the cuticles and we’re using excessive amount of oils and butters, aren’t more of these molecules bonding the hair strands than water molecules? Does it then mean we’re preventing our strands to get hydrated to its maximum potential ?

And what’s the job of conditioners then if we use oil prepoos? Are they not supposed to bring the ph back down, make the hair feel pliable, soft and easy to detangle?

5. Oils and Butters for soft Hair

First of all, depending on what and how much you use, oils and butters can make your hair look and feel greasy. I think the reason why many type 4 hair ladies use them is that you don’t see the “greasy” look. We will only see and feel it on our fingers. Since many of us only have a natural sheen. We tend to use more than need to achieve a shiny and glossy hair texture which will look silky. I can only talk for my hair, but when I only use shampoo and let it dry in braids or twists, it feels soft for a couple of days. For me, this means I actually don’t need to additionally put raw oils and butters to my hair. Leave-ins and styling butters are enough to use. But of course, everybody’s hair ist different.

6. Oils and Butters to make us simply Feel Good

It may sound strange to others but don’t you like the feeling of pouring oil over your face and skin? Or what about the silky smooth feeling of melting solid butters into the palm of your hands? Coco Nut Who, What? I’m here for it. Rubbing these oils and butters onto my skin and hair and watching how it absorbs makes me really happy! And let’s be honest, we all love the feeling of pliable hair. So the more we use, the better we think our hair is soft. But unfortunately we’re drying our hair strands out.

7. The cycle of adding products over products over products

These days I’m really cautious and intentional about what natural hair content I consume. Yes, I’m saying consume! We all love watching Youtube videos and scroll through Instagram and TikTok for hours. But how many of us are actually questioning what’s been presenting towards us. How come these hair influencers have dirty hair, layer a thousand products onto their hair and we would watch and share those videos. AND later we would complain how these hair brands have been fooling us because they don’t work. Let me tell you, most of the products are working but WE’re the ones using them wrong! Next time before you try out specific styling products you need to read the instructions in the back. If it doesn’t say put raw oils and butters on your hair, then don’t do it. If you do, you’re actually degrading the performance of the hair product and you’re wasting money.

8. Why don’t we just simply wash our hair more often?

Really, what is the problem? I’m not saying we should waste water BUT why do we shower everyday without getting our scalp clean? Why do we spend huge sums of money on face beauty products and wash it regularly? Would you oil your face everyday and only wash it twice a month? I don’t think so.. So, who has come up with the idea that oil is better than water? Our hair could perform so different regardless of using raw oils and butters if we would cleanse it more often. Have you noticed. Many of us struggle in the winter months because of bad hair care advise. And then we spend the entire rest of the year repairing the dehydration and damage. Why are we advised to wash the hair less but to increase the use of oils and butters. Winter time actually doesn’t dry our hair out. Water doesn’t dry our hair out. It will actually give you the moisture you need for the cold and dry season. Don’t be fooled and walk another year into the mad cycle of dryness.


1 Comment

  1. Hloni
    2022-11-09 / 16:45

    Love it:-) Finally someone who calls out this insanity we are being told about our hair.
    I just discovered your website and instagram page.
    I like the way you think and question things.

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