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3-Way Test: Almond, Olive, and Coconut Oil for DIY Hair Repair

So I took my ombre to the next level and went even lighter than I was a few weeks ago. I haven’t had light hair in years and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Still pretty natural, I can pull it back and look totally brunette, or leave it down and be slightly blondish. I went to Yuri at Sin Den in Shibuya to take it up a notch. (JP girls: this place is a splurge but totally worth it… you get what you pay for with color I think!).  As soon as I saw the purple toner and her teasing technique I knew I was in safe hands. Foils are cool for a few highlights… but for dramatic color than blends well you want the “teased-and-painted” process.

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Anyway Yuri rocked it, but I noticed my hair lost some gloss during the process. Also, and maybe I’m crazy, but it seemed like the texture of my hair changed too. I haven’t lightened my hair in years so maybe I’m just naïve, but it seems like my hair is… billowy-er? I can’t explain it. It’s not fried per se, just fluffier and lighter in weight. I realize this sounds dumb but it’s the best way I can describe it. Anyway…

I did some research. I’ve been a huge fan of almond oil for pretty much everything, and I always use olive oil and Witch Hazle for eye makeup remover (mix half and half in a small bottle—it’s super effective, moisturizing, and costs pennies!). But for hair—which oil is the best to restore shine? I did some serious testing this week. Here’s what I found out.

Day One. Almond oil.

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I love almond oil oh so much, but I have to admit… it didn’t blow me away when I did an overnight treatment on my hair. Yes, it was a bit softer, but no real difference when is came to shine or texture. I’ll keep using it for my skin though—I LOVE the smell and it leaves my skin super soft. Here’s what I use—I buy it at iherb.com.

Day Two. Olive oil.

Ooooh. This totally worked! Much glossier locks the following morning. My hair loved this. I coated my hair from about my ears to the tips and braided it, then put a towel down on my pillow. The next day I washed it really well and conditioned it lightly just so I could comb it out. After I blew it out I noticed a serious difference. I just used what I had in my kitchen. Nothing fancy here.

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Day Three. Coconut oil.

We have another winner, folks. I went to the foreign food shop with my pal Becca (who is a super fox and does her hair red) and we both picked up jars of unprocessed, virgin coconut oil. It’s thick and hard but emulsifies instantly in your hands. I did the same braid and slept with the stuff in my hair.

The nest morning? Shiny, soft, and super manageable. Coconut oil contains rich fatty acids, iron, and vitamins A and K. It’s been proven to reduce protein loss in hair and is used for countless beauty and health fixes. It’s getting a lot of hype these days for good reason—it’s the bomb.

Here’s what I used. For Tokyo locals, I bought it at National Azabu in Hiro-o for about 1700 yen. It’s a mid sized jar, but a little scoop goes a loooong way. This jar will last quite a while.

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If you have any oil tricks I should know about PLEASE let me know! I’m playing with a lot of natural and organic products these days, so I’m looking for great sites and links!

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Here’s to happy shiny hair!

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