diy formulation educational series – hair oils

welcome to the first part of the new DIY Formulation Educational Series! today we’re starting out light and formulating hair oils!

as always, NONE of the links provided are affiliates. i do not benefit in any way, i’m just trying to point you to reputable suppliers that i personally use.



here are 3 hair oils that may be worth your time to DIY, taking inspiration from currently sold products.



product inspiration ingredients:

ungurahua oil, palo santo oil




ungurahua is by far my favorite hair oil and i don’t care how bad it smells. i’ve posted about it here and use it in my all time favorite hair oil DIY here.  as for formulation, palo santo oil is an EO, so we know it’s not above a 2% concentration. let’s assume 2%.

diy formula:



product inspiration ingredients:

coconut oil, camellia seed oil, argan oil, moringa seed oil, evening primrose oil, tamanu oil, marula oil, black cumin seed oil, lavender EO, rosemary EO, orange bitter EO, vanilla oil




the ingredient list indicates virgin coconut oil, which is a semi-solid at cooler room temperatures. given this is a hair oil, we have to either assume, 1 – it’s a lower concentration that keeps the end result liquid, or 2 – they’re listing as virgin but using fractionated. for this dupe we’ll be kind and assume it’s not fractionated, and keep it at 20%. argan oil tends to smell not nice, so i’ll keep it at 15% contribution. tamanu is quite viscous and sticky, so i will use it as a line in the formula at 5%. lastly, the total concentration of EOs will not exceed 2% for this formula, even though that’s a tad high. let’s split those evenly for ease of use.

diy formula:



product inspiration ingredients:

dimethicone, dimethiconol, shea butter oil, cottonseed oil, moringa seed oil, passionfruit seed oil, tocopherol, hydrogenated soybean oil, limonene, citral, eugenol, linalool


no dimethicones, no cottonseed oil, no hydrogenated soybean oil.


finding the ingredients for this expensive hair oil was really difficult, and that always raises a red flag to me. then when i finally found it, i saw the first ingredient is dimethicone. uh no, bye. also, shea butter oil indicates it is refined and liquid at room temperature. this is overall a terrible blend going for over $100 an ounce and i do not suggest buying it or DIYing it, because you can make a better one. and cue diy.

diy formula:


what do you think? what’s your favorite hair oil blend?



PS – i’m not blind to the fact that being “crunchy” has been dragged in the green beauty community lately. if you care about that sort of stuff, you should know upfront i’m unapologetically closer to the ‘purist’ end of the green beauty scale. all of the diys i post will be closer to ‘crunchy’. there are other wonderful DIY blogs out there to check out that are more flexible with what’s used in their formulations and i support them 100%! 🙂 everyone is welcome here!

intensive (customizable) hair oil treatment… that’s not with coconut oil

i don’t outright have anything against coconut oil, even though we broke up, but i’ve found that other oils are just better suited for hair and skin.

in this instance, while i still absolutely champion unrefined coconut oil as a great overnight hair treatment, i have one that’s even better.

this recipe can be altered to suit your needs and budget, so i’ll provide a few options. you can of course still revise it to be more what you want. if you have your own recipe, please share it below!

the original formulation i made for this potent overnight hair treatment contains 4 oils, one of which i’ve sang praises for for years.


and as with most of my favorite DIYs, this can be used as a post-shower body oil. if you have mature skin that’s not sensitive and acne-prone, leave out the ungurahua oil and it’d miraculous on fine lines and complexion.

today we’ll focus on hair benefits, but please explore skin benefits, too. researching and learning is the best part! well, other than playing with formulas! 🙂

you’ll want all of these oils to be unrefined. if you can also find wildcrafted, that would awesome.

two of the four oils don’t have the best smell, so you may want to blend in a few drops of some EOs… lavender, rosemary, etc.


  • properties:
    • rich in omega-9
    • wide range of hair uses, including healing scalp issues, taming frizz and curls, intensive moisturizing, helping with hair loss and growth, and boosting shine
  • consistency
    • medium viscosity
  • smell:
    • very earthy and a tad horse-barn-y. it dominates the blend.


  • properties:
    • higher in vitamin C than oranges
    • high content of carotenoids, B1, B2, zinc, potassium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and calcium
    • combats dryness, scaling, and psoriasis
    • excellent on hair after heat and chemical damage
  • consistency:
    • light viscosity at room temperature and very dense/paste-like in cooler temperatures
  • smell:
    • dusty orangey nuts


  • properties:
    • rich in beta-carotene
    • stimulates and regenerates follicles
    • alleviates scalp issues, like dryness, itchy scalp, dandruff, and hair loss
  • consistency:
    • medium viscosity at room temperature and paste-like in cooler temperatures
  • smell:
    • a little smokey


  • properties:
    • rich in phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and sulfur
    • rich in vitamins A, B, and C
    • helps prevent hair loss and boosts shine and luster
    • helps soothe dandruff
  • consistency:
    • very thick like castor oil at room temperature, and semi-solid at cooler temperatures
  • smell:
    • very faint scent of maybe an overripe guava fruit

i keep mine in a 100 mL / 3.4 fl oz glass dropper bottle, and put a label on it for 3.3 fl ounces, so i can take it through airport security as a carry-on. i think a dropper bottle for this DIY is better than the pump bottle option, because you can drop it directly onto your scalp. totally personal preference.

below are variations you can try, sorted by purpose and price tag. each oil runs about $25 for 4 ounces.

for each one, use a few drops on damp hair a few times a week, and/or apply to damp hair generously as a mask, wrap in a plastic bag and then a towel, and leave in overnight. wash out gently, conditioner seems to work best, when you wake up.

please note that if you have very damaged, porous hair, and/or fine hair that gets weighed down easily, you may want to just use these sparingly or be ready to need a second wash to get them out.

feel free to mix and match your own!

ideal formula ($$$$) – pictured above; what i use

  • pour 0.75 ounces of each oil into the jar and shake
  • cost: ~$100 up front and makes 5 bottles of 100 mL/3.4 fl oz hair serum

formula suited more for chemically and heat damaged hair ($$)

  • 2 ounces pequi
  • 1 ounce ungurahua oil

formula suited more for solving scalp issues ($$)
ex: dandruff, hair loss, itchy scalp, psoriasis

  • 1.5 ounces caiaue (ojon) oil
  • 1.5 ounces pequi oil

formula suited more for stimulating hair growth ($$)

  • 1.5 ounces caiaue (ojon) oil
  • 1.5 ounces guava seed oil

formula suited more for shine and luster ($)

  • 3 ounces guava seed oil

formula suited more for softness, frizz control, and defining curls ($)

  • 3 ounces ungurahua oil (won’t smell pretty)


  • all-around kick-butt hair oil in all categories – ungurahua oil
  • very curly and/or very damaged hair – pequi oil
    • doubles as body oil
    • triples as a face oil for mature skin (high in oleic acid and should be avoided by sensitive and acne-prone skin)
  • hair growth – caiaue oil

have you tried any of these? please share your experiences and own formulations with our community below!


stop buying hair oils (d.i.y. one instead)

by all means, buy a hair oil if you want to and if it works for you. i just needed a catchy title and that was my sad attempt. it also rings true though because price gouging customers in the green beauty industry drives me bonkers. but more on that later…

today i’m sharing my favorite hair oil that can go in any 2 ounce or 50 mL glass jar you have. i’ve found the droppers to be the best fit for hair use. AND – since it’s less than 2 ounces, you can take this through airport security.

this blend is a combination of the best oils i’ve come across either through buying and trying, or through reader and friend experiences.

please be sure to apply sparingly to DAMP hair for the best results.


  • 0.5 ounces ungurahua oil
  • 0.5 ounces sacha inchi oil
  • 0.5 ounces abyssinian oil
  • 3 to 6 drops of essential oils
    • i highly suggest: 3 drops lavender, 2 drops bergamont, 1 drop sandalwood

and where to purchase (no affiliates or anything of the sort; links only provided for reader ease):

*please note that the ungurahua doesn’t have the most amazing smell, but it has the most amazing hair results, hands down.

getting the 4 ounce versions of each ingredient allows you to make 8 bottles of hair oil. that’s a lot. maybe you can gift a few to your friends and family?

>> in any case, it’ll cost you between $10-$12 per bottle of hair oil. another brand sells their ONE ounce version of ungurahua hair oil for $175. yes, you read that correctly.

what are your favorite hair oil blends?


lightweight luxe body and hair oil (d.i.y.)

i’m a firm believer that you can d.i.y. beauty products for results that rival high-end quality products.  this d.i.y. is a perfect example of that — simple, stunning, body and hair care magic right here.

this is a very lightweight body AND hair oil, made with fatty and hydrating, yet extremely fast-absorbing oils. the recipe is intended for a 3 ounce bottle, but can be tailored to any amount you desire.

3 base ingredients. 10 minutes of your time. silky smooth skin and hair to follow.


this blend is exactly what’s currently in my bathroom for my post-shower body oil. i’ve added rose, jasmine, and lavender EOs for a soft floral scent that lingers for hours.

while this oil is intended for use post-shower on wet skin, it will still absorb quickly into dry skin.

keep in mind that buying in bulk can be cheaper, and you can make more body/hair oil, or anything else you want with what’s leftover. this recipe is definitely on the splurge end, but is cheaper than buying a really nice quality body oil over time, and you can control precisely what’s in it.

what you need:

  • 100 mL pump bottle
  • organic chia seed oil
  • chia seed co2 extract
  • marula oil

how-to (my favorite blend):

  • 1.5 ounces chia seed co2 extract
  • 1 ounce marula oil
  • 0.5 ounce chia seed oil
  • 10-15 drops EOs, as desired

how-to (saves a little money):

  • 1.5 ounces chia seed oil
  • 1 ounce chia seed co2 extract
  • 0.5 ounce marula oil
  • 10-15 drops EOs, as desired

where to purchase (no affiliates whatsoever – just what i use):

if you try this recipe, please share your experience below.


*please do not take this recipe and sell it – i made it up in my own little brain and that would just be rude. spread the crunchy love and link back/credit where it is due. love!

favorite hair oils

over the past few years, i’ve shared a lot about my own personal hair care routines and things i use. for this post, i wanted to give credit to a few oils that have stood the test of time in my journey. hopefully they can sneak their way onto your bathroom counters and shelves, too (if they haven’t already)!


as always, make sure your oils are pure, cold-pressed, and organic or wild-harvested (even better).

UNGURAHUA – moisturizing, shine boosting, strengthening, nourishing, healing

hands down, this greenish-yellowish oil takes the cake for haircare as far as i’m concerned. sourced from central and south america, this seed oil, rich in omega-9, is touted for its wide range of hair uses, including healing scalp issues, taming frizz, intensive moisturizing, helping with hair loss, and boosting shine. it only takes 3 to 4 drops to make my hair lustrous and super soft, usually done once a week mid-way between weekly “washes.” disclaimer: this oil smells like an earthy barn. i’m not quite sure how to describe it, but it could use some essential oil action if you’re sensitive to smells, especially if you’re using more than a few drops at once.
i bought my latest bottle here (not an affiliate; just trying to help). it’s a little pricey at about $8/ounce, but it will last a long time and is well worth the money.

CHIA SEED – nourishing & hydrating

this light yellow seed oil is lightweight and chock full of omega fatty acids. it’ll leave your hair moisturized and smooth, also helping to promote hair growth and soothe dry/itchy scalps. best of all – it’s a kickbutt body oil that absorbs super fast! note – please keep this oil in the fridge once opened. note II – this oil is edible!
i bought my latest bottle here (again, not an affiliate) for about $4/ounce.

HEMP SEED – nourishing & hydrating

most likely old news to you, but hemp seed oil, containing omega-3/6/9, is still one of my favorites for hair and body. it’s healing and hydrating, absorbing quickly in small amounts. you can use it to promote hair growth with its follicle nourishing properties, or soothe scalp issues. it’s a cool, swampy green and has a little bit of a seedy/earthy smell. it does go rancid more quickly than other oils, so like chia seed oil, please keep this in the fridge once you open it and use it quickly. note – this oil is edible!
i bought mine here (again, not an affiliate).

learning about and testing various oils has been one of my favorite parts of my green beauty journey. please share your favorite hair oils below!

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sea buckthorn oil – benefits & uses

if there’s one type of ingredient that i preference over others in the crunchy world, it’d be oils. the vast array and uses for them is incredible. some oils are more “powerful” than others, and among these powerhouse oils is sea buckthorn oil.

pressed from both the seed and berry (for different uses), this tree berry oil can be used both externally and internally for a variety of purposes.


what is sea buckthorn?


Continue reading sea buckthorn oil – benefits & uses