Infused oils also referred to as herbal oils are basically carrier oils like Olive, Coconut, Avocado, Grape seed and the lot that have been steeped, soaked or saturated with herbs. You know those oils in bottles, some fancy looking with interesting shapes that you find at the food section in supermarkets, food stores or some restaurants filled with all sorts of herbs and spices? Yeah, those are infused oils. I make my infused oils as needed so it is usually a tablespoon or two but they can be made in larger quantities and steeped for longer a week or more. I use my infused oil mostly in my deep conditioner or as a pre poo sometimes.
This is how I make my infused oil;
- Pick carrier oil of choice; I usually use coconut but have worked with olive as well.
- Select spices/herb/herbs of choice and place in a non-plastic bowl, I use a mini tea cup for this because it is ceramic keeps the heat in for longer and the oil and herbs “cook” for longer out of the stove; I have used rosemary leaves and ground mustard seeds so far. Both fresh and dried herbs can be used.
- Heat up the oil, about two tablespoons or less depending on its use, in a frying pan until very hot, takes less than five minutes. I make sure the kitchen windows are wide open for this.
- Pour the hot oil over the herbs
- Cover with cling film/saran wrap and leave to steep for anything between 8 – 24 hours and it is ready to use by this time as the oil will have picked up the flavour and scent of the herb and/or spice used. I strain with a spoon and the remaining herbs usually end up in food. The time it takes to steep for me depends on what time I remembered to make the oil prior to my wash day but it has never been less than 8 hours.
Different herbs and spices have different benefits for hair. Rosemary for example is said to help prevent hair thinning and hair loss, it is a great treatment for dandruff and creates a healthy environment for hair growth by stimulating hair follicles. Alternatively the oil and herbs can be heated up together. The infused oil can be made without heat simply by combining the herbs and oil in an airtight container and leave for up to two weeks. I prefer the heating method as a shortcut as I currently make my infused oil on a need to basis. Infused oils can also be used as salad dressing or marinades on their own or in conjunction with other ingredients. I plan to start making large kitchen batches of infused oils soon (like next week after I restock on oils) which I can then borrow from to use on my hair. If you use certain natural oils for your hair and to cook, do not feel compelled to buy separate oils for your hair and kitchen, just buy one big bottle to use in the kitchen and keep borrowing from that to use on your hair; that’s what the applicator bottles are for it also saves you some money since it is usually more economical to purchase large size products.
In other news have you all seen this video? Black Hair 101 love how she breaks it down!