Antonio’s View: My Favorite Hair Oils
by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, June 28th, 2010
I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’s.com, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.
See Antonio’s blog here.
I remember as a kid that natural hair oils were a big part of our culture when moisturizing the hair and fighting frizz. The local African, Indian and mixed races (like me) believed in their conditioning benefits and did not leave home without them. As I approached the beginning of my cosmetology career, products started becoming more refined and companies started using more water-based conditioners, saying that water was more moisturizing than oils. They claimed that oils were a bit harsh, clogging the scalp with over-absorption and making ethnic hair too limp and hard to style. We as hairstylists, all welcomed the new approach to getting healthier hair with the water-based conditioning hair treatments for fighting frizz.
Then silicone-based products took the market by storm and we hairstylists were educated on the use and benefits of high-grade silicone. High-grade silicone products were easier on the hair and were removed more easily, compared to low-grade silicone. We are now back to hair oils which are making a huge comeback. These oils are not the old-school raw coconut oils or even professional oils (like Pink oil) that stopped working after some time. Oh no, we now have oils that has been researched, perfected for the professional and taking over the market from the U.S. to Timbuktu.
From treatments to styling products, I am bringing to you, the salon owner and hairstylist, 15 years of the best hair oils, silicones and water-based products to help fight frizz and build your business.
These should always be used sparingly
Hamadi Healing Serum
Trust me when I say that this product is a healing experience for over-processed hair. When I first used this product, I honestly did not know what to expect. So many companies make claims to have the best product. One day I had a client for color only, she was leaving for the gym and wanted to do a rough blow dry on herself. I did not realize that she grabbed the Healing Serum by Hamadi, and she came running over to me saying; Feel my hair, feel my hair!! What is this!! Her hair felt amazing!! The product contains an amazing blend of organic oils such as ylang ylang, palmarosa, olive and avocado, just to name a few.
The Morocconoil Miracle
In Trinidad this product is all sold out!! If you have not heard of this product, you need to move back to earth. This product has brought oils back to the salon with grace, delivering results that you will love. It’s an ideal product for all hair types, especially curly or frizzy hair and I love adding it to my favorite curl cream for extra support. I even add it to my hair masks for my nieces at the beach. It makes love to the hair. (smile) Read more about this oil here.
Nautrina Rejuvenating Pure Oils
I have written about this product before so for those of you who missed it, I bring to you a safe product to add to your color to prevent any scalp irritation. It’s pretty straightforward and delivers results. In the past I’ve used all types of products for this purpose, even sugar! (I’m that old) This product is a must for your color dispensary and a few drops goes a long way. Your client will love you for it.
Should be able to easily be shampooed out of the hair.
BioSilk by Farouk
Oh yeah, baby, it’s old school time! Back to when man was created. (just kidding) I still love this product for fighting frizz. If I’m on a shoot and for some reason I don’t have my usual kit, I can run to the pharmacy and this product will deliver like it always has. It can be used on wet or dry hair, and offers great protection from heat. If you are a small, first-time salon owner and you can’t commit to the big-name brands, get this and I guarantee you and your clients will be happy.
Serum Oleo Relax
Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not always about straightening hair to remove frizz. This high-grade silicone product can be added to curls to help control frizz when air drying. A tiny bit goes a long way so, although it’s not cheap, your client will have it for a long time. Kerastase have also made a stronger product that’s similar, but it’s a little too heavy for my liking. I do know that with this company, you have to carry a certain amount of the line, so it may be too expensive to stock in your salon. If you can carry it, I say go for it!
Boost by Orlando Pita +T3
Let’s bring on the big boys. This product gives a boost to hair that’s dry and has also been cursed with the F word (FRIZZ). When blow drying use a tiny bit of this non-greasy weightless formula that transforms tired tresses. This fast acting nourishing and hydrating formulation aids in straightening and fighting frizz. Give your client’s hair a boost by using on wet hair for either air drying or for blow drying. Your clients with frizzy hair should also use a little bit of this product on wet hair before going in to the pool or ocean. It can also be used on dry hair before flat ironing. All of that from one little tube which is why when I talk about high-grade silicone this is what I mean. Read more about Boost here.
Should never be full of oil because we all know that water provides moisture as well.
Kerastase Age Recharge Masque
Although it’s a pricey product, it sells itself. For me, it’s easily one of the best hair masks I have used in a very long time. On virgin or color-treated hair, it will make your client’s hair feel nourished and shiny. And although it’s a cream, it will not leave your hair feeling lifeless. It really gives vitality back to stressed hair and adds shine to dull, aging hair.
Another Moroccanoil Miracle
This luxurious hydrating mask smells so good; it makes you want to put it on your carrot cake. I love how this product feels on my own hair and I even use it as a styling product at the beach. For a deeper treatment add some of the Moroccanoil treatment to the mask and see your client’s hair come alive. Its a great way to add a service that your client really needs which is not too expensive. Read more about Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask here.
Paul Mitchell Hair Repair Treatment
I remember going to my first hair show in the mid-’80s and hearing about the man himself, Paul Mitchell. His passing was a huge loss to the industry, but he left behind a product line that will be known by future stylists to come. This hydrating treatment is worth having in your salon and will change your client’s hair. The best part is that it’s not too expensive and in these times that is music to our client’s ears. Read more about this treatment here.
I am happy to have worked with all of these products. As a hair stylist it is important to offer my clients the help they deserve.