We Tested 29 Hair Oils — These 11 Keep Hair Moisturized and Silky Smooth

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil brings your hair back to life.

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Best Hair Oils


Mousse, serum, leave-in conditioner — the list of hair products is never ending, leaving you scratching your head trying to figure out what order to apply them, and if you actually need every single one. If there’s one product that can simplify your hair care routine and practically do it all, though, it’s hair oil. From conditioning your scalp, to smoothing frizz and offering heat protection, a simple blend of oils can be all you need to achieve the silky hair of your dreams.

Yet if you use the wrong oil for your hair texture, or apply too much, you can end up with greasy, brassy, heavy hair. That's why we spoke to celebrity hairstylists and tested 29 different hair oils in our lab to find the best ones for every hair type and texture. Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil was the universal favorite from the bunch, with its light texture, ample heat protection, and ability to seal split ends and flyaways. Needless to say, we crowned it Best Overall. 

No matter if your hair is thin or thick, curly or straight, your ideal hair oil is on this list. Below, find the best hair oils.

Best Overall

Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil

Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil


What We Love: This bonding hair oil seals split ends and works as a heat protectant, too.

What We Don’t Love: Nothing.

You probably know Olaplex for its famous bonding treatment that saved Kim Kardashian’s hair when going blonde, but its oil delivers just as miraculous results. Using the brand’s signature complex, this oil seals broken bonds together, decreasing the look of split ends and flyaways. It also offers heat protection up to 450 degrees, making it perfect to use on damp hair as both a detangler and heat protectant. “This oil made it very easy to comb through my hair,” says our tester. “It felt like I was combing through zero knots.” If you’re worried an oil will feel too heavy, rest assured that this one is super light and not at all sticky. In fact, our tester loves this universal oil so much, she had no cons. “It made my hair so soft and hydrated,” she says. “It looks like I just left the salon.” Curl specialist, Christin Brown, says the oil is also great to use when removing protective styles as well.

Price at time of publish: $30

Key Oils: Bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate, Grape seed oil, Fermented green tea oil | Size: 1 oz. | Scent: Fruity

Best Value

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment

L'Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment


What We Love: This affordable oil makes your hair super soft without weighing it down.

What We Don’t Love: It’s hard to find online.

Our tester was shocked by how well this drugstore hair oil worked. “This oil is absolutely amazing,” they say. “It's lightweight, but very moisturizing.” The secret is a blend of plant oils including camellia, which celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons says is excellent for thick hair because it softens and moisturizes without adding grease. Our tester only needed three drops for the featherweight oil to work its magic. “It absorbs very quickly, there’s no sticky residue, and it's easy to comb through whether you use your hands or a comb,” they add. You can also use this oil as a pre-shampoo deep conditioning treatment, giving you even more bang for its buck. Because the formula is so good, it often sells out online — but luckily, you should be able to find it at your local drugstore if that's the case.

Price at time of publish: $8

Key Oils: Camellia oil, Sunflower oil | Size: 3.4 oz. | Scent: Floral

Best Splurge

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil

Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil


What We Love: This rich oil makes it look like you just got a gloss treatment at the salon. 

What We Don’t Love: The golden hue can make blonde hair brassy overtime.

Who says hair oil can’t be part of your self-care routine? From the elegant bottle to the subtly sweet scent, this luxe oil adds a touch of indulgence to your vanity. Featuring Mirsalehi honey — in addition to almond, coconut, and argan oils — the formula has a thicker consistency compared to the other oils we tried. Still, the dropper makes it easy to dispense and evenly distribute the product. The honey acts as a humectant, attracting and retaining moisture for mega shine. “I walked out of the lab and immediately someone commented on how shiny my hair looked,” says our tester. “I noticed the biggest difference in my ends — they look smooth and sealed instead of rough and craggly.” 

Fitzsimons says it’s best to use a thicker oil, like this one, on dry hair for the most absorption, and our tester agrees. You can also add a few drops into a hair mask for extra nourishment or use this oil alone as a deep conditioning treatment overnight. Because of the rich golden hue, it can make blonde hair brassy with repeated use, so you might want to try a clear product if you want to maintain icy strands.

Price at time of publish: $87

Key Oils: Mirsalehi honey, Almond oil, Coconut oil | Size: 0.7 to 3.4 oz. | Scent: Honey

Best for Thin Hair

Verb Ghost Oil

Verb Ghost Oil


What We Love: This clear oil is light enough to use on thin hair.

What We Don’t Love: It’s not the best at taming frizz.

As the name suggests, this oil is so lightweight, you’ll forget it’s even there — even if you have thin hair. “I thought this product would be very heavy since it was thick, but the oil absorbed beautifully into my thin hair,” says our tester. “I would not be scared to use this at the roots because of how well it absorbs.” Not only is this vegan formula free of parabens and sulfates, it also has no added fragrance, which is a bonus if you’re sensitive to scents. It packs in nourishing ingredients like bamboo extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, and moringa oil to strengthen and moisturize hair. “After blow drying, it left my hair shiny, but not oily,” says our reviewer. “It looks like I have naturally healthy hair, which I love.” Because it’s on the lighter side, it doesn’t completely eliminate frizz, so it may not be the best option if that’s your main concern. But if you’re looking for a lightweight, clear formula that won’t turn your hair greasy or brassy, this is it.

Price at time of publish: $20

Key Oils: Argan oil, Moringa oil | Size: 2 oz. | Scent: Unscented

Best for Damaged Hair

Kérastase Elixir Ultime Hydrating Hair Oil Serum

Kérastase Elixir Ultime Hydrating Hair Oil Serum


What We Love: With three different oils, this serum nourishes your hair from the inside out.

What We Don’t Love: It’s hard to dispense.

With several different oils, this serum replenishes your hair with all the nutrients it needs after experiencing heat or chemical damage. Argan oil increases elasticity, marula softens, and camellia adds shine and moisture. When used before heat styling, it also prevents future damage. The formula helped our tester detangle her thick, coarse hair and kept frizz at bay. “It absorbed quickly but also left some slip in my hair to work through the ends,” she says. “It tamed my super frizzy hair instantly.” Her only complaint was that the bottle didn’t dispense enough product, so you may need to use a few pumps if you have really thick or long hair.

Price at time of publish: $48

Key Oils: Argan oil, Marula oil, Camellia oil | Size: 1.7 to 3.4 oz. | Scent: Freesia, Mandarin, Sandalwood

Best for Shine

JVN Complete Nourishing Hair Oil Shine Drops

JVN Complete Nourishing Hair Oil Shine Drops


What We Love: A couple drops give you glass-like hair.

What We Don’t Love: The shine can look greasy if you use too much.

If you want that glossy, slicked-back look celebrities like Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber are rocking, reach for this oil recommended by celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan. Rather than using the common ingredient silicone, it uses hemisqualane, which is said to improve the health and strength of hair overtime. Our tester definitely noticed a difference in the consistency. “My hair soaked this right up,” they say. “I’m pleasantly surprised that my hair doesn't feel weighed down.” Meadowfoam oil smooths and moisturizes, while hibiscus extract acts as an antioxidant to prevent color fading and imparts a prismatic effect. “My hair looks thick and healthy with a nice sheen,” adds our tester. You can use it on both wet or dry hair, but for an effortless ’do, simply slick your hair back with this and walk out the door knowing you look fabulous.

Price at time of publish: $24

Key Oils: Hemisqualane, Meadowfoam oil, Hibiscus extract | Size: 1.7 oz. | Scent: Citrus

Best Root Treatment

Fable & Mane HoliRoots Pre-Wash Hair Treatment Oil

Fable & Mane HoliRoots Pre-Wash Hair Treatment Oil


What We Love: Following Indian traditions, this treatment nourishes your scalp and encourages hair growth.

What We Don’t Love: The scent might be too strong for some.

With scalp massagers and scalp scrubs gaining popularity, taking care of your scalp has never been easier. If you’re just starting to craft a scalp regimen and don’t know where to begin, try this pre-wash treatment. Inspired by the Indian tradition of hair oil massages, this oil calms your scalp and strengthens your hairs’ circulation. “Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that encourages hair growth, and dashmool is a blend of 10 roots that promote calmness and wellbeing,” Fable & Mane’s co-founder Nikita Mehta told InStyle. “It also smells really good because our scents are created by the same perfumer as Dior.” The blend also contains castor oil which is known to help increase circulation and potentially increase hair growth.

 While this treatment is meant to be massaged into the hair before washing, our tester enjoyed using it during the day. “It is very light and hydrating on my thick, dry hair,” they say. “There was no residue and it didn't feel like there was any leftover oil.” And thanks to the heavenly scent, you might just get addicted.

Price at time of publish: $36

Key Oils: Ashwagandha, Dashmool, Caster oil | Size: 0.48 to 3.4 oz. | Scent: Jasmine, Cedarwood

Best Smoothing

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Hair Shine Anti-Frizz Serum

TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Hair Shine Anti-Frizz Serum


What We Love: The blend of silicone, oils, and keratin smooths all hair types.

What We Don’t Love: You might want to avoid it if you are sensitive to silicones.

Combining silicones with oils, this drugstore serum smooths unruly hair with just one pump. “My hair didn’t get nearly as frizzy after blow drying and straightening,” says our tester. “It’s great for thick, coarse, or hard to tame tresses.” Our reviewer loves how straightforward the one-pump method is, and how the serum left no residue. While this product is no keratin treatment, the added protein does help rebuild and smooth your strands, so you walk away with a professional-looking blowout for less than $10. Marjan says it also combats the most evident signs of damage, such as lack of shine and lackluster color. “My hair does look shiny,” says our teaser. “And I will use that as a win!”

Price at time of publish: $7

Key Oils: Sclerocarya birrea seed oil, Hydrolyzed keratin | Size: 3.3 oz. | Scent: Sweet

Best for Curls

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density


What We Love: It adds instant volume and increases hair growth overtime.

What We Don’t Love: Our tester wishes it had a stronger scent.

From doctors like board-certified dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D to our writer Priya Raj, tons of people swear by this serum to increase hair growth. The combination of castor oil and multiple peptides helps stimulate blood circulation in the scalp and increase hair density. Though it’s meant to be used daily to see the best results, our tester saw improvement in her curls instantly. “This serum is giving me lightweight, bouncy, shiny curls without the oily feeling or look,” she says. “My hair definitely has more volume and bounce.” While some hair growth serums can make your hair into an oily mess, this one is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and barely has a scent, so you can use it during the day without any issues. “This serum made my hair feel so soft — I can't stop touching it,” our tester adds. “I feel like continued use would make my hair healthier and shinier.”

Price at time of publish: $29

Key Oils: Castor oil, Caffeine, Redensyl | Size: 2 oz. | Scent: Subtle

Best for Frizz

Living Proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil

Living proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil


What We Love: This silicone-free oil stops frizz before it appears.

What We Don’t Love: Some reviewers wish it was more hydrating.

Sure, you want to tame frizzy hair, but keeping frizz at bay doesn’t mean your hair has to fall flat. This silicone-free oil keeps hair bouncy while making frizz quite literally vanish, like the name suggests. “The oil absorbed into my hair in under 15 seconds,” says our tester. “My hair looked soft and moisturized, and it didn’t feel weighed down.” The cocktail of five lightweight oils replenishes your hairs’ lipids while the healthy hair molecules block humidity, keeping hair smooth. Even in New York City’s sweltering summer, the formula didn’t budge. “This hair oil left me with a beautiful, natural sheen and controlled the frizz well,” our tester adds.

Price at time of publish: $30

Key Oils: Jojoba oil, Babassu oil, Buckthorn oil, Moringa oil, Umutango oil | Size: 1.7 oz. | Scent: Rose

Best for Dry Hair

OGX Extra Penetrating Moroccan Argan Oil

OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Extra Strength Penetrating Oil

What We Love: The key ingredient is Argan oil, which restores your hair back to health.

What We Don’t Love: The bottle doesn’t have a dropper, so it’s easy to dispense too much.

Designed specifically for those with coarse, dry hair, this oil has given InStyle’s executive beauty editor Kayla Greaves the best curls of her life. “The result is beautiful, healthy, shiny curls that look fresh and juicy long past wash day,” says Greaves. With only six ingredients, this concoction relies on the power of argan oil to deeply moisturize the hair. "Argan oil helps to restore elasticity and strength to hair with amino acids and vitamin E," says Kevin Hughes, Global Artistic Director of Moroccanoil. "It also decreases ripping and tearing when combing through damp hair." While it does a lot to moisturize, the oil isn’t greasy or heavy. “My hair feels great after absorbing the oil. It is light, but also helps my dry hair to become more hydrated,” says our tester. “I will say also that the smell is incredible, too.” Though we love the generous bottle, our tester would prefer a dropper for a more precise dosage.

Price at time of publish: $9

Key Oils: Argan oil | Size: 3.3 oz. | Scent: Floral

Our Testing Process

First consulting with hair experts and researching the buzziest products, we compiled 29 of the most promising hair oils to test in our lab. We then rounded up 30 volunteers with different hair types to put them to the test. Each person tested two formulas, one on each side of their head. They applied the oils on damp hair from root to scalp, then, after blow drying their hair, the testers evaluated the product’s application, absorption, feel, and shine level. Each product received a rating from 1 to 5 in those areas, and then we calculated the highest-rated ones to compile this list of the best hair oils.

What to Keep in Mind

Hair Texture

The first thing you want to consider when selecting a product is your own hair texture. If your hair is more fine, look for lightweight oils, like buckthorn and moringa oil — both of which are found in Living Proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil. Thicker hair, on the other hand, can benefit from richer oils, like coconut oil.

“For fine hair, I recommend using natural oils like jojoba, almond, and argan as they absorb quickly, and won’t weigh the hair down or leave a greasy film,” says Fitzsimons. If you have thin hair try Verb Ghost Oil. “For thick hair, look for hair oils that contain camellia oil as a leading ingredient — it ensures the hair remains soft and smooth without becoming overly greasy.” Loaded with camellia oil, Kérastase Elixir Ultime Hydrating Hair Oil Serum is great for both thick and damaged hair. He also says that hair oils made with olive oil are amazing for those with curly hair because it’s known for locking in moisture. 

Strengthening Ingredients

While most oils contain their own vitamins and minerals, some have added ingredients for extra nourishment, like JVN Complete Nourishing Hair Oil Shine Drops, which contains vitamin C and rich hibiscus extract.

“I recommend using products that contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, proteins, iron, carotene, and amino acids,” says Fitzsimons. “These ingredients combine to help strengthen the hair follicles as well as condition the hair, while even promoting hair growth.”


There’s two types of people in the world — those who look for scented products to make their hair smell good, and those who would rather forgo the lingering fragrance. Depending on where you fall, you either want to go for a strongly scented oil like OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Hair Oil or perhaps something more mild like The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density.

Your Questions, Answered

What are the benefits of using hair oil?

Hair oils nourish your hair quite literally from root to tip. Depending on the formula, you can rub it into your scalp for a DIY massage or focus on the ends to prevent flyaways and seal split ends. 

“Hair oils work with your hair by hydrating your scalp, while also stimulating hair growth and strengthening your hair,” says Fitzsimons. “Certain hair oils provide important minerals and nutrients that are beneficial to the scalp. Others can also prevent damage caused by outside factors, such as heat and environmental damage.”

What’s the best way to apply hair oil?

“To see the best effects, you should apply the oil to damp hair,” says Fitzsimmons. Wet hair acts as a catalyst and forces the oil to work overtime to nourish and protect hair. “Once your hair is dry, you can use a few drops for a little touch up. Just rub it in between your hands and smooth it over your ends,” he adds. Be sure to use a minimal amount on dry hair, so it doesn’t look greasy. One to two drops is more than enough. 

Can hair oil turn my blonde hair brassy?

Do you ever feel like your platinum hair constantly turns brassy, no matter how much purple shampoo you use? Well, your hair oil can be to blame. According to celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Korab, light or bleached strands can soak up the color in a yellow or gold-toned oil, eventually becoming brassy. That’s why it’s best to stick to clear oils like Verb Ghost Oil if you have light hair.

What Is InStyle Picks? 

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it’s really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we’ve put them to the test to be sure you will too. 

Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content

Why Shop With Us

Emily Cieslak is an assistant commerce editor at InStyle and writes about all things beauty. Though she likes to keep her hair products to a minimum, she always uses hair oil to protect her bleached strands. She’s tested a few of these products throughout her life and kept her experiences in mind as she compiled the highest scoring oils from our lab test. She also interviewed celebrity hairstylists Jennifer Korab and Andrew Fitzsimons, hair stylist to the Kardashians and owner of his eponymous hair line. Together they provided extra context on the benefits and best uses for hair oils.

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