Is Carrot Oil the Secret to Shiny Hair? We Found Out the Hard Way

carrot oilYou know how we were all obsessed with using argan oil in our hair and on our skin a couple years ago? And then coconut oil took over? Well, there's a new "it" oil in town, ladies: Carrot oil. It sounds like a joke, but I'm dead serious. Carrot oil is happening right now. Here's why.

Carrot oil (made from the seed) is loaded with antioxidant vitamin A, so the idea is that it'll protect your hair from the harsh elements of summer (sun, wind, seawater) while giving it incredible softness and shine. It's sold in a blend that includes other good stuff like safflower oil, aloe, vitamin E, rose hips oil, and pecan seed oil. And here is the best part: You can get it for a mere three bucks! That did it -- I had to try it.

How was I to know disaster was on the horizon?


carrot oil

About that $2.99 price tag -- this is for a teeny 2-ounce bottle. So it's a cheap thrill, but not that cheap. That's okay, though. A little bit goes a long way. Did I say little? I mean infinitesimal, as I found out the hard way.

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According to the directions on the bottle, you can use this new miracle product for a hot oil treatment in just 5 minutes. "Perfect!" I thought. "That will fit right into my super-busy, already impossible, Single Mom Morning Routine." (Cue ominous music.) I heated the oil in hot water while I shampooed, then I poured the warm oil all over my hair. And then, because I have the driest, most desert-like, heat-damaged hair, I worked in some more oil. And some more. Then I shampooed, jumped out, and tried to blow dry my hair.

That quick, post-treatment shampoo hadn't even come close to washing out all that oil. After desperately drying and drying, I still looked like the Creature From the Black Lagoon, my hair was so greasy. "Oh my God," I thought. "What now? I don't have time to re-wash and dry my hair again."

And I was faced with that horrible realization I'm always trying to avoid: I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Ever. And here is proof.

No one should have to face this kind of terrifying existential crisis at 8 in the morning when their kid is waiting to be walked to the bus stop, and I blame the carrot oil (because that's a lot easier than accepting personal responsibility for the chaos that is my life). I did what I had to do. I put my hair back in a ponytail and carried on with my day.

Next morning I shampooed my hair again, twice this time. That did it! I was amazed when I blow dried my hair at how shiny it looked (except I wasn't because I did just do a 24-hour-long deep conditioning treatment). After all that, my hair was a tad dry. So I very carefully worked a drop of oil into my ends. And now I've got beautifully soft, shiny hair. Love it!

Having learned my lessons the hard way, here are some best practices for carrot oil:

  1. Test on the back of your hand first to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction.
  2. For a leave-in treatment, start with one little drop, work between hands, and gently distribute through hair starting with ends.
  3. Add more if your hair absorbs the oil immediately and still feels dry.
  4. For a hot oil treatment, try about 2 teaspoons for long hair and see how it goes. You can always use more the next time you do a treatment if this is not enough.
  5. Shampoo well and make sure you can feel with your fingers that the oil is rinsed out.
  6. Carrot oil makes a nice skin moisturizer as well -- and it will not turn your skin orange. Again, start with just a drop.

I'll have to wait and see how this stuff works at the beach and the pool, but I'm optimistic. If nothing else, it's a fun change for my hair and I love the rose scent. I'd say it's worth a try if you have dry, damaged hair.

Have you ever made the mistake of trying out a new beauty treatment at the worst time?


Image via moodboard/Corbis

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