Best oils for fine or thin hair in 2023 – and how to use them without looking greasy

The best hair oils are great for deeply nourishing dry, damaged hair and smoothing frizz, and they can be especially beneficial during winter, when the cold weather and moisture-sapping central heating can leave hair feeling drier and more brittle than normal.

But if your hair is particularly fine, thin or prone to turning greasy quickly, you’re probably wary of applying oil-type products, in case they weigh down limp hair even further.

However, by choosing the right products and applying them in the correct way, it is possible to get the moisturising, strengthening benefits of hair oils without adding weight to your tresses. Here’s how…

Apply oil to damp hair

Smoothing on an oil while there’s still some water on the hair will “dilute” the product, thinning it out and allowing it to be absorbed better – and deeper – into the hair follicle. Then blow drying the hair will also help to “dry out” the oil a little, too.

Apply oil on the ends of your hair only

Just use a small amount (even a pea-sized pump can be enough to make a difference), and touch it through just the ends of the hair, which is typically the driest and most damaged part of the strands.

Use an oil spray

Spraying an oil-based product onto the hair means that a far lighter layer is being applied, compared to using your hands. Again, focus the nozzle towards the lengths and ends of the hair and away from the roots.

Find oils in hair masks

Look out for oils in the ingredients lists of hair masks, too – these intensive treatments are formulated to enable key repairing ingredients to quickly and easily penetrate the hair shaft.

Apply oil as a pre-wash treatment

Applying an oil BEFORE you wash your hair allows for the product to work its magic without any residue left behind on the hair. Smooth through the lengths, tie your hair up and leave it in for as long as possible – ideally overnight – before washing your hair as normal. Just be aware that, depending on how heavy the oil is and how much you apply, you may need to do two shampoos to get that super-clean feeling.

Best hair oils for fine hair

Paul Yacomine Hydrosol Micro-Mist Hair Hydrator, available in the OK! Beauty Box Treat Edit, worth £95 but costs just £7.50 here

This is a lightweight blend of natural oils and botanical extracts that sprays out in a super-fine mist – and it also smells incredible! A 30ml bottle normally costs £22 but you’ll find it inside the latest OK! Beauty Box Treat Time Edit, which is worth over £95 but costs just £7.50 to new subscribers.

You’ll also find another hair hero inside the box: Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask. This rich treatment contains prickly pear oil, an extract from the cactus plant that’s incredibly hydrating, and leaves hair feeling healthier and stronger.

ARKIVE The Good Habit Hybrid Oil, £14 here

Founded by one of the industry’s leading hairdressers Adam Reed, this ARKIVE oil is a lightweight blend of both jojoba and baobab oils.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Coconut Hair Oil for Frizzy & Curly Hair, currently on sale for £4.99 here

This comes recommended by Holly Willoughby’s hair stylist Ciler Peksah. It feels weightless on the hair and has a gorgeous summery scent.

ghd Sleek Talker, £35 here

Designed to be used with ghd’s latest “wet to dry” hair tool the Duet Style, this smooths and softens hair while also adding heat protection. Read our beauty director’s full review of the Duet here.

Moroccanoil Treatment Light Special Edition, £34.85 here

The OG hair oil gets new limited-edition artwork. This version is specifically created for fine hair.


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