Reduce breakage and promote growth

smiling woman with healthy hair 4C

Depending on the porosity of your hair or your styling preferences (wash and wear, braids, twists, etc.), you may find that your hair thrives best with light oils. So in this quick guide, we’ll take a look at the best lightweight oils that are ideal for 4C hair.

As you will notice throughout the article, there is a lot of overlap in the benefits many of these oils provide.

However, there are also some studies that have been done on specific oils and their role in hair growth. Where relevant, I have included that information for you.

So, without further delay, let’s take a look at these lightweight oils.

Note: This post contains affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.


1. Grapeseed oil

Hands down, Grapeseed Oil is the lightest carrier oil you can use on 4C hair.

It is practically odorless and has a very fine consistency that does not leave a greasy feeling on the hair.

Additionally, grapeseed oil is:

  • Rich in essential fatty acids that can help fight inflammation of the scalp.
  • A natural source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is both an antioxidant and an emollient (meaning it can soften hair and prevent water loss).
  • Rich in other antioxidants, including phenols, which also have antibacterial properties. This last characteristic means that grapeseed oil could be useful when there is a bacterial infection on the scalp.)

Lastly, it is worth noting that grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid which can reach levels of around 75%. This is very important for hair growth because research indicates that linoleic acid can actually promote hair growth (source).

Product to test: Grapeseed oil from NOW.


2. Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil’s main claim to fame is that it is quite similar to sebum.

The similarity comes from the fact that jojoba oil contains wax esters. And it just so happens that 25% of our sebum is also made from wax esters.

So outside of your natural sebum, jojoba oil is probably the best nourishing treatment you can give your hair and scalp.

In addition to this, jojoba oil contains:

  • Vitamins A, D and E.
  • Various antioxidants that can be soothing to an inflamed scalp.

In terms of consistency, jojoba oil is just a pinch heavier than grapeseed oil. As for its smell, jojoba oil has a slight nutty odor that dissipates quickly.

Product to test: Organic Jojoba Oil


3. Apricot Kernel Oil

The weight of this oil is not only similar to that of tallow, but it is a natural source of beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which plays a role in sebum secretion.

Since sebum is always the best conditioner and lubricant for hair, apricot oil can help follicles to produce enough sebum.

Additionally, apricot kernel oil is rich in vitamin E and also has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Product to test: Sky Organics Organic Apricot Kernel Oil


4. Fractionated Coconut Oil

Unlike unrefined coconut oil, which is solid, fractionated coconut oil is liquid and has a much lighter consistency.

This type of coconut oil has been processed to remove solid fats. So what’s left in the fractionated coconut oil are the MCTs (medium chain triglycerides).

Also, you should know that fractionated oil does not contain lauric acid, which is primarily responsible for coconut oil’s antibacterial properties.

Overall, this is a completely odorless, lightweight oil that is great for lubricating the ends of the hair.

Product to test: Sky Organics Fractionated Coconut Oil


5. Rosehip oil

Although not generally considered a hair oil, rosehip oil is definitely one of the lightest oils out there.

Rosehip oil is best known for its bright orange color, which comes mainly from its beta-carotene content.

So, like apricot oil (which also has beta-carotene), rosehip oil can help follicles produce the right amount of sebum.

Additionally, rosehip oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant oil that is very soothing for sensitive or irritated skin.

However, good quality rosehip oil can be expensive. Therefore, it is better to use it in a mixture with other oils. For example, consider making a mix of:

  • 50% jojoba.
  • 25% grape seed.
  • 25% rosehip.

Product to test: Kosmea Pure Rosehip Oil

bottle of rosehip oil


6. Safflower oil

Like grapeseed, safflower oil is quite high in linoleic acid (about 76%).

Not surprisingly, then, there is research suggesting that safflower can improve hair growth, even in cases of alopecia.

Additionally, safflower oil appears to be beneficial for scalp dermatitis (eczema) and loss of hair color (source).

Product to test: Naissance Safflower Oil


7. Sunflower oil

Thanks to its high content of linoleic acid (which can reach around 75%), sunflower oil can be useful in promoting 4C hair growth.

Like all carrier oils, this oil has essential fatty acids that are great for calming inflammation.

Additionally, sunflower oil is naturally found in vitamin E, which has antioxidant and emollient properties.

Product to test: Maple Holistics Sunflower Oil


8. Sweet almond oil

Almond oil is high in oleic acid, which is a fatty acid that tends to make oils heavy. However, almond is one of the exceptions because it is actually quite light and fluid.

That being said, it is not as light as grapeseed or rosehip oil.

So this is an oil that might be best only for your hair, not your scalp.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that although almonds contain biotin (also known as the hair growth vitamin), almond oil does not. This is because biotin is a B vitamin. B vitamins are water soluble. Therefore, there are no B vitamins in natural oils.

Product to test: Almond Oil from NOW



Here are some tips for incorporating these oils into your 4C hair care routine:

  • Use an oil or a blend of oils as a hot oil treatment before shampooing.
  • If you tend to have a dry or sore scalp, consider massaging a few drops into your scalp at night. Do this 2-3 times a week. Rosehip or jojoba oil are excellent options for this.
  • If you use bentonite clay masks on your hair, adding a few drops of these oils will help make the mask less drying for your locks.
  • Light oils are the perfect base for a homemade hair growth oil. You can infuse the oils with herbs and essential oils to increase the effectiveness. For a step-by-step guide and recipes, use this guide on how to infuse herbs into oil for hair growth.


What oil makes hair grow 4C fast?

Research suggests that oils rich in linoleic acid may promote hair growth. This includes oils like pumpkin seed oil, which has been shown to increase hair growth in mice. Another oil that can promote 4C hair growth is safflower oil, which has been shown to improve alopecia.


Remember that hair oils are meant to lock in moisture. They do not provide moisture.

Therefore, you should avoid applying these lightweight oils to dry hair (this will actually increase dryness). Instead, apply them right after you get your hair wet.

Or you can mist your hair with water and then apply them to help your 4C locks retain moisture and, ultimately, length.

pin for light oils for hair 4c

You might also like:

How to mix essential oils for hair growth and thickness: a step by step guide with dilution chart

Homemade lavender essential oil recipes for hair growth and thickness

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