The information available on orchid oil is limited. From research, it takes a significant amount of orchid roots to produce a gram of orchid extract. I imagine this would increase the costs of producing it making it less profitable on a commercial level. Hence, it’s mixed with other ingredients to stretch it. The ingredients the extract is usually mixed in with could be bad for curly hair.
Orchids are part of a family of plants with colourful and fragrant flowers. Studies indicate orchid extract on its own could affect hair moisture, reduce/eliminate frizz and improve sheen in most hair types. Additionally:
- Orchid extract’s lightweight quality means it doesn’t weigh down hair, which makes it ideal for finer hair types.
- It’s easily absorbed, leaving no residue behind after application.
- Enhances curl definition when used with other styling products such as leave ins.
- Assists coloured hair to retain moisture and shine better.
All very good qualities you want in your oil but unfortunately as I mentioned earlier, the cost of producing pure orchid oil is so prohibitive that it’s mixed in with other ingredients to make it last longer without compromising its qualities.
A few of the other ingredients orchid extracts are mixed into to produce orchid oil include cyclomethicone, dimethiconol and fragrance. If you maintain a strictly natural and/or cone free regimen for your hair, then the first two ingredients will be a problem. Read more about dimethiconol HERE and cyclomethicone HERE.
A better alternative to orchid oil would be almond oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil. If you are keen on trying orchid oil, you can also make your own with orchid extracts. The next article will cover this in more detail.
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