What is Monoi Oil?
Monoi oil is derived from pressed coconut oil infused with the flowers of the tiare, an exotic gardenia originating from Tahiti. Monoi means “scented oil”.
Monoi oil is used widely among French Polynesians as a skin and hair softener and its origins can be traced back over 2,000 years to the Maori tribe, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
The resulting oil after the infusion is light and fragrant. Authentic Tahitian monoi oil follows a specific process from handpicking the tiare flowers to production. Monoi oil became a popular commercial product in 1942.
What is the Tiare Flower?
The tiare flower is the official flower of Tahiti. These flowers grew in my mother’s garden when I was a kid.
I used to pluck them and fold the leaves around the stem then tuck it into my hair because I loved the fragrant smell so much. I found out the name of the flower later on.
Traditionally, the Tiare flower was used for mild illness such as cold, headaches, rashes, wounds and sunburns. The flowers are also used to create a welcome necklace for visitors to the region.
Where Does Monoi Oil Come From?
The short video below shows the monoi tiare manufacturing process in Tahiti.
Is Monoi Oil Good for Your Hair?
Monoi oil shares the same properties as coconut oil, only enhanced. It’s an excellent oil to use on hair and acts as a frizz fighter as well as a tool for sealing moisture into the hair.
The oil has been used for centuries by Tahitian women to nourish their hair and protects it against the sun, tropical rains, harsh winds and salt concentrations from the islands. So yes, monoi oil is definitely good for your hair.
Woman wearing a necklace of tiare flowers
Benefits of Monoi Oil for Hair
1. Very Pure Oil
Pure monoi oil is made from coconuts grown on the coral islands of French Polynesia, which yield a high-quality lightweight oil while the Tiare flowers are handpicked and subsequently infused to produce the Monoi oil.
2. Rich in Medium-chain Fatty Acids
The medium-chain fatty acids content softens hair, eliminates frizz and provides a complete hair treatment that nourishes hair from root to tip.
3. Revitalizes Dry and Weak Hair
Incorporating enhanced benefits of coconut oil as well as the active ingredients in the tiare flowers, monoi oil is perfect for effectively treating damaged hair and weakened hair ends.
How to Use Monoi Oil for Hair
Monoi Oil Hair Conditioning Balm
- 4oz cosmetic tin like this one
- 2 oz shea butter or cupuacu butter
- 2 tablespoons of monoi tiare oil
- 5 drops of vitamin E oil
- Place the shea butter or cupuacu butter in a bowl and place over a bigger bowl of hot water. Allow to soften but not melt completely.
- Add the monoi tiare oil and the vitamin E oil.
- Whip with a fork and pour into the cosmetic tin.
- Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to set.
Use the conditioning balm for styling your hair. Apply to damp hair and use for shiny, frizz-free twist outs and braid outs.
Monoi Oil Hair Serum
- Pour monoi tiare oil half way up the bottle.
- Add in equal parts of castor oil, olive oi, and avocado oil to fill up the bottle
- Add the vitamin E oil. Close and shake.
Use this serum as a sealing oil, to protect your hair when you go swimming, to add shine to your hair after blow drying or flat ironing.
Monoi Oil Damaged Hair Treatment
- Apply monoi oil to your hair and use as a pre-poo treatment for 45 minutes before shampooing and deep conditioning your hair. You can also leave-in the pre-poo overnight.
- You don’t need too much of it. 1 tablespoon should be enough for your whole head of hair. Less if you have type 1 – type 3 hair.
Monoi Oil for Hair Growth
Monoi oil treats weak hair, promotes softness, eliminates frizz and helps create defined hairstyles. It’s not an oil I would recommend specifically for hair growth.
You can mix monoi oil with hair growth oils to enhance the benefits, however. See the hair loss archives for more on hair loss oils.
Where to Buy Monoi Oil
Pure monoi oil should contain “Cocos nucifera” and “Gardenia tahitensis” in the list of ingredients. The percentage of monoi used in the oil should also be mentioned on the label.
Some companies add fragrance to it but you can get it without the fragrance. Below is the most popular recommendation for monoi oil:-
Interesting Fact About Monoi Oil
There is an annual monoi oil event in Tahiti named Monoï Here. According to The Monoi Institute, the event is for gathering “mamas” from the different archipelagos, scientists, cosmetic industry and spa professionals to meet with the public.
Monoi Oil Hair Products
- Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil Hair Mask
- Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer
- Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil Repairing Sacred Strengthening Serum
- Design Essentials Coconut Monoi Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner
- Hask Monoi Oil Nourishing Shampoo
- Hask Monoi Oil Nourishing Conditioner
- Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Deep Conditioner
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