Today we’re creating an ultra-lightweight Summer Shimmer Hair Oil that is brilliant for adding shine, smoothing flyaways, and adding a bit of sparkle to your locks. The shimmer and scent are completely customizable, and this is so easy to make that you could easily create an entire set of different shimmery hair oils to suit every mood and season 😄
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Because my hair isn’t very tolerant of oils (my hair + any meaningful amount of oils = lanky, dirty-looking hair), the bulk of this Summer Shimmer Hair Oil is two ultra-light volatile (fast evaporating) emollients: cyclopentasiloxane and isododecane. Diluting oils in something light and volatile creates an end product that can be easily spread across the hair (or skin), evenly depositing the oil in tiny amounts so it’s hard to over-apply. If you’ve ever tried to spread one drop of oil evenly throughout your hair, you’ll appreciate the improved experience of diluting that oil in something lighter!
In products like leave-in hair conditioners and lotions, water is that diluent. The reason lotions are so much lighter than body butters is because the oil is diluted in water. In this hair oil, the oils are diluted in the ultra-light cyclopentasiloxane and isododecane, giving a similar experience, but allowing us to create an anhydrous product. This is an incredibly common formulation tactic—if you’ve ever used a commercially available hair oil or read the ingredients on one, you’ve no doubt seen it in action!
I chose argan oil as the oil for this formulation, but you could easily swap that for any liquid oil that your hair loves! If you like Moroccanoil, it is basically argan oil diluted in cyclomethicone with some added fragrance and colour, so… yeah. This formulation is more or less a shimmery budget alternative to Moroccanoil!
If your hair is more tolerant of oils you could easily shift the balance of this formulation to contain more oil. Simply increase the percentage of oil, and decrease the isododecane and/or cyclopentasiloxane to ensure the formulation still totals 100%. You could use more argan oil, or a blend of other oils your hair loves!
When it comes to scent and shimmer, that’s all up to you! I have dark brown hair right now, so I chose a soft gold mica as I thought that would look lovely. Bronze, copper, and silver would also be lovely for relatively everyday looks, but you could also have lots of fun with brighter colours, or even colour-shifting micas!
I did include 1% thickening clay (INCI: Quaternium-90 Sepiolite, Quaternium-90 Montmorillonite) to help keep the mica in suspension. It’s not a foolproof solution, so you will still need to shake this before use if it’s been more than a few hours since your last application, but it certainly helps. If you don’t have it, feel free to replace it with more isododecane or cyclopentasiloxane—you’ll just need to be a bit quicker with your shaking and dispensing.
I recommend a bottle with a dropper top for this serum—a clear one would be brilliant for admiring the shimmer of the product. To use, spread a few drops across your palms and work the Summer Shimmer Hair Oil through your hair. Enjoy!
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Summer Shimmer Hair Oil
0.15g | 1% TKB’s thickening clay
0.75g | 5% coloured mica of choice (I used gold)
Weigh the thickening clay and mica into a small beaker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine before pouring the mixture into a 15mL bottle with a dropper top. Alternatively, you could just weigh all the ingredients directly into the bottle, cap, and shake to combine.
To use, spread a few drops of the serum across your palms and work it through your hair. I usually apply the product from my ears and down. Enjoy!
Shelf Life & Storage
Because this hair oil is 100% oil-based, it does not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Kept reasonably cool and dry, it should last at least a year before any of the oils go rancid. If you notice it starts to smell like old nuts or crayons, that’s a sign that the oils have begun to oxidize; chuck it out and make a fresh batch if that happens.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 15g.
- To learn more about the ingredients used in this formulation, including why they’re included and what you can substitute them with, please visit the Humblebee & Me Encyclopedia. It doesn’t have everything in it yet, but there’s lots of good information there! If I have not given a specific substitution suggestion in this list (thickening clay) please look up the ingredient in the encyclopedia before asking.
- The lightweight, volatile, oil-free base is integral to this formulation. Some possible variations:
- Using all of either cyclopentasiloxane or isododecane
- Using cyclomethicone (USA / Canada) instead of either or both
- Using dimethicone 1.5 (the 1.5 is important—other weights of dimethicone are heavier and will not work) instead of either or both
- You could also try a natural cyclomethicone alternative like LuxGlide N5 (USA / Canada).
- You can use a different liquid oil your hair loves instead of argan oil.
- Please use a micas= (or a blend of micas!) that suit your hair.
- You can use an essential oil and/or fragrance (or blend) of your choice; just be sure to be aware of maximum usage rates for any essential oils you’re working with.
- You could replace the vitamin E with more cyclomethicone, isododecane, or liquid oil—it helps extend the shelf life by delaying the onset of rancidity, but this formulation is mostly comprised of ingredients that have extremely long shelf lives, so you likely won’t miss it, especially if you make small batches.
- If you want to eliminate the fragrance/essential oil replace that 0.5% with more cyclopentasiloxane or isododecane.