No Butters, No Oils, No Problem!

In the past year, a new “30 Day Hair detox” spread across the web claiming that dependence on oils may aid in length retention but hinder hair growth long term.  

This detox, also known as the No Butters, No Oils Challenge, has since been touted by some of the most influential natural hair influencers.

However, as we know, oils and raw butters are typical staples in the LCO and LOC methods. And most 4c naturals do see oils and butters as a necessary step to sealing moisture into parched hair strands.

So is this detox just a passing trend or is it here to stay?

no more oils or butters on natural hair

What is the No Butters, No Oils Challenge?

Though this challenge has gained popularity in the last year, it was officially introduced about 7 years ago.

In 2015, two cosmetologists founded an organization called Black Girl Curls to spread their combined knowledge of effective natural hair care to the masses.

They created and popularized the 30-Day Natural Hair Detox. And they did so in an effort to educate their readers on the proper way to reset and properly cleanse natural hair. Especially from all oils and butters that can weigh down (or distort) our natural curl pattern.

The ultimate goal is to limit your hair products and maintain a hair care regimen that is more catered to what your hair needs rather than what’s popular.

Why Try the 30-Day Hair Detox?

According to Black Girl Curl, without heavy oils, you will get to know your hair. No coil or curl is weighed down and your hair cuticle will be open to receive more moisture.

Over time, you should be able to remove products that do not interact well with your coils in their most natural state. Eventually, you should replace these products with those that do!

What are the Rules of the Challenge?

The initial rules of this 30-day hair detox are as follows: 

  • No oil
  • No raw butter
  • No product with any oil or butter in the first 5 ingredients

Seems scary right?

Even though this seems limiting, you do have options other than LOC and LCOLCG will be your new best bet. 


We know the acronym sounds a little intimidating, but it’s not too different from what most naturals normally do.

Products used can be DIY or store-bought, as long as you use what you know works! 

When following this method, you would wash and condition as usual and style your hair in wash n‘ gos: 

  • Apply a Liquid – preferably water (L)
  • Apply a Leave in conditioner (C)
  • Apply a Gel – avoid Eco Styler Gel if possible 

How Does this Method Work?

Oils tend to be hydrophobic, which means that they repel water.

Though we use oils to seal in moisture and calm frizz, they can impede water from penetrating the hair strand. As such, the LCO and LOC method starts to seem counter-intuitive.

Because we would need to be able to hydrate and seal the hair multiple times before washday, we’re essentially attempting to disrupt the water-repellent oil barrier on the hair. However that oil barrier can’t really budge until the hair is cleansed thoroughly on wash day.

With the No Oils, No Butter method, on the other hand, you can maintain higher moisture levels in your natural hair because you can consistently reapply water, and rehydrate your hair. Since it won’t be coated by this oil barrier.

This lack of butter and oil-based barriers will supposedly allow the natural hair to remain moisturized longer, as long as you live in a more humid climate, where you can also draw moisture from the air.

For those living in colder or more arid areas, you may have to practice a modified version of this hair detox after the initial 30 days. For that reason, they recommend that you start this detox during the warmer months.

After the 30 days?

Aleise Jana from Black Girls Curls has maintained that the initial detox was not meant to be anti-butter or oil. As such, after the initial 30 days, you can add them back sparingly to your regimen under the following circumstances:

  1. You live in a cold or arid climate, and you desperately need the additional sealing
  2. Your hair just does well with oils and butters 

If you meet any two of the above circumstances, try adding lighter oils when returning to the LOC and LCO methods.

Chuck the shea butter and coconut oil and opt for grapeseed oil instead.  You will still get the smoothing and sealing without the long-term barrier. And plenty of shine to boot!

If you would like to continue this detox after the 30 days, keep following the steps mentioned at the beginning of the article, until you are satisfied with the results.

At the end of the day, you know your hair best.

Feel free to try this detox and see how you feel.

In my personal experience with the no oil, no butter method, I find that my hair is growing faster as my scalp isn’t always covered in oil.

I have also experienced reduced acne since I started, and I am about 6 months in!

Try it out if you’re curious, and see if it can work for you! Be sure to come back and let us know what you think in the comments!

No Butters, No Oils, No Problem!No Butters, No Oils, No Problem!No Butters, No Oils, No Problem!

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