Learning how to use hair oil properly just might be the secret to lustrous locks. Some men and women might shy away from hair oil for fear it might give them an overly greasy look. But, with the right use, hair oiling could provide your strands and scalp a variety of potential benefits.
In fact, hair oil’s contribution to both hair and scalp health is well-documented. In some cultures, hair oil usage and application has become a tradition that transcends the basic beauty routine. Not only might this ritual help support strong and shiny hair, the accompanying head massage may help stimulate beneficial blood flow (and it’s the perfect act of self-care, too).1
Today, you can reap the potential benefits of hair oil via simple hot oil treatments at your salon — or even by doing it yourself right in the shower. Read on to learn more about the potential benefits of a hair oiling practice, how to choose and use hair oil treatments for your specific hair type, plus some simple tips and techniques to help you achieve healthy hair thanks to natural oils and a scalp massage. You may be convinced to include hair oil in your regular hair care routine.
Potential Benefits Of Hair Oiling
Hair oiling can be done via a more intensive weekly hair treatment — and it can be supplemented by the application of oil-based hair or styling products to support healthy tresses and protect them from damage. Here are some ways your hair might thank you for perfecting this practice.
Address Scalp Issues That Can Affect Hair Health
Massaging the scalp with moisturizing oil can help promote exfoliation, boost circulation, and generally support healthy hair. The nutrients in the oils may also help with scalp dryness that might be contributing to itchiness. By coating the hair strands itself, hair oils may also add a layer of protection for hair from the elements.2
Combat Limp and Frizzy Hair Or Dry Hair
The hair shaft is coated in natural lipids that help hair look glossy and keep hair soft. However, these lipids are lost due to styling or environmental damage. This lipid loss can impact the appearance and integrity of your hair, resulting in dry, dull, or even brittle hair. The minerals and fatty acids in hair oils can help replicate the effects of these lipids, helping to support hair’s shine and smoothness. They also help keep hair follicles from drying out, which is another factor in lackluster locks.3
Help Amplify Your Fresh Hairstyle
Many hair oils have a pleasant fragrance that can help keep your hair smelling fresh. They also aid in locking in moisture and promoting smoothness. Chemically-treated or naturally curly hair are both particularly prone to dryness. So, these hair types may also benefit from the added moisture and shine provided by a light coat of hair oil.4
How To Do Your Own Hair Oil Treatment
Follow this guide for maximum benefits. You may notice healthier, shiny hair with only a few simple steps.
Know Your Hair’s Unique Needs
Those with dry hair and a dry scalp may potentially benefit the most from a hair oiling regimen. Curly hair and processed hair (think relaxed, permed, or color-treated) also needs a power dose of moisture from hair oils. Those with fine hair might want to tweak their hair oil application – don’t weigh roots down by applying it directly to the scalp. Instead, brush hair more often to stimulate natural oil production, and only apply topical hair oil or styling products in the lower lengths of the hair.5
Find The Best Natural Oils To Use
There are many natural oils you can use for your own DIY hair treatments, but some may be more nourishing than others. Some products, including conditioning sprays, may also contain these oils. Popular choices include:
- Virgin Coconut Oil: Lightweight and easily absorbed into the hair cuticles. Provides great deep conditioning for most hair types.
- Almond Oil: Rich in both texture and vitamins and minerals essential to strong hair growth.
- Jaborandi Oil: Good herbal oil that can help support scalp moisture and moisturize hair strands.
- Argan Oil: High in fatty acids and vitamins that contribute to stronger and visibly more moisturized hair.
- Moringa Oil: Works great in concert with almond oil in delivering superior hydration to parched tresses.6
You can also choose to mix oils together for a potent combination, or add a few drops of other beneficial essential oils (like rosemary oil and tea tree). Popular carrier oils include olive and avocado. However, it must be mentioned that you should always do a skin patch test before applying any homemade oil mixes directly on your scalp.7
Warm Up Oil Before Use
Once you’ve chosen your oil (or blended your own combination), make sure you carefully warm up the oil before application. Warm oil can penetrate and work its magic much more effectively, and it can help provide a more soothing experience as you massage. Be careful when heating up and testing warm oil – don’t apply too quickly, and test the temperature first.8
Massage Onto Dry Scalp And Hair
Now that you’ve warmed up your oil, here’s how to apply it.
- Comb out your hair to rid it of any tangles.
- Start massaging warm oil directly onto your scalp, then smooth oiled palms over hair lengths. You can opt to section hair if you have curly or thick locks – it’s important to cover all areas.
- Wrap up hair in a warm cloth.
- Rinse and shampoo hair as you normally would. Try to leave it on for at least an hour before rinsing.9
Avoid These Hair Oiling Mistakes
For results you can see and feel, here are some best practices to adopt.
- Don’t apply oil to wet, tangled hair. This might actually undermine the effects of the oil and cause more damage to your delicate strands.
- Don’t comb hair too soon or wrap hair too tightly as you leave the oil in to sit. Don’t pull at your hair when oiled, as hair is extra vulnerable post-massage and oil application. Comb hair before you do the hot oil treatment, and wrap up loosely in a turban instead.
- Don’t overdo the oil. Use less oil than you think you might need, as it’s easier to top up than to rinse overly-oiled hair. You’ll require much more shampoo to rinse it all out, which strips the hair using chemicals – totally counterproductive to the treatment you just did.10,11
Oily Hair Could Be A Good Thing
A simple hot oil treatment may help support and maintain hair’s luster and health. Provided you don’t have any serious scalp conditions and your hair is not overly damaged, there’s no reason not to try your hand at a relaxing weekly oiling habit.