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How To Use Hair Oil: What You Need to Know To Soak Up Every Benefit

by The Hairstory Team|6 May, 2021|Blog / Tips / 

In recent years, hair oiling has gained popularity in the U.S., but its roots (pun intended) go back more than 5,000 years. 

Hair oiling actually comes from Ayurveda, which is thought to be theworld’s oldest healing science. This ancient ritual made modern can increase your hair’s moisture and protect it from a variety of damaging treatments. And, it’s also a scalp treatment that, when done right, is believed to calm your mind.

These days, hair oil is typically used before bed or before washing your hair. But before opening your kitchen cabinets and pouring olive oil over your head every night, it’s important to find the right oil for your hair type and learn how to apply oil to hair correctly so you can achieve hair oiling’s maximum benefits. Otherwise, you may be left with nothing to show for your efforts but a greasy scalp.

THE BENEFITS OF OILING HAIR: IS IT IMPORTANT? 

Using hair oil regularly has numerous benefits for a variety of different hair types. Overall, it restores vitamins and minerals that can get stripped from your hair if you wash it frequently or with a shampoo containing sulfates. Hair oiling can also help protect your hair from damage and breakage, reduce dandruff, prevent premature graying, increase hair growth and thickness, and even decrease frizz.

Protects your hair from damage and breakage 

If you get into the habit of oiling your hair regularly, you’ll begin to notice that your hair becomes stronger and shinier. Coating your hair with the right oil provides your locks with nourishment and protection all the way to the hair shaft. Not only will you see less breakage, but you’ll also gain a protective layer that helps prevent damage from your hairdryer, flat iron or other unhealthy hair processes.

Reduce dandruff 

From a dry scalp to a yeast-like fungus, there are many reasons for dandruff. And while hair oiling can’t treat all of them, it can definitely help with these two. Massaging oil into your scalp can moisturize the skin on your head, reducing and even eliminating your dry, itchy, flaky skin. Some oils, like tea tree oil, are believed to have antifungal, antiseptic and antibiotic properties, and when mixed with other oils can it can help reduce dandruff.

Prevents, and possibly reverses, premature graying 

Massaging coconut oil on your scalp will gradually restore your hair’s color and prevent further greying. Because coconut oil is so lightweight, it’s able to get into your hair’s cuticle, replacing some of the essential nutrients your hair has lost, which caused the graying in the first place.

Increases hair growth and thickness 

About one-third of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives. Before we discuss the benefits of hair oiling for hair loss, consider that a simple, daily hair massage on its own has some incredible benefits. It can stop hair loss and increase growth and actuallythicken your individual hair strands. Often, hair loss occurs because of a lack of nutrition, causing your hair to become weak. When you add oils to your massage, you’re giving your scalp that much-needed nourishment that will strengthen your hair and prevent further loss.

Decreases frizz 

No one likes when their hair is always frizzy. But hair oiling can help. Oils that are rich in Vitamin E and fatty acids do the best job of taming your frizz. When you massage oil into your hair, you’re locking in moisture, increasing the strength of your hair and adding elasticity, which all lead to a reduction of frizz.

WHAT OIL IS BEST FOR MY HAIR?

Not all oils are good for your hair. Some can actually prevent your hair from absorbing water, causing more damage. But, some of the best natural hair oils that can protect your hair from everything from surfactant damage from your shampoo to damage from your blow dryer, flat iron, or other heat tools.

Coconut oil is the favorite among all of the oils. It’s good for all hair types and can reduce the loss of protein, which is essential for keeping hair healthy. There are a few other oils that can be used on all hair types, including hair without any major problems. These oils are:

  • Argan oil 
  • Lavender oil 
  • Lemongrass oil
Dry hair 

If you have dry and frizzy hair, consider using the following oils:

  • Almond oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Castor oil
  • Cocoa-butter
  • Coconut oil 
  • Jojoba oil
  • Manketti oil
  • Rosemary oil (mix with a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil)
  • Sesame oil
Oily hair 

Oily hair is tricky as you don’t want to make it more oily with a treatment. If you’re not sure if you have oily hair, learn what oily hair looks like here. Until you get your oily hair under control, don’t treat it too often, and when you do, consider using:

  • Argan oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Sesame oil
Dandruff 

If you have dandruff, consider using:

  • Almond oil
  • Castor oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grapeseed
  • Jojoba oil
  • Tea-tree oil
Essential oils 

A note about essential oils, like lavender, lemongrass, rosemary and tea tree: Never apply an essential oil directly to your scalp or skin. They won’t dilute when mixed with water. Make sure to mix it with a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil, before applying.

WHEN TO APPLY HAIR OIL 

The best time to oil your hair is before you go to sleep so the oil has ample time to soak into your scalp and hair. Plus, not only will the head massage feel wonderful, but it’s such a relaxing experience that it might even help you sleep better. If you can’t do it before bed, make sure to keep the oil in for at least two hours before you shampoo so that it can work its magic.

But before oiling your hair, think about the last time you washed it. If your hair is very dirty, adding oil will trap the dirt on your scalp and clog your pores. Never a good thing. A clean, or mostly clean, scalp will allow your skin to soak in all of the goodness.

You can oil your hair once or twice a week, depending on the natural dryness or oiliness of your scalp. Remember, your scalp naturally produces oils to protect itself, so if you over-oil your hair, your scalp could become greasy, which prevents your hair from growing – the opposite of what you’re hoping to accomplish. It may take a bit of trial and error to determine if you’re a once-a-week or a twice-a-week oiler.

HOW TO USE HAIR OIL

Hair oiling isn’t difficult, but in order to get the most benefits and prevent a greasy, oily scalp, it’s important to learn how to apply oil to hair properly. 

Follow these instructions when applying oil: 

  1. Warm up the oil so that’s lukewarm and can spread easily.
  2. Make sure your hair is either damp or dry before applying the oil. Dry is preferred. 
  3. Section off your hair. 
  4. Pour the oil into your hands and then massage it from the root to the tip. Never pour the oil directly onto your scalp! 
  5. Comb the oil through your hair to ensure that every strand is saturated in oil.
  6. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips for 15 – 20 minutes. 
  7. Once your hair is fully coated, wrap it into a loose knot or bun and secure it with a soft hairband. 
  8. For better absorption, steam your hair with a hot towel or stand in a hot shower. 
  9. If you can, leave the oil in your hair overnight.
  10. You should wash your hair within 24 hours of oiling. 
  11. For best results, repeat weekly.
HAIR OIL FOR CURLY HAIR 

If you have curly hair, you know that your hair is very different from straight hair. The fibers in curly hair are unique, boasting their own physical, mechanical and biological make-up, compared to straight hair.

Curly hair is very delicate, and often very dry. By nature, curly hair holds less water than straight hair. Your straight-haired friends brush their hair to pull down the oil from the scalp, but in curly hair, the oils have a harder time sliding down your curls. This leads to frizz and dull-looking hair. It can also lead to brittle hair and dreaded split ends.

Curly hair needs a unique combination of moisture, protein and oil. Yes, not just one thing – all three. Oiling curly hair with coconut oil, or blended styling oil that works well on dry hair will help reduce frizz and create smooth, shiny curls.

HOW TO WASH AND STYLE YOUR HAIR AFTER HAIR OILING

If you’re oiling weekly, as recommended, you’ll need to wash and condition your hair after. Our New Wash is a great SLS-free shampoo alternative that will gently yet thoroughly cleanse your hair without stripping your scalp of its protective barrier. This creamy cleanser will also give your hair and scalp additional essential oils to further improve your hair.

As with hair oiling, finding the right wash for you can help improve your hair. Our wash comes in three options:

  • New Wash (Original): Best for most people.
  • New Wash (Deep): A deeper cleansing that includes apple cider vinegar and argan oil to help manage your oiliness.
  • New Wash (Rich): Extra conditioning for very dry hair.

To make sure you remove all of the oil from your treatment, along with any dirt or product build-up, you’ll need to use your fingers (or our shower brush) to massage your scalp for at least one minute. This helps evenly distribute the wash throughout your hair and activates the cleansing ingredients. 

Our wash also works as a conditioner, so after you’ve rinsed your hair well, you should be able to easily run your fingers through your wet hair without needing any conditioner. 

After you’ve washed your hair, you can apply your typical product regimen as usual. Our hair balm is a great place to start as it serves as a conditioner, anti-frizz serum and styling gel in one. Once you’ve applied your product and styled your hair, consider using a few drops of hairstyling oil to set your hair in place and prevent frizz until your next wash.

A LITTLE SELF-CARE CAN GO A LONG WAY 

Hair oiling may seem indulgent and luxurious (and we love that about it), but when worked into your usual routine, it’s a self-care practice with ancient roots that can help calm the stresses of a busy mind. We know self-care is important, so why not set aside a half-hour to treat yourself to this weekly routine? Including a hair treatment with a relaxing and beneficial scalp massage could become a weekly ritual that you treasure. And, it could change your relationship with your hair.

Resources: 

Vasant Lad."Ayurveda: a brief introduction and guide".Ayurveda. URL 

Gavazzoni Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis. “Hair cosmetics: an overview.” International journal of trichology vol. 7,1 (2015): 2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450. URL 

C. F. Carson, K. A. Hammer, T. V. Riley. "Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties", American Society for Microbiology. URL 

B B Mahajan, Raman Mahajan and Richa Nagpal. "Premature greying of hair and role of oiling in Indian perspective". Longdom. URL 

"Treating female pattern hair loss". Harvard medical School. URL 

English, R.S., Barazesh, J.M. Self-Assessments of Standardized Scalp Massages for Androgenic Alopecia: Survey Results. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb) 9, 167–178 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-019-0281-6. URL 

Koyama, Taro et al. “Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue.” Eplasty vol. 16 e8. 25 Jan. 2016. URL 

"Oiling Tips: How Oiling Regularly Can Be Beneficial For Hair". DoctorNDTV. URL 

Gavazzoni Dias, Maria Fernanda Reis. “Hair cosmetics: an overview.” International journal of trichology vol. 7,1 (2015): 2-15. doi:10.4103/0974-7753.153450. URL 

Cloete, Elsabe et al. “The what, why and how of curly hair: a review.” Proceedings. Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences vol. 475,2231 (2019): 20190516. doi:10.1098/rspa.2019.0516. URL

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