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Hot Oil Treatment for Hair


Frizzy and brittle hair can break very easily. This is a common problem nowadays with a lot of people. Sometimes even oiling might not help calm the tangled locks. You might need hot oil treatment for your hair to nourish deeply.

If your hair is dry, curly or damaged, hot oil treatment is ideal for you. Hot oil treatment employs plant-based oils. The most common oils used are olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil for hair types as they vary. You can either go for a treatment or home or purchase a readymade hot oil product from the variety of options available in the market.

Hot oil for hair works by sealing the cuticle. This makes the hair moisturized, strong and healthy.  You can use hot oil treatment for hair growth, reducing dryness, relieving dandruff, reducing frizz and split ends. Before you go for hot oil for hair, you must ascertain your hair type and understand the possible risks. Here we will talk about all these in detail, including choosing the best oil and learning how to use it for hot oil treatment.

Is It Safe to Apply Hot Oil to Hair?

Hot oil treatments use plant-based ingredients and are safe for most people. However, you must be wary of the possible adverse reactions to the oil.

  • If you have sensitive skin, it may react adversely to hot oil treatment. You should look for oils that do not have any synthetic ingredients and are made completely from natural ingredients, this reduces the risk of reaction to your sensitive skin.
  • To test if hot oil for hair is safe for you, you can do a simple patch test. Just apply a few drops of the oil to the inside of your elbow. Make sure to use unheated oil for this test. If there is no itchiness and you do not see any rashes developing, the hot oil is safe for usage. If there is a reaction, you should change your oil and repeat the test, until you find an option that is suited to your skin.
  • If you are using hot oil brought from the market, make sure that you are following all the safety instructions listed on the product. Also, make sure that the store-bought hot oil is suited for your hair type.
  • Hot oils usually are heated before application. Make sure that you are not overheating the oil as it can cause burns on your scalp. You must cool the oil sufficiently enough before application. You can simply apply a few drops to your wrist for testing the temperature before you apply the heated oil to your hair.

Benefits of Hot Oil Treatment

Most of the oils used in a hot oil treatment are natural and plant-based and have a lot of nourishing benefits for the hair. Here we look at some of the hot oil treatments for hair benefits. 

  • Prevents breakage of hair
  • Hot oil for hair repairs and nourishes your hair cuticles. It replenishes the elasticity of the hair helping prevent split ends, reduce frizz and prevent hair breakage. Hot oil for hair gives a nice texture and lustre to your hair.

  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Hot oil for hair makes the oil penetrate deeply in the layers of the scalp and the hair shaft. This improves blood circulation and stimulates hair growth, leading to an increase in hair volume and improved hair growth overall.

  • Avoids premature greying
  • Using warm oil for hair provides nourishment to the hair follicles and improves blood flow. This reactivates the melanin production in the hair follicle and helps in regaining the natural colour of your hair, avoiding premature greying.

  • Regenerates hair follicles 
  • With age, the hair follicles shrink and weaken, often getting blocked. A regular scalp massage using a hot oil unclogs these hair follicles and regenerates them, increasing hair density.

  • Regulates sebaceous glands
  • Sebaceous glands are present all around the scalp and produce an oily substance known as sebum. Sebum moisturizes and lubricates the hair. Hot oil for hair balances the activity of the sebaceous glands. This helps maintain the optimal activity of these glands and the moisturization of your hair.

  • Reduces dryness and dandruff
  • Hot oil for hair helps in reducing the dryness of the hair and scalp. You can also go for hot oil treatment for dandruff caused due to dryness and flakiness.

    Which Oil to Select for Hot Oil Treatment

    For hot oil treatment, you should choose an option that is suited to your hair type. You should also be careful of your skin sensitivity towards the selected choice. Discussed below are some options that you can explore – 

    • Coconut oil for hair is the best option if you have extremely curly or dry hair. It has immense moisturizing properties and is easily absorbed by the hair shaft.
    • For oily hair, you have to go for an option with lesser fat content. Almond oil, olive oil or jojoba oil for hair are most suited in such cases. These are absorbed quickly and leave a minimum residue build-up on the scalp and the hair.
    • For an itchy scalp, lavender oil is best suited. It has antimicrobial properties and reduces bacterial infections, itching and dandruff. Use a carrier oil such as olive oil and coconut oil with this one.
    • For hair that is prone to breakage, avocado oil is a highly popular hot oil for hair option. It is rich in vitamins such as vitamin B5, A and E. It is also packed with minerals, fatty acids, biotin and antioxidants. It is best suited in preventing breakage as it seals the cuticles and locks the moisture in the hair.
    • If you are experiencing weak hair growth and are looking to promote growth, use rosemary oil for a hot oil hair treatment.
    • You can also use tea tree oil for hair. A hot oil treatment can be done by mixing a few drops in heated carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil.

    When & How to Apply Hot Oil for Hair

    In this section, we look at how to go about giving your hair that pampering hot oil treatment. We will look at the when and the how as well.

  • When to go for a hot oil for hair?
  • If you are experiencing dryness of the scalp, itching, dandruff, severe hair fall and have damaged and broken hair, you should go for hot oil for hair.

  • Hair wash or no hair wash before hot oil for hair?
  • You should wash your hair before and after hot oil treatment. Washing before the treatment helps clean the dirt and build-up on the scalp. It unclogs the pores and enables better absorption of the oil by the hair cuticles. Washing after the treatment activates your scalp. You can also deep condition during the post hot oil treatment shower for best results.

  • Wet or dry hair before hot oil for hair?
  • Semi-dry hair is best suited for an effective hot oil treatment as compared to dry or damp hair. Once you have washed your hair, let it dry naturally and avoid using a hairdryer. Freshly washed and dried hair can absorb the oils better. You can go for a hair wash for about an hour before going for hot hair oil for hair. This will give you semi-dry hair during the time of application of hot oil.

  • How long to leave the hot oil on the hair?
  • After thoroughly massaging with the hot oil, it is recommended that you leave it for about half an hour before going for a post-treatment hair wash.

  • How often to go for hot oil for hair?
  • If you are dealing with dryness, you can go for a hot oil massage daily. For normal hair, this can be done a maximum of three times a week. For oily hair, once a week is recommended.

    We have already discussed in a previous section, the kind of oil that you should choose as per your hair type and skin sensitivity. Now that you have found the oil best suited for you, let us see how to go for the hot oil treatment. 

    • Wash your hair first. This will clean the dirt on the scalp and open the pores. You can wash an hour before you go for hot oil application. Let the hair dry naturally and do not blow dry.
    • Microwave 5-6 tablespoons of the hot oil for 10 seconds. Alternatively, you can heat it on a flame for 30 seconds.
    • Test the temperature of the oil by applying a drop to your wrist. If it is not too hot, you’re ready to go.
    • Place a towel over your shoulders to prevent staining of clothing by the oil.
    • Brush your hair and get rid of any knots.
    • Apply the oil evenly throughout the hair. Massage the scalp thoroughly.
    • Keep the oil for about half an hour, you can also cover your hair with a shower cap.
    • After half an hour, rinse the oil from your hair, use a conditioner, preferably a deep conditioner.

    Most salons also offer hot oil treatment. The only addition in the salon is that after massaging, a heated lamp may be placed over your head to keep the oil heated and allow for better penetration into the scalp and the hair cuticles.

    Hot oil treatments are best suited for dry, damaged and brittle hair. There are many benefits of applying hot oil on hair - it nourishes and protects your hair, giving it a lustre, volume and length. As we saw, it is also very easy to do a hot oil treatment at home – just follow all the instructions and make sure that you use an oil that is best suited for your hair type and that is not averse to your skin sensitivity.

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