How To Apply Oil To Hair The Right Way
Oiling is a very essential part of the hair care schedule. It protects the hair from regular wear and tears. Thus, it is very important that you choose an oil that is best suited for your hair and apply it in a manner that delivers the maximum benefits. Let’s look at how to use hair oil and its benefits.
Benefits of Oiling Your Hair
Oiling your hair and scalp promotes the overall wellness and health of the hair. It can help in reducing hair fall and promotes exfoliation. Oils have fatty acids that are very essential in making the hair look and feel healthy. The natural lipids in the hair are lost due to external factors such as pollution and the usage of chemical treatments and products. If you have frizzy and dry hair, oiling should be an essential part of your hair care schedule. Here we list the most important benefits of oiling hair.
- Oiling promotes hair growth and strengthens the roots by nourishing the scalp and hair shaft of the essential vitamins and minerals.
- Oiling controls the frizz and prevents split ends. It deeply conditions the hair and makes the hair soft and manageable.
- Oiling protects the hair from radiation and pollution.
- Massaging the scalp during oiling improves blood circulation promoting hair growth.
- Ayurvedic oils and essential oils can help in the treatment of specific issues such as dandruff, dry scalp, scalp infection, and premature greying.
Later, we will look at how to apply oil to hair so that these benefits can be useful for the health of your hair and scalp.
Which Oils to Choose for Oiling
Before you perfect how to apply oil to hair, choosing the best hair oil is important. An oil that is best suited for your hair depends on your hair type and hair needs. We recommend that you always do a patch test before using any oil so that you can make sure you do not have any allergies. There are various oils that you can choose from.
This is one of the most commonly used hair oils in South Asia. Coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft easily and provide natural protection and deep conditioning. Coconut oil is generally suitable for most hair types.
This helps prevent split ends and reduce frizziness. Sesame oil also provides deep conditioning, smoothens the hair shaft, and also has antifungal properties that prevent dandruff.
Rich in biotin and vitamins E, B, and K, almond oil is good for both dry and oily hair. It is very effective for hair growth and makes the hair shiny and rich.
This is also known as Moroccan oil. Rich in vitamin E, C, and E, it is a natural conditioner and helps in strengthening the hair.
Rich in vitamin C, amla oil makes the hair strong and nourishes the roots promoting better hair growth.
In addition to these, you can pick from many other options such as bhringraj hair oil, castor oil for hair, or jojoba oil for hair. You can also use essential oil along with the carrier oils described above. The most common essential oils are lavender oil, tea tree oil, sandalwood oil, peppermint essential oil, etc.
Steps to Apply Oil for Hair Growth
Let us know how to apply oil to hair so that it is most effective.
- Before you start oiling, it is helpful if you brush your hair once. This gets rid of the knots and the tangles making oiling easy.
- Section the hair into two parts right down the middle of the scalp. Now the hair is ready for oiling.
- You can either use the oil directly or heat it before applying to get the maximum benefits. If you want to go for a hot oil massage, heat the oil for a few seconds just to make it warm enough.
- If you want to treat any specific issue such as dandruff or dry scalp, at this stage just before applying the oil, you can add a few drops of essential oil as per the issue or your preference.
- Take the oil in your palms and rub them together to spread the oil. Using your fingertips, work the oil to the scalp. Massage the scalp for about ten minutes using circular motions. Massage using your fingertips. This will stimulate the scalp and improve blood circulation.
- Make sure to cover the areas at the back of the head and behind the ears. Try to cover the entire scalp area when applying the oil.
- After the scalp is massaged, run your fingers from the roots to the tips of the hair, applying the oil through the length of the hair. Rub some drops of the oil in your palms and run the hands through the hair, oiling the length of the hair shaft.
- Repeat the steps of oiling the scalp and the hair until you feel that everything is covered. Each time just take a small amount of oil in the palms, rub the palms together and apply the oil. Run a wide-toothed comb through your hair a few times to evenly spread the oil.
- If you want to take all the benefits of the oil. After oiling, you can wrap a hot towel around your hair. You can keep it wrapped for about half an hour. This will open the cuticles and facilitate the penetration of oil in the hair.
- You can leave the oil overnight for the best results. If you are not able to do that, make sure you keep it applied for about half an hour before rinsing.
- Rinse oil with shampoo. You might need to do more than one washing to make sure all the oil from the scalp and the hair has been removed.
How Often Should You Oil Your Hair
How to apply oil to hair and how often to oil hair are two concerns that go hand in hand. As per Ayurveda, oiling the hair must be a part of one’s daily routine however that is not practically possible these days. Oiling your hair twice a week is ideal. The best is to oil your hair the night before you are planning to wash your hair. Ayurveda also suggests leaving hair oiled overnight. If overnight oiling is not possible for you, you can apply oil about half an hour to an hour before washing the hair.
Oiling Do's & Don'ts
It always helps to remember a few tips on how to apply oil to hair. Let’s look at some of the precautions which can help.
- Do not comb a lot after oiling. Although combing helps distribute the oil evenly on the hair and the scalp, over-combing can break the hair. It is best to use a wide-toothed comb post oiling.
- Do not wash your hair immediately after oiling. Let the oil sit on the scalp for at least half an hour before washing. Leaving overnight could be a good option too.
- Be careful not to apply excess oil. Since the only way to wash off oil is shampoo, more oiling means more shampooing. More shampooing hampers the natural balance of oil and moisture of the hair.
- After oiling, the scalp is relaxed and the hair is in a vulnerable state. It is best not to strain the hair at this point by tying up the hair. We suggest you keep the hair open or loosely tied after oiling.
- Massaging the scalp very vigorously can break the hair. When massaging the scalp using gentle circular motions. Vigorous massaging is not how to apply oil to hair.
Should You apply oil to wet hair?
Another concern with how to apply oil to hair deals with oil and wet hair. Oil and water repel each other. If applied to wet hair, the oil is not able to penetrate deeply. Water forms a layer on the hair and the oil is not able to pass through this. Thus, oiling wet hair is ineffective.
Oiling your hair when it is dry is the most recommended and effective practice. You can heat the oil a little before applying it to improve the penetration. There are many benefits of hot oil massage for hair.
Does overnight oiling damage your hair?
Now that we know how to apply oil to hair, let's address the most common question. Applying oil to the hair before bedtime is common tradition practice in India. Leaving oil applied overnight lets the oil get absorbed in the scalp tissues much better. When you leave oil applied overnight it gives the carrier oils the time to deliver the essential essence of the herbs. Overnight oiling can also help in improving the quality of your sleep.
To answer how long you should leave the oil in your hair, it is recommended that you do not leave oil applied to your hair for more than a day. This can cause an oil layer to form on the scalp which will clog the pores, cause greasiness and accumulate dirt.
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Heena is our Hair Expert on board. She has a Masters in English Literature and is total nerd about medical journals and research.