From shampoos to heat styling, your hair can go through a lot. Many of us are always looking for ways to give our locks some much-needed R&R.
But could it be that your hair needs an oil change?
Hair oiling is an ancient practice used to strengthen and moisturize hair — and many believe that it’s an important step for making sure your strands get a good balance of vitamins.
But is oiling your hair right for you?
What is hair oiling?
Natural oils are applied to or rubbed through your hair during hair oiling in order to promote shine, hydration, and general health. This beauty regimen has origins in Indian culture and Ayurvedic medicine, but it has recently acquired popularity in the natural hair care industry.
When you Google the phrase, a few different approaches appear. Some advise using natural oils on your scalp, while others advise using them to moisturise and cover split ends on the ends of your hair.
What are the benefits of hair oiling?
Similar to our skin, healthy hair requires a mix of different oils.
The major objective of hair oiling, according to its proponents, is to hydrate your hair and replenish any vitamins or minerals it may have lost after frequent washing.
Among the advantages of oiling your hair are:
gives hair hydration and luster
What is the trick to silky hair that even Rapunzel would be envious of? Hydration!
According to a 2015 study, oils can provide hair the moisture boost it needs to be revived. A different study from 2021 discovered that coconut oil makes hair filaments stronger. Hair oiling can fill in some gaps to maintain hair hydrated and, consequently, silky smooth, especially for hair that has been harmed by harsh styling and heat damage.
Improves appearance of split ends
There is still a technique to hide those split ends if you haven't had a chance to go to the salon recently. To help visibly tidy up your hair ends and to give a little moisture, apply some natural oils to them. But keep in mind that this is simply a short-term solution.
May protect your hair from the sun
Not simply your straightener or curling iron can cause heat harm. To prevent your hair from becoming very dry or frizzy over time, it's crucial to protect it from the sun's rays. According to research, almond oil's hydrating qualities may build a barrier against the sun's UV radiation.
Should you apply oils to your scalp?
There is a ton of advice available for lubricating hair. The majority of articles and social media posts probably advocate rubbing oil directly onto your scalp. However, not everyone may experience success with this specific hair oiling technique.
Advocates of hair oiling assert that, depending on your hair type, it may, with proper application, enhance the health of your scalp. A recent 2021 study discovered that coconut oil in particular benefits the scalp.
According to a different study, oiling your hair may also help prevent dandruff. However, other authorities, including Dr. Khetarpal, advise against applying oil to your scalp directly. It turns out that oiling your hair may actually increase your chances of seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff. In general, it's preferable to avoid rubbing oil on your scalp.
Is hair oiling right for you?
There isn't a one-size-fits-all beauty regimen, no matter what sort of hair you have. Dr. Khetarpal emphasizes that hair oiling won't have the same effects on every head of hair.
According to him, some hair types benefit more than others from oiling. "While oiling can be beneficial for those with dry, coarse, tightly curled hair, it may be too heavy for those with fine, straight hair. All oils should be avoided by those who are prone to dandruff.
Whether or not hair oiling will work for you may depend on:
- How dry or oily your hair naturally is.
- Any medical conditions you may have.
- Previous styling or color.
- Ethnic background.
What kind of oils are used for hair oiling?
There’s a variety of different natural oils to choose from. It’s usually recommended that you use natural oils if possible to avoid any additives or chemicals that may irritate your hair.
Here are some natural oils to consider:
How do you oil your hair?
When it comes to applying oil to your hair, a little bit goes a long way.
“Oils can be applied to the ends of the hair, and then washed out after several hours,” notes Dr. Khetarpal. “It’s best to apply to dry hair and use a small amount.”
Try this method on a weekly basis:
- Prep your hair by brushing or combing to avoid any tangling.
- Put a pea-sized amount of oil into your hand.
- Apply oil to the ends of your hair. Use your fingers to spread the oil evenly from the middle of your hair to the ends.
- Keep oil in hair as long as desired (20 minutes to an hour) and then wash out.
All in all, it's wise to experiment with various hair procedures gradually. Keep in mind that not every head of hair is the same, so even natural oils might have varied outcomes for various people.