Hair Oiling: Benefits and Steps on How to Do It

Many of us subject our hair to daily trauma by washing, heat styling, coloring, applying harsh chemical products, and other treatments. It is important to repair damaged hair by nourishing it and giving it some regular care. Recently, the ancient practice of hair oiling has increased in popularity because it may improve the health and appearance of your hair. Read on to learn about the benefits of hair oiling, how to do it properly, and the risks.

Key takeaways:
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    Hair oiling may improve the health and appearance of your scalp and hair.
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    Hair oiling may benefit hair by improving hydration, protecting it from damage, repairing damage, and increasing growth. It may also help treat dandruff.
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    There are various oils to choose from based on your hair type and goals, such as coconut, sesame, rosemary, argan, peppermint, almond, ginseng, and moringa.

What is hair oiling?

Hair oiling is an ancient Indian tradition that stems from Ayurvedic medicine. It involves massaging oil into the scalp and/or hair. Hair oiling goals include improving the health of your scalp and hair and the overall look and feel of your hair. If you are prone to clogged pores and folliculitis, you may not want to massage certain comedogenic oils into your scalp.

Benefits of hair oiling

There are several potential benefits to hair oiling. The benefits depend in part on the correct oil selection. Different oils offer different benefits.

Benefits include:

  • Hydration/moisturization. Hair oiling can hydrate the hair and scalp to improve dryness, frizziness, and itchiness. It adds shine and softens the hair.
  • Protection from sun and styling damage. Oils can bond with the hair and add a layer of protection from your styling products, chemicals, and tools. Some oils contain antioxidants to help protect the scalp and hair from sun damage, which can lead to dryness.
  • Hair growth. Certain oils may combat hair loss and promote growth by supplying nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to the scalp and hair. Also, massaging the oil into the scalp can increase blood flow, which delivers extra oxygen and nutrients. The extra oxygen and nutrients can promote hair growth.
  • Dandruff. Several oils have antifungal properties, which may help treat dandruff.
  • Hair repair. Some oils contain lipids that can bond to the hair and repair damage caused by chemicals, overwashing, or heat styling that causes split ends and frizz.

How to perform hair oiling

After you determine your hair's specific needs, select the right oil or oils for your hair and scalp. Be sure to apply the oil to a clean scalp and hair. You should only perform hair oiling once or twice weekly to prevent problems.

Follow these steps:

  • Apply a small amount of warm oil (1 teaspoon or tablespoon) to dry, clean hair.
  • Massage the oil gently into your scalp and hair.
  • Wrap your head in a soft, warm cotton cloth and leave it on for an hour or overnight with a shower cap to aid penetration of the oil.
  • Apply shampoo to dry hair, then rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Apply conditioner.

Risks of hair oiling

Hair oiling is not without risks. It is important to perform it properly to avoid causing problems to your scalp and hair. While the oil is on your hair, do not comb, massage it too aggressively, or tie it up because that can lead to hair breakage. Also, avoid leaving the oil on your hair for more than one day because it can attract dirt, toxins, bacteria, and fungus that can damage the hair and scalp.

It is also crucial to select the correct oil for your hair type and medical issues. If you have sparse, fine hair, try a lightweight oil so your hair does not feel weighed down. Some people with very fine hair cannot perform hair oiling because the oil is too heavy feeling. Also, do not use hair oil daily because it can strip your hair of its natural oils and lead to more dryness and damage. If you are prone to clogged pores and acne, select a non-comedogenic oil.

Tips for choosing the right hair oil

Choosing the right oil depends on your hair type, hair issues, and any medical issues your scalp has. There are many oils to choose from, which can make it a daunting task. Whatever oil you select, try a patch test first to ensure it will not irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is the most commonly used hair oil. It contains lauric acid, which bonds to the hair to repair and strengthen it. Coconut oil is light and penetrates well to hydrate dry hair and calm scalp itchiness.

Sesame oil

Sesame oil can temporarily help improve the appearance of split ends and frizzy hair. It contains vitamin B1, copper, zinc, iron, and other minerals to nourish hair. Also, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Almond oil

Almond oil contains vitamins E and B7 to nourish hair and improve growth. Vitamin E can hydrate and act as an antioxidant to prevent sun damage. Some studies show increased hair growth from vitamin B7 (biotin).

Argan oil

Argan oil is full of vitamins A, C, and E. All of these vitamins are antioxidants that prevent UV damage from the sun. It also has omega-3 fatty acids to help strengthen hair.

Moringa oil

Moringa oil contains oleic acid, which can add moisture to dry hair. This will improve the hair's appearance and give it a silky feel. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to calm the scalp.

Rosemary oil

Rosemary oil has recently gained popularity in treating hair loss. Some small studies have shown it can improve hair growth. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which may help with dandruff.

Ginseng oil

Ginseng oil may also improve hair growth, as shown in recent small studies. It consists of vitamins B1, B2, and B12 to help hair growth. It also has the antioxidant vitamin C for protection.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil smells good and also has a cooling effect on the scalp. It is a vasodilator that can increase blood flow to the scalp. This increased blood flow will deliver extra oxygen and nutrients to the scalp to promote hair growth.

Hair oiling, which has roots in ancient India, has recently gained popularity. Many use hair oil to hydrate, strengthen, and improve the appearance of the hair. It is usually safe for all hair types and worth a try if you have dry, damaged hair. If you have any concerns, have existing medical problems involving your scalp, or are unsure what oil to select, ask your dermatologist for guidance.


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