Freezing and windy winters, blistering summer days, heat styling tools and all those sprays, gels and shampoos can take a heavy toll on our locks. And the stresses and strains of modern life don’t help either! So, it’s no surprise that we’re always looking for ways to give our hair some respite and loving care. And right now, there’s a lot of noise about hair oiling. You may have seen it as one of the many hair hacks trending on TikTok. The many devotees of Netflix’s Bridgerton will know all about the practice too. The now-famous scene of the beautiful Sharma sisters oiling their tresses has certainly created a lot of interest.
But just what is hair oiling, and what does it involve? Is oiling good for hair? Is it something we should all be doing? Read on as we take a deep dive into the trend.
What Is Hair Oiling?
Hair oiling is simply when natural oils are poured onto your locks and massaged in. It’s then left on for a few hours (or even overnight) before being rinsed out. The practice is ancient and has been prevalent in many South Asian cultures for thousands of years. In India hair oil is huge! It’s used to moisturise, soften and make hair shinier. Some believe it can also give your hair a boost of vitamins and minerals too.
What Oils Are Used?
There are a wide range of natural oils that can be used for the practice. Some people use a blend of oils in homemade recipes. In some instances, these are closely guarded secrets, handed down through the generations! Each oil has different properties. And the best one for you will depend on your hair type. Commonly used oils include coconut, almond, sesame, argan, moringa and amla.
Pros Of Hair Oiling
Oiling hair can protect hair by forming a layer on each shaft. It does this by filling in the spaces between cuticle cells, thereby protecting hair from external damage. This process can also lock in moisture. This in turn reduces frizziness and boosts shine. As the natural oils produced by the glands inside the scalp don’t travel more than three or four inches down the hair strands, the ends can get very dry, leading to split ends. Adding natural oils can alleviate this problem.
Oiling also involves massaging the liquid into the scalp. Massage can aid exfoliation of dead cells and also promotes blood circulation in the scalp.
Cons Of Hair Oiling
While there are potential benefits to hair oiling, it isn’t all plain sailing! Your scalp and hair are regulated by sebum, a natural oil produced by glands in your scalp. And not only does it help to moisturise your scalp and hair, but it also acts as a barrier against infection.
Putting too much oil on your scalp can cause scalp issues. Firstly, excess oil can interfere with the natural production of sebum. This can cause your scalp to become dry over time. If this happens, you’ll end up needing to oil your hair even more often. And as we all know, a drier scalp means dandruff. Less sebum also means you run the risk of scalp infections.
Oils are not water-soluble. Fail to rinse out thoroughly, they will leave a residue. This can attract dust and gunk. And the more oil you use, the more shampoo you need to wash it out, which can of course damage your hair and cause a dry scalp.
How To Do It
Hair oiling has been practice for centuries, and there are benefits. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have survived so long! If you’re going to give it whirl, here's how to use hair oils. Firstly, don’t use too much. And avoid putting any oil directly on your scalp, simply apply it to the ends of the hair. That way, you don’t risk scalp problems while reaching the parts of your hair that sebum can’t!
Always do it before you wash your hair, and don’t leave it in overnight. 30 minutes before washing should maximise the benefits.
- Gently comb your hair through with a wide-tooth Hair Gain comb to remove any knots and tangles.
- Put 1 tsp of oil in your palm and rub your hands together.
- Run your fingers through your hair from the middle to the end (remember, avoid the scalp) to evenly distribute the oil.
- Repeat the process until your hair is covered.
- Leave in for 30 minutes to one hour, and then wash hair thoroughly with a gentle shampoo.
Apply no more than once or twice a week.
Your hair is a natural part of your body, and these natural oils can help prevent damage from everyday issues like pollution, heat styling and harsh chemicals present in many shampoos. But they should be used with caution. Especially for those with sensitive or problematic scalps. Many sites promoting hair oiling also suggest leaving oils in overnight for maximum benefits. But many experts warn against it, and we would agree with their reservations.
Besides, many of the benefits associated with hair oiling can also be achieved with our luxurious Hair Mask. This has been scientifically formulated to nourish and hydrate hair, leaving it with increased vitality and shine. It also nurtures and revitalising the scalp without drying it out. It stimulates signal molecules in the dermal papilla required to reactivate hair growth too! Simply leave in for 10 minutes once or twice a week for maximum benefits. It also rinses out easily, leaving no residue.