The frequency that you need to oil your hair highly depends on how often you wash it and what is the goal you are trying to achieve with hair oiling. There is a number of conditions to consider when thinking about you hair oiling routine.
The video below explains step-by-step process of oiling your hair:
General answer is: it depends. It depends on the goals behind your hair oiling routine: is it for hair growth? Is it for hair strands to keep them nourished? Is it for treatment of a condition?
This type of hair oiling focuses on either hair growth or treatment of dandruff. For hair growth – usual suspects of castor oil, peppermint, rosemary or burdock oils are generally your “safe bets”. Easiest way rule of thumb: once a week before going to bed, one day ahead of your wash day. However if your hair washing cycle is longer than a week, you might want to reduce the frequency – to align with the frequency of your hair washing.
Scalp oiling can also be done as a treatment for dandruff, which is often caused by a fungal infection. In that case, using a few drops of tea tree oil (5 drop per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil) can be found helpful. You can also explore other oils with high terpenoid content which makes them more powerful to treat dandruff – as it helps penetration into the fatty cell membrane of bacteria and fungi. Leave for at least 30 minutes before washing your hair with gentle shampoo.
We mention carrier oil – which can be olive oil, sweet almond oil, avocado, coconut or grapeseed. The latter is made from seed of grapes and provides a lightweight option for those finding olive oil too heavy on the scalp or if you find your hair strands too dry after washing it out.
Oiling hair lengths
You can oil your hair lengths right after leaving the shower, after towel-drying your hair. The water that is still in your hair will help emulsify the oils which improves lathering, application as well as oil penetration into the hair shaft. Start with few drops on the very ends of your hair: depending on your hair density and length. You can always add more, but getting rid of the extra grease is a lot harder – so, start small!
Second time to oil your lengths is the night before your wash day – it will leave your hair feeling soft and nourished after you wash it the next morning. You can also combine scalp oiling with lengths oiling too – therefore apply a few different types of oils across your hair and scalp.
Depending on the length of your hair washing cycle – you can also apply a few drops in between the washes if the ends feel too dry. Spray your ends with water and then work in a few drops after – just as you would after washing your hair – this intermittent oil top up will help keeping the ends of your hair happy and nourished.
Be careful not to over-oil your hair – as excessive oils attract grease and dust – which means you would have to wash your hair more often – which can lead to brittleness and dry to split ends.
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Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Essential Oil Components, Journal of Essential Oil Research, (1)
Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo, Journal of American Academy of Dermatology (2)