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How often should you oil your hair?

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?

Scalp oiling

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.

Which hair do you use and how? Share your insights with our community!

Unsure which oil to use and how? Take our hair oil quiz:

Sources:

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)

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5 thoughts on “How often should you oil your hair?”

  1. Hey! Since I have curly hair then I have started to use Sumilayi repairing oil treatment with main ingredients of jojoba, grapeseed and orange peel oils. (In addition to The Hair Fuel mask ;)). It is said that it is good for scalp as well as for lengths. How does that sound to you? I have only used it at ends so far.

    Reply
    • Hey Age! That’s great to hear you’re following your The Hair Fuel journey! Looking at the ingredients of the oil you’ve shared – it seems that it aims to have more soothing effects on the hair lengths and scalp, than hair-growth inducing. Good idea to use a few drops of this after shower (when the hair is still wet) or as an overnight treatment for the length and scalp the night before your wash day (or leaving it in for 30-60 minutes prior to washing). As a scalp treatment it might help with dry / itchy scalp. Hope that helps? Let us know if you have more questions 🙂

      Reply
  2. I am batteling to grow my hair
    My hair is thick and curly
    And new broken pieces are happening and I don’t know why

    Reply
    • Hey Sharon! Sorry to hear you’re struggling to grow your hair. Good that your hair is thick – that’s always a good start. 🙂 Have you examined any potential causes for the breakage?
      Some potential causes for hair breakage are:
      – heat styling tools dries out your hair
      – under and over active thyroid can lead to hair brittleness
      – even sleeping – if your hair is somewhat long and you’re not caring for it correctly at night (e.g. a protective hairstyle, silk / satin pillowcase)
      – bleach or hair dye with harsh colourants this really wicks all the moisture from your hair shaft that increases brittleness…

      It helps to do an analysis of your daily routine, too – for example if you work out – do you wear it in a pony tail (bad idea) or using a braid? At work / during commute do you let your hair loose or protect it in some way from mechanical damage?

      These are just some questions to ask yourself 🙂 Let us know if you have more questions!

      Reply
    • I’d also recommend checking the protein and moisture levels of your hair. (All hair regardless of hair porosity type needs some level of protein).

      Too much or too little can be a cause of breakage as well as too little hydration can cause breakage too.

      Check your vitamin levels as well and ensure you’re getting enough vitamins, iron, biotin, etc in your diet as well.

      Reply

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