The practice of oiling your hair with warm oil cannot be recommended enough, but only if done properly. You might wonder what is so complicated about oiling your hair, but if not done correctly you will either end up with more hair fall or oily limp hair. While we discuss how to oil your hair, I will also tell you how not to oil your hair.
How Not To Oil Your Hair
No, Do Not Dump The Oil Directly In The Hair
A lot of women have the habit of putting the oil from the bottle or bowl directly into the hair, following it with a vigorous massage. When you do this there is a great chance of you putting excess oil in the hair. Too much of anything is not good. First, the excess oil will clog your pores and send your sebaceous glands into overdrive. Second, to make matters worse, the next day you will need more shampoo to remove the oil that will then strip your hair of all the goodness you put into it.
No, Champi Is Not The Same As Massage
Women, remember the rule while following any regime, whether hair, skin, nail or makeup removal, is to be kind. Heavy-handed movement causes more damage than good. When you vigorously massage your hair, there are greater chances of your hair breaking. And if your hair is dry and weak, a hurried and heavy-handed message will only aggravate the rate of hair fall.
Who Started Oiling Their Hair After A Hair Wash?
Oiling one’s hair right after washing it is a common practice in many households. Apparently, it is supposed to prevent you from using excess oil. But the hair is at its weakest when wet. Dermatologists often discourage people from untangling knots after hair washes. While oiling your hair when it is clean is a good idea, doing it right after a bath is not a good idea.
You Might Consider Trimming Those Nails
Never use your nails while massaging. While there are chances of you hurting your scalp, you could aggravate hair fall if you rub your hair with your nails. If you do have long nails and still want a warm oil massage, in that case, you could use cotton swabs. More on that later.
So, How To Do It Right
The Post-Work Regime
One of the greatest advantages of warm coconut oil for hair growth is that it helps you de-stress. The warm oil opens up the pores in the scalp, which allows the goodness of the oil to enter; the warm massage increases blood circulation, which in turn calms you down. Stress is, of course, one of the greatest causes of hair fall and early greying.
How Warm Should Your Hair Oil Be?
So first take your choice of oil in a bowl. I would strongly recommend using ayurvedic oil because the mixture of several herbs can enrich the hair in more than one way.
Heat the bowl of oil. Do not overheat it because it will not only remove the nutrients from the oil but also fry the keratin in your hair. But, do not under-heat it either, because then there will be no point in having a ‘warm oil’ Massage.
Combing Your Hair Often Helps
Comb your hair gently and remove all knots. While massaging might lead to knots, do not try and untangle the knots just after oiling the hair.
Once you are done untangling your hair, use the comb to part your hair in the center. You could also later make more parting to put oil.
Dip the pads of your fingertips into the oil and rub the oil gently into the roots of the hair and not the scalp. The aim is to open up the roots and allow the nutrients to enter. Do not massage with a vigorous back and forth movement, rather use slow circular movement. You can then go on to knead your scalp with your fingertips. Studies have found that the kneading movement leads to the release of endorphins or happy hormones. Massage for 15-20 minutes.
Once you have covered the roots of the hair, take a little oil in the palm of your hands and gently slide your palms over the hair in straight movements. Do not rub. This will help with the frizziness.
For those with long nails, you could use cotton to dab the oil in your hair. But massaging with cotton will not be comfortable.
In case you are done oiling your hair and still have oil in the bowl, then leave it. Do not put excess oil in the hair.
Allow Nutrients To Enter Hair And Scalp
Now, wrap a warm towel around your head and relax. You could either do light work around the house or lay down and relax or listen to music. The point is to allow your hair and scalp to enjoy all the nutrients you put into it. But remember not to tie your hair into a tight bun or braid right after oiling your hair.
Wash it off after at least an hour or two with a mild shampoo.
If you opt for the overnight regime, make a loose braid or ponytail or wear a shower cap or spread a towel on your pillow before going to bed. In the morning you can wash the oil off with a mild shampoo.
Repeat this regime at least twice a week.
Oiling your hair might not be rocket science, but it can be perfected into a science! There are reasons why the practice has survived down the ages, despite hairdressers and hairstylists dismissing it as something that messes with the PH balance of the scalp. If you are facing problems related to hair, whether it is dryness, roughness, hair fall, dandruff or even weak hair, simple warm hair massage done right can go a long way in addressing many of these problems. Before oiling your hair just remember two points, first to be gentle and second ask yourself if your scalp is clean. Oiling your hair when it is dirty is a big no. And after oiling your hair, do not keep the oil in the hair for 24 hours because it will only accumulate grime. But if you are planning to use the oil as a protective shield before going out, in that case, shampoo your hair at the end of the day.