Hair Oiling 101
Seeing numerous TikTok videos (and before-and-after testimonials) of hair oiling, my personal research/googling was conducted to discover what this internet trend is. A practice with a long history, hair oiling is gaining more attention in the West for it’s purported benefits. Practiced for over 4,000 years, hair oiling derives from Ayurveda. Basically, the idea is to have oil coat your hair with (you guessed it) oils, protecting it from the surfactants in shampoo, reducing dandruff, and aiding in hair growth. Below, we profile a few of our favorite oils to use.
(image credit: Pexels)
Castor: Abundant in Omega-6 fatty acids, castor oil is viscous and deeply nourishing. Organic castor oil is best.
Coconut: Coconut is a holy grail for most. We like Shea Moisture's coconut oil for our hair.
Argan: Rich in vitamin E, argan oil is nourishing, light weight and has a delicate scent compared to most oils. It also lacks the protein coconut oil has, so it’s great for deeply moisturizing the scalp. Our favorite argan oil is by Josie Maran.
Shea: Hailing from West Africa, shea oil is rich in many of the same ingredients in the butter counterpart, but without the wax-like effect. It’s an oil for all hair types, and for dry scalps and heat damaged hair (which my hair tends to become when I spend the summer all day in the sun). Your local Middle Eastern market also likely carries bottles. Aura Cacia's is our favorite because of it's easy to use applicator.
Additional favorites: Ouai’s Rose Hair & Body Oil (pictured below) has sunflower and apricot oil, both known for their ability to increase malleability in the hair. Marula oil from The Ordinary is packed with antioxidants vitamin C and E, perfect for healing your locks. Kiehl’s has been producing their Magic Elixer for years, a wonderful option for everyone’s strands with the superstar avocado oil to protect your delicate scalp.
How to apply:
Section parts of your scalp and apply warm oil directly to your roots. It’s important to coat the entirety of the scalp because damage commonly occurs there when shampooing. Massage the oil, concentrating on the scalp. A few drops can also be applied to the midsection and ends of your hair. Leave in for at least 2 hours; sometimes I leave the oil on overnight, and the results for both options have been amazing.
My hair is fine, numerous, and wavy. It’s difficult for it to maintain moisture because of the waviness – curly and wavy hair tend to be drier than straight hair. Pillowy soft, silky smooth strands are no longer only an after-salon visit treat, thanks to these products and this Ayurvedic practice.