Let us face it - is one really Indian if one does not oil their hair? Hair oiling has been around for quite some time now and it is a big part of our lives and our hairs’ lives. While our parents’ and grandparents’ generations swear by this ritual, many have begun to question whether oiling one’s hair really does anything. More importantly, if it does something, what is the right way to go about oiling one’s hair? Read on to find out!
What is the big deal about hair oiling?
For a lot many of us - probably for all of us - hair oiling is so much more than a simple activity. Rather, it invokes a certain childhood nostalgia - visiting your grandparents during your school breaks and chatting away endlessly while your grandma massaged your head with a blend of oils. The good news is that besides invoking childhood memories, hair oiling actually works wonders for the scalp! Let us see how
Why it Works
1. Hydrates and moisturises the scalp
As interest in personal care is steadily increasing - especially since we are all spending a lot of time indoors - more and more people are beginning to realise the importance of taking care of the scalp. Plant oils are rich in essential fatty acids and vital nutrients that protect the scalp and strengthen the Stratum Corneum (yes, it covers the scalp too!)
2. Helps improve hair growth
When you massage the oil onto your scalp, the massaging action stimulates the scalp and promotes blood circulation. This further promotes hair growth.
3. Strengthens hair follicles
Oils such as Coconut, Olive, Avocado, Jojoba, and other plant oils are rich in vitamins such as Vitamin E and essential fatty acids that replenish the scalp and strengthen the roots and hair follicles. Hair oiling also increases the tensile strength of the hair, thereby strengthening it and reducing frizziness.
4. Helps prevent dandruff and flakiness
Oils such as Neem oil possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe an itchy and inflamed scalp.
5. Adds a healthy shine to the hair
Like our skin, our scalp is exposed to environmental aggressors such as UV rays, pollution, dust, debris, and more. All these can severely damage our hair. Regular oiling makes the hair
How to Oil Your Hair the Right Way
Here is our fool-proof guide to oiling your hair at home:
Choosing the right oil
Like the skin, our scalp has different needs, as does the hair. Understanding your hair and scalp type is an essential part of your hair care routine. You need to know what you are looking for.
Oil blends: the Best of Many Worlds
Nowadays, you will find many oil mixtures in the market today. These oils could be a combination of mere plant oils or they may contain certain herb extracts and essential oils. Here are some of our top picks:
Juicy Chemistry’s Chilly, Black Seed & Horsetail Organic Hair Oil is great for adding some volume to the hair and stimulating hair growth. Chilly oil stimulates the scalp, leading to increased blood circulation. This oil also helps with hair fall. It is a lightweight formula that won’t wear your hair down too much.
Ohria Ayurveda’s Japa Pushpam Thailam is a luxurious blend of nourishing plant oils such as Coconut, Sesame, and Castor oils. This oil also contains extracts from herbs such as Bhringraj and Brahmi that are known to help with hair growth and premature greying.
If you are struggling to tame your frizzy and dry tresses, you can give Juicy Chemistry’s Marula, Argan & Lavender Organic Hair Oil a shot. Lavender essential oil helps soothe the scalp while Rosemary and Sage essential oils stimulate hair growth and strengthen hair follicles. Plant oils such as Jojoba, Apricot, Olive, Marula, Argan, Almond, Coconut, and Sunflower oils form a nourishing and conditioning blend that helps make your tresses smooth and shiny.
The Switch Fix’s Viva La Sativa Hair Oil is a nourishing blend of plant oils such as those of Hemp Seed, Castor, Moringa, Coconut, Avocado and fruit extracts. If you have dry and damaged hair, this oil is bound to give your tresses that much-needed TLC!
Keeping It Simple
If you are not interested in trying blends, you can opt for pure organic oils such as those of Coconut, Apricot, Avocado, Jojoba, Almond, Olive, and Hemp among others. Such oils tend to be great multi-taskers and, depending on your skin type, can be used on the face and body as well. For example, Jojoba oil is great for the hair and skin (particularly oily skin).
Mistakes to avoid
Avoid combing your hair right after oiling
If you have to comb and de-tangle your hair, do so before oiling it and not after to avoid breakage. The scalp becomes relaxed after a massage and this leaves the hair vulnerable to breakage. So avoid combing your hair!
Don’t tie your hair up in a tight bun or ponytail
Just as combing after oiling your hair is not good, neither is tying your hair too tight. As strong as the urge to wrap your hair up in a nice top may be, we urge you to be gentle with your hair.
Less is more
The tendency to slather on oil and cover every inch of your tresses is strong but we urge you to resist it. Oils by nature are difficult to wash off so if you use too much oil, you will have to use more shampoo, thereby drying out your hair (which is rather counterproductive).
Don’t let the oil sit for hours at end
While oiling your hair and leaving it on overnight is quite popular, you should not leave it on for hours during the day when you are out and about. This is because the oil tends to attract dirt, dust, and grime. Moreover, the oil begins to mix with your scalp’s natural oils. To avoid such a mess, do not let the oil sit for more than 1 to 2 hours.
Don’t oil your hair everyday
If oiling the hair is such a good idea, you should probably do it as often as possible, right? Everyday perhaps? No! If you are oiling your hair too often, you are contributing to the build-up in your scalp and making things worse instead of better. Stick to 1 to 2 days of the week for oiling your hair.
Hair oiling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that has gracefully stood the test of time and has thrived. Oiling helps condition the hair, strengthen hair follicles, and nourish the scalp. Depending on which oil you choose, oiling can also help with itchiness and dandruff. Be sure to not overdo it though!
- Gauri Sindhu