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Hair Oiling 101: Treat your Tresses Right

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 

This is an image of how hair oil works

How to Oil Your Hair the Right Way

Here is our fool-proof guide to oiling your hair at home:

  • Comb your hair: Brush your hair well and get rid of any knots and tangles. Keep in mind that you always want to brush your hair before oiling it rather than after. We will explain why in a bit!
  • Divide and conquer: Divide your hair into sections and then apply the oil, for thorough application. 
  • Heat the oil: If you are using pure and organic plant oils, you will find that they tend to solidify as the weather gets cooler. Do not worry if that happens to your oil. Just submerge half of the bottle in hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can also scoop out some of the product and heat it on a pan. Warmed oils absorb better onto your scalp.
  • Wrap a warm towel around your hair: If you are in the mood to indulge, you can wrap a warm and slight damp towel around your hair after you have oiled it. The warmth opens up the pores and follicles, allowing the oil to absorb better. 
  • Focus on the scalp: When you are oiling your hair, be sure to keep the focus on the scalp and not the hair itself. Oiling is meant for nourishing and stimulating your scalp and it can wear down your hair.

  • This is an image of how to oil your hair the right way

    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). 

    This is an image of pure organic oils

    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. 

    This is an image of the mistakes to avoid while 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

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