If you’re new to the world of natural hair and wondering why people are always hyping up the use of oils in their regimes, it’s because they really work. If used properly, oils can quite literally take your hair from dry, parched and screaming out for moisture to supple, lubricated and thoroughly moisturised.
To mention just a few here are my favourite oils: coconut, olive, and avocado. But there are also a myriad of other oils available such as sweet almond, grapeseed, argan and castor. It’s just a matter of trying them out and seeing what you like and what works for your hair.
Since returning natural I’ve come across quite a few people who have complained that using oils leave their hair greasy. This really shouldn’t be the case. So here are five ways you can incorporate oils into your regime to maximise their benefit. Of course you don’t have to use all of these methods, but try out a few and see which work best for you.
Pre-poo is short for “pre shampoo” and refers to preparing your hair for the wash process. Simply apply your favourite oil to dry to damp hair, leave it on for anything from 15 minutes to an hour and you’ll ensure that your hair does not get stripped of excess moisture while washing it. This process is extremely useful if you wash your hair with a shampoo that contains sulphates. Pre-pooing further helps with detangling your hair as the oil provides extra lubrication.
2. Hot Oil Treatment
My favourite oils to use for a hot oil treatment are a combination of coconut and olive oils. I simply place them in a heat-safe container and place that container in a bigger bowl filled with hot water, so as to gently heat up the oil. Avoid using a microwave as it will kill off any of the nutrients that you want your hair to benefit from. Then, making sure the oil is not too hot, apply it to your hair, massaging it into your scalp. Cover with a plastic cap and leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse off, wash and condition your hair as usual and you’ll feel the difference in your hair immediately: softer, and deeply moisturised.
3. Oil rinse
This is a third step during the wash process that can be done after you’ve washed your hair, and before or after you condition. It’s done by simply applying your favourite oil to your hair, leaving it on for 5 to 10 minutes and then reaping the benefits of it. The oil will add extra slip which will help you to detangle your hair. It will also reduce frizz and leave you with softer, more moisturised hair and extra shine.
4. Deep Conditioner
One of the easiest ways to incorporate oils into your regime is to simply add one or a few of your favourite oils to your DIY deep conditioner. One of my favourite deep conditioners is to place 2 tbs coconut oil, 2 tbs olive oil and 2 tbs honey in a bowl and whisking them together. Then I just add a dollop of my favourite conditioner, mix it all together and apply it to my hair. I usually leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s so easy and again, it will leave your hair soft, moisturised and incredibly easy to detangle.
Probably the easiest way to use oil in your regime is as a sealant. Simply apply a little oil to the length of the hair and extra to the ends after having moisturised with water or a water-based product. The oil will ensure that the moisture doesn’t simply evaporate from your strands by keeping them moisturised for longer, softer and supple. Keeping your ends sealed with also help to prevent single strand knots from forming.
What are your favourite ways to use oils?