With the cold weather coming up, now is the perfect time to make sure your natural hair is in the best state of health. If your hair feels dry, brittle, or damaged, a hot oil treatment might be the perfect remedy!
Treating the hair with oils can help hydrate the strands and the scalp, and heating the oil can make it even more deeply penetrating for incredible results. Read on to find out how our new oils can be used to treat your hair in an easy and fun way!
Benefits of hot oil treatments
Potential benefits of hot oil treatments include:
- Increased hair strength
- Reduced dryness of both the scalp and hair
- Help with dandruff relief
- Reduced frizz
- Fewer split ends
- Increased blood flow in the scalp, which may help promote healthier hair
How does a hot oil treatment work?
The hair strand has three distinct layers. The outermost layer produces natural oils, which make hair look healthy and shiny, and protects it from breaking. This layer can break down as a result of swimming in chlorinated water, living in a dry climate, chemical straightening or texturizing, and using hot styling tools.
When the hair begins to break down, it will start to feel dry and lose its luster resulting in a dull look. This is when it's time for a hot oil treatment to restore that outermost layer of your hair follicle.
As with other types of hair treatments, such as hair masks or Deep Conditioners, you can use hot oil in your hair once a week. If you have color-treated hair, using hot oil treatments and deep conditioning treatments once a week can help restore your hair's health and shine. All hair types can benefit from hot oil treatments, but they're particularly great for protecting and hydrating the brittle strands of those with dry and damaged hair.
Which oils should I try in a hot oil treatment?
Coconut oil is rich in hydrating omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which is known to add shine to hair and is essential for scalp health. Poor scalp health can result in dull hair. If you have very kinky or curly hair, you may be able to use a small amount as a leave-in conditioner without the hair appearing greasy.
To use coconut oil in a hot oil treatment, warm the oil between your hands. The warmth will open the hair shaft, which will allow the oil to absorb into the strands rather than just sitting on top. Apply the oil to your hair once the warmth from your hands liquifies it.
Leave the coconut oil in your hair for as long as you’d like — you can even leave it on overnight — and shampoo and condition as normal. It may take two rinses to thoroughly remove the oil.
Note: NaturAll’s Hydrating Leave-in Conditioner also works wonders when you pair it with an oil to seal the moisture in!
Like coconut oil, olive oil also contains vitamin E and fatty acids. In addition, it has softening emollients like squalene and oleic acid, which make hair super soft. Because olive oil is so dense and rich in minerals, you don’t need to use a lot of oil to condition hair, especially if your strands are fine or short. Depending on the length of your hair and if you want to saturate the ends or the scalp too, you’ll only need about 1 or 2 tablespoons. For very long, thick hair, you might need as much as a 1/4 cup.
Massage the oil onto dry hair; you can leave it covered in a warm towel or a shower cap for as long as you like. Then use a wide tooth comb to comb the oil through before thoroughly cleansing. We recommend using NaturAll’s Hydrating Shampoo to wash the oil out of your hair. This shampoo is sulfate-free and smells absolutely delicious!
Avocado oil is high in fat, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are essential for strong, healthy hair. Fatty acids can help repair dry or damaged hair by protecting the scalp from environmental damage. The fruit is also a natural source of biotin, which means the oil can strengthen hair, and allow healthy hair to maintain a beautiful sheen.
Thankfully, NaturAll’s Hydrating Oil Blend features avocado oil and kiwi extract! You can use the oil in a hair mask and let it sit on your hair for as long as 3 hours, then cleanse thoroughly. Or, you can use it as a hot oil treatment by gently heating the oil in a glass jar submerged in hot water, then applying into freshly washed hair. Leave it on for 20 minutes before cleansing.
Almond oil is filled with omega-9 fatty acids which can add shine and potentially even stimulate new hair growth. Almond oil also has vitamin E and protein that can strengthen hair and prevent breakage. This nut-derived oil softens hair with its emollient qualities that protect and seal to better moisturize hair and keep it moisturized for longer periods of time. You can mix almond oil with another oil like coconut to make a hair mask, or you can apply the oil directly to your hair, focusing especially on the ends.
What is a carrier oil?
Some oils are too potent or expensive to use in large quantities on your hair. In this case, carrier oils can be used to dilute and deliver the essential oils throughout your hair and further into the hair shaft, where they have a chance to work more deeply. Here are some great carrier oils to try on hair:
- Argan oil is a very moisturizing oil because of its vitamin E content and fatty acids.
- Castor oil has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that may help remove dandruff.
- Jojoba oil may be very moisturizing because it contains vitamins A, B, C, and E, and minerals like zinc and copper.
- Macadamia oil is also rich in fatty acids and vitamins, and can result in smooth, shiny hair. You should not use it if you’re allergic to nuts.
NaturAll’s new Strengthening Collection features oil blends which include powerful Jamaican Black Castor Oil which can act as a great alternative to the above carrier oils. Use it alone, or in tandem with these listed oils and your hair will be sure to thank you!
What about essential oils?
Essential oils come from plants, and many of them may benefit hair and scalp health. Essential oils will often be diluted with carrier oils. Some potentially beneficial essential oils for dry hair include:
- tea tree
- clary sage
You can add 5 drops of an essential oil, like tea tree, directly into your shampoo or conditioner. Most commonly, you can make a hair mask by mixing a few drops of your favorite essential oil with a carrier oil and applying it to your hair while focusing on the ends. Leave the mixture on for at least 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
How-to do a hot oil treatment
- Once you’ve washed your hair, microwave 3 to 6 tablespoons of the oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 10 seconds.
- Before applying the oil to your damp hair and scalp, test a small amount of the oil on your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot.
- To protect your clothing, place a towel over your shoulders. If you prefer, you can apply the oil in the shower.
- Run a brush through your hair to get rid of any knots.
- Apply the oil evenly throughout your hair and massage it into your scalp.
- Cover your head with a shower cap and wait up to 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, completely rinse out the oil from your hair, and follow up with your favorite conditioner or shampoo.
If you’re planning to use the oil on dry hair as a smoothing lotion or leave-in conditioner and will not be rinsing it out, you won’t need more than a dime-size amount. Using too much product without cleansing afterwards can result in extremely greasy hair!
Hot oil treatments can be applied to both clean and dry or damp hair. Feel free to experiment with the different techniques laid out above and see which one works best for you.
You can leave the oil in your hair for 30 minutes, or for even greater results, you can even let the treatment settle in overnight for even more long lasting benefits. The longer the treatment is able to sit, the deeper into your hair strand the vitamins and minerals will go! When it comes time to rinse your hair, you can even shampoo twice to get all of the oils out. Be sure to condition your hair as usual!
Hot oil treatments can keep your hair healthy!
Hot oil treatments not only encourage healthier hair by increasing blood flow to the scalp, but they can also help with hair loss and breakage. Having healthier hair will allow your hair to grow stronger to reduce breakage and may even result in longer hair and length retention, so if you're trying to grow out your hair, it's definitely not a bad idea to invest in a hot oil treatment to deeply hydrate your scalp and hair.
At the end of the day be sure to keep track of how often you’re washing your hair or if you frequently color your hair, because keeping your scalp healthy ensures that the hair follicles are hydrated and that breakage will be minimized.
Hot oil treatments are typically made of plant-based oils, like almond, olive, and coconut. Avocado oil works best for moisturizing dry hair, enhancing shine, and restoring softness, while those with oily scalps may want to use a less fatty oil like jojoba or almond, which are lightweight and absorb quickly, to avoid an oily residue on your hair and head.
As we discussed, be careful of using essential oils on your hair without carrier oil. Essentials oils are extremely useful and beneficial, however using them alone may cause irritation to your scalp as they are often highly concentrated. The handy-dandy list above will make it easy for you to choose which oil you should blend your essential oil into to make the custom treatment for yourself. As always, you can skip the work and reach for one of NaturAll's Strengthening Growth Serums made with potent and rich ingredients like moringa-monoi, carrot, and Jamaican Black Castor Oil!
Are you excited to try any of the oil blends for yourself? Let us know in comment section below!