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  5. How To Apply Hair Oil - The Right Way

For generations, hair oils have been used to stimulate hair growth and address a host of other hair concerns. Your grandmother never got tired while raving about the benefits of hair oils, isn't it?

But, have you been oiling your hair the right way?

Applying hair oil at a superficial level will just leave you with a greasy scalp and do nothing for your hair. Knowing the right way of oiling is important for your hair to be able to reap all its benefits. So, keep scrolling.

Is It Important To Oil Your Hair?

Nourishing your hair with oil is like keeping your body healthy and nourished with food. You should feed your hair with oil every now and then to make sure it stays healthy, thick and lustrous.

Here are some of the benefits of hair oiling:

1. Adds nutrients and vitamins to the scalp and hair follicles.

2. Strengthens hair follicles to promote hair growth and lustrous hair.

3. Reduces frizz in the hair.

4. Nourishes hair roots and keeps hair soft and hydrated.

5. Essential oils like tea tree oil and rose oil target specific scalp and skin issues.

How To Oil Your Hair - 6 Steps

Step 1: Choose The Right Carrier Oil According To Your Hair Type And Scalp

coconut oil and coconut water

Carrier oils can be used alone or in combination with essential oils. Coconut oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil are some popularly used carrier oils.

First off, you must make sure you’re using the right oil for your hair and scalp. If you have a greasy scalp, using a light oil is recommended. Heavy oils can be used if your scalp is too dry and needs more moisture.

Popular carrier oils include:

  • Almond oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Borage oil
  • Primrose oil


Conduct a patch-test before applying any oil to your scalp to avoid allergic reactions.

Step 2: Choose Your Essential Oil

Group of small bottles with essential hair oil leaves

This is not a mandatory step. However, essential oils can be effective in targeting specific scalp concerns like dry scalp or dandruff. These oils are extracted from plants.

You can choose an essential oil based on its properties, what it targets and if it suits your skin. Essential oils must be diluted in carrier oils since they can be too strong and cause allergic reactions.

Popular essential oils include:

  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Sandalwood essential oil
  • Rose essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Bergamot essential oil
  • Jasmine essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil

Step 3: Heat The Oil

Heat your oils for a few seconds till they are warm. Using warm oil will allow for deeper penetration through your hair cuticles and scalp. It is also more soothing and effective.

Step 4: Massage Your Scalp

Gently massage the oil into your scalp for a few minutes. If you have curly hair, you can segregate your hair into small parts to avoid missing out on any areas.

Use circular motions to gently rub the oil into your scalp. Work your way across the entire scalp for 10-15 minutes. After you are done with the scalp, gently work your way till the ends of your hair.

Did You Know?

Massaging your scalp helps relieve stress and also enhances blood circulation to your follicles. This promotes hair growth and can also strengthen your follicles.

Step 5: Wrap A Warm Cloth Around Your Hair

Tie your hair into a bun and wrap a warm cloth around your forehead. This causes your pores and cuticles to open up, allowing for deeper penetration of the oils into your scalp and hair follicles.

Step 6: Rinse It Off Well

After applying your oil, you can leave it on overnight and wash it off with shampoo the next day. Try using normal or cold water to rinse your hair and make sure that you clean it thoroughly.


In case you have used concentrated essential oils in large amounts, it may not be a good idea to leave them on for more than an hour or two. It is also recommended that you don’t leave any oil on for more than one day as it can attract dirt and pollution to your scalp.

Mistakes To Avoid While Oiling Your Hair

1. Don’t Comb Your Hair Right After Oiling It

Your hair is vulnerable to breakage at this point as your scalp is relaxed. Oil can weigh your hair down and combing your hair right after oiling it will only cause it to break.

2. Don’t Wash Too Soon

Getting rid of all the excess oil is important, but not too soon! Allow the oil to sit on your scalp for at least one hour. This lets the oil penetrate through the follicles and nourish your scalp.

3. Don’t Overuse The Oil

Applying too much oil to your hair means you’d have to use extra shampoo to wash it off. This will strip away your hair’s natural oils along with the excess oil you’re attempting to get off.

4. Don’t Tie Your Hair Up

Tying your hair up can make your hair prone to breakage. Your hair is in a vulnerable state and is already weighed down by the oil. Tying up your hair will only result in breakage.

5. Don’t Wrap With A Towel

Towels are rough and can break your hair when it is soaked in oil. Use a warm plain cotton cloth or shirt instead.

6. Don’t Massage Too Vigorously

Massaging your scalp too fast or vigorously can break your hair. Massaging your scalp gently in circular motions is the right way to go about it.

7. Don’t Overuse Your Shampoo

woman shampooing her hair

Washing off all the excess oil is important. A lot of us tend to overuse our shampoo in an attempt to get rid of the excess oil. Using too much shampoo on your hair can remove its natural oils and cause more harm than good.

Why Does Your Hair Fall After Oiling It?

Oil causes your hair to weigh down, sometimes stripping away the already broken strands. However, massaging your hair too hard can also cause it to break. You must make it a point to gently massage your scalp while you oil it.

Oiling your hair too often and not rinsing it off properly can attract dirt, dandruff and bacteria to accumulate on your scalp. This can also result in hair loss. You want to oil your hair only to the point where it protects and nourishes your scalp and hair.

Should You Apply Oil To Dry Hair Or Wet Hair?

Oil repels water. If you apply oil to wet hair, water will repel it and won’t allow for deep penetration. This will make it ineffective.

Water forms a layer on your hair and scalp that does not allow the oil to pass through it. Hence, you must ideally apply oil to dry hair for it to be able to nourish the deeper layers of your scalp and hair.

Should You Oil Your Hair Everyday?

Leaving oil on your hair everyday for too long can cause product build-up on your scalp. It may also clog your pores, attract dirt and accumulate dandruff.

Oiling your hair everyday also means that you have to wash it with shampoo everyday. This is not ideal to achieve healthy, lustrous and soft hair. Oiling your hair one or two times a week is recommended.

Can You Leave Oil On For 2 Days?

There is a constant debate on how long we should leave oil on for. Different hair types and oils require to be left on for different amounts of time.

Leaving your oil on your hair for more than one day is a bad idea. Even one day is not recommended since it can cause the oil to form a layer on your scalp, clogging your pores, accumulating dandruff and attracting dirt. Apart from that, it will make your scalp constantly feel greasy and dirty.

Is It Okay To Apply Oil To Dirty Hair?

If your hair is sweaty and too dirty, it is recommended that you don’t apply oil to it. You want to reap the benefits of your hair oil, without having to deal with dirt trapped inside your pores.

Wrapping Up

Oiling your hair 1-2 times a week is enough. Doing it everyday can attract dirt and also strip away essential oils from your hair. Combing, rubbing and vigorously massaging your hair with oil can also cause breakage. So, follow the steps we mentioned and healthy, beautiful hair will follow.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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