Hot oil treatments can be a great way to add moisture to relaxed or damaged hair. If you are African-American and your hair has been relaxed with a chemical treatment, you may want to consider using a hot oil product to add extra moisture and shine to your hair. If you have used a chemical straightener, you may notice that while it leaves your hair smoother, it may also be quite a bit drier and more prone to breakage. Using hot oil treatments on a weekly or bi-weekly basis can help repair your hair and leave it looking healthier and more conditioned.
"Marie Claire" magazine recommends the Alberto VO5 line of products, which includes two hot oil treatments. The traditional hot oil treatment comes in a tube and is heated in warm water before use. Alberto VO5's Moisturizing Hot Oil Shower Works requires no pre-warming. Instead, you use the treatment before shampooing, leave on for a minute and then rinse out. Both treatments contain vitamin E, which may help prevent split ends and keep hair moisturized. "Allure Magazine" recommends Queen Helene's hot oil hair treatment for people with fine hair, as it won't weigh hair down. Enriched with vitamin E and panthenol, it is heated with hot water prior to use. It also contains jojoba oil, an excellent moisturizer for dry or brittle hair. Apply to hair after shampooing, cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and rinse out after three minutes.
Avocado Oil Hair Pack
Avocados are a great source of vitamins A, D and E, which are all essential in maintaining moisture in hair. In her book, "Natural Beauty at Home," Janice Cox recommends making a homemade conditioning hair pack using half a mashed avocado and 1 teaspoon avocado oil. Mix these ingredients together and apply to your hair. Wrap your hair in a plastic shower cap or use plastic wrap to cover your hair, leaving the treatment in for 15 minutes, then shampoo and rinse well.
Sesame, almond or olive oil can be used as hot oil treatments on relaxed or very damaged hair. You can generally find sesame or almond oil in large grocery stores or health food stores. Heat the oil in a microwave or a pan on the stove until the oil is just warm. Apply the oil in dabs with a cotton ball, wrap your hair in plastic wrap or use a plastic shower cap, leave on for 30 minutes, then shampoo well. If you have colored hair, remember that olive oil can accelerate color fading and should not be used.
- "Natural Beauty at Home"; Janice Cox
- Hair Boutique: Chemical Straighteners
- Allure Magazine: Queen Helene Jojoba Hot Oil Treatment
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.