Oil treatments can help keep your hair shiny and healthy, moisturize your scalp, and reduce dryness and irritation. You can choose from a number of oil treatment options, from tubes of hot oil in the beauty supply store to all-natural oils such as jojoba, coconut and rosemary. Learn to re-create a spa experience at home and pamper yourself with a hot oil treatment to improve the health of your hair and scalp.
Using Hot Oil
Regardless of what type of oil you choose for your oil treatment, the treatment process is the same. Wash your hair and gently blot it dry, leaving your locks only damp. You can also apply oil to dry hair, depending upon your hair type. If you're using a solid oil, like coconut oil, warm it carefully in the microwave or in a bowl of warm water until it is liquid. Work the oil into your hair, using between 1/2 and 1 cup of oil, depending on the length of your hair. Wrap your hair snugly into a bun and cover with a hot towel, or sit under an old-fashioned hood hair dryer for 30 minutes to one hour. Wash your hair out, ideally leaning over the tub rather than in the shower to avoid any risk of slips and falls. You can also opt to leave oil in overnight if you prefer, and wash it out in the morning.
Pure jojoba oil, available in health food stores, is the closest to the natural oils produced by the human body. This oil adds moisture to the hair and is especially helpful if you have naturally very dry, coarse or curly hair. Follow the directions for a hot oil treatment, or use a small amount of jojoba oil in place of chemical-laden hair serums on damp or dry hair to control unwanted frizz and moisturize dry ends.
Coconut oil helps hair retain its natural moisture and seals the hair shaft, helping keep your curls intact and prevent frizz. Coconut oil can be used as a traditional hot oil treatment applied on freshly washed hair, or it can be applied to dry hair. Choose the hot oil treatment for straight, wavy or only slightly curly hair or for hair that is not naturally dry. Heavily textured hair with a tight curl pattern will particularly benefit from dry application, especially if it has been chemically relaxed or mechanically straightened. As with jojoba oil, coconut oil may also be used as a styling aid on dry hair, helping to shape and define curls.
While jojoba and coconut oils are traditionally used on hair, rosemary oil is an essential oil typically used for aromatherapy. To use rosemary oil in hair care, you should dilute it with another oil, opting for olive oil, coconut oil or jojoba oil. Traditionally, rosemary oil has been used to stimulate hair growth and improve scalp health. While there is no scientific evidence supporting this claim, the use of rosemary oil is considered safe unless you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or have epilepsy. A qualified aromatherapist can provide further guidance on the use of essential oils in hair and body care.
With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.