By Dr Blossom Kochhar

Hair oiling is a traditional practice that has been cherished for centuries due to its numerous benefits. However, many of us might be unknowingly oiling our hair incorrectly, missing out on the full potential of this nourishing ritual. In this article, we will delve into the expert pointers to ensure you oil your hair the right way, unlocking the true power of this age-old tradition.

  1. Choosing the Right Oil – The first step in effective hair oiling is selecting the right oil for your hair type and concerns. Different oils offer varying benefits, so understanding your hair’s specific needs is crucial. For dry or damaged hair, opt for nourishing oils like coconut, almond, or argan oil. Those with oily hair can benefit from lighter oils such as grapeseed or jojoba oil. Herbal-infused oils like amla or brahmi oil can help address specific issues like dandruff or hair loss. Invest time in researching and experimenting to find the perfect oil that suits your hair’s requirements.
  2. Prepping Your Hair – Preparation is key before applying hair oil. Begin by detangling your hair gently with a wide-toothed comb to avoid any unnecessary breakage. Consider lightly dampening your hair with water or a hydrating mist to enhance oil absorption. This step helps the oil penetrate the strands effectively, maximizing its nourishing benefits. Remember, oiling dirty hair can hinder absorption, so it’s best to oil freshly washed or cleansed hair.
  3. Warm Oil Application – Warming the oil before application aids in better absorption and improves blood circulation to the scalp. Take a small amount of oil in a heat-resistant container and warm it using the double-boiler method or by placing the container in a bowl of hot water. Ensure the oil is warm, not hot, to prevent scalp burns. Warm oil spreads easily and allows for a relaxing massage, enhancing the overall experience.
  4. Proper Application Technique – Divide your hair into sections for easy application. Starting from the scalp, use your fingertips to massage the warm oil gently into the roots, focusing on areas prone to dryness or flakiness. Gradually work the oil down the lengths of your hair, ensuring even distribution. Gentle circular motions during the massage help stimulate blood flow and promote hair growth. Pay attention to the ends, as they are often the most fragile and prone to split ends. Take your time and be thorough, ensuring every strand receives the goodness of the oil.
  5. Overnight Nourishment or Pre-Shampoo Treatment – Depending on your preference and hair type, you can choose between overnight oiling or a pre-shampoo treatment. Overnight oiling allows the oil to deeply nourish your hair and scalp while you sleep, but make sure to protect your pillow with a towel or old T-shirt. Alternatively, a pre-shampoo treatment involves leaving the oil on for a shorter duration (30 minutes to a few hours) before shampooing. This method allows the oil to penetrate the strands without causing excessive greasiness.

Mastering the art of hair oiling is a journey that brings about immense benefits for your hair and scalp. By selecting the right oil, prepping your hair, applying it properly, and choosing the appropriate duration for oiling, you can maximize the nourishing effects of this age-old tradition. Embrace the therapeutic experience of hair oiling and unlock the true potential of your hair’s health and beauty.

(The writer is a pioneer aromatherapist with over 35 years of experience, and founder of Aroma Magic)