Hot oil treatments are such an underrated practice but a universal one at the same time. Most of us have been getting them since we were little with our candy bows and relaxers but did you ever know exactly what they’re for in the first place? In researching you’ll probably find that there’s a lot of myths and unknown facts on just how beneficial hot oil treatments really are. After weeks of research & personal experimentation I am pleased to share my knowledge on the subject. Here are some facts and busted myths about hot oil treatments.
What’s the purpose?
Hot oil treatments are used to deeply penetrate and strengthen the hair. When you heat an oil and apply it to the hair and scalp the heat causes pores to open and the outer layer of your hair shaft to do the same. Thereby letting the beneficial properties the oil that you’re using contains to distribute and penetrate effectively which is where the magic happens.
How do they help the hair & scalp?
In the way that every natural needs, it’s a super moisturizing tool! Different oils have different strengths and benefits so be sure to do your research so that you can give your hair it’s perfect match depending on what your curls need. For an itchy scalp try peppermint infused castor oil, argan oil or almond oil. Peppermint works very well at stimulating the scalp while the other two oils mentioned are light weight moisturizers that effortlessly move through the scalp. Especially almond oil, this stuff ran down my forehead so much that I had to carry a towel with me until I tweaked my portion control. I live in Texas ya’ll ain’t nobody got time for that!
Do they really make your hair stronger?
Yes! The simple fact being that certain oils carry hair strengthening properties and once you add a little heat to the equation it can penetrate the hair all the better. Oils like Jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil have wonderful strengthening properties.
Do they actually make your hair grow longer?
Hair growth is attributed to many different things one of those being the health of your scalp. Hot oil treatments are highly beneficial for the scalp so yes, yes YES!
How often should you do them?
You can do them as little as twice a month or once every week. It is a treatment so like any other process depending upon what your hair needs, giving yourself a treatment once every week is a great start. Going forward, let your hair’s response be the judge. If there is vast improvement every two weeks should be enough but at the end of the day give your hair what it needs. It will definitely let you know what it likes. Keep in mind that you are using heat so moderation is always key!
How do they specifically help natural hair?
Curly hair is thirsty and the thicker it is the more TLC it needs. It’s difficult to get the much needed oil that we produce naturally (sebum) evenly dispersed over every strand so we need a little more effort to effectively moisturize. A Hot Oil Treatment is a powerful tool when it comes to feeding your hair the moisture that it needs making this method the ultimate cheat code in our fight against dry and brittle hair!
What oils are best?
For Maximum hydration:
- Raw shea butter (this needs to be melted beforehand for best results)
- Jojoba oil
- Argan oil (trial first for thicker hair as this is more of a match for 4a hair and up)
- Almond oil
For stronger softer hair:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Castor oil
- Avocado oil
- Organic coconut oil
**There are many, many others but I’ve only listed the ones that I have personally used and witnessed actual results from repeated use. Happy experimenting ladies there are too many other great oils to stop here!
How do I do a Hot Oil Treatment?
Now that you have a little more info about the benefits and process we can finally get to the how to!
- Shampoo your hair, your hair needs to be clean so no clutter is causing a barrier between your hair/scalp & the oil
- Next, depending on how dry your hair is or feels after your shampoo use a deep conditioner, this can be your favorite product or mix of natural ingredients. Wash out well!
- Heat up your oil, you can do this by placing it in a container and setting it in water that has come to a boil.
- After you’ve heated your oil, take your oil and apply it to your scalp massaging it in with your fingers or scalp massager. Apply the oil from root to tip being sure to take your time to administer the oil evenly.
- Choose your method of heat. I prefer placing a bag over my head and sitting under a steamer if you’re thinking of performing the treatment weekly to give your hair a little cushion against the frequent heat. You can go the traditional route and sit under a dryer as well. Whichever you prefer.
- Next, set a timer for 20 minutes and relax!
- Rinse out the treatment well and proceed with your next few wash day steps.
Thicker oils may be hard to wash out and could leave residue to combat this use a bit of diluted apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle to help loosen up the oil. Performing this practice consecutively will yield excellent results and improve the health, look and feel of your hair. Rememeber to explore and experiment with oils they truly are a natural’s best friend!