While some cringe with the very idea of applying oil on their hair, there are others who have been following this age-old tradition since time immemorial. This practice offers several advantages, which help ensure that the health of the hair is maintained irrespective of the changes in weather, lifestyle, or work schedule. Apart from being excellent for promoting hair growth, oil therapy for the scalp also provides exceptional relief from stress.
Why do We Need to Oil Our Hair?
People often wonder as to why our hair needs extra oil, when there is already sufficient oil being produced by the sebaceous glands? Well, the answer to this question is simple. Following are the reasons why oil therapy must be practiced at least twice a week.
Helps Maintain Scalp Hygiene
Our scalp releases a natural oily substance, known as sebum, which is essential for healthy roots, hair, and the overall pH balance of the scalp. When this oily matter is secreted in excess, it makes the scalp sticky and smelly. The reason being, that sebum gets mixed with sweat, dust, fiber, and other pollutants. This creates a cumulative layer of dirt, which blocks the hair follicle and thus, restricts the proper growth of hair from its roots. It also increases the chances of developing dandruff, several tiny scalp bumps, and other scalp infections. The scalp becomes sticky as a result of using strong hair products, excessive blow drying, hair coloring, perming, and straightening.
Provides More Moisture
Sebum isn't enough to provide sufficient moisture to the hair follicle. Hair follicle need to be kept hydrated and supple so as to prevent the hair from tearing, splitting, and snapping out of their roots. Oil, on the other hand, provides protection to the scalp and hair, thereby ensuring healthy hair growth.
Restores Sebum Imbalance
The amount of sebum secreted may fluctuate, depending on the state of our health. The scalp may become too oily or extremely dry due to illness, hormonal imbalance, unhealthy lifestyle, and abuse of hair products. Similarly, if our diet is unhealthy, and the body is not receiving sufficient nutrition, the hair will be affected as well. Slow hair growth, hair fall, dry, and brittle hair, are all results of undernourishment. The secretion of sebum can also malfunction, because of strong oral medication as well as scalp ointments. Polluted air and water are other major factors, which often cause damage to hair, and retard its growth. Oil helps restore the health of the scalp and recharges the growth pattern of our hair.
Provides More Nourishment
Natural oils such as castor, coconut, almond, and olive are all rich in a variety of vitamins, omega types, and iron. These nutrients are directly provided to the hair roots, rather than waiting for a good diet and lifestyle to work its charm. Nonetheless, good hair care regimen must be accompanied with leading a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Oiling Your Hair Properly
You need to oil your hair at least once in a week if not twice, which would yield the best results. Here is what you should do:
- Before you begin to oil your hair, it is recommended that the pores on your scalp be dilated, so as to absorb the oil faster.
- In order to aid your shrieked scalp pores expand, you must use the hot towel therapy. You can heat your towel, either through steam, or by dipping it in hot water. You can also use a heating cap instead, which is far more convenient.
- Squeeze out the hot water and then wrap the hot towel on your head like a turban. All your hair must be secured within the towel. Let the towel remain for 2-3 minutes, and then repeat this procedure 3-5 times.
- Use a natural unrefined hair oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, pure almond oil, or coconut oil. Try to avoid scented hair oils that are sold commercially. You can always mix two to three oils, for better results.
- Now, heat the oil by placing the container in a bowl of boiling water, or by heating it in the microwave.
- Divide your hair into small sections, and then apply the oil using your fingertips.
- Make sure you massage ample oil onto your scalp, taking one section of hair at a time. This will help you cover each part of the scalp individually.
- Once you're done with the scalp, begin oiling the hair shafts. Massage the oil onto the hair, by starting from the root, and gradually progressing towards the tip.
- Once your hair shafts have been oiled, you should use your fingertips for the oil to penetrate your scalp.
- Massage your scalp using gentle circular motion, as this will help the hair follicle absorb the oil faster. This act will also help you relax.
- Allow the oil to remain for an hour or overnight, after which, you must wash your hair with lukewarm water and a good quality shampoo and conditioner.
Try to avoid hair straighteners and blow dryers as far as possible, since these damage hair even further. Avoid leave-in conditioners and other hair products, as all chemicals harm hair and result in damage, at some point or the other. Another very important fact about having beautiful hair, is that you need to compulsively drink lots of water at regular intervals. You need to exercise, eat and live healthy, in order to flaunt great-looking hair!