If you grew up in a traditional African American household,a jar of hair grease was never too far away. Oiling the scalp with thick grease was thought to be a staple of any good hair care regimen. Today, experts advise against oiling the scalp, but many African American women still believe that hair grease is a part of obtaining healthy hair. Unfortunately, oiling the scalp does not promote hair growth and can actually stunt hair growth significantly.
One of the problems with oiling your scalp has to do with the type of oil used. Hair grease (examples include Bergamot, Blue Magic, Ultra Sheen, and TCB) is usually made of petrolatum, mineral oil, and/or lanolin. Those substances create a heavy barrier on your scalp and hair. When you oil your scalp with hair grease, it just sits on top of the skin, clogging your pores and hair follicles. This "grease barrier" also makes it difficult for water and other moisturizers to penetrate your hair and scalp. So, hair grease should definitely be avoided, but grease isn't the only reason to stop oiling your scalp.
Putting any type of oil on your scalp can cause or worsen dandruff. Dandruff is caused by a type of fungus called Malassezia. Doctors don't really know how dandruff starts but they believe it's linked to oily skin and infrequent hair washing. Continuing to put oil on dandruff flakes feeds the fungus and aggravates the condition. To quickly rid yourself of dandruff, use an anti-dandruff shampoo. The Hair Liberty Boutique offers effective options that are gentle on your hair.
If you are someone who applies oil regularly, it's probably because you're trying to moisturize your hair and scalp. It's true, your scalp does need to be moisturized (just like the rest of your skin), but you take care of that when you wash and condition your hair.
Give yourself a scalp massage instead
A healthy scalp is soft, flake-free, and not oily - just like the skin on your face. If you cannot break the habit of oiling your scalp, just shift your efforts from oiling to massaging. Massaging your scalp can slowly stimulate hair growth, especially in areas that have thinned due to tight hairstyles like weaves and braids.
Step 1: Start by avoiding products that contain large amounts (first five ingredients) of mineral oil, petrolatum, or lanolin.
Step 2: Replace hair grease with pure, natural oils like coconut, olive, avocado, castor, or jojoba oil.
Step 3: Use about 1 tablespoon of oil to lubricate the area of your scalp that you plan to massage. For an extra boost, add 2 drops each of rosemary, lavender, cedarwood, and thyme essential oil.
Step 4: Apply the oil, keeping your fingers planted and moving them in a circular motion. Just like when you get a light back rub or shoulder massage. Don't scratch!
Step 5: To stimulate hair growth, massage for 2-5 minutes daily or as often as possible.