Lately there’s been a lot of talk in the natural hair community about sebum, which is an oily/waxy matter produced by the sebaceous glands. Sebum lubricates the skin and hair in order to keep it from drying out. Sebum (is supposed to) work its way down the hair shaft and lubricate your strands. Because of this, many naturals choose not to oil their scalps because they find it isn’t necessary, thanks to sebum production.
It wasn’t until after years of oiling my scalp that I learned some naturals find it counter-productive or unnecessary. After giving those theories some serious thought and re-examining my own hair regimen, I decided that oiling my scalp is still a definite do for me. Here’s why:
1. Sebum’s cool and all, but…
It’s not enough. Despite a healthy washing & moisturizing routine, I still found that my scalp would become slightly itchy at times when I didn’t oil it. No one likes a dry scalp: it looks and feels absolutely horrible. So even though the sebum is there, I still think it needs a little assistance.
2. It feels good.
If you’ve put oil on your scalp before, you know how amazing it feels! It’s calming and soothing, and it gives my scalp a much-needed boost after taking down a style. It’s like a special treat at the end of the day and I find that I actually look forward to it.
3. I’m a protective styling queen.
When your hair’s in box braids 80% of the time (like mine), oiling your scalp is your best friend. After moisturizing my scalp with a spritz, I always follow up with an oil. I do this a few times a week; it keeps me from having to moisturize daily and helps preserve the hair underneath.
4. Scalp massages.
I always use oil to facilitate my scalp massages. I’ve tried doing them without an oil and let’s just say I seriously thought I was about to start a fire in my head. The oil aids in stimulating the scalp and for me, is a necessary step in my healthy hair growth journey.
5. It works for me.
I don’t oil my scalp everyday- usually 3x a week. I’ve been natural for 5 years now. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’ve learned from them all. My hair is now the longest, thickest, and healthiest it’s ever been. So I know very well now not to try and fix something that isn’t broken just because it worked for someone else. As long as it continues to be beneficial to my hair, oiling my scalp will always be apart of my regimen.
If you do choose to oil your scalp, here are a few tips to follow:
*Stick to pure, light, and natural oils like jojoba, avocado, olive, or coconut oil that can penetrate and won’t weigh your hair down. You can even mix oils if you like- I do it all the time.
Castor oil is great for your edges but you may not want to use it on your scalp because it’s extremely heavy.
*Always put your oil in a bottle with a nozzle tip. This will give you control over how much oil you apply so you won’t overdo it.
*Don’t over-oil your scalp. You more than likely don’t need to oil your scalp everyday. Listen to your hair and respond to its needs.