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Curly Nikki

Curly Support Group- Oil Slicks

By January 27th, 202125 Comments

Curly Support Group- Oil Slicks

Dear Nikki,

I’m so glad I can find the comfort on your couch to even talk about this!

This past Friday I went to a tattoo shop to get my nose pierced. While I personally was a little intimidated by the piercer (who had rings in places I didn’t know were humanly possible and was covered in tattoos), the first thing he said to me was that he liked my hair (plain old two strand twist that I wore down, no accessories)! So that was an automatic plus which helped me calm down a lot! Got the piercing over with and lived!!
However, I could have died after I sat up from the leather table only to hear the guy say, “Wow you must have been really scared, you’ve got sweat all over my table!!”…Oh Nikki…if only it were sweat!! LOL!! Needless to say I left a nice shiny blob of shea butter/coconut oil all over the head piece of this man’s table!! I was so embarrassed!!
It’s not the first time it’s happened either! This oily trail seems to stalk me on the headrests of cars, paper sheets of doctors’ offices, and on quite a few significant shoulders =(. While I am more than pleased with the over all health of my hair I’m not down with the grease monkey it comes with!

Should I discontinue the use of my beloved butter mix? Or settle with the idea that this is the price of being a natural?

CN Responds: First of all, LOL! I’m sorry this happened to you, but I’m sure you’re not alone. I’m so light handed with my Shea and other oils that I can only barely relate. I remember leaving those grease trails back in my old school press and curl days though… it can be quite embarrassing!

Have you tried achieving the same health results with less oil? You’d be surprised that many times, less is actually more. At least for me. Too much Shea weighs me down and makes my hair hard and stiff feeling, while a smidgen keeps my ends soft and sealed.

Hopefully the other ladies will chime in and offer words of advice, encouragement, and solidarity!


  • Anonymous says:

    you are telling my story. AND HERE'S HOW I SOLVED THIS PROBLEM

    The solution is so thorwback – remember when we were little the women wore their hair int hose black turbans sometimes? They usually had a press n curl.

    Well girlfriend, I put on a plastic conditioning cap and tied my hair with a pretty scarf. VOILA! Problem solved! No grease on my dentist's chair and nobody knew what was under there. Did not lose a drop of my precious shea/castor combo.

    Put it on in the car before I walk in their door and when I leave the office, I just take it off.

    Hope it helps, and keep it growing, ladies.

  • Unknown says:

    OMGosh, this story is HILARIOUS as well as the responses!:-D I too can relate all too well only I didn't leave grease spots/stains on couches or headrests (that I know of) but DEFINITELY on my shirt collars!:-O During the winter months, I began noticing a dark or greasy stain while ironing my freshly washed shirts. Then it dawned on me that it was from the shea butter I so liberally applied to my hair. The stains were so stubborn that I had to use Shout to get it out!

    At the time, I knew I was heavy-handed with the shea butter but it left my hair so moisturized that I didn't care. However the discovery of the stained shirt collar was a "No-no" so a change was necessary. I mean, I used so much shea butter that if I were out of hand lotion in my purse after using the restroom out in public, all I had to do was run my fingers through my hair, rub my hands together and I was good to go. LMBO!

    So I implemented a different routine. Instead of applying shea butter to my scalp AND entire strand of hair (root to tip) when twisting and/or re-twisting between washings, I began applying to my scalp and ends ONLY. I allowed my leave-in conditioner to take care of the rest of the hair strand(s). That seemed to make a BIG difference! My hair loves moisture and shea butter is my hair's best friend, but too much of it weighs my hair down especially after a few days. I have found that less is more and Cocoa Brown (my hair's name…Cocoa for short) seems to agree.:-)

  • Unknown says:

    guilty – if I am not careful my hair will actually smudge my glasses!

  • Anonymous says:

    That happened to me when me and DH went sofa shopping. Dh told me to sit on a leather sofa to see how comfy it was. Two salesmen where there and when I got up from that sofa, there was a HUGE grease spot on it. Rubbing it only made it spread. All I could think of was "Gotta let your soooooul glow". I was so ashamed. I now keep a hat in the diaper bag so that if we go looking at anything else, I will be covered….literally!


  • Anonymous says:

    Been there, done that. You may want to try a silicone-free Oil Sheen spray. The silicone-free ones are hard to find. I think Yaki makes one but I've found others. I love to use Sheen sprays to seal after I've done my hair in twists. They provide even application because the spray is a more diffuse kind of mist, not a squirt like some oil sprays. That way you don't have to disturb the twists as much when you seal. It also is hard to be heavy handed when you have to pump out the spray. I also deep condition every week.

  • Anonymous says:

    YouTuber CoilsKinksCurls did a vid to discuss the question "Is Shea Butter a Moisturizer?" It was excellent and attracted a lot of response. IMO,to hydrate our hair, leave-in water-based creams and conditioners are usually the best bet. Some people skip this step and use the oils and butters alone and I assume this is because their hair retains moisture (from their environment or shower routine) better. Its less porous. For those who struggle with porosity, you may need to add hydration (a condish/cream). The amount you add will likely vary by season. Then you can seal with a smaller portion of oil/butter of your choosing. My current styling routine involves silicone-free products: a lightweight leave-in condish (Kinky Curly Knot Today) and some kind of holding agent (Afroveda's Hemp, Seed, Lock Twist and Roll Butter). Also, I use henna periodically as well and my hair holds moisture so much better that it takes much much longer to dry.


  • StrawberryKinks says:

    This use to happen to me all the time until I changed up my routine. Instead of applying oil to every inch of my hair I only apply it on my scalp and my ends. By putting it on my scalp it allows it to nourish my roots and travel up the hair strand naturally. By placing the oil on the ends it prevents them from becoming dry and brittle. For extra boosts I do hot oils treatments. On days/weeks when my me time is scarce I will apply oil but only after I have twisted it up. This prevents me from feeling the need to drench every single strand on my head in oil. If you do wash n go's put the oil (coconut oil/avocado oil) on your head the night before so you can wash the excess out in the morning. Many assume that this will wash out every bit of oil, it won't. Hope these suggestion can help. . . .

  • Alicia says:

    This happens to me all the time, but I'm not embarrassed by it. I was just at the doctor's office yesterday and when I was done and got up from the table, a huge oil spot was on the paper! No one (doctor, dentist, friends, etc…) has ever said anything to me about it, so I never had to actually defend myself or anything like that. I am rather heavy handed with my shea/coconut oil/olive oil mixture, but I like the shine it gives my hair…lasts all day!

  • Anonymous says:

    I would say carry a little cloth with you and just put it behind your head while you are out and about as necessary.

  • Yani says:

    I left a very large oil slick on the exercise floor and mat of my Pilates class…whoops! LOL but definitely go light handed with the products. What I've learned is that by applying my products on dripping wet hair, I end up applying WAY MORE than I need, because it dries and I add more. BUT BUT BUT when I apply to about 40-50% dry hair, PERFECTION!

  • Anonymous says:


    I definitely have this problem, and I am working on not being heavy handed with products. It is challenging though, because I know my hair loves the oils and butters (my hair grew the fastest when I had a jeri-curl in junior high). I am working on my routine to give my hair what it needs and applying products at night. I have also come to terms with the fact that I have this issue and it contributes to my hair being healthy. Have a great day! Live, Love, & Peace. ~ Sweetsop

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't left a stain on any chairs (that i know of) but I have noticed that when I touch my hair, I can see the oil residue on my hand (and if I brush up my hair against my window in the car)…so I guess I need to ease up on my coconut oil applying. I think I've been too heavy-handed as well. lol 🙂 ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    lol this story was too funny. i deff think you should watch how much oil you put in your hair.

  • moi says:

    been there! my solution has been to only oil at night. i only slightly ruin my night headscarves, and pillow cases.

  • M says:

    First off, love the nose piercing!! And I tend to avoid oils and butters because of this problem… I remember being at work, in the sun outside with some kids, and I had coconut oil in my head… at first, it felt like sweat was sliding down my neck and face, but I know me, and I don't sweat… the sun was FRYING that damn oil and it was running away from my scalp lmao! It was the worst!! Just lighten it up and little and hopefully that will help 🙂

    I recently tried using Yes to Carrots as a leave-in while twisting, instead of using oil or butter, and my hair still feels moisturized today… I'm going to try using it when I untwist my hair as well! (I usually use shea butter to do so.)

  • Relaxed2Natural says:

    LOL this shouldn't be this funny!! but I thank you all for you advice and compliments!! Thank you nikki for posting!! i'll think i'm going to be a little less heavy handed and use more agua =)*long sigh* it's so good to know that i'm not in this alone!!

  • AlongCameStacey says:

    Lol. Definitely use less oil and do it the night before and not the morning of. That happened to me a couple of times at the doctors office. I usually end up tearing the sheet off myself when they leave me to change 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't use coconut oil except for a deep treatment (I co-wash afterwards) for this reason. Shea is just too heavy. You might try a lighter oil such as jojoba which absorbs better. And less of any oil is often more effective than you think. good luck

  • Anonymous says:

    I can totally relate as the same thing just happened to me at the doctors office. I just shrug it off and keep it moving. =)

  • BrownLady says:

    I always tell people that it only helps condition their leather car/couch seat headrests. I rarely get embarrased by this. It just happened to me at the doctor's office yesterday. I don't even blink an eye when I get up and see my grease stain:)

  • ntrlbeauty79 says:

    I used both all the time and had the same problem. My hair LOVES butters but the oils I used seemed to just lay on my hair and it didn't seem like it mattered either way with my hair if I had oils in it or not. I use products with oils and there is no problem, but using my own concoction I made or any oils in addition to what is already in the products I used was just too much. So finally after a couple spots on my cream colored sofa =/ I just stopped using any additional oils and came to grips with the fact that I am not the mixtress that I wished I'd be… and I haven't had a problem since and my hair is still growing and healthy. I guess right after my BC, I felt like I HAD to use some type of oil in my regimen so I held on :)…. but my hair doesn't need a lot of oils at all

  • NappyChronicles says:

    I always do the 'test'. If it leaves grease on my hands when touched, then it's more than likely going to be a mess to deal with (in other words tell tell of where I've been by the greasy spot that remained… reminds me of the jerri curl stories). I've tried many different butters and most have failed the 'test', so to keep my hair moisturized (lock in the moisture) I use Vegetable Glycerine (note the word vegetable before the word glycerine), my Castor Oil Mixed with another Carrier and Essential Oil, or Apricot Kernel. My hair hasn't been a fan of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil for more reasons than that one (not only is it greasy, it leaves build up on my hair that relaxes the strand and gives my hair a more stretched out look where as I prefer my natural texture shrinkage included because if it wasn't for shinkage then there would be no pattern, think about it no shrinkage = straight hair). Shea Butter and Coconut Oil, IMO, are best used on the scalp and body than on hair. Good Luck with your journey. Your Hair is Beautiful.

  • Keebo says:

    lol funny. Got a jeri curl(from 13-15 years) and ever since have a fear of the oil slick and open flames no matter what style I had. I save my oilings for the night. In the morning, I blot my hair with a paper towel and wake up the hair with water. If the hair is not in a protective style, I run clean wet hands through my hair every time I go to the restroom.

  • Kingsmomma says:

    lol the worst are the stains on someone else's car seats

  • Lynnieluve says:

    I can totally relate! I tend to be heavy handed when it comes to products. I feel like every strand of hair on my head needs to be touched by the product. LOL!! I wont be giving up my beloved shea butter or oils but I will working on my heavy handedness.

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