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Hair Oils: What is Oil Rinsing + 8 Reasons It’s So Good for Natural Hair

By July 24th, 2021No Comments
oil rinsing with natural hair oils

Photo by Adrian Fernández on Unsplash

Hair Oils: What is Oil Rinsing + 8 Reasons It’s So Good for Natural Hair

By Jacqueline Samaroo

When you first hear about oil rinsing, you might be thinking “What’s up with that? Aren’t you supposed to be keeping your hair free of grime and greasy buildup? Why would you want to go pouring oil all over your head?!”

Well, oil rinsing with natural hair oils is actually quite good for your hair and it’s the focus of this article. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is oil rinsing?

8 Benefits of oil rinsing for natural hair  

Best hair oils for oil rinsing          

How to oil rinse with hair oils

How often to do an oil rinse

What is oil rinsing?

Oil rinsing is applying an excess of healthful hair oil to your hair and leaving it in for a few minutes before rinsing it out.

It can be done with one or more natural oils, whether store-bought or your own preferred concoction. You can select your oils based on your hair needs and desired outcome.

8 Benefits of oil rinsing for natural hair

Oil rinsing is increasingly popular among the natural hair community because of the many benefits it provides. Benefits of oil rinsing include:

  1. Helping to hydrate hair by binding to water molecules inside the strands.
  2. Locking in moisture to keep hair soft and curls bouncy.
  3. Returning suppleness to hair after it has been dyed or after a protein treatment.
  4. Creating slip and helping to detangle hair without the risk of over-manipulation.
  5. Reducing your hair’s tendency to form single strand knots.
  6. Reducing frizz in frizz-prone naturally curly hair.
  7. Adding a healthy-looking sheen to hair without leaving it greasy.’’
  8. Nourishing hair and scalp with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Best hair oils for oil rinsing

The best oils for an oil rinse are those with small molecules. These are the ones that will penetrate the hair shaft to work their natural oil magic deep inside each strand of hair. The three most commonly used oils are

Other popular hair oil choices include:

  • Sunflower oil
  • Babassu oil
  • Argan oil

Thicker oils, such as castor oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil, can also be used for oil rinsing. However, they tend to coat your strands not penetrate them. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it is what makes them great for locking in moisture.  Plus, a little heat might up their penetrating power – more about that in the next section.

The nourishing benefits of an oil rinse will vary depending on the hair oils you use. For a close-up look at the benefits of some of the oils listed here, read:

Why Black Hair Needs Hair Oil and 7 of the Best Ones to Use (with Product Examples!)

How to oil rinse with hair oils

Oil rinsing can be done in a variety of ways. Here are the basic steps with some modifications included.

Step 1 – Shampoo with your favorite shampoo.

Shampooing your hair before an oil rinse is optional. If your hair is already clean, you can skip shampooing and go straight to Step 2.

Step 2 – Rinse

Use warm water to help open up your hair cuticles.

Step 3 – Add your natural oil of choice.

Go from roots to tips and leave it in for a few minutes. You can use a mixture of oils, as well as an essential oil with a carrier oil. This is a good time to give yourself a scalp massage! It will help to work the oil into your hair and scalp.

Step 4 – Rinse

Again, use warm water.

Step 5 – Follow up with a conditioner or deep conditioner.

The conditioner or deep conditioner gives your hair extra hydration. Some persons skip using the oil on its own and instead use a conditioner to which the oil has been added.

Step 6 – Rinse

This time with cold water to close your cuticles.

Step 7 – Moisturize

Apply a moisturizer to help seal in all that lovely hydration!

How often to do an oil rinse

How often you choose to oil rinse your hair will ultimately depend on you and how you feel it is working for your hair. You will also have to consider any other treatments you are doing to your hair.

A good approach to oil rinsing is to start out by adding it to your regular wash day routine. You can then do it less often (like every other wash day) or more often (perhaps along with a co-wash between wash days). Keep trying it in different ways until you find what works for your natural hair.

How about you – have you tried oil rinsing? Got any tips on the best hair oils to use? Share!

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