What Is a Hot Oil Treatment and 10 Reasons It’s Good for Natural Hair
By Jacqueline Samaroo
If you were to ask any random person “What is a hot oil treatment for hair?” their response might be “A fancy spa procedure, right?” Nope! It isn’t. It’s actually a quite simple but very beneficial natural haircare treatment that you can do on your own.
Hot oil treatment for natural hair has been around for ages and is well-known among textured-haired wavies to coilies in the natural hair community. In fact, a hot oil treatment for hair carries the most benefits for natural hair and, in particular, textured natural hair.
What’s more, a hot oil treatment is often hailed as a very effective remedy for hair that is:
- Prone to excessive tangling
In other words, it’s great for hair that is in need of some major TLC!
What is a hot oil treatment for natural hair?
A hot oil treatment for hair is the application of warmed nourishing oils to your hair and scalp. The oils commonly used include coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.
You can do a hot oil treatment on dry hair or damp hair. You apply the warmed oil to your hair and massage it in. You then cover your hair with a plastic shower cap and allow the oil to sit in your hair for up to 30 minutes. The treatment is usually followed by regular shampooing and conditioning.
A hot oil treatment for curly hair can be done every few days, once a week, every other week, or at whatever interval works best for you and your hair.
Hot oil treatment benefits
A hot oil treatment for hair is particularly beneficial since textured hair is prone to dryness. The problem is that the natural shape of curls, coils, and kinks hinder the passage of sebum (your scalp’s natural oils) from the roots of your hair out along the strands. A hot oil treatment helps to make up for this by feeding your curls with oils that help to do the job of the sebum they are craving.
Some of the benefits of hot oil treatment for curly hair will be linked to the specific natural oils you use. However, there are general benefits that you will get regardless of your choice of oil or oil blend.
Here are 10 hot oil treatment benefits.
- Protects the hair by sealing the hair cuticle.
- Helps to hydrate your hair by binding to water molecules inside the strands.
- Strengthens hair by coating the strands.
- Reduces split ends and breakage.
- Helps to prevent dry scalp and dry hair.
- Provides relief from dandruff.
- Reduces frizziness by smoothing the cuticles and hydrating the strands.
- Increases blood circulation in the scalp, leading to a healthier scalp and healthy hair growth.
- Gives hair a healthy-looking shine.
- Lubricates hair to minimize tangling and aid detangling.
Keep in mind that you will get the very best results if you use the very best oils you can afford. Hot oil treatment coconut oil, for example, will typically have terms like “extra-virgin,” “cold-pressed,” and “organic” on the label.
To see some of the benefits of individual natural oils, read our recent post Why Black Hair Needs Hair Oil and The 7 Best Ones to Use (with Product Examples!).
Is hot oil treatment the same as oil rinsing?
A hot oil treatment for hair and an oil rinse are very similar but they have some important differences.
- You can do a hot oil treatment on dry hair if you wish. However, an oil rinse is done on wet hair.
- Whereas hot oil treatment for natural hair uses warmed oil, the oil used in oil rinsing is not warmed before use. Instead, hair is rinsed with warm water to open the cuticles of the strands.
- A hot oil treatment for hair is usually done before shampooing – as a pre-shampoo treatment or pre-poo. Oil rinsing, on the other hand, is typically done between shampooing and conditioning your hair.
Want to know more about oil rinsing? Find out how to oil rinse with hair oils and some of its benefits.
Do you do your hot oil treatment on dry hair or hair that is slightly damp?
Which hair oils do you use?