Throughout the years, I have heard of pre-pooing (treating your hair with oils before shampooing) and hot oil treatments, but never oil rinsing. Surprisingly, the process—praised for restoring shine and moisture to lackluster strands—is indeed a popular element of hair regimens for natural and relaxed haired women alike. Here’s the lowdown on oil rising, its benefits and bonus tips from yours truly.
Why Do It
- Revives dull looking hair
- Moisturizes hair strands
- Reduces frizz
- Decreases detangling and single strand knots
How to Do It
Before doing an oil rinse, make sure you either shampoo or co-wash your hair first. This step eliminates dirt and hair product stuck on the hair and scalp. Next, take your favorite oil and coat your strands from the roots to the ends. Make sure every strand is wet and well-covered in oil. Then, give yourself a gentle scalp massage to help the oil penetrate. Let the oil sit on your hair for approximately 5-20 minutes. While the oils are in your hair, use a plastic shower cap to prevent it from dripping. When you’re ready, rinse out the oil with water, then condition your hair.
Vlogger Curly Girl Chels gives a three-minute tutorial on the process. Watch below.
Bonus Tip: If you don’t have time to apply the oil as a separate step, simply add oil to your conditioner and apply the mixture to your hair. Let the oil sit for the designated time above and rinse.
Popular Oils for Rinsing
There’s a plethora of oils available for oil rinsing (see our guide on oils here). However, it’s highly recommended to select oils with a liquid consistency, like almond, avocado, grape seed, jojoba and olive oil. Avoid oils like coconut oil, which tends to solidify in colder temperatures. The amount of oil used depends on hair length and type.
Bonus Tip: Save money! Consider purchasing oil right from your grocery store or farmer’s market for an oil rinse.
Word of Caution
If you are suffering from scalp conditions such as eczema and dandruff it is strongly suggested to not oil rinse. People with sensitive scalps, but no medical diagnosis, should also avoid the practice as excessive amounts of oil may cause buildup and worsen inflammation on sensitive scalps. Do not perform oil rinsing on your hair without shampooing first. Oil rinsing is not a substitution for thoroughly shampooing or co-washing hair.
If you want to know even more about oil rinsing, Breanna Rutter, author of The Natural Hair Bible discusses her take on the process.
Do you have a success or ‘hot mess’ story about oil rinsing? Tell us in the comments.
By: Sarita Starks