Although everyones hair grows at the same rate, a lot of times hair length, or lack of hair length, depends on the amount of hair that is breaking off and being retained each month. Using oils in a proper manner when caring for natural hair is a great way to promote growth, increase length retention, increase the hair’s moisture, and assist with the hair’s luster and overall health. When choosing an oil for your natural hair care regimen opt for natural oils such as avocado, coconut, or olive oil that will absorb into the scalp and hair follicles. Other oils such as alma, sweet almond, Jamaican black castor, boabob, jojoba, rosemary, argan, sunflower seed, and grape seed oil are all great oils to use for your hair. Experiment with different oils and combinations of oils to figure out what your hair responds best to. Using a massaging method when using either of the below methods will increase the blood flow to your scalp which will encourage hair growth. If you’re new to oiling your hair or are desperatly looking for new ways to promote hair growth and increase your moisture retention try either of the five methods mentioned in order to meet your natural hair goals.
1. Oil Rinsing
Oil Rinsing is when you apply an excess amount of oil to clean, freshly shampooed hair and letting the oil sit for a short amount of time. You can add a penetrating oil such as avocado, coconut, or olive oil to the hair as it is or mix a few tablespoons of your conditioner of choice to the oil. Oil rinsing aids in preventing single strand knots, increases moisture retention, and is a great way to add shine to your beautiful kinks, curls, or coils.
2. Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil treatments can prevent your hair from becoming frizzy. It’s great for colored treated hair to combat damage and dry tresses. This treatment strengthens the hair, assists in preventing split ends, and can be used in place of a deep conditioner. Performing regular hot oil treatments will give you more curl definition and will promote hair growth when applying hot oil to the scalp. The process when doing a hot oil treatment is easy. Heat a penetrating hair oil, but be careful to not get the oil too hot. Oil that is too hot in temperature will burn your scalp. Pour the oil in a heat-safe applicator bottle and proceed to massage the oil into your scalp while distributing the hot oil throughout your strands. Apply a heat cap or sit under the dryer with a plastic cap for 15-30 minutes to further assist the oil to penetrate the hair. Gently rinse oil the with warm or cold water, be sure not to use shampoo or conditioner, and rinse as normal.
3. Pre-poo With Oil
Pre-poo, meaning a conditioning method done before shampooing the hair, prevents tangles from forming and prevents breakage. A regular pre-poo treatment will encourage soft, shiny, and more manageable locks. Washing the hair especially when using sulfates can be strenuous on the hair. Although, everything that you put in the hair with a pre-poo will be washed away, performing a pre-poo treatment prevents “over clean” hair. There are many different pre-poo recipes to choose from. Many naturals use a combination of oils, butters, creams, and sometimes fruit. Section your hair into several manageable sections and apply your pre-poo mixture onto the hair coating the roots and tips. During this process, many women choose to finger detangle, let it sit overnight with a plastic cap, or choose to sit under a heated dryer with a plastic cap over their hair.
4. Oiling Your Scalp
Oiling your scalp is one of the most traditional techniques that many black women are familiar with. The key to oiling your scalp is to not over oil your hair, use natural oils that will absorb into the scalp, and make sure you are cleansing your hair frequently to prevent oil buildup. Oiling your scalp nourishes the hair follicle which will strengthen the hair and prevent dry brittle tresses, split ends, and will assist with your tresses’ overall luster.
5. Sealing Your Ends With Oil
Although sealing your ends requires little to no effort compared to the other oiling methods, sealing your ends is one of the most important methods you should do after moisturizing your hair. As someone who has always used a water-based hair moisturizer without using an oil or butter as a sealant, I have noticed a significant difference in the overall health of my hair once I began to seal my ends. I noticed more moisture retention, less breakage, and minimal tangling. When you moisturize your hair, especially at the ends, it’s important to lock in the moisture with an oil or butter since the ends are the oldest part of your hair. Many naturalistas change oils depending on the climate. During the warmer months many women choose coconut oil because of its light consistency. During the colder months many opt for heavier oils like olive or castor oil.
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COMMENT BELOW!!! Have your tried any of the mentioned methods? How do you add oil to your natural hair care regimen?