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How to Use Hair Oil: A Guide for All Hair Types

How to Use Hair Oil: A Guide for All Hair Types
SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert8 months ago
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In the world of tried-and-true hair treatments that have stood the test of time, no product has stood the test of time like the beloved hair oil has. With a long-standing history that dates back to ancient Indian beauty rituals, oils continue to reign in popularity today.

Hair oils have advanced by leaps and bounds in terms of technology and offerings. The benefits that hair oils provide to the strength and health of the hair are unparalleled. Yet, with so many different hair oils available, how can you choose the best hair oils for you? And which ones should be in your cart if you want to add shine or promote hair growth? Consider this your guide to all things hair oil.

Table of Contents:

What is Hair Oil?

Hair oils are exactly what they sound like: oils formulated specifically for hair use. Most fans of hair oils (sometimes called hair oiling) rely on them for their shine-inducing, moisture-boosting, hair-strengthening, and growing benefits. Different oils boast different ingredients, including almond, coconut, amla, and other plant-based oils and essential oils, and each has a unique advantage to the hair. Some people look to hair oils as a more hydrating way to revive dry, do-nothing hair or even as a way to prep the hair before washing to achieve a better cleansing effect. There are even oils that target specific scalp-related concerns like dandruff, inflammation, and itchiness.

While the reasons for applying oil to the hair vary based on what you try to achieve, the goal is to make the hair softer, more hydrated and shinier. For example, hair that easily knots and tangles may prefer a lighter hair oil, while textured hair may lean towards an oil that gives the hair a little more slip. Even oily hair can benefit from regular use of a hair oil as long as a small amount of a light oil is used just on the ends. No matter your hair type or concern, there’s a hair oil for you!

What are the Benefits of Using Hair Oil?

Hair oils provide numerous benefits, making them a hair health must-have. The most significant advantage of using hair oil is its ability to hydrate dry, damaged hair and a dry scalp. But that’s not all it can do. Hair oils also:

  • Reinstate shine to lackluster, dull hair
  • Protect the hair against UV, heat, environmental and chemical damage
  • Control frizz
  • Help stimulate hair growth
  • Act as a natural remedy for dandruff and dry scalp
  • Enhance blood circulation and nourish the hair follicles when massaged into the scalp

Applying hair oil to the hair and scalp as a pre-shampoo treatment also has advantages. Pre-treating the hair before shampooing helps restore moisture and even protects the delicate hair follicles during shampooing.

Hair oils work relatively quickly, and after just a few uses, you’ll start to notice softer, shiner, smoother hair that’s more manageable. The more you use an oil in your hair care routine, the better the results. After consistently applying hair oil to the hair and scalp, the hair may appear fuller, stronger and even longer, and the scalp will be less irritated and dry (if those are issues you deal with).

However, for all the benefits hair oil provides, it’s essential to know that hair oil isn’t a replacement for other hair products but rather a complementary one. Hair oils are often grouped alongside conditioning masks, deep conditions, and hair serums. While each has its place in a hair care routine, oils, which are oil-based, can penetrate the cuticle to improve the hair’s condition, while serums and masks work on the outside of the hair cuticle.

How to Use Hair Oil

A little goes a long way when using hair oils to help improve the hair. Applying oil to the hair is a relatively simple process regardless of the type of oil you use or what you are using it for. You can use most hair oils on either dry or damp hair, depending on if they are designed to treat or help style the hair. Following the product’s label’s direction is best to ensure proper use.

When using hair oil as a treatment, apply the oil to either dry or freshly washed hair. Usually, a few drops of oil are enough to coat the hair, but more can be used for longer or thicker hair.

First, brush the hair thoroughly to ensure there are no tangles or knots.

Next, divide the hair into sections. With the oil in the palm of your hands, massage it into the scalp and then coat the hair with the remainder of the oil (don’t massage the hair itself).

Then, braid the hair or wrap it into a bun and leave it like this for a few hours. Or sleep with the hair in a braid or bun, which allows the oil to penetrate even better.

Finally, shampoo the oil out of the hair. Two shampoos may be necessary. Then, condition the hair and style as usual.

To use oil for styling purposes, apply a few drops just to the ends of the hair.

There’s no right or wrong way to use hair oil, nor should it be limited to a specific timeframe. Daily use of a hair oil may be necessary if your hair and scalp require more hydration.

SkinStore's Expert Picks for Hair Oils

When it comes to finding a good hair oil, the options may seem endless. However, selecting the appropriate hair oil comes down to finding one that works for your hair and scalp. Also, the ingredients in hair oil are important since different oils and ingredients have different effects.

Some of the best hair oils include:

Bouclème Revive 5 Hair Oil

Targets: Dry, damaged hair that needs defense against damage from UV rays and heat styling. It also minimizes frizz and flyaways.

Good for: Dry hair and scalps

Virtue Healing Oil

Targets: Dull hair that lacks moisture and shine

Good for: All hair types

Philip B Rejuvenating Oil

Targets: A dry scalp and hair

Good for: Dehydrated hair

Act + Acre Cold Processed Hair Oil

Targets: Unhealthy, dry and damaged hair with flyaways, frizz, and split ends

Good for: Straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair

Grow Gorgeous New Repair Heat Protection Leave-in Oil 

Targets: Flwaways and dry, damaged hair that lacks shine

Good for: All hair types

How to Choose the Right Hair Oil for your Hair Type

Selecting the correct type of hair oil for your hair type and its needs is vital to maximize your hair oil efforts and reap the benefits. Different hair types respond to different hair oils, so reading the ingredient label and understanding a specific hair oil’s benefit is essential. It may also take a bit of trial and error until you land on the hair oil you like best.

Argan oil helps reduce frizz and add shine and elasticity, while castor oil is often used to help prevent dandruff. Rosemary oil helps stimulate hair growth, while jojoba oil is a go-to for controlling an oily scalp.

Those with oily hair may not think that hair oil has a place in their hair care routine, but it does. Oily hair types should look to oils with tea tree oils, which help unplug clogged hair follicles and regulate sebum production.

Related Article: Hair Goals Achieved: SkinStore's Best Hair Oils Revealed

The Bottom Line

The right hair oil can make a difference in the health of your hair and scalp, but knowing which one to use is vital. It may sound intimidating to use hair oil regularly, but truth be told, adding one to your haircare routine is often an easy way to boost the hair’s manageability, shine, softness, and smoothness. No matter the reason for wanting to use a hair oil—to hydrate, add shine, reduce frizz, or grow thicker hair—finding the best hair oil for your hair type and concern is step number one. Then, you can include a hair oil into your regular haircare routine, providing immediate and long-term benefits. Remember, there's no reason to overload the hair with oils—less is more. But with regular use, the hair will become stronger, healthier, and shinier, and you'll wonder why you didn't discover the power of a good hair oil before.

Shop SkinStore’s collection of hair oils to find the perfect fit for your hair type.

SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert
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Our team of beauty experts cover everything from skincare to makeup, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the SkinStore blog, and find all your essentials in one place.