If you have natural hair, we’re sure you’ve heard about hot oil treatments. This hair care treatment is said to have many benefits, which is why it’s gained quite a rep for itself in the beauty world. Wondering what a hot oil hair treatment is and what benefits can be gained from using one? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this natural hair care craze.
WHAT IS A HOT OIL TREATMENT?
A hot oil treatment, as you can probably guess, involves coating your hair in hot oil(s) to reap the benefits (more on those later). There are many different types of oils that are used, depending on the benefits you’re aiming for. Typically, hot oil treatments are done on those with natural hair, as those with coily hair types tend to lack moisture as their spirals make it difficult for natural oils from the scalp to travel down the shaft of their hair.
THE BENEFITS OF HOT OIL TREATMENTS
Let’s dive into the benefits. Why are people obsessed with oil treatments? The use of oils on hair has been found to have several positive effects. Below, we’re naming three of those effects.
HOT OIL TREATMENT BENEFIT #1: REDUCE DAMAGE
Split ends and breakage are not only signs of damage, but they can also take a toll on how your hair looks. No one wants an unkempt mane! That being said, oil treatments can be used to help reduce damage. According to a study from the National Center for Biotechnological Information (NCBI), some oils can penetrate the hair and reduce the amount of water absorbed, leading to less swelling, which can be a factor that can damage hair.
Moreover, coconut oil was found to reduce the protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair, per the NCBI study, when used as a pre- or post-grooming product. Hot oil treatment, anyone?
HOT OIL TREATMENT BENEFIT #2: COMBAT AGGRESSORS
There are many external aggressors, such as surfactants, that your strands come into contact with on the daily. Certain oils can prevent penetration of these aggressive substances by filling the gap between the cuticle cells, per the same NCBI study.
More specifically, mineral oil and sunflower oil have been studied for their ability to potentially have a film effect, according to the NCBI. These oils adsorb into the surface of the cuticle, lessening friction and thus reducing damage.
HOT OIL TREATMENT BENEFIT #3: PROMOTE HYDRATION AND ELASTICITY
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that African-American women use a hot oil treatment twice a month to add additional moisture and elasticity to their hair. Sounds like it may be time to update your natural hair care routine!
HOW TO DO A HOT OIL TREATMENT AT HOME
Giving yourself a hot oil hair treatment at home isn’t difficult! While DIY hot oil treatments are popular, we recommend purchasing one from the store. From there, you’ll want to follow the instructions on the box or bottle, but we can give you a rundown of how most hot oil treatments are used.
Step #1: Heat your oil. While you may be tempted to pour oil into a cup or bowl and pop it in the microwave, we advise against this. Instead, place the container with your oil in a hot cup of water to warm it up or let the hot water in your shower run over it. This method will help you avoid oil that’s too hot.
Step #2: Apply your oil. Hop in the shower and wet your hair, but don’t wash it. Before shampooing, saturate your strands with the warmed oil.
Step #3: Turn up the heat. To increase the heat factor, put on a shower cap.
Step #4: Massage. To ensure your strands are getting a thorough coating, massage the oil into your hair. Bonus: This will also feel really good on your scalp!
Step #5: Rinse and repeat. Rinse the oil from your hair with cool or lukewarm water—never hot. Then you’re free to continue your hair care routine as usual. Repeat the treatment as needed, or as per the AAD’s recommendation, two times per month.