dry hair 12 Ways to Use a Hair Oil

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If we had to choose our favorite hair care product, it would be pretty much impossible, but hair oil would definitely be up there. That's because there are so many ways you can use an oil as part of your hair care and styling routine. Whether you apply it before hopping into the shower and using shampoo or to help tame frizzy hair, one thing’s for certain: hair oil is very versatile. Just this one product can do so many different things! Below, we’re sharing 12 different ways to use a hair oil, as well as our best hair oils to add to your routine.


Ready to add a hair oil to your routine? It’s time to show you all of the many ways you might want to use one.

1. Use It...as a Pre-Shampoo Treatment

You put your hair through a lot on a daily basis—and everything from water to coloring to styling can leave your strands feeling dry. So, try using a hair oil as a pre-shampoo treatment to help moisturize your hair before washing. This can help your hair retain its natural oils. To do so, simply apply hair oil before washing and using conditioner as usual.

2. Use It…for Lightweight Shine

When you have fine hair, it’s easy to go overboard with styling products. And unfortunately, doing so can weigh hair down and even make it look overly oily. Instead of piling on product, using a lightweight hair oil can help add shine and turn dry hair into silky strands without weighing even fine or thin hair down. To use hair oil for a lightweight shine, simply apply a dime-sized amount onto dry strands and stay away from your roots, focusing on applying the hair oil to the ends of your hair instead.

3. Use It…to Help Detangle Your (Curly) Hair

What? You have curly hair and have never tried a hair oil before? Now’s the time to start! Once you’re done shampooing and conditioning, apply a few drops of oil onto wet hair, then use a wide-tooth comb to help detangle. Another curly-hair detangling tip: Start at the bottom of your hair and gently work your way up. Note: This works on all hair types!

4. Use It…to Tame Frizz and Flyaways

If your hair poofs up as soon as you step outside—especially when the weather is humid—you’re definitely not alone. Frizzy hair plagues us all from time to time, but thankfully, a hair oil can help tame that frizz. Try applying one to two pumps of hair oil to dry hair to help smooth frizz and flyways, again concentrating on your lengths and ends so as not to make your roots or scalp look greasy.

5. Use It…to Protect Against Split Ends

Although going in for a trim is the real trick for how to get rid of split ends, you can still help protect your strands by using a hair oil as part of your regular hair care routine. Put it on wet or dry hair—whatever you prefer!

6. Use It…to DIY a Spa Treatment

You don’t have to head to the spa for a fancy hair treatment to reap some of the same rewards. You can use your hair oil at home to recreate a spa-like experience. Here’s how to do it: Apply hair oil from root to tip, then wrap your hair in a towel. Leave the hair oil on for 30 minutes, then rinse out with cool water. While you’re waiting, consider really amplifying your at-home spa experience by smoothing on a face mask or popping cucumber slices over your eyes.

7. Use It…Before Creating a Braid

Braids are one of the prettiest types of hairstyles—and while braids look gorgeous when they’re messy, sometimes it’s easier to work with hair that’s smooth. Prior to braiding, run a small amount of hair oil through your hair. You can work the oil through damp or dry hair prior to braiding, so your styling options aren’t limited.

8. Use It…Before Using Your Flat Iron or Curling Iron

A lot of the time, your hairstyle is only as good as the products you prep your hair with. And—you guessed it—using a hair oil is a great way to get your strands ready for styling. Simply apply a small amount of product onto dry hair, mainly on the lengths and ends, in addition to a heat protectant. Then, use your flat iron or curling iron as usual.

9. Use It…on Wet Hair Before Blow-Drying

Do your at-home blowouts tend not to look so smooth or shiny? Add a hair oil into the mix. Apply a dime-sized amount, along with a heat protectant, to damp hair after shampooing and conditioning, focusing the product mainly on your lengths and ends. Then, blow-dry your hair with a round brush and finish with a spritz of a lightweight hair spray.

10. Use It…Before Bed

Become a sleeping beauty by applying a hair oil before bedtime. Throw your hair into a top knot and use a silk pillowcase to further up your beauty sleep game.

Editor’s note: Speaking of beauty sleep, here are 8 Nighttime Hair Care Rituals for Radiant Hair.

11. Use It…as a Finishing Touch

Just as you can use a hair oil before blow-drying your hair, you can also use one after you’re done styling. Whether you blow-dried your hair or curled or straightened it, pump a small amount of hair oil into your hands, rub your hands together, then gently work the hair oil through your hair from mid-lengths to ends.

12. Use It…Whenever Your Hair Could Use a Little Extra Something-Something

Regardless of your hair type or texture, a hair oil can help revive the appearance of your hair whenever necessary. No wonder it’s one of our favorite products!


Ready to start using a hair oil? We have two great recs! 

The L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment is a lightweight hair oil that instantly transforms dry hair strand by strand into nourished, silky, shiny hair. You can use it before shampooing for luxurious nourishment, to polish strands before styling for no frizz and flyaways, and as a lightweight finishing touch for silky softness and luxurious shine.

The L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment Serum is formulated with camellia and sunflower oils and works to provide weightless shine and nourishment to parched strands. Use it before you shampoo to nourish and protect hair, before styling to manage your mane, or as a finishing touch to boost softness and shine.

Next up: For more hair care advice, head over to our article, What Shampoo Should You Use? Our Best Shampoos for Every Hair Type.