If you have natural hair, we’re sure you’ve heard about hot oil treatments. An easy way to give your strands some TLC, a hot oil treatment for natural hair is said to have many benefits, making it a hot commodity for your textured strands. Wondering what a hot oil treatment for hair is and what benefits can be gained from using one? As always, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about hair oil treatments, including how to add one to your natural hair routine.
WHAT IS A HOT OIL TREATMENT?
A hot oil treatment for hair, as you can probably guess, involves coating your strands 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. Think about it: Oils have no barriers when traveling down straight hair, but the shape of curls slows the oils down.
THE BENEFITS OF HOT OIL TREATMENTS
Let’s dive into the benefits. Why are people obsessed with oil hair 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 damages hair.
Moreover, per the NCBI study, coconut oil was found to reduce protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre- or post-grooming product. Hot coconut oil hair 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, according to the same NCBI study.
More specifically, the NCBI notes that mineral oil and sunflower oil have been studied for their ability to potentially have a film effect. These oils absorb 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 treatment for natural hair 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 hair 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 attempting to apply oil that’s too hot. You don't want to get burned!
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 hair treatment onto your strands. 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 hot oil treatment for hair as needed, or as per the AAD’s recommendation, two times per month.
HOW TO DO A HAIR OIL TREATMENT SANS HEAT
Think you can’t reap the benefits of a hair oil treatment without turning up the heat? While heat is a great way to maximize the benefits of an oil hair treatment, your tresses can experience many of the same effects without it. Promise! Here’s how to get the job done.
Step #1: Wash your strands. The key to getting any oil hair treatment to work its magic is to start with clean hair. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Conditioner to hydrate, nourish, and cleanse your strands to perfection.
Step #2: Apply a leave-in conditioner. To add moisture and elasticity to your strands, you’ll want to step your hair care game up with a hydrating leave-in conditioner. Once your hair is washed, pick up the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil-in-Cream to maximize how much hydration your hair gets. Rub a dime-sized amount of the leave-in cream between your palms and then work throughout the length of your damp hair.
Step #3: Apply your oil. Now, it’s time to seal in the moisture with your hair oil treatment. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Deep Nourishing Treatment Serum for this step. Infused with camellia, coconut, and sunflower oils, this lightweight offering works to provide long-lasting hydration.
Rub two drops between the palms of your hands and distribute it evenly through the lengths of your hair, concentrating on the ends. Voila, that’s all there is to it!
And that’s a wrap on the benefits of hot oil treatments and how to give yourself an oil hair treatment. If you want to learn more about one of the trendy hair oils we mentioned, this article would be a good place to start: Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Hair?