How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp?

Overview

Certain plant oils that contain moisturizing properties are lifesavers if you have a dry scalp, and using oil to treat your scalp is one of the healthiest and least expensive ways to pamper yourself at home. You can even pick up pure oil at most grocery and natural food stores. It's impossible to damage your scalp or hair by oiling it too often.

Frequency

If your scalp is dry and irritated, it's safe to use plant oil on your scalp every day -- whether it's olive, coconut, jojoba or another type. Once you see improvement, a weekly oil treatment is all that's necessary to keep your scalp looking healthy. However, if you’re oiling so frequently that your hair starts to look greasy, it’s time to cut back. Also, if you oil your scalp very often but it’s even dryer and more dandruff-laden than before, oil may be building up and actually contributing to the dryness. If that’s the case, use a clarifying shampoo to break down and remove the gunk in your hair. Finish with a lightweight conditioner.

Types of Oils

There are many different oils you can use on your scalp, so choose one according to your personal preferences. Olive oil is probably the most readily available at your grocery store, and when it's massaged from roots to tips it leaves your hair feeling soft and silky. Coconut oil also shares these properties. African-American hair responds well to jojoba, emu, avocado and almond oil.

Using Oil At Home

There’s no one “right” way to oil your scalp at home. For a quick fix, massage a tablespoon or two of oil into your roots as if you’re shampooing your hair, and leave it in. For a more soothing routine, warm the oil on a stove and work it from roots to ends before wrapping it up in a warm towel. Let it sit for at least an hour before shampooing out. For an overnight treatment, massage warm oil into your scalp and tresses, cover with a shower cap (or protect your pillow with a towel) and sleep on it.

Deep Conditioners and Oil

When your scalp is not producing enough oil, your hair tends to dry out, too. That’s where commercial deep conditioning products come to the rescue. These products contain oils and proteins designed to revitalize a damaged mane. Use these only as often as directed, which is sometimes just once or twice a week. Because they’re packed with fortifying ingredients, they have a tendency to build up and make your hair feel brittle when you use them too often. If your hair is extremely dry, use a deep conditioner once a day for three days. Then, alternate your deep conditioner with a regular conditioner each day for a week.

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