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Using Hair Oil

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 22 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Hair Oil Olive Oil Conditioner Coconut

In many cultures, using oil is a traditional and still popular way of styling hair. It's also used to treat a variety of hair problems and to keep the hair in good condition, giving it a wonderful shine. In the West this approach to hair care has largely been lost, but thanks to cultural mixing it is now starting to return. Hair oil treatments are cheap to source and easy to use and can give your hair an extra touch of glamour.

Choosing Hair Oil

The first thing you need to know about hair oil is that it's really not necessary to spend a lot to get great results. By and large the blended, branded products on the market are no better than those you can make at home. If you prefer an intermediate approach or want to experiment with popular products before getting creative, most large Asian-focused shops have a variety of hair oils you can try at low prices.

One of the best oils to use on your hair is olive oil. It's kind to your skin and it's easy to scent using just a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil, which should be blended in prior to application. For thick or curly hair, coconut oil is fabulous, building body and shine. Apricot kernel oil is good for fine hair, as is jojoba oil, though the strong scent of the latter can be hard to get rid of afterwards.

Deep Conditioning with Hair Oil

Deep conditioning with oil is a wonderful way to help dry, fragile hair recover. It's the sort of treatment that really can bring you back from the brink and make your hair feel wonderfully soft. It's best done with heavier oils such as coconut. To soften these, place then in a mug inside a bowl of hot water whilst you rinse your hair.

After rinsing, massage in the hair oil. If you have long hair its best to twist it up into a bun or braid it as you do so. You can then wrap it in a towel or a plastic bag. Leave the oil on overnight. In the morning, wash your hair thoroughly - you may need to shampoo it three times to get all the oil out. You can then treat it with an ordinary conditioner. Doing this just once every month or two will give you beautiful hair that all your friends envy.

Hair Oil and Shine

These days we tend to spend a lot of money on products to make our hair shiny, but the simplest way to do it is with oil. This doesn't need to look greasy. It is, after all, oil produced by the scalp that gives healthy hair its natural shine. Adding oil artificially simply gives this natural process a boost.

Oiling hair should be done as soon as it is dry after washing. Rub a light hair oil into your palms. There should be no drops of liquid left on the surface of your skin, just an oily sheen. You can then rub your hair between your palms, massaging the oil into it. Avoid rubbing oil into the scalp. Hair treated like this will have a rich, healthy glow.

Hair Oil and Styling

For a more dramatic look, hair oil can be used in styling. It was the original styling aid before modern mousses and gels were invented, and it's great for short styles. Use a heavier oil and massage it thoroughly into the roots of your hair with lateral movements, avoiding the scalp. Draw it upwards along the length of the hair and you'll be able to shape it easily.

Hair oil used in styling works like wet-look gel but is generally better for your hair. It works well in edgy, spiky styles or for shaping dramatic fringes. Just remember to rinse it out at the end of the day to keep your hair in tip top condition.

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