I remember going to school with my hair oiled to the brim, so much so that I could feel it in my nails, each time I would itch my scalp and my friends would tease me of the strong smell that would emanate from my grandma’s recommended brand of hair oil.
And this habit of oiling my hair every thrice a week, has continued and stayed with me even as I grew up into adulthood and passed it onto my daughter.
Perhaps, this is one advice that has stood the test of time. While Parachute was the only brand of hair oil available to us, and the Champi Tel the only one available to my granny, today, the shelves in supermarkets, boast of a variety of brands of hair oil, ranging from Almond Drops, and Amla hair oil to the modified versions including the non-sticky Clean and Clear hair oil.
But today, do you still need to oil your hair?
Yes, you do need to oil your hair, say experts, but for different reasons than you think. If you are the one who believes that you need hair oil to promote hair growth and make them healthy, as advised by your elders, then you could not be more far away from truth.
Says, Dr Rekha Yadav, a well known Trichologist from Mumbai:
“Oil is good for conditioning of the hair. But it does not play any role in hair growth. If a person has dandruff, then it is best to avoid oiling hair, else it can increase the chances of fungal infection in the scalp. Moreover, if your hair is too dry, you can apply oil to the hair to condition it and improve its texture and shine, but not to your root because your scalp secretes enough oil by itself through the oily glands, hence it doesn’t need anything extra. “
Oilling hydrates and moisturizes hair and prevents them from becoming rough and frizzy. It improves hair texture that has been worked upon by dyes and colors. But it does not improve hair growth or help the follicles become any stronger.
For best benefits
Comb your hair and part them into two halves, Heat oil to a warm temperature before applying. As you apply oil, with your fingertips, make many more partitions of hair and rub oil in each. Partitioning your hair will help oil to reach the hair properly.
Simply pouring oil will not help; a proper head massage with fingertips for at least 15 minutes totally conditions your hair and helps you unwind, it improves the blood circulation in the head, and acts as a stress buster.
The quantity of oil should neither be too much nor too little. Apply oil in a moderate quantity, enough to wet your hair, but massage it generously in small circular motions. Also, optimal quantity of oil requires lesser shampoo to wash it off. It also saves time and avoids misuse of oil.
Getting a hair wash just after an hour of applying oil is a good idea if you are late for a party. But the best you can do is to oil hair before going to bed and wash it off the next day morning. “Just remember, not to leave oil in your hair for more than 24 hours as it can attract dirt and can make things worse”, says Dr Yadav.
Oil, says Dr Yadav, only conditions your hair and hence, the frequency of application depends on the texture of one’s hair. If a person has dry hair, then oiling thrice a week is fine, but for those with normal hair, once a week of oiling is enough.
If you do not condition your hair, then after shampooing you might consider dabbing a little hair oil on wet hair and spreading it evenly. This will add the necessary shine to your hair.
Which hair air oil is the best?
From the many hair oils that can be seen competing for space in supermarket shelves, you can select the one according to your preference. Some common oils, along with their benefits are mentioned here –
Coconut Oil – the famous Parachute coconut oil, remains an all time favorite. Coconut oil is one of the best natural conditioner for hair. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil, gives a cooling effect and keeps you relaxed.
Almond oil- Almond oil too, conditions hair and adds luster, and when it is heated to a warm temperature and applied, it totally rejuvenates you, and makes you feel lighter in the head.
Jojoba Oil- it is an excellent hair treatment for dry hair and a natural hair conditioner acting similar to the sebum that your scalp produces; Applying this oil twice every week, can bring a change in the condition of your mane rather quickly.
Besides, other commonly used oils include, olive oil, amla oil, and mustard oil. All the oils mentioned herein are natural oils, which are best for hair texture and quality. Others like, the Clean and Clear non-sticky oils are also available, however, the more you stick to natural oils the better it is for your hair.
Now I know why my mother’s hair is so shiny and smooth, although she never did undergo any hair treatments nor did she apply expensive shampoos and conditioners. All she ever did, was to apply oils, regularly and religiously, twice every week, all her school and college life. And I have pledged to do the same too. Have you?