How To: Hot Oil Treatment

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How To: Hot Oil Treatment

How To: Hot Oil Treatment
We’ve heard many reasons why hot oil treatments are beneficial including sealing in moisture, fighting dandruff, reducing frizz, etc. Though these are definitely some of the benefits, the true reason for hot oil treatments are to replenish the hair with its natural oils. The outer layer of the hair shaft that protects the cortex is called the cuticle layer. This layer is actually multiple layers of keratinized scales that are adhered together with lipids-the most abundant lipids are ceramides. Manipulation, chemical treatments, washing, heat styling, air drying too long, and even touching your hair can have an effect on the balance of ceramides your hair has. Hot oil treatments, moisture, and protein are the holy trinity for your hair’s optimal length retention.

Choosing The Perfect Oil
Ceramides are known to have high levels of linoleic acid (fatty acids). The best natural oil to choose should be highly concentrated with this fatty acid to replenish the hair with the most nutrients. Another thing to keep in mind is the quality of your oil. Based on the oils below, Safflower oil contains a high percentage of fatty acids. However, choosing an oil that was processed longer can make the oil inert. Whatever natural oil that you decide to use for a hot oil treatment, make sure that it is organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined. This will ensure that the oil is not weak and will give your hair maximum benefits. If you can’t get oil that is organic and cold-pressed, at least make sure that it is unrefined.

How To: Hot Oil Treatment

(left) Oil is runny and appears clear.
(right) This oil is more rich in color and thicker which is an indication of more nutrients.

Oils based on Linoleic Acid content according to Wikipedia and *Esoteric Oils
Salicornia Oil 75%, Safflower Oil 75%, *Evening Primrose Oil 75%, *Sunflower Oil 72%, Poppy Seed Oil 70%, *Grape Seed Oil 65%, Hemp Oil 60%, *Walnut Oil 58%, *Wheat Germ Oil 54%, Cottonseed Oil 54%, Soybean Oil 51%, *Pumpkin Seed Oil 42-60%, *Rose Hip Oil 43-46%, Rice Bran Oil 39%, Argan Oil 37%, *Sesame Oil 35-50%, Baobab Oil 34%, Pistachio Oil 33%, Peanut Oil 32%, *Apricot Oil 23%, Canola Oil 21%, *Almond Oil 21%, *Avocado Oil 15%, Linseed Oil 15%, Palm Oil 10%, *Hazel Nut Oil 7-15% *Olive Oil 6-25%, *Jojoba Oil 5%, Marula Oil 4-7%, Macadamia Oil 2%, Coconut Oil 2%, Castor Oil 1-5%

Absorption/Adsorption
A hot oil treatment would be useless if the oil doesn’t penetrate/bind to the cuticle layer. Two ways to do a hot oil treatment include heating the oil indirectly or leaving it on your hair overnight. To heat the oil, either heat the amount you choose to use for that time in a small container and heat it in a hot water bath. Heating the oil will help to thin the oil and make it absorb faster. Do not heat the oil directly via microwave or stove to prevent the oil from scorching and frying your hair. Another way to heat the oil is to apply the oil to your hair, apply a plastic cover and sit under a hooded dryer for 30-45 minutes. Always apply a plastic cap whether you decide to heat the oil or if you do the treatment overnight.

How To Apply The Oil
If you have chosen to heat the oil in a hot water bath, make sure to transfer the amount that you plan to use into a spray bottle or container. I personally have medium-length hair, so one ounce of oil is enough for me. You can use less or more depending on your hair’s length and density. Your hair doesn’t have to be dripping in oil. Applying just enough oil to coat your strands is sufficient. Doing a hot oil treatment on dry hair opposed to wet hair is best as oil is hydrophobic and repels water making the treatment ineffective. However, some pre-packaged hot oil treatments are made to be used on freshly cleansed hair. For these types of products, make sure to follow the instructions as the manufacturers know the best way the product will work. For pure natural oils, always apply on dry hair as a pre-shampoo/cleanse treatment.

How Often?
The consensus to do a hot oil treatment is monthly. However, one can do a hot oil treatment as often as they’d like. The more the better. Just make sure that you are properly cleansing the oil from your hair to prevent product build-up.

Precautions and Alternatives
For freshly colored hair, wait at least 4 weeks to do a hot oil treatment to prevent the oil from altering the color. Test a strand or small section of your hair before applying the oil to ensure that it won’t change the color. Make sure to properly store your oils in a dark and cool place to prevent it from becoming weak or going rancid quickly. Remember, natural oils are food and should be treated as such. Make sure that you are aware of the shelf life and the “best before date” of your oils. Another great way to replenish your hair’s natural oils are cholesterol treatments.

READ  Review: ORS™ Black Olive Oil Repair 7

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6 Responses

  1. Naomi says:

    Hi there, Rosie, it’s Naomi again. Those latest products seemed to help bring back my curls. I’m definitely going to start using 80% sunflower oil and 10% coconut oil, instead of 100% coconut oil for my hot oil treatment now. The HUGE problem I’m having now is my hair has gotten longer and the curls more defined, but my hair now just always looks dull, lifeless, dusty, frizzy, and no shine to it. Is there something you can recommend to add to my deep conditioner or product routine to add shine and gloss to my hair? Your hair always looks so shiny.

    My routine again. Hot Oil/Deep Condition/ Co-wash one a week. Followed up with Leave in/hair butter, and black castor, grape-seed, argan oil mixture.

    Do you recommend any of the following?

    Ive been reading about Carol’s Daughter Milk leave in because it’s oil based too?
    Honey to my DC?
    Hair masque?
    A hair gloss treatment? [like these henna ones I keep reading?]

    Thank you again!
    -Naomi

    • Ms. Rosie says:

      Thanks so much! If you’re using a cowash solely as your shampoo replacement, make sure that your regimen supports this. Heavy oils, butter, and silicones can cause hair to look extremely dull in a cowash only method. Cowashing isn’t as strong as shampoo, so we have to use products that can be rinsed away easily.

      You are using great oils for shine. I can suggest adding cholesterol treatments to your hair regimen. Cholesterol is one of our hair’s natural oils which needs to be replenished as well. Lately, I’ve been using Queen Helene Cholesterol Oil Treatment. It’s made my hair soft and added more shine. It has mineral oil, but I use it once every 4-6 weeks. However, this won’t help if you have product build up. Maybe you can try a clarifying cleanser to remove excess product from your hair. I talk more about cowashing here: http://www.lovinourtextures.com/hair-care/co-washing-can-replace-your-shampoo/

  2. LeeLee says:

    Hi there

    Thanks for the info! Just wondering if I can use hot oil treatments as a prepoo in place of coconut oil.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Lee Lee! Thanks for visiting. You can do pre-poo’s and hot oil treatments interchangeably. A hot oil treatment is a pre-poo, but a pre-poo isn’t always a hot oil treatment or even oil. Hot oil treatments are usually done with a warm oil before shampooing. They help to replenish the cuticle structure with fatty acids and lipids. A pre-poo treatment can be with conditioner or oil to prevent the cleanser from stripping the hair. Coconut oil is used as a pre-poo treatment to help prevent hygral fatigue.

  3. Lucy says:

    Please, i just start to transit and i have notice lots breakage, right now my hair is so dry and am considering cutting the whole thing off.

    please further advice on what to do.

    thanks.

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