Oil cleansing your hair may benefit your dry and damaged locks

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Oil cleansing can put an end to all your hair woes. Read on to know how it helped me!

Haircare can be a tricky subject because not one size fits all. Hair problems like dandruff, frizz, dryness, flaky scalp, and hair fall are so common that they keep us on the look for new remedies and solutions to tackle them. One such hair care help that I came across was oil cleansing as I walked into 2021. This method not only gave me glossy locks but got rid of the hideous frizz.

In case you’re wondering if this method will make you look like an oil-fried ‘bhajiya’, you’re wrong. Oil cleansing is not a replacement for the conventional water-washing method we have been using for years. It is just an extra step that can give you the healthy shine on your hair that you always dream about. Trust me, it is that good!

What is oil cleansing?

No, we’re not talking about foaming shampoos with oil as an ingredient in them. And we’re not talking about the oils that you use for a ‘Sunday champi’. An oil cleanser is light in texture and is supposed to be applied on your scalp and roots like regular shampoo.

What’s great about them? They are packed with emulsifiers that can pull out dirt and sebum from your hair strands and scalp. These emulsifying oil cleansers turn runny and milky once they hit water. This means they don’t leave an oily residue and are easy to wash off. It’s a win win!

You’ll find many modern haircare brands on the internet that have introduced oil cleansers specifically for hair.

hair growth tips
Oil cleansing can put an end to all your hair woes. Read on to know how it helped me! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr. Navnit Haror, Dermatologist, Founder and Director of Derma Miracle Skin and Hair Transplant Clinic, spoke to HealthShots on the effects of using oil cleansers.

“Oil cleansing may help your hair by making it healthy and strong. Many patients with hair problems find that it makes a big difference in the health and appearance of their hair.”

Advising on the things you need to watch for when using an oil cleanser, Dr Haror says, “There are a few things to keep in mind when trying out this method. First, you should use an oil formulation that is compatible with your hair type. For example, those with dry or damaged hair should use a heavy oil formula with coconut oil, while those with oily hair can use a light oil cleanser with grape seed oil as an ingredient.”

Make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly after washing it with the oil cleanser. This step is essential, as leaving any residue behind can lead to scalp acne or greasy hair”, she adds.

hair oiling
Oil cleansing can put an end to all your hair woes. Read on to know how it helped me! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Who can include oil cleansing in their hair care regime?

  1. Oil cleansing is for you if your scalp and hair are unruly even when you’re using a good shampoo and conditioner duo.
  2. If you find your hair strands have a damaged hair shaft and are breaking off frequently.
  3. Oil cleansing can work its magic on fried ends. Hair towards the end is aged and goes through maximum wear and tear causing split ends.
  4. In case your hair has a blasting frizz everytime you wash it using water, oil cleansing can be your go-to.
  5. Itchy and flaky scalp problems can arise due to excess build-up of products on it. Oil cleansing can melt away that residue leaving your scalp squeaky clean.
sesame oil
Oil cleansing can put an end to all your hair woes. Read on to know how it helped me! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to use oil cleansing for hair:

  1. Detangle your hair using a wide toothed comb or a detangler.
  2. Take a few pumps of your light textured oil cleanser and rub it in between your palms.
  3. Part your hair into two and using the praying hand motion spread the cleanser on your hair length.
  4. If your hair is long, it is advised to start applying from the ends towards your scalp.
  5. Using your finger tips, apply the cleanser on to your scalp.
  6. Massage well using your finger tips or a scalp massager.
  7. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  8. Using lukewarm water, wet your hair and massage it well.
  9. The water in your hair will turn milky which means the oil has emulsified perfectly.
  10. Drain out all the oil out of your hair under the running water.
  11. Some people skip this step completely, but I like to wash my hair using a mild shampoo.
  12. Shampoo your hair and absorb excess water using a microfibre towel.
  13. It is advised to always air dry your hair. If necessary, you can use a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting.

The takeaway:

It worked well for me and these are some of the changes I experienced in my hair and loved:

  1. The first sign of relief was that my hair felt easier to detangle! There were no knots in my hair that I had to win a war with which was a good sign.
  2. I’m a girl with wavy hair, and my hair came out looking a tad straighter after the wash. It saved styling time for me!
  3. They were absolutely manageable. I couldn’t find many unruly strands poking away.
  4. My frizz was gone. No, seriously gone! There were no knots and wild strands.
    My hair felt soft like feathers. They looked bouncy, airy and soft – almost as if I used an expensive hair mask before washing them.
  5. The shine on my hair was something to talk about! Oil cleansers replaced my hair’s dull, brittle appearance with a healthy sheen.
  6. I skipped the conditioner from my hair wash routine. It saved money and time too.

If you’re still having doubts about it, you’ll only know once you try. Before you try it, you should know that oil cleansing is not for everybody. If you’re experiencing scalp issues, oil cleansing may aggravate the troubles.

This method is not recommended for those who have dandruff due to bacteria or yeast. If you have a vivid hair colour, an oil cleanser may fade it. Use it only after a patch test or if your dermatologist gives a go ahead.

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