DIY Hot Oil / Pre-Wash Oil Treatments

I am on a mission to arrest my hair and demand it to grow! To this end, I have incorporated scalp massages into my daily routine [I’ve taken to doing quick 1 minute massages in the mornings and a good 5 minutes massage before bed]. You can read more about scalp massages here:- In addition to this I will also be incorporating weekly hot oil treatments to my hair care regimen.

Black hair is inherently fragile. African American hair is breakage prone because it tangles and knots more readily than the hair of other ethnicities. That’s why many African American women opt for relaxers instead of their natural hair. Unfortunately, relaxers may make African American hair easier to manage, but they also cause serious damage. It’s an uphill battle no matter what you do, so you must always take time to give your hair the TLC that it needs.

Start pampering your hair today by doing Hot Oil / Pre-Wash Oil Treatments!

For many years, women from India and other parts of the world have applied oil to their hair before washing it. That may sound completely backwards, but it works! Cleansing your hair with shampoo is important because it washes away hair products, dirt, pollution, and anything else that’s gotten stuck to your hair during the week. The downside of shampoo is that it can also strip the natural oils from your hair. Your hair needs a certain amount of oil to stay healthy, so you don’t want to wash it all away with shampoo. You don’t want your hair to be “squeaky clean”! Women on the Eastern Hemisphere figured out a wonderful solution to this problem many decades ago. Oiling your hair before washing it, gives your hair a softening, deep oil treatment. It also provides extra protection so that your hair doesn’t get completely stripped during the shampoo process. No wonder hot oil treatments became so popular for a while! For those without a heat cap, warm your oil in the microwave and cover your head with a warm towel.

The key to this long tradition is choosing the right kind of oil. The only truly effective oils are: coconut, olive, and avocado oil. You do not need a grand mixture of oils to do these treatments (as I will use). These oils are high in saturated fat which means their molecules are small enough to penetrate into the hair shaft. All you have to do is soak your hair in the oil and let it absorb. Coconut oil is the easiest to use because it’s solid at room temperature. You can scoop it out of the container and rub it between your palms. Olive and avocado oil are liquids so applying those could get messy.

Here’s the most important thing: You have to use pure oil for Pre-Wash Oil Treatments – like the extra virgin olive oil in your kitchen cabinet. Don’t be fooled by hair products like “Olive Oil Mayonnaise” or “Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner”. Those products rarely contain any significant amount of high-quality oil. Many times they are mostly made of mineral oil, which cannot penetrate the hair shaft. Pure, edible oils are the only way to go. You should do Hot Oil / Pre-Wash Oil Treatments whether you have relaxed or natural hair.

How to do a Hot Oil / Pre-Wash Oil Treatment

Step 1: Using your fingers, divide your hair into 4-6 sections.

Step 2: Apply a heavy coating of pure coconut, olive, or avocado oil throughout each section. Make sure to put oil on every layer of your hair. Use 4-6 tablespoons depending on your hair length and strand thickness.

Step 3: Cover your hair with a plastic cap to keep the oil from dripping down your face and neck.

Step 4: Leave the oil on your hair for 1 hour if you have no heat cap. For those using a heat cap you may use it for 30 – 45 mins under medium heat. You can try different lengths of time to see if your hair feels better after longer treatments.

Step 5: Before you shower, comb your hair out with a wide tooth comb to remove tangles or knots.

Step 6: Wash and condition your hair.

Step 7: Be consistent. Do a Hot Oil/Pre-Wash Oil Treatment before every shampoo.

Here is how I make my oil mix for my weekly hot oil treatments:
  • 2.5 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2.5 oz Jojoba Oil
  • 1.0 oz Castor Oil
  • 1.0 oz Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1.0 oz Avocado Oil
  • 0.5 oz Grapeseed Oil
  • 20 drops pure Tea Tree Essential Oil
Pour into an applicator bottle and you have an oil mix that has a great many uses!

Hot oil / pre-wash oil treatments are a great way to soften and strengthen black hair. Try one and see for yourself!

Please feel free to share your thoughts!

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