Should You Do Hot Oil Treatments Before Or After Shampoo?
Hot oil treatments make great options for shampoo pre-treatments in cases of dehydrated and unruly hair. However, the hair receives the most benefit from hot oil treatments when they are performed after shampooing onto clean hair.
The problem with using hot oil treatments as a pre-shampoo has to do with absorption of the oil. Before shampooing, the hair is already dirty. There is a buildup of product, dirt, environmental pollution, everyday oil and sebum production throughout the hair and scalp.
This can inhibit penetration of the oil and make it less efficient at sealing and delivering moisture. To receive full conditioning benefits, apply the treatment right after washing and before deep conditioning,
How To Use A Hot Oil Treatment On Your Hair
There are many ways to do hot oil treatments because of the variety of uses and applications that they have for the hair. Knowing what results you would like will help you decide on key options that will create a unique treatment that will fit your goals.
To complete your hot oil treatment you will need your oil blend, hot water, a shower cap to soak the oil into the hair and a towel to trap heat and keep things clean and dry. Make the process even more luxurious by lighting some candles and playing music. There is nothing more relaxing than feeling warm oil soak gently into your tired scalp!
Heat the Oil
The next thing to do is heat the oil. Whether you chose the prepackaged option or blending oils on your own, the main component of hot oil treatments is oil and HEAT. The first rule of hot oil treatments is to test the oil for safety. The scalp is much more tender than the skin. While dipping your finger in the oil after heating will help, I always recommend dripping a couple of tiny drops directly on the scalp to test the temperature. Pouring oil that is too hot onto the scalp can become a nightmare of a situation for your hair and scalp health. The method and time for heating are essential and should be approached with caution.
If using a prepackaged oil treatment, directions on heating and use are provided. When blending your own, I always recommend the hot water method over microwaving, which can often leave oil dangerously hot with an uneven temperature, opening you up to potential burns. Hot water is used to gently raise the temperature of the oil over a short period. Boil water, pour it into a mug and submerge a glass container containing the oil in it until the oil is at a warm but comfortable temperature. Do not heat the oil over direct heat! not only will heating oil over direct heat kill many properties of the oil, but it takes an incredibly long time to cool and almost always results in an oil that is too hot or too damaged to apply to the scalp.
Apply Oil to Hair
Next, you will apply the oil to the hair. The first area to apply the oil treatment is to the scalp. Divide your hair into four quadrants, and gently pour the oil directly on the scalp and root. Rub in circular motions to spread the oil throughout the scalp and stimulate blood flow. This scalp massage will help the oil to absorb into the scalp and dislodge shedding hairs making room for new hair to grow. Not to mention, it feels incredible and leaves your hands just as soft as your hair. Do this for 30 seconds on each quadrant, then apply the oil down the shaft of the hair. Be careful not to use too much oil. This will not damage the hair. However, it will make the washing process a bit more difficult as well as slippery. Keep in mind; chances are you are using the treatment after shampooing. You will not have anything but water to remove the oil from the hair so tread lightly!
Let Oil Absorb
Now it is time to let the oil soak. Cover your hair with a shower cap, then wrap a hot towel around your hair for extra penetration. Use the towel temperature to determine when it is time to remove. Once the towel completely cools, remove the towel and soak in the oil for 30 minutes to overnight.
Finally, give the hair a good wash. Hop in the shower and carefully rinse the hair. The key to getting rid of oil without shampoo is using hot water. For this, you will want to use the hottest water your scalp can tolerate. This opens up the hair shaft for more penetration as well as warming the oil for easy removal. At this point, some people perform a quick shampoo of residual oil, but for those of us who have kinkier textures that will quickly absorb the oil, it is safe to stick with multiple water rinses until the oil level is to your liking.