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Why hair oiling may be the key to nourishing your locks

It might be all over TikTok, but is hair oiling as good for our locks and scalp as social media claims? Our experts weigh in the haircare trend.

Hair oiling reels are flooding social media feeds so much at the moment, you might be considering trying the hair care trend for yourself.

But just how effective is the practice and is it suitable for all hair types?

We spoke with industry experts to debunk fact from fiction.

What is hair oiling?

Hair oiling is the practice of using a nourishing oil on the hair to improve its overall condition, promote growth and protect the follicles from damage.

The oil used to do this can vary, with castor oil, argan oil, coconut oil, almond oil and sesame oil the most popular options.

Where things get a little confusing, however, is the copious methods and techniques involved, all of which claim to be the “correct” hair oiling practice.

Some people like to saturate their hair as a pre-shampoo treatment, while others prefer to focus on the scalp and massage the product in before shampooing the residue out.

Another common method is using hair oil as a leave-in treatment, which is applied more conservatively and only on the ends to hydrate and prevent frizz.


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Is hair oiling suitable for all hair types?

According to Fremantle hair colourist and stylist Alicia Fryearson, hair oiling the scalp has merit provided it is done correctly.

“I’ve noticed hair oiling is trending and in my personal opinion, when focused on the scalp it can be really beneficial,” Alicia says.

“A healthy scalp means healthy hair.”

Because different hair types and conditions are suited to certain products over others, Alicia recommends speaking with your stylist to determine what will benefit your scalp best.

UVA Salon’s technical colourist and style director, Caroline Daoud, also thinks there’s no harm in hair oiling.

“The only thing I’d say is that it’s important you don’t do hair oiling the day before an event if you are styling your hair or, if you do, make sure you wash your hair thoroughly,” she says.

Can you overdo hair oiling?

Because hair oils can be ultra-nourishing and hydrating, they can weigh down the hair if used too often or too much product is applied.

“As long as the oils are designed for promoting scalp health, go for it, but I recommend keeping it to once a week or fortnight and only as a pre-wash treatment,” Alicia says.

“Always shampoo your hair twice afterwards to ensure all oil residue is removed.”

Best tips for hair oiling

Much like when your hair is wet, when your hair is saturated with oils, it’s in a delicate state and is more prone to breakage, hair loss and split ends.

Because of this, it’s not recommended you tie your hair up with an elasticated band and you should avoid putting it up in a tight bun or any hairstyle that could strain the follicle.

Instead, use a hair wrap, which helps to lock in moisture from the oils in the hair, while keeping it off your face.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett.