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How to Apply Hair Oil

How to Apply Hair Oil

For generations, hair oil has been used to hydrate tresses and protect hair. With multiple hair improving benefits, a quality hair oil can be just the thing to give your hair the healthy natural sheen you’ve always wanted.

Applying a hair oil can be a somewhat confusing process, especially if you’ve never used one before. In this article, we’ll teach you the best way to apply your hair oil and answer all your questions about the unique benefits of this product.

What Are the Benefits of Hair Oil?

Hair oil can be used in a variety of ways and leave behind many benefits on your hair. Read on to understand what hair oil can do for you.

Hair Hydration

Most hair oils are rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. This means that when applied to your hair, the oil will coat each hair strand, creating a barrier that seals in moisture. This barrier will also stop humidity from affecting your hair, preventing frizz.

Hair Protection

Throughout the day, your hair is exposed to a lot of potentially damaging factors. Everything from heat styling tools to the sun can damage your precious locks. Hair oils will coat your strands, protecting them from heat damage and departing phenols – elements that work to repair and prevent any UV damage to your hair.

Hair Growth

If you’re struggling to grow your hair out long, you may want to invest in a hair oil. As these oils hydrate and protect your hair, they prevent breakage and split ends, allowing your hair to grow out longer while still looking sleek.

What Can You Use As a Hair Oil?

Hair oils are available to be purchased premixed (like one of our favorites from Moroccanoil) or can be created using oils from around your home. Virtually any oil can be applied to your hair, including coconut, almond, jojoba, and olive oils. You may also wish to add an essential oil, like lavender oil, for fragrance and other hair benefits.

If you are using an oil from around the home, make sure it is slightly warm, in liquid form, and thoroughly combined with any essential oils before applying it to your hair.

Step-By-Step Hair Oil Application

Hair oil application doesn’t have to be confusing. Follow this simple guide to get the most out of each hair oil use.

  1. Set your oil somewhere easy to reach. If using a premixed oil, you may want to pour some out into a small bowl.
  2. Separate your hair into small sections and comb through them to make sure there are no tangles.
  3. Begin working the oil into your hair, starting at the scalp and root, then working your way down.
  4. Massage the oil into your hair for about 10 to 15 minutes, making sure to cover every hair strand evenly. You should massage in a gentle circular motion for maximum benefits.
  5. After the time is up, comb the oil through your hair to make sure everything is coated and carefully twist your hair up, fastening it in place.
  6. Wait 30 minutes for the oil to work and avoid touching your hair during this time.
  7. Once your 30 minutes are over, take a shower. Make sure to shampoo and wash every trace of the oil out of your hair, or your hair may become greasy looking.

After you have washed the oil out of your hair, you are free to dry or style it as you like. However, you may want to avoid heat styling tools or excess hair products for a couple of days after application, to give your hair time to absorb the most benefit from the oil.

Things to Avoid When Using Hair Oil

There are a couple of things you should avoid doing when using hair oil, otherwise you will risk causing damage to your hair.

Washing Too Soon

While the oil is in your hair, you want to give it ample time to work. Washing the oil off too soon can counteract any benefits you may have gained from applying it. Check out our FAQs section for more information on hair oil application time.

Brushing Too Hard

When combing through your hair, be careful not to be too rough. You should be using a wide-toothed comb to lightly move the oil through your hair. Do not use any kind of bristle brush, as this can cause hair breakage.

Using a Towel

After washing the hair oil out, you should take caution with using a towel on your hair. A regular cotton towel can damage or add frizz to hair that is already in a sensitive state after having oil applied. Use a microfiber towel or avoid towel use altogether for the first wash or two after your oil application.

Tying Your Hair Too Tight

Twisting your hair up during hair oil application is recommended, but you want to be careful about tying your hair too tight. Oil in the hair can make the strands more sensitive and prone to breakage, so tying them together too tightly is likely to lead to hair damage. When twisting your hair up, fasten it in place as loosely as possible.
woman applying hair oil

Hair Oil FAQs


Still have questions about hair oil? Our FAQs list tells you everything you need to know about hair oil so you can apply it confidently.

How Often Can Hair Oil Be Used?

In general, you shouldn’t be using hair oil more than 1 to 2 times a week. If your hair is naturally on the oilier side, you may want to stick to just once a week. Any more than this and your hair could start to attract dirt and become damaged.

Should Hair Oil Be Applied to Wet or Dry Hair?

You can actually apply hair oil to both wet and dry hair! Applying hair oil to wet hair will give you less shine but can be super helpful in detangling and protecting your hair from heat damage. Applying it to dry hair will give you more shine and frizz protection, but may seal in less hydration.

How Long Should You Leave Oil on Hair?

Your hair oil can be left on for anywhere between 30 minutes and 23 hours. If you want, you can apply your hair oil at night and sleep on it, washing it out in the morning.

You should not be leaving hair oil on for more than 23 hours. This can lead to breakage in your hair and will cause your locks to attract dirt, flattening your hair and making it appear dull.

Are There Any Side Effects to Hair Oil?

There are a few side effects of using hair oil. The most common side effect is a skin reaction. Hair oil could cause your scalp to become itchy or red. This is more likely to happen if you have sensitive skin, so you should do a patch test with your chosen oil on your forearm first to ensure it does not cause any reactions.

Hair oil can also contribute to hair damage if it is not applied correctly. Oil makes hair vulnerable and easily breakable. You should follow proper application procedures and avoid being too rough with your hair for a few days during and after application to prevent any damage from occurring.

How Much Hair Oil Should Be Applied?

The exact amount of hair oil you need depends on the length of your hair. It is best to start with applying a teaspoon of hair oil, adding more if needed. Do not overapply oil to your hair, as this can smother your hair’s natural oils and create dehydration or hair breakage.

What Type of Hair Does Oil Work Best On?

Hair oil can be used on any type of hair to improve the look and feel of it. Hair types that are naturally thicker, curlier, or coarser will gain the most benefits from hair oil, as these hair types are often rather dry and frizzy. Hair oil can go a long way to improving their overall appearance and hydration.
homemade hair oil in bowl

Obtaining Sleek, Styled Hair

Sleek, healthy looking hair may feel like it’s out of reach, but with the regular use of hair oil, you can easily obtain this look. Hair oil has a number of hair hydrating and appearance improving benefits, and as long as you apply it correctly, you will be sure to find yourself with the tresses you’ve always dreamed of.