Welcome to the Art for Hair Blog!

We love creating hand-crafted hair sticks, hair forks and matching jewelry to show off the beauty of long hair! Our blog features our designs, different ways to put long hair up, as well as how to care for and grow long hair and features on other Etsy craftspeople.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oil for long hair

Oil for hair? Initially, this seems counterintuitive; who wants greasy hair? Done correctly, however, oil conditions and is absorbed by hair and does not make it greasy. Oil benefits hair as it protects it from drying out, and nourishes it with essential fatty acids. The scalp produces oil naturally (sebum) to oil hair, but when hair is long, the sebum doesn't travel all the way down the length of the hair, so additional oiling especially helps the ends of your hair. Everyone's hair reacts differently to different methods of oiling and types of oil, so you'll probably need to experiment to find what best suits your hair.

Which oil to use?
Popular oils for hair include extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil. There are also specialist hair oils sold, but often cheaper, common oils do the job just as well. Extra virgin olive oil, the same as that used for cooking, is probably the most easily obtainable and a great place to start if you are new to oiling your hair. Coconut oil has traditionally been used for long hair in India. Not all oils suit everyone, so experiment with other oils if you do not get good results from the first oil you try. If you would like a scented oil, try adding a little of an essential oil. Some essential oils have additional benefits for hair growth and scalp issues, we'll be writing more about that subject soon. Be careful with essential oils if you are pregnant or have allergies, and always make sure you are using one which is safe for the skin.

How to apply oil to your long hair
This is a basic method to try if you are new to oiling your hair. First, feel the length of your hair when it is dry. Does it feel uniform the whole length, or do the ends feel drier, brittle or 'crunchy'? If so, this is the area of your hair which most needs oil. Wash your hair as usual, and wait until it is about 70% dry. Rub a little oil onto your fingertips, and comb your fingers through your hair, concentrating on where your hair felt different. Allow your hair to finish airdrying. Your ends should feel much less dry and damaged. If your hair seems greasy, you have applied too much. You may find that initially, your hair needs more oil, but as you take care of your hair better and oil regularly, you need less and less. If your hair naturally tends towards greasy, this may be the only oiling you need.

Oil on wet hair
Oil on wet hair helps seal in moisture, keeping your hair hydrated, as well as nourishing it with essential fats. After washing, take a little oil and apply it to the length of your hair. It's generally better to stay away from your scalp, as the natural oils from your skin will probably provide enough oil in this area. How much you need will, of course, depend on whether your hair tends towards dryness or greasiness, if you typically have greasy hair, a simple oiling of the very ends may be sufficient. Experiment with different quantities of oil and different oils if necessary.

Oil on dry hair
If you have problems with hair dryness, this could really benefit your hair. If it tends towards greasy, however, this is probably best avoided! Put a little oil on dry hair, and if your hair is very dry or porous, it will absorb and protect your hair. For a deep conditioning treatment, try applying a larger amount of oil at night, and washing it out in the morning.

Have fun experimenting with oil for your hair!


fookaDESIGNS said...

lots of great information. thanks!

Walk in the Woods said...

Nice! My hair is ... maturing, as am I (more-or-less) and seems a drier than in days past. I am glad, being nature-girl that I am, that I have been using the three botanical oils that you mention for some years now!

Thanks for all your kind and generous information to help us love and care for our tresses!

Art for Hair said...

Thanks so much for your comments, I'm so glad this is useful :)

effiethepixie said...

Thank you for the information! It works well on my hair:)