The Secrets to a Phenomenal Hot Oil Hair Treatment: Part 2 – Indulging
No need to dilly dally with chit chat here today. Many of you jumped right in and started making your hot oil hair treatment yesterday, so you’re pumped and ready to go.
If you missed part one, here it is again for your edification: The Secrets to a Phenomenal Hot Oil Hair Treatment: Part 1 – Creating.
Now. Let’s get oily!
What You Need for Your Phenomenal Hot Oil Hair Treatment
Once you’ve created your oil blend, there’s little else you need to create your luxury spa hair treatment at home (except maybe a muscular yet sensitive shampoo boy).
In a nutshell, here’s what you need to gather:
Thank you, Ashley, for being my "thing holder."
For those of you who don’t like to read words on pictures, here’s what you need:
- Shower cap (or plastic wrap, if you insist)
- Oil blend
- Hot water
In addition, you’ll probably also want: Relaxing music, chocolate, a shower, some form of shampoo or washing material, a kimono.
Really, just the shower and hair-washing material is necessary. Also, the kimono. In most states, by law, you cannot apply a hot oil hair treatment if you’re not wearing a kimono.
So now that you have everything you need, here is how to apply it.
How to Apply Your Hot Oil Hair Mask
Again, I want to reiterate that this is how I do it – it’s my personal refined routine. That doesn’t mean it’s the only way, and it doesn’t even mean it’s the best way for you. But it probably is.
Step 1: Heat the Oil
Take your small glass container and pop it into a small bowl that’s filled with very (VERY) hot water. You’ll want the water level to be just as high as the level of oil in your container, as such:
It will take maybe a minute or two for the oil to warm up to just about the water’s temperature.
Step 2: Apply the Oil to Your Hair, Starting at the Scalp
One thing your scalp really needs is stimulation. So when you start applying your hot oil hair treatment, do it at the very roots of your hair and rub in circular motions. I like to start in the temple area and work backwards, squinching my fingers back and forth as I go.
This scalp massage serves several purposes: It helps dislodge hair that’s about to fall out anyway, which will encourage new hair to grow faster; it stimulates the circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth, and it helps the oil sink into your head, making your skin there healthier and softer.
It also revives and relaxes your entire being, leaving you in a zen-like trance for the remainder of your hot oil treatment.
Once you’ve massaged your scalp with the oil for 3-5 minutes, move on to applying it down the shaft of your hairs. This is where you can be a little less liberal with your oil application. Your hair does not need to drip with oil. You’re going for a nice thin sheen right now.
Too much oil, and washing will be difficult.
Bonus Protip: If you want to do double moisturizing duty after you’ve applied the oil to your hair, throw some gloves on your oily hands to lock it into your skin. When you’re done, you’ll have super soft mitts with which to touch things or people.
Step 3: Cover Your Head With a Shower Cap and Then a Hot Towel
I strongly recommend, if you’re going to do hot oil hair treatments on a regular basis, buying yourself a shower cap or two. I’m not particularly fond of the “wrapping your head in plastic wrap” method, because it’s wasteful and awkward to do.
So all you do now is tuck your hair up into that shower cap (or plastic wrap, if you so insist) and then heat a towel with very hot water.
Just run your towel under very hot water and then wring it out until it’s no longer dripping. Wrap it over your head, 1940s starlet style, and …
Occasionally, I’ve found recommendations to use two towels and alternate warming them and refixing them to your head when they get cold, but I think that’s overkill. Once you’ve warmed and opened up the hair follicles and cuticles, the oil’s going to continue sinking in no matter what.
Once your towel starts to get cold, just pull it off your head and let the natural heat from your scalp (under the shower cap) do the rest of the work.
Step 4: Wait 30 Minutes to 2 Hours
This time is your time.
Write a letter. Bake a cake. Solve complex algebraic equations. Whatever makes you feel good. In fact, let me quote something IMPA left in the comments yesterday:
I’ve been doing my hot oil treatments (HOT) for 2 years already. I found two things that I’m trying to keep in mind every time I make my HOT now: never ever use too much oil ( oil is a pure LUXURY, so prize it as a greatest gift from Nature to you) and the most important thing – do it regularly. Use a bit of oil, but every week. I really mean it.
And the last thing! Make it a celebration! I already look weird enough with my hair in oil and a huge towel over my head so I celebrate my growing beauty and have a lot of fun!
Yep. That about sums it up.
Step 5: Wash It Out
Several great washing tips you’ll definitely want to remember:
- When you first get into the shower, rinse your hair with the water on the warmest setting your skin can handle. This reheats the oil and gives your hair one last boost of extra moisturizing. Then go about your showering business, waiting until the very end to shampoo the oil out.
- You may need to shampoo twice, but you’ll be able to tell by the texture and feel of your hair when you’ve gotten all the oil out. There is a strong (almost definite) possibility that you will not need to use conditioner after shampooing – but you’ll be able to tell based on the feel of your hair.
- At the end of rinsing with the shampoo, turn the water temperature to tepid. So it’s about the temperature of your body, maybe a little colder. The remaining oil will rinse out MUCH easier if you rinse using tepid water. I don’t know why, but it does.
- If you have hair that touches your neck and shoulders, after you’ve washed out the oil, you’ll want to hold that hair up off your neck and wash your neck completely, removing all the oil that’s stuck to your skin. If you skip this step, once you let your hair down, it will gather the oil from your skin and look oily within minutes of drying.
- Let your hair air dry as long as you possibly can, waiting to use a hair dryer until your hair is at least 3/4 of the way dry. This is a good tip for all the time, actually. Extended exposure to hot air damages your hair, so try to limit it as much as possible.
And that’s it!
You have gorgeous, moisturized, shiny hair now. You like that, don’t you?
Special Consideration for No ‘Poo
Unfortunately, I don’t have the best news.
After months of personal research and experimentation and hearing reports from many other no ‘pooers, it’s never going to be easy to get the oil out of your hair without using slightly extraordinary measures.
Here are two things you should avoid, if you’re no ‘poo, though:
Olive oil is tough, because there are some olive oils that are acceptable, but it’s hard to know which ones they are. I’ll cover why this is in a later post soon. But for now, I think avoiding olive oil all together is smart. And coconut oil is just a pill to get out of your hair, if you’re washing with castille.
If you’re no ‘poo, stick to the lighter oils like jojoba and apricot kernel. That will make washing MUCH easier.
More tips for combining no ‘poo and hot oil hair treatments:
- You’re going to want to wash with some sort of soap, be it castille or a very, very mild (SLS-free) shampoo. I am REALLY liking Aubrey Organics these days; their ingredient list is phenomenal, and the tea tree oil shampoo is perfect for this.
I know, I know. You want to stay away from anything labeled shampoo all together. But if you really want the benefits of a hot oil treatment, but you only use it twice a month (for example), it hardly even counts as a shampoo. And if you stay away from shampoos that contain detergents, you won’t risk stripping all the good oils you’ve built up on your scalp.
- Before you wash your hair with whatever medium you choose, apply a liberal amount of baking soda to your hair and scrub. Then wash.
- If you’re using castille, you absolutely need to finish with a liberal rinse of apple cider vinegar (and water) or lemon juice (and water). This clarifies and rebalances the pH of your hair.
- After this, if your hair still feels a little gummy, rinse one more time with a mixture of 1 tsp borax and 2 cups of water. This should offer some pretty exceptional softening measures. (And if you’re worried about borax and its safety, read this post.)
- Consideration: Instead of washing with castille or shampoo, try washing with your baking soda mix and then “washing” again with conditioner. I’ve tried this twice, with mixed results (one time it worked phenomenally, the other time wasn’t quite as much of a success). The conditioner contains oils which, if you remember the oil cleansing method, dissolves the oils on your hair. Like dissolves like.
- Lastly, if your hair is still oily after it dries, try using a dry shampoo to soak up the rest of the oil.
Are You Ready For Your Hot Oil Hair Treatment?
If you don’t know where to buy any of the ingredients you’re excited to try, check your local natural foods store or Mountain Rose Herbs (the latter will most definitely have everything you’re looking for).
So are you ready to try? Even if you’re no ‘poo?
If you have a tip that I didn’t give – something that’s worked wonders for your hair – PLEASE for the love of Pete, share it here!