The frequency of oiling hair is really a matter of personal choice. Once a week seems to be the ideal for my hair. I use some type of Ayurveda mud on my hair weekly and overnight oiling is my main method of not only protecting against some of the drying effects of the muds but also the perfect opportunity to nourish and detangle my hair.
My oiling process could be referred to as as pre-shampoo (pre-poo) which means using a treatment that occurs before shampooing the hair. Most of the time pre-poos are designed to coat and shield the hair strands from the drying effects of shampoos, especially ones containing Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulphate.
It can also be referred to as a hot oil treatment – this treatment uses warm oil before or after shampooing and conditioning. The purpose of a hot oil (It’s actually warm. Never, ever use hot oil on any part of the body) treatment is to nourish the hair.
Since I am working with somewhat tangled hair (I finger detangle some), it’s important to keep tangles at bay. Dividing hair into sections is probably the top advice I would give to anyone. Small sections are manageable and isolated as well so that if one has problems (read a tangled mess) it doesn’t cause problems for the other sections. The prayer motion is another of my favorite routines. This method distributes product evenly through the strands. I use the prayer motion for most product applications — shampoo, conditioner and oil. With the prayer motion, I’m also instinctively able to detect tangles as the strands pass along my palms.
A third method (I’m yet to try this out), known as oil rinsing is another option. After rinsing shampoo but before conditioning, the hair is coated with oil. The slip provided by the oil makes detangling manageable. The oil can be rinsed or not before conditioner is added. This treatment is reputed to eliminate frizz and single strand knots.
Vegetable oils have minerals, lipids, vitamins, proteins and amino acids that nourish the hair. Infusion of nutrient rich herbs (see recipe here) improves the efficacy of the oil. Not all oils can penetrate the hair shaft – best options for the hair strands are coconut, olive and avocado oils. The scalp on the other hand is living breathing skin that absorbs most vegetable oils.
The herbal growth oil is triple infused and therefore very concentrated. It has a heavy but pleasant herbal smell. Using it in preparation for the muds has been very effective. Using calming and balancing essential oils, I am working on creating an oil for daily scalp use as an alternative for my regimen.