Staying indoors has one advantage. We can now finally take out time for ourselves and use those umpteen hair and face packs that we bought over time hoping to use them. We are sure you also must be having different types of hair oils in your bathroom cabinet, but do they all suit your hair type? Considering that oiling is extremely important for one’s hair, Dr Pallavi Sule, dermatologist and aesthetic physician, helps us understand the importance of different kinds of oils.
“Oil plays an important role in protecting hair from damage as it penetrates the hair and reduces the water absorbed. It fills the gap between the cuticle cells and prevents aggressive substances from entering the follicles. There are multiple mineral oils and vegetable oils with different properties which are used to prevent hair damage, and also for hair regrowth. The saturated and monosaturated oils diffuse easily into the hair as compared to polysaturated oils,” she says.
This oil is proved to reduce protein loss from the hair shaft. The fatty acid along with lauric acid present in coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft, forming a protective film. Thus, coconut oil is used to treat hair conditions like dry hair, frizzy hair, and even to condition and protect it. It has heat protecting properties and also prevents UV damage.
Coconut oil is also rich in anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Argan oil is a key ingredient in hair cosmetic products. This oil is rich in tocopherols, polyphenols and antioxidants. It is also a rich source of Vitamin A, C and E and linolenic acid which makes it an excellent hair nourishing agent and conditioner. Since argan oil is a great antioxidant, it helps to reduce inflammation on the scalp, treat dandruff, itchy scalp and even psoriasis.
It can also be used as an excellent nourishing hair mask. Application of hair mask over wet hair for about 15-20 minutes helps in the formation of protective film over the hair shafts. It seals the split ends, reducing the chance of hair breakage.
Argan oil is a great anti-frizz agent, hence is used in hair sprays as a styling product to give the hair a good shine and even look.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural oil and is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The oil can be used to treat dandruff, seboherric dermatitis and follicular infections. It is also helps kill hair lice.
Castor oil is considered as an age-old remedy for hair fall and hair thinning. Rich in monosaturated acids, which are great humectants, it helps lock the moisture in the hair and prevent dryness.
Application of the oil on the scalp is said to stimulate the microcirculation of blood owing to its key ingredient: ricinoleic acid. This helps in providing more oxygen and nutrients to the hair bulbs, aiding growth.
Things to keep in mind
While choosing hair oil, one must assess the scalp, hair texture, active infection, weather, climatic conditions etc. For example, a moisturising and hydrating oil like coconut oil should be chosen for dry and frizzy hair.
Essential oils are used to maintain healthy hair. Sometimes oils can cause allergic reactions, so before applying, one must do a patch test over the skin behind the ear. In case there is no redness or irritation, they can continue to use it.
Correct way to apply oil
*Hair oil should be applied at least twice a week.
*It is best to apply it overnight or 20-30 minutes before head bath.
*Warm the oil and apply on scalp with finger tips. Gently massaging for five-10 mins helps increase blood flow to hair bulbs. Always use a wide-toothed comb to detangle hair. After oiling, tie hair in a bun.
*To increase the seepage of oil, give it some steam or wrap your hair in a hot towel.
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