There are lots of pre-made hot oil treatments out there. However, I like to make my own because it’s cheaper in the long run, I can control what goes into it and pure/raw ingredients give better results.
Hot oil treatments have several benefits to your hair. The most pressing is the restoration of moisture balance. Every day our hair is subjected to lots of external elements such as smog, the headrest in the car, random strangers’ hands…not to mention the styling, dying and other things we do that can dry it out or make it brittle. In addition to restoring moisture, hot oil treatments help with dry scalp and frizz while adding body and shine. (Note: If you have dye in your hair, do not use this treatment within three weeks of a fresh application as the oils will strip and remove a significant amount of your dye. I usually do a hot oil treatment the week prior to touching up my color.)
You should consider doing a hot oil treatment at least once every 4-6 weeks, or more often, especially in the winter months, if you feel your hair is often dry to the touch.
Here’s how I make and process hot oil treatments!
Gather your oils:*
- Virgin/Unrefined Coconut Oil as a base (prevents damage, restores moisture and balance and strengthens hair), 1 cup.
- Then, you’ll need 2 tbsp. of two (or three) of the following oils based on how you want to focus your treatment:
- Avocado Oil (improves strength and boosts shine)
- Argan Oil (hydrates and adds elasticity to dry, damaged hair)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or “EVO” (fights hair loss and helps stop dandruff)
- Almond Oil (locks in moisture and reduces shedding by smoothing the hair cuticle)
- Safflower Oil (protects, nourishes and hydrates the hair)
- Jojoba Oil (most like your skin’s oil, promotes healthier new hair growth), 1 tbsp.
*Note: Oils can be purchased from any whole food retailer or online vendors. You can experiment with other types of oils; these are just my favorites.
- Combine your oils in a microwave safe container (I use a measuring cup), then heat for about two minutes.
- Pour melted oils into an applicator bottle (this will make it easier to apply to your hair).
- Saturate your hair with water (doing this step now gives your oil a moment to cool a bit; make sure you test it on your finger before applying to your scalp).
- Distribute oil into your hair evenly using your hands to massage oil from your scalp to ends (test a little on your fingers first to make sure it’s not too hot).
- Cover your hair in a plastic cap and process under a hooded dryer for 20 minutes (the treatment works best if processed with a hooded dryer…if you don’t have one, that’s ok, but it is an investment every girl should make. Or, if you have a steamer, that works too).
- Remove plastic cap and shampoo* and deep condition using cool water and style your hair as usual with your favorite products.
*Note: You can shampoo and then apply the hot oil treatment, but your hair will be incredibly oily during styling if you do not shampoo your hair after processing the treatment.
Products and tools used in the tutorial:
- Nutiva Coconut Oil
- Spectrum Avocado Oil
- Spectrum Safflower Oil
- Applicator bottle
- Organix Macadamia Oil Shampoo
- Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner
- ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer
- Crème of Nature Perfect 7 Leave-In
- Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner
- Trader Joe’s 100% Pure Jojoba Oil
- Conair Prostyle Dryer
- Detangling/Shower comb
- Rattail Comb
- Butterfly clips
With mixing, application, washing and conditioning, this treatment takes about 1.5 hours to process. Additional time varies based on your choice of style.