Hair oils are well known for their nourishing and moisturizing properties for the hair. (1) But, should you apply hair oils in the summer?
The answer is yes, you should! According to experts, hair oils protect the hair (2) from the summer heat.
The hot and humid summer weather can make your scalp flaky, itchy, and dry, affecting your hair’s health and growth. Oiling your hair and scalp can eliminate these problems and nourish your scalp. (3) It prevents bad hair days as it makes your scalp less prone to damage.
So, using topical oils can renourish your hair and reduce dryness. (3)(1)
Read further to explore the pros and cons of applying hair oils in the summer and some practical application tips.
Benefits of Using Hair Oils in the Summer
Using hair oils offers several benefits.
1. It nourishes your scalp
To get rid of the flaky, itchy, and dry scalps in hot and humid weather, use coconut oil, (4) almond oil, (5) or jojoba oil. (6)
These oils contain essential minerals and vitamins that provide nourishment to your scalp and boost hair growth. Due to their antifungal properties, they can also fight dandruff and other scalp issues.
2. It prevents hair loss
Excessive sweating and exposure to chlorinated water and sunrays weaken your hair follicles and cause hair loss. Hair oils can be excellent treatments for these issues. They strengthen the hair roots and reduce the risk of hair fall or breakage.
Castor oil is a good option as it is rich in fatty acids that penetrate and strengthen the hair shaft by providing vital nutrients. (6)
3. It boosts hair growth
A hair oil massage improves blood circulation (7) and promotes hair growth by transferring essential nutrients to the scalp. (8)
For instance, rosemary oil and peppermint oil offer hair growth perks. These oils contain contains methanol, and research on mice (9) concluded that the application of peppermint oil and rosemary oil at 3% concentration increased hair thickness and encouraged hair growth. (10)
4. It protects your hair from damage
Hair oils shield your hair from sun damage by acting as a natural sunscreen and preventing frizz, dryness, and color fading. (11)
When your hair comes in contact with salty or chlorinated water, the oil forms a protective barrier around your hair to prevent its absorption. It keeps your hair shiny and smooth and prevents damage.
Oils that provide sun protection, moisturization, and promote hair health are olive oil, almond oil, and sesame oil. (2)
5. It adds shine and luster
Regular oiling with coconut oil, (4) almond oil, (5) or argan oil (6) eliminates frizz, hydrates the hair, makes it silky and soft, and improves its overall appearance by adding luster.
Oil application gives a glossy finish to the hair by reflecting light better than damaged and dry hair. (12)
6. It reduces split ends
When your hair ends lack moisture or has undergone excessive styling, they become brittle and dry, resulting in split ends. To prevent such problems, hydrate your hair with regular oiling. Doing so seals the cuticles and stops further splitting. (1)
Abundant in fatty acids, castor oil, and argan oil can repair split ends and provide nourishment. (6)
7. It improves scalp health
Regular oiling balances the pH levels and natural oil production of the scalp, thus improving scalp health.
Coconut oil (4) and jojoba oil (6) prevent scalp dryness or oiliness by regulating sebum production.
8. It conditions hair
Hair oils are usually natural hair conditioners that improve hair manageability and texture.
For instance, argan oil (6) and coconut oil (4) form a thin layer of moisture on your hair, providing conditioning, allowing for easy combing and styling, and smoothing out knots and tangles.
Oils also inhibit the buildup of static electricity and reduce flyaways and frizz. (12)
Drawbacks of Using Hair Oils in the Summer
Using hair oils in the summer can also have some disadvantages.
1. It makes your hair greasy
Too much hair oil can make your hair look limp and greasy, especially if the weather is humid. Oil attracts dirt and dust, making your hair dirty and dull.
Therefore, use oil in small quantities. Avoid applying it to the roots, and apply it only to the hair’s mid-length and ends.
2. It clogs your pores
Petroleum-based and mineral oils clog pores, leading to scalp or face irritation and acne. They can block the oxygen supply to your hair and can negatively affect your hair growth.
Therefore, use only organic and natural oils to avoid such issues, as your hair and skin absorb natural oils easily.
3. It weighs your hair down
Oils such as coconut oil and olive oil can weigh down your hair due to their heavy and dense nature, making it lifeless, dull, and harder to style.
Therefore, use lightweight oils such as argan oil, which is suitable for thin and fine hair.
How to Effectively Apply Hair Oils in the Summer
To take advantage of the benefits of hair oils in the summer, follow these steps:
- Put the required amount of oil in a bowl and place it in a hot water vessel for at least half a minute. (This heating process is preferred over putting it on a flame directly.) Warm oil stimulates hair growth. If you are applying cold-pressed oil to your hair, do not heat it. If a particular oil says to avoid heating, do not heat it.
- Apply the oil to your scalp using your fingertips and massage gently in circular motions for at least 10 minutes. If massaging your scalp in an inverted position makes you uneasy, sit up straight for a minute and continue.
- Once you are done with the scalp massage, distribute the oil to the tips of your hair using your hands. Use more oil if needed.
- Let it sit overnight. Put a different pillowcase or place a towel on your pillow to prevent soiling.
- Thoroughly wash your hair in the morning using herbal shampoo.
Note: Avoid oiling in the morning if you use public transport, as dust from the pollution can stick to your scalp, causing problems such as dandruff and hair fall.
What happens if you don’t apply oil to your hair?
Not applying oil to your hair can lead to dandruff, bacterial infections, and other scalp problems due to sebum overproduction.
What mistakes should you avoid when oiling your hair?
Do not commit these mistakes when oiling your hair:
• Overusing oil
• Brushing or combing your hair right after oiling
• Massaging vigorously
• Tying up your hair or wrapping it up in a towel
• Washing too soon
• Overusing shampoo
Hair oils are very beneficial for your hair in the summer, as they prevent hair fall, hydrate the scalp, promote hair growth, and provide damage protection. However, some drawbacks are also associated with excessive or incorrect use of oil.
Thus, choose a hair oil best suited for your hair type and needs to enjoy beautiful, healthy hair throughout the summer.
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- Sheth P. Hair cosmetics. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology. https://ijdvl.com/hair-cosmetics/. Published August 31, 2013.
- Formulation and examination of organic oil and shampoo from Fish Scales. https://www.ijitee.org/wp-content/uploads/papers/v9i2s2/B11651292S219.pdf.
- Research Journal of Topical and Cosmetic Sciences. https://rjtcsonline.com/HTMLPaper.aspx?Journal=Research%20Journal%20of%20Topical%20and%20Cosmetic%20Sciences;PID=2019-10-1-4.
- United States Patent Aug. 16, 2012. https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/51/b1/47/c9529a9fe7b482/US20120204894A1.pdf.
- (PDF) review on hair problem and its solution – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342174156/.
- IJSR-International Journal of Scientific Research Harish Kumar KL. A … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316213942/.
- Peppermint oil promotes hair growth without toxic signs – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270966711/.
- Preparation and characterization of liposome containing minoxidil and … https://www.researchgate.net/publication/311427627/.
- Kaur CD, Saraf S. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Pharmacognosy research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/. Published January 2010.
- Formulation and evaluation of herbal hair oil – ijprajournal.com. https://ijprajournal.com/issue_certificate/979146.pdf.