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1. What is oil rinsing?
Oil rinsing involves applying an excess amount of a liquid/liquefied oil or butter to hair, allowing to sit for a short time (5–20 minutes) with or without heat and then proceeding to rinse it off with water. You can optionally follow up with a conditioner to remove even more oil but you can equally just proceed to blot hair dry and style.
2. What is the difference between oil rinsing and pre-pooing?
Pre-pooing is generally done prior to a shampoo wash and the oil selected ideally should be one that can penetrate hair to protect it from hygral fatigue. Pre-pooing with oil is best done over a period of hours (overnight / 8 hours). Oil rinsing does not require a penetrating oil as it only has a short application time of a few minutes. It is generally not useful as a pre-poo for hygral fatigue but it can be useful for detangling and adding slip if included instead of or in addition to a pre-poo.
3. What is the purpose of oil rinsing?
Oil rinsing is thought to help hair in several ways including:
- Stop hair feeling crispy and dry after a henna or protein treatment especially if a moisturising conditioner did not help.
— Refresh hair (increase moisture and softness) without shampooing or co-washing it.
— The extra oil is great for adding slip to help detangle hair and reduce friction between the strands.
— If your hair has natural curl definition, oil rinsing can help reduce frizz.
— As oil is involved, hair shine will increase.
4. What kind of oil can you use for oil rinsing?
Any oil can be used provided it is liquid, is going to stay liquid and you like it. After oil rinsing, your hair will have a coating of oil, this is why it is important that the oil you pick will tend to stay liquid. Coconut oil hardens up in cold winter air, so is not suited to the task unless it is modified coconut oil, summer or you live somewhere nice that has no cold winters. Olive oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil and even melted shea butter are some popular choices
5. Who should not oil rinse?
If you have dandruff, eczema or any scalp irritation, oil rinsing may aggravate the scalp, so avoid it. If your hair has a tendency to form build up or become overly shiny (looser curls) you may not like oil rinsing. If you strictly co-wash or rarely use shampoo or soap then oil rinsing may end up giving you build up. Oil rinsing requires that you will eventually shampoo your hair (within a week or so) because the extra oil will attract dirt and lint over time.
If you are a visual learner, here is a video to demonstrate oil rinsing on natural hair!