Brits are constantly hunting for new trends that can alter or improve their locks, some better than others. But while TikTok is full of ludicrous hacks that come and go, one that’s having a moment right now is ‘hair oiling’.
#hairoiling has 513.4 million views on TikTok and accrued 12,000 global searches in April.
Hair Expert Nicole Petty at Milk + Blush reveals all there is to know about the trend, such as its origins, benefits and how to add it to your haircare routine.
What is hair oiling?
Derived from South Asia, hair oiling is a practice recommended in Ayurvedic medicine as a cultural tradition that improves the way your hair looks and feels and promotes wellness.
Families recall the practice of hair oiling from their youth, where their mothers applied warm oil through their locks from the scalp to the ends as a bonding method.
While this has been around for over 3,000 years, it’s become an essential and valued haircare method in the Western world of late, with hair oils available for all hair types and textures.
How do you do it?
Follow this routine once or twice a week to achieve the best results:
#1 Start by pouring one to three pumps of oil into your palm and allowing it to warm up before applying it to your scalp.
#2 Section off your hair and massage the oil into your scalp in a circular motion using your fingertips. For best results, massage your head for 10-15 minutes to promote blood circulation and hair growth.
#3 Use the remaining oil and gently work it through the mid-lengths to ends and use a wide-tooth comb to ensure even distribution and stop the hair from tangling.
#4 Tie your hair in a loose plait and leave overnight before thoroughly washing your hair to remove all traces of oil.
What are the benefits?
Hair oiling is a great solution for improving scalp and hair health that’s suitable for all hair types and textures.
Gently massaging your scalp is known to promote blood circulation to your hair cuticle and therefore stimulate hair growth, while adding oil to the mid-lengths and ends of the hair can strengthen the hair shaft and add moisture that leaves it looking and feeling silky and smooth.
However, different hair types, textures or concerns require different types of oil.
For example, using rosemary oil is thought to be good for treating hair loss, and #rosemaryoilforhairgrowth is a popular hashtag on TikTok, with 7 million views in the last week and over 171.3 million views overall. One study found that rosemary essential oil is just as effective as minoxidil (Rogaine) for treating male and female pattern baldness as it contains ursolic acid, which strengthens circulation in the scalp to allow more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles.
Coconut oil is a popular choice for most hair types to add moisture and prevent split ends from occurring thanks to its high levels of lauric acid that can easily penetrate the hair shaft.
Meanwhile, amla or almond oil is good for medium hair types and textures thanks to its high vitamin and moisture content, as well as antioxidant and anti-microbial properties.
Avocado oil helps restore frizzy hair as it contains minerals that help seal the cuticle cells that prevent breakage, leaving it silky smooth, stimulating hair growth and acting as a barrier against harmful UV rays.
And those with thin or fine hair will benefit from sesame, jojoba and argan oil, which are full of antioxidants that can seal in moisture and restore hair elasticity and shine.