When I got my cysteine treated and coloured last year, my hair stylist had almost convinced me that hair oil is not really necessary. In fact, he went so far as to claim it does nothing, nothing at all, for the hair and is best avoided as not applying means you can use milder shampoos.
As much as this was sounding right, I always had this skeptic at back of my head saying may be this needs a bit of investigation. I did go for four to six months without oil and I would not say that my hair was just the same or really missed oil. But, it did teach me what hair oil can and can not do.
So, lets see if I can really convince on some of the far fetched claims of hair oiling.
The oil may or may not get absorbed by your shaft making the protective layer disappear. Btw, if you follow this method, you would notice that your hair appears drier by the next day of the wash.
What does Hair Oil really Do?
Hair Oil Softens
Yes, it does. It smooths out the tangles provided you do use a comb later, makes the hair soft and creates a protective layer on it. This protective layer ensures that when you shampoo your hair, the ingredients do not end up harming the scalp or the hair structure.
So, yes, it prevents dry scalp. Now, does it prevent moisture loss from hair? Not really. Because, moisture loss happens as soon as your hair dries off. How much water it holds on to depends on the structure and damage level of your hair shaft. If it is really damaged, the moisture loss is maximum and so on.
Yes, you can prevent moisture loss by applying a thin layer of oil after hair wash. But, silicones work better. The oil may or may not get absorbed by your shaft making the protective layer disappear. Btw, if you follow this method, you would notice that your hair appears drier by the next day of the wash. So, now you know why!
Does NOT change Chemical Structure
Yes, it is proven that coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft. Probably, it is the only oil which can do it. Of course, I have no evidence on the effectiveness of other oils. Apparently, argan oil is also nutritious for the hair. But, then, some say it does not get absorbed and only creates a protective layer around it.
Now whatever may be true but no oil can change or alter the hair shaft chemical bonds. So, if you expect oils to suddenly increase your hair protein levels or make the cuticles sit smoothly, it would not happen. This is the very reason why hair oil softens your hair temporarily and makes it look smooth. But, the effect lasts just as long as the oil coats your hair.
Your hair oil can not and does not prevent frizziness. Similarly, if you would like any permanent change in your hair, you MUST go for a chemical treatment. Even hair spas, the chemical ones or the organic ones, work longer but not that long since they do not have the structure altering ability.
Does NOT make Hair Shiny
And, finally, it does not turn your hair into a disco ball just because you let it sit on your hair for 24 hours or so. Oils can not be washed off with water soluble ingredients and a very light sheen of layer is left, or more if your shampoo is not that effective, which reflects back the light which falls on it. If your hair really turns shiny, this effect would also be long lasting but no it is not!!
Btw, this recap of what hair oil can and can not do does remind me that cysteine treatment was really amazing. At that time I did not realize it and thought I could replicate it but nah it is way too good. In fact, now I know how these celebrities have great hair. They get all these treatments done which makes their hair super awesome!!
And, on a finishing note, this post does NOT mean that I discourage you to oil your hair oil or simply ask you to discontinue it. I just want to say that a repeated application protects your hair from the harsh weather and products and that is why your hair continues to look and feel awesome.
Just do not expect it to be a life-altering procedure altogether. Also, this reminds me that although hair oil does not make your hair grow, application of it, and regular one at that, helps stimulate the blood circulation of your scalp and that stimulates your hair follicles and it grows better. So, there you have it – what a hair oil can and can not do.
Btw, continue with your hair massages because no other pampering feels better than that.