Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Four Neato Ways to Incorporate Natural Oils into your Wash Routine

Picture perfect hair is the name of the game and plant oils are a critical factor in helping your hair reach its peak. Ever since I discovered natural oils such as jojoba, avocado, coconut, just to name a few, I've had a blast incorporating them into every facet of my hair routine. No matter how I decide to use these oils, I always get a fantastic result.

Here are some of my favorite ways of incorporating oils and the corresponding result of each method.

The Pre-poo!
The pre-poo is a staple in my hair routine. This method is a simple one of adding a moisturizing conditioner and oil onto dry hair before the hair is washed.

How-to tip for pre-poo:
Make sure that you take the time to section the hair properly so you can saturate the entire head of hair. Don't go using up your fancy $100 bottle of conditioner for this step, any old conditioner you got laying around will work fine.

How it benefits your hair:
This step adds much needed moisture to dry hair right off the bat. By pre-pooing, you avoid stripping natural oils from already dry hair. You're adding a layer of protection before harmful suds of a shampoo can strip your hair.
Another benefit of this step is the freedom of allowing conditioner/oil to treat the hair up to several hours before the actual wash. That's more time for the nourishing qualities of the oil to further penetrate the hair and work its magic.

Oil/Conditioner Mix!
When my hair is in need of a little umph, I mix a little oil with my deep conditioner. After the hair has been washed, I add a few drops of oil to the conditioner and run through my hair.

How-to tip for the Oil/Conditioner Mix:
Select the right oil for this step. Because you aren't shampooing it out (like with the pre-poo), you must gauge how heavy or light of an oil you want to use. Using a thick oil like castor oil, for instance, will give you a different result than if you use coconut oil. You also want to make sure that you use only enough oil to compliment the conditioner but not to overwhelm it. Make sure that you use more cream conditioner than oil in this step.

How your hair will benefit:
This step leaves your hair well conditioned but with a nice feel to it. You hair will feel as if it has an extra layer of protection. The oil will work to help seal in the moisturizing effects of the conditioner at the most opportune time, when the cuticle layer is open. It doesn't get any better my friends!

The HOT Oil Treatment!
This is a simple process which involves warming up an oil blend for use on the hair either just before or after the conditioner.

How-to tip for the Hot Oil Treatment:
Avoid using oil that is too hot. Please respect the fine line that exists between opening the cuticle layer using the right amount of heat and causing unintentional damage from searing your poor tresses with boiling hot oil.

How your hair will benefit:
This method is said to benefit hair which is extremely dry and damaged. The heat allows the oil to penetrate deep. The right kind of oil can help revive hair requiring a little more than a simple pre-poo.

The Oil Rinse!
The technique for the oil rinse is much like the oil/conditioner mix but instead of mixing your oil and conditioner, you are adding oil to the freshly washed hair after the conditioning step. So you wash, condition, then add a small amount of oil to the hair before rinsing the hair with warm water.

Oil Rinse How-to:
Just like the conditioner/oil mix, you should test this step out with various oils until you find the right one. Because you are not washing the oil completely out, you could possibly be left with oily (even weighed down) hair. On the other hand, if you plan on airdrying and need something a little extra to help combat dryness, this rinse may be just what you need.

How this will benefit your hair:
This process is said to have some amazing detangling properties. Not to mention the fact that you probably won't need to finish off your hair with oil in order to style it. As your hair dries, the oil will sink into the hair and help you create the perfect look. I also find that oil helps my hair dry a little straighter when airdrying.

With four separate ways to implement natural oils into your routine, you just can not go wrong. I probably would not use all four steps in one wash session. The most I would probably do is two at the most, the pre-poo and maybe one additional method if needed. You could even alternate methods each wash. Its whatever you fancy.

Remember to have fun finding the right combination for you and keep trying until you're are able to meet the needs of your hair.

Be Blessed!
  1. Thanks for this. Might try the hot oul tips

  2. I love castor oil for my prepoo's. I tried using an oil by itself but it didn't feel that great. So now I add a moisturizing conditioner with it. Its the best thing for my hair. What oil do you use on the regular?

  3. I really luv how u explained everything and broke it down. I've been following your blog for some time now and it's been very helpful!

    I've just gotten into pre-poo'ng and at first I didn't think I needed it until I read this post. I wasn't sectioning my hair, just putting it on the hair. (not that beneficial as u explained lol)

    I added oil (Carol's Daughters Elixer) to the pre poo conditioner and mixed it well. It left my hair very very soft!

    I just wish I could leave the pre-poo in longer, but I wash my hair during the wk i/o the wkends b/c my plans usually don't allow me to do my hair then.