Sunday, June 19, 2022

Oil Pre-Wash Treatments: Let's make them easier.

This is a tip on my Low Porosity post. It applies to lots of us! For example:

  • If oils seem to sit on top of your hair (whether you think it's high or low porosity or somewhere in between).
  • If you have "wiry" silver-white hairs.
  • If you have a curl or coil pattern that needs added flexibility (but you find oil treatments difficult).
  • If deep conditioner (after washing) seems like a great idea, but just weighs your hair down.

Oil treatments are hard to do because some of us don't need much oil. So how do you spread it around? How to avoid using too much? 

Here's the trick:

Mix a small drop of oil with a larger amount of conditioner.
That's it!

Rub the mixture together briskly in your palms - it will take an opaque-ish appearance and creamy texture. Then apply to the ends and top layer of your hair, any areas that need extra flexibility.

Bonus tip:

Left: A drop of conditioner.
Right: A smaller drop of sunflower oil.
Mix and enjoy!
If you have a very inflexible section of hair (like often happens at the temples or crown), try dampening it slightly before applying an oil pre-wash treatment like this. In the last few years, I've sprouted some silver hairs even more wiry than my usual color. The "damp oil treatment" keeps them better-behaved.


The oil usually mixes well into conditioner. The conditioner + oil mixture is easier to spread because you've diluted the oil - it has a better chance of spreading farther. It's also easier to see the conditioner + oil mixture in your hands so you know how much is there.

The conditioner adds some other ingredients to your treatment as well. Softening thickeners like Cetyl alcohol, humectants like Panthenol or glycerin in the water-based conditioner lend a little of their goodness to the treatment.

I know this is really basic, but for all of us busy people who want to do a quick hair treatment, but are very distracted or short on patience (which is all of us at any given moment, right?), this can be the difference between writing off oil treatments because they're too hard to do, and using them to keep hair flexible and manage porosity.

Use a conditioner and an oil you know and love. I like sunflower oil for its ability to penetrate hair, but only because it's the oil that works consistently well for me. 

Linking to some other posts about:

Comments: I have been able to read comments and post the non-spam ones. Currently I'm having difficulty responding. I will continue to work on that. Thank you for reading and best wishes.

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