Weekly hot-oil treatment is like a jolt of amped-up conditioner, taking your hair from dull and frizzy to shiny and healthy in 30 minutes or less. It’s an especially good choice for dry hair or hair that’s damaged, chemically treated, or subject to excessive heat styling. If your hairstyle demands blow-dryers, curling irons, straightening irons, or hot rollers, hot-oil treatments can help counteract the daily damage. You can pick up a hot-oil treatment at a drugstore or beauty-supply store, mix up your own at home, or visit a salon for a professional service.
Hot-Oil Treatment Products
There are lots of hot-oil treatments on the market, sold in three-, four- or five-use kits or in bottles and ranging in price from $3 to $20. Many contain essential oils, and natural oils such as olive, jasmine, coconut, and jojoba oils are popular. For most of these treatments, you warm the bottle of oil in hot water (some are self-warming), then work the hot oil through damp hair. It’s important to make sure you massage the oil thoroughly through your hair so it can work on every strand. Then you wrap your hair in a shower cap or towel (it’s nice to warm the towel in the dryer first), and leave the oil on your hair for as long as the product instructions recommend. Most suggest 30 minutes, although some claim to get results in five minutes or less. Finally, you rinse the oil out and shampoo your hair as you normally do. Most people who use hot-oil treatments have dry hair, so a mild shampoo designed for dry or damaged hair is probably best.
DIY Hot-Oil Treatments
It’s easy to whip up a hot-oil treatment at home if you prefer, and you likely already have everything you need in your kitchen and bathroom. To start, blend together equal parts of olive and canola oil — three tablespoons or so of each should do it — and warm them in the microwave. You want the oil to be warm but comfortable to handle, not hot. Use your hands to apply the warm oil to damp hair, working it over every strand. Follow up with a wide-toothed comb for even coverage, if necessary. Wrap your hair with a warm towel or a shower cap and leave the oil on for 30 minutes, then rinse and follow up with a gentle shampoo. If you like, you can experiment with adding other oils to the mix.
Salon Hot-Oil Treatments
You can also have a professional apply the hot oil for you at a salon. This way, you’ll be certain all the strands are evenly coated. Of course, salon treatments come with a price. Expect to pay $20 to $25 for a basic hot-oil application and $100 or more for a lengthy treatment that includes a head, neck, and shoulder massage.
A weekly hot-oil treatment — whether it’s from a package, your kitchen, or a salon — can bring a healthy, vibrant shine to your locks.