How Often Should You Apply Oil To Your Hair?

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Hair oiling has been a mainstay practice in Ayurveda, an ancient healing philosophy developed in India over 3,000 years ago. Today, most people are aware of the benefits of using hair oil. For example, the hashtag #hairoiling currently has over 600 million views on TikTok, with users showcasing their hair oiling routine and sharing testimonials on how certain oiling products have impacted their hair growth and shine.


This trend exists for a good reason. In a 2021 study published by the International Journal of Trichology, researchers found that oils can aid the hair in retaining moisture, which is essential to getting the shine and strength we all want. Celebrity stylist Mark Townsend explained to Forbes, "I could probably list 20 benefits of using a hair oil." Although hair oil has the potential to improve your hair health drastically, this is only true if you apply it correctly.

Which oil to use

If dull or broken hair has been giving you grief, applying oil to your hair could be the solution you are looking for. Although, you don't want to just order the most popular hair oil you see on the market. You'll want to pay careful attention to your hair's specific type and needs before diving into this kind of hair care. For instance, if your hair needs moisture, try using Moroccan oil or jojoba oil. If you're hoping to grow out and strengthen your hair, cedarwood oil, clary sage oil, or rosemary oil could be a better fit.


However, the oils we'd recommend you use for your hair are very different from the essential oils you might use for ambiance or aromatherapy. In an interview with Camille Styles, celebrity hairstylist Wendy Iles explained, "Pure oils may deliver greasiness, so it's better in my opinion to use a tincture like a liquid that resembles a more water-like consistency." Once you have the right oil and tincture, there are a few more tips you should follow to experience their benefits.

How to apply oil to your hair correctly

You don't want to oversaturate your hair in oil, but you also want to ensure it absorbs effectively. In an interview with Vegamour, hair expert Ghanima Abdullah stated that if you're using oil as a hair mask, "Wrap a towel over the whole thing and sleep in it. You'll need at least six hours for the hair oil to penetrate your hair shaft and strengthen your hair." Abdullah warned that if you're doing a hair mask, you'll only need to do this process once a week. However, if you are using oil to target your scalp, you can apply it up to three times a week.


No matter how often you do it, how you apply the oil to your hair should usually look the same. Certified trichologist Bridgette Hill explained to Byrdie, "Spend three to five minutes massaging the appropriate oil into the scalp to soften skin cells, exfoliate, and remove debris to encourage blood flow." Not only can this habit improve your hair health, but it's also a relaxing but brief form of self-care you can squeeze into your week.