Oils, hair oiling, hair porosity – Everything you need to know


Do you take care of your hair and pay a lot of attention to its treatment?

Do you use hair conditions, hair balms and hair masks regularly but your hair does not become healthier? You have a feeling that the products cause more harm than good?

Often happens, that improperly selected cosmetics, either weigh hair down or cause frizz. Only very few cosmetics will take a proper care of hair ends – most fragile part of our strands. Moreover, mismatched shampoos can disrupt the balance of the scalp. In consequence, it becomes excessively dry or starts producing excess sebum, additionally, dandruff, itching, allergy can occur. It is a common problem due to the fact that cosmetics contain synthetic ingredients that do not cooperate with skin lipids.


Natural oils are the remedy for both hair and scalp. They are gentle for scalp, at the same time, provide regenerating and nourishing properties. They are obtained from plants, fruit or seeds. Natural oils are not something new – women have been using them in hair care for ages. However, recently, oils started appearing in hairdresser’s saloons and on the drugstore shelves. Their unique abilities were appreciated by cosmetic companies that willingly produce and release hair care products based on natural oils.


With the use of natural oils, you can perform the so-called hair oiling. Oil of your preference, must be applied on hair and washed off after a desired period of time. Hair oiling is a very easy and comfortable treatment. What is more, due to variety of methods – it is also a proces that can be adjusted to your preference, needs or the lifestyle you lead. If, for example, during the week, you have no time for any beautifying treatments – you can simply apply oil on dry hair in the morning, before leaving the house.


Hair can be oiled in many different ways. Therefore, hair maniacs and oil maniacs constantly create new methods and schedules appropriately customised and personalised to their personal needs. Below, we present the most popular and most effective ways of hair oiling.

Oiling overnight – oil must be applied on hair (dry or slightly dampen with water or herbal rinse) and left overnight. In the morning, simply wash it off with a gentle shampoo. What is more, when using this method, remember not to limit oiling only to hair, but include your scalp as well. Perform a few-minute massage in order to stimulate blood circulation and ‘force’ hair follicles to work. However, if, for some reasons, you have doubts whether to apply oil on your scalp, you might want to try out…

…a few hour oiling. It is done the same way as the previous one (oil, dry or damp hair, scalp, massage…), only the duration varies. For the first time, you can apply oil only for an hour. Next time, extend the treatment to two hours. This one-hour oiling can be done during the day, whenever suits you. However, if it is still hard to devote this much time for hair care, you can go for…

…oiling prior to washing. In this case, quarter or half an hour will be enough. Apply your oil on dry hair and leave it in for about 15 minutes (max 30 minutes) and wash it off. Make sure to chose a gentle shampoo and apply a balm containing natural ingredients. Additionally, it is a good idea to use this time to apply a facial mask, do a manicure, scrub etc. However, if your schedule is too busy and you only have time for a quick hair wash…

…combine your oil with a hair conditioner or a hair balm, that you usually use. Only 2 – 3 drops of oil are enough to mix with the regular dose of your favourite conditioner. This way, you will intensify the effects of your hair balm. Additionally, it is very important that the hair care products contain only traces of synthetic substances. If you feel that your thin hair requires a bit stronger nourishment, use…

…oil on damp hair, after washing. It will work as a leave-in conditioner. However, remember not to apply it on the scalp, but only from the mid-lengths. Oil will be quickly absorbed by damp hair. If you want to protect your wisps throughout the day and prevent damages caused by styling, apply oils…

…on dry hair before styling. This will protect your strands, improve their shine and facilitate styling. For this type of hair oiling you need only a small amount of oil (2-3 drops). Oil in the form of a serum can be applied several times during the day – whenever you feel your wisps lost resilience and brilliance.


There is a misconception claiming that because of the fact that natural oils are greasy (after all, they are oils), washing them off require very strong detergents. Therefore, many women reach for strong, chemical products for washing hair. This is a big mistake.

Oils – as substances obtained from nature – do not take any chemical, comedogenic substances well. What is more, such cosmetics, due to the high amount of parabens and synthetic ingredients, utterly destroy what oils have already fixed.

Oils must be washed with gentle preparations, free of artificial ingredients, parabens, substances such as SLS, SLES,. It can be a natural, ecological, organic shampoo or a product especially designed for children.

If the oil you selected, is rather thick and it is uneasy to remove from hair – firstly, reach for a hair balm. Applied directly on the oil, it will emulsify it and in consequence, it will be easier to remove with a shampoo.


Although hair oiling is an easy procedure, you must remember not to make a few common mistakes. For example:

  • Do not use too much oil. For a thorough oiling, including scalp, 5 ml of oil is enough – this is about a teaspoon. During the application only on hair ends use approximately 2 – 3 drops.
  • For hair oiling use only natural oils, cold pressed, unrefined. Cooking oil found in the kitchen or essential oils are not suitable for such treatments.
  • wash it off with a gentle shampoo, which is free of synthetic ingredients, parabens, detergents, such as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate).


There is a wide variety of oils on the market, which is why, we very often get confused and have no idea which one to purchase. The general rule, when it comes to selecting oils claims that they must be match to hair porosity.

Oils are substances based on the content of fatty acids. Thanks to them, they are so precious to us. They have huge influence on the processes in cells, improving them and working anti-ageing. Furthermore, fatty acids have different particle sizes. Therefore, a particular size of particles suits a particular type of hair. What is more – fatty acids have varied ability to penetrate the hair. We can distinguish the following:

  • PENETRATING OILS – have small particles and are mainly made of saturated fatty acids. Such oils are suitable for low porosity hair.
  • SEMI-PENETRATING OILS – have medium size particles and are made of monounsaturated fatty acids from omega – 7 and omega – 9. They are suitable for medium porosity hair.
  • NON-PENETRATING OILS – have large particles and are made of mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids omega – 3 and omega – 6. They are suitable for high porosity hair.

Therefore, in order to select the best oil, you must firstly, check you hair porosity.


Of course, you can do it at the trichologist’s professional office. You can also use a simple microscope (maybe your child has one, or your niece or cousin etc…) and take a closer look on your hair. However, you can also conduct an easy test that includes ‘drowning’ your hair in a bowl of water.

What is the purpose of this test?

Hair porosity is determined by the condition of your cuticles – the outermost layer of your hair strands. All substances (including toxins, fumes, cigarette smoke) penetrate through the cuticles to the inner parts of our hair. The higher the porosity, the more damaged the hair is.

How tightly or lose the hair scales lay, determines what kinds of particles will be most suitable. That is why it is so important to know the porosity of our hair.

Coming back to ‘the float test’: put one hair into a bowl filled with water. Make sure your hair is clean ad free of any cosmetics, silicons etc. Wait about 5 – 10 minutes and check how deep your hair ‘dived’.

If your hair…
…is still floating on the surface – you have LOW POROSITY hair.
…went half way down the bowl – you have MEDIUM porosity hair.
…drowned all the way to the bottom – your hair is of HIGH POROSITY.

This knowledge is extremely necessary to help you chose the best natural oil for your hair care.

The following list categorises particular oils for specific type of porosity.

  • low porosity hair – reach for coconut oil, babassu oil, palm oil,
  • medium porosity – go for macadamia, almond, peanut, sesame, avocado and argan oil.
  • high porosity hair – buy black seed oil, corn, linseed, wheat seed, grapeseed oil.

That is all.
Good luck with your hair oiling!