Remember when everyone said all the products we used had to be oil-free? Oil was made out to be an enemy of your beauty routine, especially if you had acne-prone skin. Your cleansers, foundations, moisturizers, and serums were basically ruled ineffective if they had even a drop of oil.
Because I remember that time so much, I also vividly remember the first time I saw a skincare routine in which a woman put oil on her face. I gasped so hard at the mere thought of putting the very stuff on my face that I work so hard to remove every night. Then, in 2015, I tried my first cleansing balm (I remember it like it was yesterday), and I never looked back from using oils in my skincare since.
If you’re somehow living under a rock and new to oils, here’s the rundown. Basically, oil attracts oil (#scienceissexy), meaning using an oil cleanser on your face or scalp/hair will help remove the oil already there. When our hair or skin is dehydrated, it often means that our bodies are overproducing the oil to make up for what it lacks. Therefore, using an oil to cleanse deeply moisturizes to not only remove the oil, but prevent it from coming back. This is what makes the cleansing oil craze real — and our editors, myself, and many others have jumped on the bandwagon and have no plans of looking back.
After seeing a few hair cleansing oil shampoos on the market, I decided to take the plunge. I made sure to try it on a day that I wouldn’t see anyone in the event that it went badly. (I vividly remember trying to use olive oil as a hair mask before my eighth-grade exit interview, and I walked into school with hair that looked eerily like Kim K at the Met Gala except not cute.) The first time I tried, I mixed a little bit of hair oil into my shampoo. I shampooed once with the mixture and then did a double cleanse with my shampoo once more. The next time, I went all-in — I covered my head from scalp to ends in a hair oil. I let it sink in for a few minutes and washed my hair twice with my regular shampoo. The former was a gentle-but-deep cleanse that left my hair feeling clean and bouncy. The latter, however, was truly life-changing.
I never thought I’d say this, but slathering my hair with oil before a shower might be the best thing I’ve ever tried. I’ve been doing this to my hair for about a month now — and the difference I’ve noticed is extreme. My fine, straight hair usually can barely go a day in-between washes. My second-day hair is filled with dry shampoo, and it looks limp, dry at the ends, and lifeless and greasy at the roots. Oil cleansing my hair twice a week has given my hair new life, and I’m here to share the experience!
My hair before:
This photo was taken after a workout, so my hair is pretty bad. This is my hair when I haven’t oil cleansed. It’s lifeless, and the ends are like your mouth when you wake up at 4am after drinking and can’t get to water fast enough.
My hair with the oil in it:
I used an equal parts mixture of an Aveda hair oil and hemp seed oil and slathered it all over my hair. Seriously. I coat my hair from roots to tips, and I focus on my scalp, massaging the oil into my scalp with my fingertips. Then, I hop in the shower and shampoo twice. Sometimes, I’ll use a gentle shampoo first, and follow with a purple shampoo and conditioner; other times, I’ll just use a clarifying shampoo and a deep conditioner.
Then, I get out of the shower, use my leave-in products, style my hair as I normally would. And here, I present:
(Yes, I know my highlight is ~en fleek~, I’ve already raved about it here!)
Now that you’ve seen the process, here’s a little more about why I love it so much:
I have to wash my hair less (and use less dry shampoo)
I can get away with washing my hair every three to four days now, which is a huge improvement from before. This has cut my morning routine basically in half. I also am able to use way less dry shampoo which helps with preventing build-up and honestly just saves me a little bit of money!
My hair holds a curl better
My fine, straight hair barely holds a curl, but I’ve noticed that when my hair isn’t muddled with dry shampoo and texturizing spray and wave elixirs that my curl stays a little bit longer. I especially notice that in my day-two hair. My hair has had a little time to settle, but it isn’t greasy and gross either. My curl stays insanely well these days, and I usually just have to lightly touch it up the next day for casual, loose waves.
My hair feels stronger
I have color-treated hair that gets heat-styled on almost a daily basis. I also use regular hair ties, sleep in a ponytail, and never eat my greens. I know, I’m a garbage person. However, even with all that in mind, oil cleansing my hair has made it feel stronger, sleeker, and just overall healthier. This could be a little placebo, but I’ve even gotten compliments from people that my hair looks different. I’m going to take that as a “keep doing what you’re doing.”
There are some oil cleansers on the market, but I’ve noticed the best results using hair oil. I’ve also seen articles and videos where people have even used facial oils. Argan, coconut, avocado, and hemp seed oil have also worked really well for me.