Hot Oil Treatment For Hair: Benefits & How To Do It Yourself 2023

hot oil treatment for hair
Hot oil treatment for hair growth.

If you’ve turned to natural beauty remedies, such as hot oil hair treatments, you must first understand how to approach treatment for the best results. 

Hair care is an integral part of self-care for healthy living. Your hair could be a hot oil treatment away from being flexible, vibrant, and strong. Fortunately, technology has revolutionized research, and the years of studying natural remedies are finally paying off.

Hot oil hair treatment is no longer an unscientifically supported practice but rather a research-based natural remedy with numerous hair and general health benefits. 

But, despite the hype surrounding hot oil treatment for hair, does it live up to the user’s expectations? What do the studies say about the practice, and are there any risks? Continue reading to learn more about the treatment, how to do it, and the best oils for hair growth.

Are Hot Oil Treatments Good For Your Hair?

Yes. Using all-natural hot oil treatments for hair can: 

  • Promote growth.
  • Enhance hair color and texture.
  • Avoid hair damage.
  • Moisturize the scalp and hair.
  • Reduce dandruff and itching on the scalp.
  • Boost blood circulation.
  • Feed the scalp.
  • Detangle hair.
  • Make pre-pooing easier.

What Is Hot Oil Treatment For Hair?

Hot oil treatments[1] involve applying heated oil to the hair and scalp to enhance the oil’s effects.

The process also reduces dandruff, moistens the scalp, eliminates frizz, and manages split ends.

To improve hair growth, nutrient absorption, cuticle sealing, and protecting and strengthening hair strands, a heated plant-based oil is applied to hair strands and the scalp. It can be used as a preventative measure or to repair damaged hair. 

Hot oil hair treatment can be beneficial or harmful depending on its application. For example, cleaning the scalp before application removes contaminants and increases contact between the oil, the scalp, and the hair strands. Otherwise, it may contribute to bacteria accumulation in hair follicles if applied to a dirty scalp and hair.

Benefits Of A Hot Oil Hair Treatment

Hot oil hair treatment has the following advantages:

Promotes Hair Growth

Hot oil treatments promote hair growth by focusing on critical factors such as dermal thickness, follicle depth, and follicle number.

Peppermint oil was found to be the most effective growth-promoting agent[2] in a study compared to jojoba, minoxidil, and saline. It was also shown to increase insulin-like growth factors promoting hair follicle growth stimulation.

Improves Color And Texture

A hot oil treatment immediately enhances your hair’s appearance by adding shine. However, if done frequently over an extended period, it can also strengthen hair and improve texture.

Regular hot oil treatments allow nutrients in the oil to be absorbed better into the hair follicles to strengthen your hair.

Prevents Hair Damage

Because of their robust component composition[3] and unique properties, different oils protect hair differently.

For example, coconut oil significantly reduces protein loss[4] when used as a pre-wash or post-wash for damaged or undamaged hair. It penetrates the hair shaft[5] easily and nourishes the scalp.

Moisturizes The Hair And Scalp

Low-porosity hair that does not absorb water and treatments easily can be revitalized by hot oil treatment by increasing moisture absorption and retention.

Harsh weather, harmful hair products, and poor hair care practices can all dehydrate hair. Breakage, split ends, and other hair damage is caused by dry hair or scalp.

Hot oil treatment improves hair moisture retention while increasing strength and breakage resistance.

Moisturization is also an essential benefit of hot oil treatment for black hair,[6] which has a kinky texture.

Alleviates Dandruff And Scalp Itchiness

A regular DIY hot oil treatment routine can help to reduce dandruff and scalp itching.

Hot oil treatments prevent dandruff and common scalp infections by balancing the scalp’s microorganisms.

A human-based study discovered that coconut oil can help fight dandruff by modulating the scalp microbiome.[7] The oil increases bacterial strains commonly found in healthy scalps not associated with dandruff. 

It was also discovered to inhibit fungal growth while enhancing healthy bacteria pathways.

Improves Blood Circulation

Blood circulation[8] promotes nutrient and oxygen transport to the scalp, which is essential for hair health.

Massaging the oil into your scalp is recommended in hot oil treatment. It increases blood circulation in the scalp, ensuring that all parts receive adequate nourishment.

Nourishes The Scalp

Hot oil treatments ensure that the scalp receives the benefits of the various plant-based nutrients that oil contains.

The treatment’s oils are derived from organic herbs with proven hair benefits. 

Each oil contains various ingredients, including minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Each also has its own set of scalp benefits, such as preventing infections and sealing the hair cuticle.

Almond oil, for example, nourishes the scalp with double-bond fatty acids[3] that protect against structural damage caused by UV radiation.

Detangles Hair

Dry hair is difficult to detangle, but a hot oil treatment can moisten the hair, making the process easier.

After washing your hair, apply a hot oil treatment to help detangle it and keep it neat.

Facilitates Pre-Pooing

Pre-pooing is the preparation of hair for shampoo application. 

Hot oil treatments before shampooing make your hair flexible and manageable. It also prevents the shampoo from removing your hair’s natural oils.

Potential Side Effects

Natural oils are preferred hair treatments over artificial products due to their non-invasive nature.

Hot oil treatment is generally safe because it’s based on natural ingredients.

However, individual types of oil may cause mild side effects in users who are allergic. It’s always best to research the oil’s composition and concentration before applying it.

To avoid side effects, perform a patch test by applying a small portion of preferred hot oil on the skin and monitor changes and reactions for at least 24 hours. It’s especially recommended when experimenting with a new type of oil.

How To Do A Hot Oil Treatment At Home

Whether performing a DIY hot oil treatment for curly hair or as part of a daily care routine, the procedure for achieving different results is standard.

Start by selecting an appropriate oil type. If you haven’t already decided, you can experiment with coconut, olive, avocado, argan, jojoba, or almond oil.

Step 1: Wash Your Hair

hot oil treatment for hair
Wash your hair first for hot oil treatment.

Hair collects various environmental pollutants, including dust, pollen, and chemicals.

Washing your hair removes these contaminants, preventing them from being absorbed by the oil treatment.

For the best results, use a clarifying shampoo. Cleaning prepares your cuticles for oil absorption.

Step 2: Comb Your Hair

hot oil treatment for hair
Comb your hair thoroughly before the hot oil treatment.

After cleaning, pat your hair to remove excess moisture and section it. Then, roughly comb your hair to remove any knots that may interfere with the oil application.

Step 3: Heat The Oil

hot oil treatment for hair
Mildly heat oil to start treatment.

Heat the oil over a flame for 3 to 5 minutes or in the microwave for 20 seconds. 

A typical treatment should require about 4 tablespoons of oil. 

Alternatively, you may heat a water cap and submerge the oil for several minutes in a bottle. But be careful not to overheat the oil, as it can burn.

Also, run a patch test before launching the full application to ensure the temperature is safe.

Step 4: Apply The Oil

hot oil treatment for hair
Apply the oil evenly on the scalp.

To improve absorption, apply the oil evenly to your scalp and gently massage it.

An applicator bottle with a thin tip can ensure that oil reaches every part of the scalp during a hot oil treatment for dry hair.

When finished, cover your scalp with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes. You can also leave it overnight for a more thorough treatment.

Wrapping a hot towel around the shower cap can improve the results significantly.

Step 5: Condition Your Hair

hot oil treatment for hair
Condition your hair to complete hot oil hair treatment.

Rinse your hair with warm water and, if necessary, use a silicone-free conditioner. Hot water strips the hair of its natural oils, causing it to become dehydrated.

After you’ve dried your hair, you can begin your hair care routine, such as applying conditioner.

Weekly hot oil treatment for hair benefits anyone looking to maintain proper growth, good hair health, or repair damaged hair. 

Top Hot Oil Treatments For Hair Growth

Clearly stating the benefits you seek is a good starting point in determining which oil is best for you.

While some oils moisturize the hair, others, such as castor and grapeseed, are particularly effective at sealing cuticles and reducing frizz.

The best moisturizers are nourishing oils with high penetration, such as coconut and olive oil. The best absorption rates[9] are found in jojoba and almond oils.

Some of the best hot oil treatments[10] for hair growth include: 

  • Coconut oil.
  • Olive oil.
  • Argan oil.
  • Almond oil.
  • Castor oil.
  • Argan oil.
  • Fenugreek oil.
  • Amla oil.
  • Mustard oil.
  • Sesame oil.
  • Linseed oil.

The Takeaway

Different types of oil have different properties that determine their hair benefits, such as bonds, structures, affinity for proteins, and penetration rates.

Although they are natural and organic, they may contain allergens. 

As a result, before using oil with sensitive skin or allergies, it is best to thoroughly research its composition and conduct a patch test.

Because they are less expensive, more accessible, and safer than laboratory hair products, hot oil treatments are an excellent alternative.  

+ 10 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Material characteristics of hair cuticles after hair oil treatments. (2017). Sensors and Materials, p.1589. doi:
  2. Ji Seon Oh, Park, M.S. and Young Ho Kim (2014). Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs. [online] 30(4), pp.297–304. doi:
  3. Mysore, V. and Adhikary Arghya (2022). Hair oils: Indigenous knowledge revisited. [online] 14(3), pp.84–84. doi:
  4. Gambhirsinh Sursinh Vala and Kapadiya, P.K. (2014). Medicinal Benefits of Coconut Oil (A Review paper). [online] ResearchGate. Available at:
  5. Agrawal, T., P. Sureka, Majumder, S. and Ritambhara, K.R. (2022). A method to measure oil penetration into hair and correlation to tensile strength. [online] 14(4), pp.128–128. doi:
  6. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. (2017). Breaking the cycle of hair breakage: pearls for the management of acquired trichorrhexis nodosa. [online] Available at:
  7. Saxena, R., Mittal, P., Cécile Clavaud, Dhakan, D.B., Roy, N., Breton, L., Misra, N. and Sharma, V. (2021). Longitudinal study of the scalp microbiome suggests coconut oil to enrich healthy scalp commensals. [online] 11(1). doi:
  8. Rajput, R. (2018). A Scientific Hypothesis on the Role of Nutritional Supplements for Effective Management of Hair Loss and Promoting Hair Regrowth. Journal of Nutritional Health & Food Science, 6(3), pp.1–11. doi:
  9. Lin, T.-K., Zhong, L. and Santiago, J.G. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. [online] 19(1), pp.70–70. doi:
  10. Pushpendra Kumar Jain, Das, D. and Jain, P. (2016). Evaluating Hair Growth Activity of Herbal Hair Oil. [online] ResearchGate. Available at:
Teresa Mboci

A dedicated pediatric nurse with a passion for nutrition and wellness, Teresa has made it her mission to empower families with the tools and knowledge they need to promote optimal health and well-being in their children. With over 8 years of experience in the healthcare field and a background in nutrition, Teresa brings a unique perspective to the challenges facing families today. In her role as a pediatric nurse, Teresa has seen firsthand the impact that diet and lifestyle can have on a child's health, and in her writing, she shares her expertise and insights with a broader audience. Whether through her books, articles, or speaking engagements, Teresa is committed to helping families navigate the complexities of pediatric health and wellness with confidence and compassion.

Medically reviewed by:

Jennifer Olejarz

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