If I had a penny for each time I was asked on whether you should oil your hair or not, I would have definitely had a decent chunk in my account by now. I thought it was better that I address this question finally with you’ll.
I have a lot to thank my maternal genes for but one of the main things I thank her everyday for is my hair. My sister and I were both born with a thick curly mane and the one dialogue that I constantly heard from my mom was how her hands hurt after being done combing and plaiting our hair. There was a whole procedure for us. During Sunday through Thursday, which were school nights, our hair were coated with oil and tied back into a high pony which was then finished with a braid.
On the morning of our weekend which was Friday, we had a strong head wash and then were made to sit in the balcony where the sun was the brightest and dried our hair almost in minutes. For a whole day and a half, we enjoyed our oil free hair. On Saturday evening, the night before school, a bowl of oil was heated. It was about 3-4 oils mixed together. Coconut, Almond, Olive and Jasmine Oil and our hair was carefully segregated and the hot oil was applied with a cotton ball. I have to admit, that was a great feeling. After a sleep inducing massage, came the most torturous part. It was de-tangling time and I cried. We cried buckets coz of the knots our curls created but finally the head felt lighter after the final plaiting process. I was the odd one out in school. Being just one of the few Indian girls in my class, I was the one who walked in with absolute embarrassment because I thought everyone could smell the oil filled scalp.
My mother wouldn’t have it if I protested about it. She was quite strict and she believed that oiling our hair was the only way to maintain the thick thatch that we had inherited. For the longest time, I adhered to her order but when I was in the peak of my adolescence, I rebelliously took over my hair care. First thing firsts, I stopped applying oil. If that wasn’t enough I got into colouring and blowdrying. My mother would literally cry in disbelief on why would I deliberately do that to my hair, but what did I know, I was just a smart ass teenager.
By the time I reached college, a lot of damage was done. My thick mane was now half of what it was. It was dry due to the bleach, the regular blow drying and the worst, my curls had started to lose it’s texture. My curls were no longer curls, they were burnt wavy strings. It still didn’t occur to me on why this was happening. My hair stylist kept suggesting these amazing spas for the hair or treatments that would bring back the elasticity. I listened to my stylist and spent a lot of money doing so. All this I did while my mother kept harping “Oil Your Hair and All Will Be Okay!!!” I still didn’t listen.
It was not until, when one day I spent seven and a half hours in the salon chair to re-colour my hair, (Yes you read that right. 7.5 hours!! Although I had lost most of my thickness, I still had a decent bundle left), it was the amount of bleach that was applied that instantly worried me. In the next couple of days, I learnt that not only I had to cut my hair shorter due to carnage the bleach created, but I could NOT do any more blow outs for a while, giving my burnt and heavily damaged hair time to revive itself.
I did what I do best when I can’t solve issues on my own, I went to my mother. My mother went back to basics. After this, I was convinced with the whole process of oiling my hair and what it did for me. Oiling your hair moisturises you hair and scalp and causes your hair follicles to gain the much needed minerals and protein. For those who are going to say that they already have an oily scalp, let me share with you that so do I and it doesn’t do any damage but instead makes it better.
Today, my thickness is still maintained and my curls are back. I haven’t stopped colouring my hair as I grey now. But I definitely don’t bleach it. I go for seldom blow outs now (only if the event requires it) and no, I don’t roam about with oil in my hair 5 days a week. Instead, I chose one day and oil it with the same mixture my mother used and wrap my hair in a hot towel and keep it overnight.
So for all those who question this treatment, trust me… it works. It works wonders.