Oiling Your Scalp Is Not Necessary For Healthy Hair

Woman touching scalp through her thick natural hair

What black woman cannot remember sitting between her mother’s legs as she parted, combed, brushed and (sometimes brutalized) our hair?

We were told we had to sit still, stop squirming and whimpering and most times called tender-headed. Honestly, is that even a real THING?

Anyway, if you remember all of that then you must remember getting your scalp greased or oiled as well. If you were like me then you absolutely hated it!

I hated it because all that the grease would do was make my scalp itch and no matter how much I scratched it would never stop itching.

It wasn’t until I was a grown woman and doing my own hair that I ditched that bad habit and began to realize not only was it not necessary but also counter-productive to my hair’s growth.

OK, you’ve already seen my take on this age-old routine that most black women have had to endure as children and I am sorry to say that in many households this is STILL occurring. Little black girls are still sitting between their mother’s legs getting their hair and scalps oiled.


The only difference is that it may not be with Ultra Sheen (like me and my sister had) and it even may be a coconut or olive oil, but the question is…is this practice even necessary? What is it really doing?

There is a difference between oil and hair grease. Hair grease is made up of oils but not the good ones that we should be applying to our hair. Good oils for hair are Olive oil , Coconut oil, Emu oil, Argan oil and Grapeseed oil, just to make a few. Bad oils are Petrolatum and Mineral oil and are mostly used in hair grease.

Hair Grease The Black Hair Enemy

Traditional hair grease (like Blue Magic and Ultra Sheen) are mostly made up of Petrolatum and Mineral oil. Hair grease does not promote hair growth despite what we have believed growing up.

Any healthy hair journeyer worth her salt will quickly cringe at those ingredients…Petrolatum and Mineral oil? Now, most of us have ditched those ingredients well into our first 6 months of starting a HHJ.

We know that all they do is coat the hair and attract dirt. They just sit on the scalp and hair and make it difficult for real moisturizers to penetrate the hair. They clog the pores and hair follicles while weighing down your hair.

Just because it’s what we have always used or have always done does not mean it is the best method or that we can never change. Also, the hair you had as a little girl is NOT the hair you have as an adult.

The bottom-line is that as we age the rate of our hair growth slows down. We as children have not been damaging our hair for decades as many of us do as adults. So comparing our hair as children to our adult hair is unrealistic when determining what worked for you then and what works for you now.

Originally posted 2014-02-18 15:00:15.

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About Sabrina Perkins


Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com

About Sabrina Perkins


Hello all, I'm Sabrina. I'm a freelance writer and a full-time blogger at my site, http://www.seriouslynatural.org/ where the focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style. I became natural 8 years ago at the tender age of 35 and love sharing my ups and downs as I master this thing called natural hair. Married, with two kids (one being a natural herself) gives me a different perspective on our hair and why I love being natural. I want healthy hair, long hair and sexy hair! I'm an older natural---that's right---I'm grown and sexy, and I have much to share. I love fashion too and recently opened a clothing shop for beautiful black women at www.seriouslynatural.spreadshirt.com

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Bhebhe LottsTiger LillySandra BrooksTheresa Marie BryantFallon Pryce Recent comment authors
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Courtney
Courtney

I have kinky hair dry scalp naturally. I tried everything to make my hair grow and my scalp less flakey. Over the past three year I have been using 100% jojoba oil on my scalp (just put in a color applicator) and herbal complex 4 on my hair every night and wrap it. It’s the perfect combination. My hair is now down my back with little to no breakage. If your hairs breaking it’s dry. If you try and mosturize it and it’s still breaking you need a hair cut and a better mosturizer. The kinkier you hair is the more moisture it needs. Just my opinion of my hair type 🙂

Courtney
Courtney

Oh one more thing I do have a perm. And I only go to the hairdresser for perms.

Deonae Shackelford

It actually hurts by clogging pores.

Felicia Hamilton

Essential oils penetrate through and do not clog your pores.

Mineral oils clog your pores.

Dorothy Cannon

I oil my scalp every 4 days.It makes my hair grow faster.

Angel Park

I don’t believe it clogs pores !!! My momma used grease on my scalp all the time when I was young. My hair was sooo long! I’m having a harder time getting it that long using all this natural stuff. I think I’ll go back to the basics..grease and h20

Wendy Jean-Louis

Same here. My mom used to mix the grease with castor oil and my hair was long and thick. Now with this oil stuff it barely grows. I have yo put it in braids to grow. Lol. I just went to but my trusty grease and call it a day

Mercy Dolo

Everyone hair is different. I have a sister that uses “bad oils” and her hair grows beautifully. I have another sister whose hair grows only with conditioner and no grease. My hair grows only with castor oil or sulfer. You just have to find what works for you!!

Stewie McPrude

Who hates getting their scalps greased? That mess was awesome..felt like a spa treatment lol

Fallon Pryce

No matter how much I deep condition. And oil my hair and scalp. My hair is always dry! Even of I slather a handful of ORS olive oil or castor oil. Literally within 15 mins my hair has soaked up everything and is bone dry. Help!

Nicole Geduld

You should try oil rinsing. You can find a “how to” on youtube. My hair is also very dry and this really works for me

Fallon Pryce

Thanks for that! Ive just checked out a few YouTube Videos about it. i will be trying that method today! Xx

Rochelle Corilette Liyah Warner

Have you tried the greenhouse effect, there are how to vids on youtube

Rodemirma Viljean

Try the Blue Magic collection (perferably the castor oil). Had the same issue. Went back to the grease . It worked best.

Sherrie Tamara

You may want to add a water based moisturizer like As I Am double butter. Oils and grease don’t moisturize but seal and coat the hair.

Fallon Pryce

Ok I’ve just tried the oil rinse. And I deep conditioned my hair twice. I’ve put ORS castor oil on my scalp and ORS olive oil moisturiser from root to tips. It’s been about 3 hours now and my hair had retained the oil/moisture and not just soaked up all the products 🙂

Tasha Tasha Tasha

I don’t grease in the summer but when the weather changes so should the hair routine. Greasing only clogs your pores if you go without your weekly wash…other than that this 4b/c of mine just eats it up…no time to clog a pore.

Liz Marie Maysonet Sostre

Fallon Pryce, mist your hair with water a few times during the day.

Theresa Marie Bryant

I’ve learned that u can’t use just oils. After my wash routine I’ll moisturize my hair by first putting on my olive oil and following that up with my Cantu Shea butter conditioning hair lotion.

Sandra Brooks

When I was a teenager. My friend pranked me and greased my scalp with beeswax. Within a week my hair grew two inches. I now use beeswax.

Tiger Lilly

It is for mine…so necessary.

Bhebhe Lotts

Disclaimer, everyone hair/scalp is different.do what works for you