Reader Question: So Should I Oil My Scalp Or Not?

yellow_lilliesReader Question:

Firstly I would just like to thank you so much for providing this very sensible, no nonsense and completely free website. I am looking forward to telling & posting my story on your website. I wanted to ask you two questions, first question: Do I oil my scalp or not? And… If not why not, only I hear so many conflicting stories so I am confused. I currently oil my scalp with Jamacian black castor oil or pure coconut oil 3-4 times a week. I heard on YouTube that we need this oil on our scalp because unlike white people we do not make enough natural oils to adequately moisture our coiled hair pattern. Question 2: I clarify my hair with a brand named shampoo (first wash only which is designed for daily use) once a week is this ok? I always follow with a DPC & steam. By the way I do wash my hair and DPC twice a week but I only ever clarify once per week. Thanks in advance.

Our Answer:

Thanks for getting in touch and I’m glad you are enjoying the website. You are right in saying that our scalps do not produce enough oil but many ladies forget the oil’s purpose. When a straight haired person produces oil, it will slide down the strands to moisturize them during styling or brushing. We are kind of defeating the purpose when we put a lot of oil directly on our scalps rather than on our hair where it is needed.

From a personal point of view, before I began healthy hair care practices, my scalp used to be really dry. Even straight after washing I would see flakes and I assumed that I had dandruff and needed oil. However after a few weeks of twice weekly washings, my scalp started to produce its own oils and I found that if I added more oil, I would itch uncontrollably because of clogged pores! This has not only been my experience but also that of my mother and sisters when they started their healthy hair journeys. Now like clockwork, every 3-4 days my scalp will start to itch from my own oils clogging my pores so I know it’s time for a wash again.

Not everyone is the same, some people will still feel that their scalps require some oil just the same way some people have greasy skin that hates oil but others dry skin that needs it. However 3-4 times a week of oiling is certainly excessive! That amount of oil is more likely to clog your pores than help with scalp dryness or hair growth. Even if Jamaican black castor oil is being used a hair growth aid, your scalp is unlikely to absorb more than one application until after the next wash. You wouldn’t put oil on your skin every day without having had a wash first!

On the question of clarifying, I would usually consider once a week too often but based on the amount of oil you have been using then it probably wasn’t! Hopefully you have been basing your hair with some oil before clarifying to prevent excessive dryness. On minimal oil and silicone usage, washing with a clarifying shampoo is only necessary every 3-6 weeks. You could try a non sulphate shampoo for your weekly washes followed by an acv rinse and you may be surprised at how clean it gets your hair!

Good luck!


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  • I do rub walnut or grape seed oil on my scalp. No hair grease like when I had a perm

  • The scalp needs moisture just like the skin on the body…. Oiling the scalp with coconut oil definitely helps to prevent drying and flakes.

  • Sulfur 8 on mt scalp makes my hair grow significantly faster

  • Coconut oil is my choice does not wergh down hair and can be used on skin as well

  • I just started using organic coconut oil and I love this stuff. It also helps my skin stay moisturized.

  • My scalp is already oily from natural sebum. My ends need oiling the most.