Is Greasing Your Scalp Necessary?

By Jc of The Natural Haven

Many women grew up with a natural hair routine which involved applying oil to the scalp. This was often done after washing  or  applied to part lines in cornrows, twists or braids. Other times it was used to cover up flaking. However, given what is now known about hair care, is this oiling really necessary? The answer is Yes and No.


There are two key reasons why oil is not necessary

1. Oil production for hair starts at the scalp

– Sebum is the natural oil that coats hair. Its production begins just under the skin of the scalp and therefore the scalp surface is naturally coated in oil. A gentle massage of the scalp can help to further distribute the sebum but in general the scalp produces sufficient oil and does not necessarily require a ‘top up’

2. Oils, especially natural oils can feed the fungus that causes dandruff

– Dandruff is caused by a fungus known as malassezia globosa. This fungus thrives on a specific oil known as oleic acid which is found richly in natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter. Reducing the use of oil on the scalp may help reduce dandruff.

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77 thoughts on “Is Greasing Your Scalp Necessary?

  1. So what is then a healthy alternative to mineral oils?
    As much as i dislike greasing my scalp i slowly came to find out that i must do it… During every wash i do an oil post-poo as i discovered that worked best for me in terms of moisture. but 2-3 days later i am back to my flaky, itchy scalp, it make braids not last and that is a pity because i spend so much time braiding them :(


  2. Before oiling my scalp I had so much dandruff I thought the abominal snowman was taking refuge in my hair. Since I’ve been using ayurvedic oils my scalp has never looked or felt better. To each his own.

  3. I realized it was my shampoo causing my scalp irritation even when I was relaxed and even as a natural. Thought I need to oil in some form until I removed a very long list of chemicals from being allowed in my head (not just the obvious ones)

  4. @Black girl with long hair how can I email this article to my sister?She had just told me about this recently & gave me some things to use on my hair.I wanted to shave it all off because the top center is nearly gone & the rest is @ my shoulders.No perm use in7yrs.She just didn’t have all this info reasons why & what else to use. Only that it wasn’t good to use oil on your scalp we made it naturally.SOOOO CAN YOU HELPPPP ME SEND THIS????

  5. It is really hard trying to convince African-American women that this is true.The 1st time I said it they looked @ me like I lost my mind same way I felt when my sister told me.I’m glad to have reasons & facts so I can break it down to them when I give them the news!!THANKS BGWLH!!!<3

  6. Still trying to determine whether oiling/greasing is better for my hair or not. I workout several days a week & I sweat alot in my scalp. After working out, I moisturize my hair. I oil (or sometimes, grease) my scalp one to three times a week, to keep it from drying out, because I’ve noticed dry patches in a few areas of my scalp. However, I do notice that my scalp tends to itch after I oil/grease it. But when I don’t, it sometimes gets dry. Where do I find the “happy medium”? Should “oil replenishment” (for the scalp) be done after workouts? Any suggestions/advice?

  7. I pre-poo my scalp and hair weekly with oil. I use olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, rosemary oil and tea tree oil. I massage my scalp with these oils, then I coat my hair with coconut oil. I wrap my hair with a plastic bags and leave this on over night. The next day I wash my hair. My hair is thriving, shedding less and easier to manage. I don’t have dandruff, which is something that I have suffered with on and off all of my life. This regiment is working VERY well for me. Peace and blessings :).

  8. Actually I just started caring for my hair about 2 years i’m 15 by the way and I grew up with greasing my hair I use tea tree oil or triple gro products and a softener or my hair. I’ve read many of the articles and would love to try some o the recommended products however, because I live in the Caribbean not may of them are available.. But the grease works for me I don’t have dandruff or dry scalp, and the softener prevents breakage, but my hair tends to be very greasy and I’m worried about the product build up and it’s effect on my hair

  9. Personally i find greasing the scalp to be time consuming and unnecessary. my scalp does fine left to its own devices (:

  10. When ever I grease (oil) my scalp I get a dandruff, itch and raised. I do stopped greasing my scalp around the time I stopped relaxing my hair. When I was growing up people would say I have growing dandruff but in reality I was having a reaction to the products my mother was placing on my scalp.

  11. I don’t need any scalp oil because my scalp naturally produces a healthy amount of oil.
    When I did apply some, I felt more itching and less comfort generally on my natural, short hair. I could literally feel the grease build up!

    Other reasons I don’t apply scalp oil is because I already use a sizeable amount of coconut and castor oil on my hair (mixed with other ingredients) so after a while it will find it’s way down to the scalp.

    A great way to keep the scalp healthy is to not do vigorous shampooing and having pre-shampoo treatments using coconut oil and some cling film (or aka cellophane).

  12. I’m a little confused. I like using scalp oil cause I’m heavy handed with grease. So if I use natural oils I can add to my dandruff, but if I use the thicker stuff for echzema then it will retain the moisture? However I have read that using mineral oil and petroleum isn’t good for the scalp. Hmmm…
    In the winter is when its the worst, so right now to keep my hair moist I use coconut oil, but for my scalp I’m using Carol’s daughter scalp oil.

    • I think it depends on how your scalp responds to the products. Like, if you’ve been diagnosed with eczema you can try oiling your scalp with mineral oil and see how it works.

    • Coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter have oleic acid which the fungus that causes dandruff thrives on. Mineral oil does not have oleic acid which is why it’s good as a barrier.

  13. I usually grease my scalp when I get out the shower , after I washed it , and after I get out the pool. Basically , when it gets wet. Doing so has given me tremendous growth and shine. I only use Dr.Miracle and hair food. I’m natural , too. When I do twist-outs , I grease my scalp. But other than that , greasing your scalp isn’t all that important.

  14. I stopped putting any products on my scalp because after I went natural and tried to used grease on my hair my scalp had a serious reaction repeatedly to the grease and anything else that gets on my scalp. It builds up into the ugly, sticky, and sometimes flaky dandruff and product buildup. I just oil (coconut) my hair and not my scalp. Whenever my scalp gets itchy and irritated it’s because some product I’ve used go on it.

  15. Whenever I use oil on my scalp, I get terrible build up and itchiness. I also get a white film at the roots of my hair which is very hard to remove, even after shampooing it’s still there.

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  17. Before when I used to grease my scalp I would get nasty flakes and dryness. I would scrape off the flakes then reapply the grease on my scalp. Then two days later I would get flakes. I read up on JBCO and heard it had anti-fungal properties. It must be true because its been three years I’ve been using JBCO and I’ve never had flakes or dryness since. I even look through my scalp to see if I have any flakes, nothing! I can comb thru my hair and not worry about flakes getting stuck in my hair. JBCO is the best oil ever.

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