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1. What is oil rins­ing?

Oil rins­ing involves apply­ing an excess amount of a liquid/liquefied oil or but­ter to hair, allow­ing to sit for a short time (5–20 min­utes) with or with­out heat and then pro­ceed­ing to rinse it off with water.  You can option­al­ly fol­low up with a con­di­tion­er to remove even more oil but you can equal­ly just pro­ceed to blot hair dry and style.

2. What is the dif­fer­ence between oil rins­ing and pre-poo­ing?

Pre-poo­ing is gen­er­al­ly done pri­or to a sham­poo wash and the oil select­ed ide­al­ly should be one that can pen­e­trate hair to pro­tect it from hygral fatigue. Pre-poo­ing with oil is best done over a peri­od of hours (overnight / 8 hours). Oil rins­ing does not require a pen­e­trat­ing oil as it only has a short appli­ca­tion time of a few min­utes. It is gen­er­al­ly not use­ful as a pre-poo for hygral fatigue but it can be use­ful for detan­gling and adding slip if includ­ed instead of or in addi­tion to a pre-poo.

3. What is the pur­pose of oil rins­ing?

Oil rins­ing is thought to help hair in sev­er­al ways includ­ing:

- Stop hair feel­ing crispy and dry after a hen­na or pro­tein treat­ment espe­cial­ly if a mois­tur­is­ing con­di­tion­er did not help.
— Refresh hair  (increase mois­ture and soft­ness) with­out sham­poo­ing or co-wash­ing it.
— The extra oil is great for adding slip to help detan­gle hair and reduce fric­tion between the strands.
— If your hair has nat­ur­al curl def­i­n­i­tion, oil rins­ing can help reduce frizz.
— As oil is involved, hair shine will increase.

4. What kind of oil can you use for oil rins­ing?

Any oil can be used pro­vid­ed it is liq­uid, is going to stay liq­uid and you like it. After oil rins­ing, your hair will have a coat­ing of oil, this is why it is impor­tant that the oil you pick will tend to stay liq­uid. Coconut oil hard­ens up in cold win­ter air, so is not suit­ed to the task unless it is mod­i­fied coconut oil, sum­mer or you live some­where nice that has no cold win­ters. Olive oil, jojo­ba oil, cas­tor oil, grape­seed oil, almond oil and even melt­ed shea but­ter are some pop­u­lar choic­es

5. Who should not oil rinse?

If you have dan­druff, eczema or any scalp irri­ta­tion, oil rins­ing may aggra­vate the scalp, so avoid it. If your hair has a ten­den­cy to form build up or become over­ly shiny (loos­er curls) you may not like oil rins­ing. If you strict­ly co-wash or rarely use sham­poo or soap then oil rins­ing may end up giv­ing you build up. Oil rins­ing requires that you will even­tu­al­ly sham­poo your hair (with­in a week or so) because the extra oil will attract dirt and lint over time.

If you are a visu­al learn­er, here is a video to demon­strate oil rins­ing on nat­ur­al hair!

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42 Comments on "5 Facts on Oil Rinsing"

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I tried oil rins­ing yes­ter­day and was super pleased with the results! I am an Asian Indi­an with thick, coarse, wavy-to-curly hair which loves to frizz; espe­cial­ly the top lay­ers (in spite of overnight pre-poo­ing with oil). My oil-rinsed hair turned out shiny, boun­cy, soft and wayyy less frizzy than ever. That too with­out look­ing like an oil slick. I didn’t skip my overnight pre-poo. Wash-rinse, oil-con­di­tion-dis­trib­ute even­ly-rinse. That was it.  I chose sweet almond oil because I have been using it as an after wash serum on my damp hair (or even on dry hair as need­ed) and known that… Read more »

[…] gloss out with my con­di­tion­er, but I want­ed to try some­thing new. I tried oil rins­ing after read­ing this arti­cle and watch­ing the […]


I do this as well… it works WONDERS!!! <3


I have incor­po­rat­ed oil rins­ing into my hair reg­i­ment. I use the same oils that I pre poo with. It amaz­ing

Christine Andenga

How often do you do oil rins­ing

Candice King

Thank u thank u thank u for this arti­cle it has worked won­ders on my hair

Reign Curls

*oil rins­ing

Reign Curls

I’ve been oil clens­ing for sev­er­al years ad it has­nt failed me yet. I think it’s pret­ty impor­tant to try dif­fer­ent oils for your hair. I absolute­ly love coconut oil!


So if after sham­poo­ing, I add my mix of oil (coconut/olive/JBCO) to my DC. By rins­ing it off, am i tech­ni­cal­ly oil rins­ing!??


Is this treat­ment fine for low poros­i­ty hair. Won’t it just cause a gunky build up. Would appre­ci­ate your response.

TMC toronto meetup Jan 25th

wow, anoth­er step to my wash day. I’ll def­i­nite­ly try it out. but don’t plan to include it in my regime. I feel the oil won’t allow the mois­ture from the leave in to be absorbed in my cuti­cles


[…] We recent­ly came across the con­cept of oil rins­ing on Black Girl Long Hair: […]


I tried this once and it made my hair super dry.

I LOVE oil rins­ing!! My hair feels 10x bet­ter. My rou­tine goes like this: Apply organ­ic coconut oil all over my hair and scalp, detan­gle w/fingers, apply deep conditioner(Camille Rose Algae), steam(optional) cow­ash with Trad­er Joe’s organ­ic Spa Nour­ish Conditioner,rinse out then apply JBCO, leave it on for a bit then rinse, apply Camille Rose Curl Milk leave-in, sec­tion hair,apply Camille Rose Almond Jai Twist­ing but­ter and make 15 plaits all over. DONE! At night I re-braid (no prod­uct added) and put on satin cap.Maybe 5 days lat­er I’ll add a lit­tle curl milk and 2 drops of JBCO and… Read more »

How often should you oil rinse?

Divachyk @Relaxed Thairapy

I love wheat germ for oil rins­ing.


This is a must try… I live in Ohio, and the weath­er here is very cru­cial to my hair. I use coconut oil and EVOO, but I have been debat­ing on exper­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent kinds of oil. (Jojo­ba or grape­seed). Any sug­ges­tions?


It works great I live in Chica­go and this win­ter has been bru­tal. I use a mix­ture of oils like sweet almond oil, aloe Vera oil and grape seed. I sug­gest using oils that your hair likes gen­er­al­ly. Some­times I’ve switched it up by using coconut oils since it stays liq­uid when mixed with the oth­er oils I’ve men­tioned.


I did this but it wasn’t good long term. I used olive oil and almond oil and when dry my hair was CRISP. Plus it’s not exact, oil is oil and so its run­ny. Some­times I would end up sweat­ing oil or bare­ly oiled hair.


This seems like an ok idea.…my only issue is that I would go through way more oil in a month than I nor­mal­ly would smh. My PJ man­ner­isms would tweak super hard if I got to spend extra mon­ey on oil so that I would be able to do this.


I know EXACTLY what you mean. This recov­er­ing PJ made the switch to nat­ur­al but­ters and oils a while back, and likes to hide her PJ man­ner­isms by try­ing dif­fer­ent oils all the time. Oil rins­ing is some­thing I prob­a­bly shouldn’t try for my wallet’s sake :)


If I oil rinse, should I still seal with oil after I’m done and fol­low­ing up with the loc method?

You don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need to seal, it depends on how your hair reacts to the oil. For MY hair I just rinse very well with warm water ( it takes out the extra oil bet­ter than cold water) and use my leave-in. I only add oil to seal if I pro­tec­tive style for 2 weeks. But if I style only for a week, no need to seal, my hair holds up the mois­ture very well. If I flat iron, I cow­ash my hair once instead of rins­ing the oil out with warm water. the con­di­tion­er removes the extra oil that… Read more »
Nappy 4C Rocks

good ques­tion


What’s the point of wash­ing it out? Isn’t it more ben­e­fi­cial to leave it in? What does wash­ing it out do when I can wash my hair, put the coconut oil on with a cap, and then style my hair? Please explain.


You’re not wash­ing it out you only need to rinse out the excess oil bc you use more than you typ­i­cal­ly would if you were styling your hair. Also, if you didn’t rinse you would have oil run­ning down your neck and fore­head as your hair began to dry. This hap­pened to me bc I didn’t do the best job rins­ing my hair the first time I tried it.

Ugonna Wosu

wash­ing out oil doesn’t take away the effects of it from your hair.

Ugonna Wosu

what you described is deep con­di­tion­ing with an oil. Oil rins­ing, as I know it, is usu­al­ly one of the final steps in your wash rou­tine. You treat it like you do your reg­u­lar rinse out con­di­tion­er. Just apply­ing oil(preferably with an appli­ca­tor bot­tle) and leav­ing it there for a few min­utes and rins­ing it off. That’s it. I’ve done this before and it makes your hair retain more mois­ture, lose even more tan­gles and is super soft­en­ing.


Looks great! I use tea to dye thg­nis quite often, as I don’t like white. You nev­er know quite how it will turn out, so it’s not for thg­nis that you will be too pre­cious about if the effect is a bit dif­fer­ent to what you expect­ed.

Ugonna Wosu

this is not a response to the video of oil WASHING by Au Curls Naturelle, under­neath the author’s descrip­tion of oil rins­ing.

Ugonna Wosu

Thanks for writ­ing such an eat­ny­to-under­ssa-d arti­cle on this top­ic.

Nappy 4C Rocks

what is the dif­fer­ence between oil rins­ing vs. a hot oil treat­ment?

Oil rins­ing is done on fresh­ly sham­pooed or cow­ashed hair and rinsed out with warm to hot water to remove the excess oil and fol­lowed up by a rinse out con­di­tion­er to cow­ash. Oil rins­ing are not usu­al­ly done on dry hair like in the demon­stra­tive video attached to the post and that’s because the pur­pose of the oil rins­ing method is to lock up and seal the mois­ture obtained from the sham­poo process. Hot oil treat­ment on the oth­er hand is done on dry hair before the sham­poo. It’s called hot oil because you warm up the oil first… Read more »

Sounds like it would be a hot oil treat­ment if you use heat.


Made these tonight with the sapcinh. Over­all were VERY deli­cious, how­ev­er, they did come out very dry. Water was absorbed with­in maybe five min­utes rather than twen­ty. Used full-fat coconut milk though, would that have been the dif­fer­ence? Thanks for the recipe though, I’ve been mak­ing your Indi­an-style dish­es over and over the last cou­ple weeks, love ‘em!


What I do is that I add coconut or any oth­er oil to my con­di­tion­er or cow­ash. It leaves my hair very soft.

Ugonna Wosu

I some­times add oil to my sham­poo. Makes it soft too.


I always won­dered exact­ly how oil rins­ing worked but was too lazy too look it up. Will a leave in con­di­tion­er still be effec­tive after oil rins­ing?


Look at all the many tex­tures on one head. It’s so beau­ti­ful. Great and infor­ma­tive post as usu­al Jc.


I have scalp issues so I do a mod­i­fy ver­sion of oil rins­ing. After I wash and con­di­tion my hair I put coconut oil (or what­ev­er oil I have) all in my hair. When I fin­ish work­ing it through (usu­al­ly a minute lat­er), I then rinse it out with cool water. I NEVER work it into my scalp, although I do apply a bit of oil there lat­er on. It helps to reduce the harsh feel­ing my hair has dur­ing the dry­ing process and my hair feels much soft­er dur­ing and after the styling process.


Got­ta try this!!!!! My hair is SO dry! Thanks for this! New Sub­bie!