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Hair oils have a long list of uses and benefits. They are more commonly used for hair care than tonics.
Hair oils hardly contain any chemicals, and they are great when it comes to deeply penetrating the cuticles and nourishing the hair. They do not simply coat your hair like tonics but provide deep hair care starting from the roots of the hair.
Hair oils not only provide nourishment to your hair but also lubricate the scalp and are excellent in detangling hair. Hair oils used for massaging the hair usually have heat-protectant properties; thus, they can protect your hair from heat damage.
The list does not end here. Hair oils are famously known for controlling frizz by giving hair a smooth texture. (1)
Conditioners, on the other hand, are viscous mixtures with a much thicker consistency than tonics and are applied after shampooing. They are designed to restore hair to its healthy state. They also aid in repairing the hair and making it look shiny. Conditioning your hair prevents it from looking rough or harsh.
Conditioners are helpful in detangling the hair, making it easier to manage, comb through, and style. They do not let the hair become dry too soon as they restore the moisture in it.
Moreover, conditioners are very smooth on the hair follicles, making them good for regular use. Some conditioners also help in maintaining and balancing hair pH. (2)
Differences Between Hair Oils and Conditioners
|Hair oils||Hair conditioners|
|Oils protect your hair from dirt and pollution.||Conditioners smoothen your hair and make it shiny.|
|Oils moisturize your hair and prevent dryness.||Conditioners can make your hair bouncy and voluminous.|
|Oiling can also exfoliate the scalp.||Conditioners tighten the cuticle scales.|
|Excessive oiling can cause greasiness.||Excessive conditioning can make your hair prone to breakage.|
Benefits of Hair Oils
Here are the benefits of oiling your hair: (3)
- Oiling your hair is an age-old practice that is known to protect your hair from pollutants, dirt, and other harmful stuff.
- Oiling your hair frequently is linked to a well-moisturized scalp, thus preventing scalp dryness.
- Oiling also protects the hair from damage that can be caused by the usage of chemically rich products or heat.
- Oiling can also exfoliate the scalp, keeping it healthy and, in turn, reducing hair loss.
- Styling the hair regularly can cause hair damage stripping its natural lipids; the fatty acids in hair oils can replace this loss, ensuring that the hair remains healthy.
- Oils are also known to smoothen out frizzy hair and nourish the hair shafts to promote the growth of healthy hair.
Disadvantages of Hair Oils
Oiling your hair too much can have its drawbacks. Some of them are: (4)
- Using too much hair oil can weigh down the hair and irritate the scalp.
- People can be allergic to some oils, which can result in inflammation of the scalp, thereby damaging the hair. If you have a sensitive scalp, do not use herbal hair oils with vigorous massages as this only aggravates their problem (5) and may cause excessive greasiness if you have naturally greasy or oily hair.
- Hair oils can aggravate seborrheic capitis or dandruff.
Benefits of Hair Conditioners
Here are the benefits of using hair conditioners: (6)
- Conditioners are used to make the hair smooth and soft for long durations.
- They provide bounce to your hair, giving them a voluminous look.
- They tighten the cuticle scales, strengthening the hair.
- They build a protective sheath around your hair, keeping it safe from pollution, dust, and grease.
- They make the hair easy to manage and help in detangling the hair without breaking it.
- They keep the hair shiny and smooth.
Disadvantages of Hair Conditioners
Using too much hair conditioner can have its drawbacks. Some of them are: (7)
- Using a hair conditioner that is not suitable for your hair type can be disadvantageous for your hair. If you have thin hair, use gentle conditioners.
- Poor-quality hair conditioners cannot bond properly with your hair and fail to provide your hair with strengthening and smoothening effects.
- If applied to the scalp, conditioners can make the roots of the hair oily or greasy.
- Conditioning excessively can make the hair more prone to breakage.
- Some conditioners contain chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions.
What Is Better for Damaged Hair, Conditioners, or Hair Oils?
Conditioners and oils are both important for hair health. They reduce friction of the cuticle cells that arises after shampooing or chemically treating the hair.
Since hair oils are natural products, they are good alternatives to artificially made hair care products. But the bottom line is both are essential parts of a good hair care routine.
- Once a week, try to do hot oil conditioning for deep hair nourishment.
- Always remember to wash your hair with a good cleansing shampoo, after which you should always condition your hair.
- If you don’t have enough time or it’s not possible to condition your hair after every shampoo, then try to do it on alternate times you wash your hair.
- Oiling before shampooing is recommended. (8)
Most-Asked Questions About Hair Oils and Hair Conditioners
What are the best oils for the hair?
The most commonly used hair oils include: (9)
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Sesame oil
- Amla oil
- Argan oil
- Jaborandi oil
Can I use a hair conditioner every day?
Conditioners are an important part of a hair care regimen. The frequency of conditioning depends on the type of your hair. If your hair gets dry easily, you should not shampoo too much and hence the frequency of conditioning will be less too.
However, conditioners can be used more than shampoos. Twice a week is a good frequency for conditioning the hair. (2)
How should I use hair conditioners?
Here’s how to apply hair conditioners:
- Shampoo your hair and dry them partially by squeezing out the extra water. Make sure your hair is still a little damp.
- Take a little more than a pea-sized amount of conditioner and apply it to the strands of your hair, but not to the roots.
- Let the conditioner sit for 2–3 minutes.
- Rinse off the conditioner with water only.
Can I use oil as a hair conditioner?
Oils such as olive oil can be used for conditioning hair because of their nourishing and moisturizing properties. They can be added to the shampoo or used as a hair mask to provide conditioning. (4)
Should I oil hair at night and condition in the morning, or should I oil already-conditioned hair?
You should always start your hair care with shampoo. This is because of its formulation. Shampoos moisturize your hair and are also good for repairing any kind of damage.
Right after applying the shampoo and rinsing it off thoroughly, the next step is applying your conditioner. It is important to know that you should make sure you are using the right conditioner for your hair. Hair oils are generally the last part of any hair care routine.
Oils form a protective layer around the hair strands, which is why using them as the last step in your hair care regimen is a good way to lock in all the products and moisture that the other hair care products have provided your hair with. (4)
Oils and conditioners, both are a must-have for everyone who wishes for healthy hair. They both have their own unique properties that benefit the hair in different ways.
Also, the time of application for both differs as well, allowing hair care to be holistically possible from one wash to another.