Oiling Scalp May Not Be Good For You, Say Dermatologists I This Is Why
Oiling hair and scalp to get long, beautiful and shiny hair has been an age-old practice in Indian homes but dermatologists are now raising doubts about the efficacy of the method. Here is why
Most Indians swear by oiling their scalp, considering it as one of the best hair growth remedies and relaxation activities there is. Although it may be a very old practice in every Indian household, trichologists do not agree with oiling the scalp too much.
Ayurvedic theories suggest many benefits of oiling hair, including the very evident moisturised and shiny hair. However, scientific reasoning does not support the practice. Increase in blood circulation through oiling is the only favourable argument which explains hair growth. But there are also specific situations where one should not do oiling at all.
Dr. Rinky Kapoor, an expert Trichologist, explains why it may not be a good idea to oil your scalp.
Reasons Why Oiling Your Scalp Is Not Recommended
- Oil Attracts Dirt - The more oily the scalp is, the more dirt and sweat gets trapped, causing itchiness initially followed by infections.
- Skin And Scalp Become Prone To Acne - The skin adjacent and around the hair may also get affected. You can easily get acne if too much oil seeps inside the scalp and skin. In fact, already present acne might get aggravated.
- Skin Becomes Oily - The sebum of the skin itself keeps the hair and skin moist. Oiling besides sebum secreted oil can also make the skin oily and greasy. The naturally produced sebum oil is sufficient for the scalp to stay hydrated. Hence it is also suggested to wash hair with cold water, because sebum gets activated with warm water.
- Increases Dandruff - Oiling the scalp and keeping it for too long or overnight paves way for dandruff. Excess oil in your hair may attract lipid feeding fungus causing dandruff and flakiness. Oil in general makes the hair look greasy and the existing practice of leaving it overnight may even cause change in the texture of hair.
- Infections - Certain oils cause an imbalance of bacteria and may cause infections. In severe cases, the hair problem can spread to the skin and cause skin problems too.
Traditionally, the power of an oil massage after a long, hard day is unmatchable, and we Indians know that well. It takes us back to one’s childhood where mothers or grandmothers would do a long oil massage to nourish our hair. Scientifically, massaging is a proven way to increase blood circulation which is believed to be the reason for hair growth. An alternative way to increase blood circulation is to use the inverted position. For this, while lying on bed, keep your body in an inverted position by dropping the upper body towards the ground until a rush of blood is felt.
Dermatologists recommend oiling the scalp just before washing it. Applying oil half an hour before washing the hair helps in required conditioning of the hair. Oiling may increase the blood circulation on the scalp tissues. However, the frequency of oiling should be taken care of, in case you already have a dandruff problem.
Oiling should be practised, depending on the texture and quality of your hair. It is better to oil dry and frizzy hair than oily hair. Bacterial infections in hair can cause boils. This affects the areas in the vicinity and can result in skin acne and other infections. Putting oil on the scalp will trap dirt and pollution, which will only aggravate the condition.
Avoid oiling if you have dandruff, and/or oily skin. Use of cold water or room temperature water is recommended for washing, which avoids drying of the scalp.
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