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ErinLeigh
December 9th, 2013, 10:58 AM
I have been applying oil to dry hair and am starting to worry it is a mistake.
If oil does not moisturize, is putting it on dry hair counter-productive?

Gumball
December 9th, 2013, 11:01 AM
Personally, I think the bigger question is how you feel your hair is responding to what you're doing. For me, my hair is really porous and dry, but oiling damp hair doesn't work for me well at all so I normally don't do it.

I oil my hair when it's dry and that's just what my hair responds to most favorably to me. For my hair it increases some slip, but primarily reduces much of the knotting/snarling/tangling I get as a curly who regularly combs their hair out. As long as I'm happy with how my hair is turning out with whatever I'm doing to it, no harm in keeping that routine going. :)

DweamGoiL
December 9th, 2013, 11:12 AM
I agree with Gumball. My hair is oiled slightly and lightly gelled while it's damp. I don't oil too much when it's dry unless I find it is particularly dry on a given day, and when I do I brush it through with my BBB. I have to be very sparse about any oiling because heavy oiling will only weigh my hair down.

My daughter on the other hand, has fine, but very thick curly hair. Her hair drinks up oil and conditioner by the gallon and it does not look oily or weighed down.

Anje
December 9th, 2013, 12:51 PM
In my mental model, hair typically needs several things to keep at its best health: protein, moisture, and lipids being the biggies. Mine happens to like lots of moisture, some lipids, and not much protein at all. Other people find that tons of oil on dry hair is the miracle that their hair was waiting for. Where you fit into that mix is definitely a matter of trial and error.

That said, oil doesn't "lock" anything out in an absolute sense. It does slow the transfer of moisture in and out of hair, and I imagine that the degree this happens varies by oil. In the one study I have on-hand (Rele and Mohile, 2003), oiling with coconut oil decreased the water retention of hair whether it was used before or after washing, but this effect wasn't anywhere near as strong with mineral oil or sunflower oil.

biogirl87
December 9th, 2013, 01:01 PM
Erin, oils by themselves do not moisturize hair (moisture in hair comes from water primarily) but if your hair is already fairly moisturized (if your hair has enough moisture in it already), oiling your hair when it is dry can help seal the moisture in.

spidermom
December 9th, 2013, 01:04 PM
I disagree. Oil does moisturize hair because it is absorbed and it is needed to replace lost lipids. When you moisturize your skin, you don't just splash water on it; same with hair.

ErinLeigh
December 9th, 2013, 01:32 PM
dry oiling prevents tangles but I do think it has to be drying since I am blocking out any new moisture. I can't tell though. When i first started using oils i on damp hair and i do think it worked better. BUT when I oil wet hair its really oily when it drys.

ErinLeigh
December 9th, 2013, 01:33 PM
so maybe a penetrating oil would help on dry hair? But for sure only use the sealing dryer oils on damp perhaps? i am thinking I am noticing a wee difference in dryness since i started the dry hair oilings which is what made me winder if I was actually doing more harm than good.

biogirl87
December 9th, 2013, 01:37 PM
I disagree. Oil does moisturize hair because it is absorbed and it is needed to replace lost lipids. When you moisturize your skin, you don't just splash water on it; same with hair.spidermom, I think that Firefox7275 has mentioned several times on the forums that hair is moisturized when moisture (water is added to it). Since oils do not contain any water in them, how would they moisturize hair? I think what you when you say that oil moisturizes hair because it is absorbed (the absoprtion of oils would only hold true for oils that can penetrate the hair shaft, which typically are saturated fatty acid oils) is that when it absorbed into the hair shaft oil helps retain moisture in the hair.

spidermom
December 9th, 2013, 01:46 PM
biogirl87, it seems to me that when we're talking about cosmetic products, water is not the only thing that moisturizes. Products that are primarily lipids are also described as "moisturizing"; I see it on cosmetic labels all the time.

biogirl87
December 9th, 2013, 02:27 PM
spidermom, we may have to agree to disagree on this, but I just wanted to mention a couple of things. I personally fail to see how oils could possibly moisturize (add moisture to hair). I mean, if oils had the ability to add moisture to hair, then why would we be putting a small layer of vegetable or any cooking oil on top of opened can of tomato sauce if the whole reason a small layer of oil is put on canned tomato sauce once it has been opened is to prevent bacteria from getting into the canned tomato sauce (bacteria would otherwise get into the tomato sauce through the moisture in the air). I have seen it mentioned over and over again on LHC and I think on naturallycurly.com as well that oils do not moisturize hair. Here is a thread where several posts mention that oils do not moisturize hair: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=93025. Take a look at Laylah's, DTsgirl's, and luxepiggy's posts in particular. I think it is a common misconception that oils moisturize hair (and skin for that matter).

spidermom
December 9th, 2013, 02:58 PM
That's o.k.; I'm not particularly invested either way. I know that water alone is not moisturizing, but neither is oil alone.

I don't see that applying oil to hair would block all the moisture unless one had a way of making sure that every single strand of hair is completely coated with oil.
From Dictionary.com
mois·tur·ize/ˈmɔɪshttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngtʃəˌraɪz/ Show Spelled [mois-chuh-rahyz] Show IPA verb, mois·tur·ized, mois·tur·iz·ing.
verb (used with object) 1. to add or restore moisture (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/browse/moisture) to (something): to moisturize one's skin with lotion; to moisturize air.


verb (used without object) 2. to make something moist (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/browse/moist); counteract a dry condition with moisture (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/browse/moisture): a skin cream that moisturizes while you sleep.

leslissocool
December 9th, 2013, 03:09 PM
I use oils when my hair is wet/damp and I also use a skinny serum while damp, to "trap" water in and that does mean it locks it out. However, your hair needs slip to that it's tangle free. If dry oiling gives you slip, then use that.

Build up can occur though depending on your routine and products, and build up can cause dryness.


If your hair feels dry, I'd try switching to damp oiling and see what happens, if it still feels dry, clarify and go without oils and see how it reacts, then try again damp. You might find out your hair likes dry oiling better, it does have to do with porosity and overall condition of hair as far as I know. My hair is low porosity, it's very coarse and able to handle a lot of oil and products without that much clarifying.

TheWhiteRabbit
December 9th, 2013, 04:12 PM
Moisture refers to any liquid

biogirl87
December 9th, 2013, 04:23 PM
I think I need to exit this thread before I start arguments with some of you in this thread as I cannot see how oil would moisturize hair unless you were using jojoba, sunflower, or other sealing oil to seal moisture into your hair.

TheWhiteRabbit, I would not say that any liquid is moisture. Baking soda in diluted form is also a liquid and yet it is drying for many people to wash their hair with.

TheWhiteRabbit
December 9th, 2013, 04:27 PM
Just because something is moisture doesn't mean it is moisturizing. Anyhow, oil contains H2O, so could be potentially moisturizing. It depends on the oil and the hair, that is all. Put your dukes down, I'm not trying to fight :blossom:

ETA: Here is a quote by CavyQueen from that link that biogirl posted:

"Oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft only if it has more affinity for the hair proteins. This affinity is consequent upon the structure of the oil. Triglycerides of principal fatty acids (like lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid) have a relatively simple straight chain structure and low molecular weight. Therefore, these oils are able to penetrate the hair shaft better. One example of such oil is Coconut oil. On the other hand, oils, which have relatively heavy structures and have no affinity for the hair proteins are not able to penetrate the hair shaft very well. These include mineral oils like sunflower oil. Jojoba oil doesn’t penetrate hair (only the skin); it is great as sealing oil though.

Scientists now agree that straight chain glycerides like olive oil without difficulty penetrate into the hair. Polyunsaturated oils, like Jojoba oil, are more open in their structure so they don’t pass through the layers of cuticle very well. Therefore, oils like Olive oil and Avocado Oil penetrate the hair shaft more readily and better. Meadow foam seed oil partially penetrates, and jojoba and sunflower oils don’t penetrate at all. Most other oils, including safflower oil, do not penetrate hair very well because of their open structures."

arielįgua
December 9th, 2013, 04:36 PM
LOL so much aggressiveness.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no fights please. :)

To the person who started the thread: it's funny I find oiling to work better when I wet my hair. Maybe not soaking wet but I spry water to my length and then add the oil, but I don't put much of neither just enough to make it shiny. I also try not to oil very often because I feel like my hair gets build up if I over do it. But just stick to what works for you and experiment different methods to see which one your hair responds better. It's all about trial and error. :)

TheWhiteRabbit
December 9th, 2013, 04:38 PM
Further reading of the thread that biogirl posted has lead me to believe that coconut oil is one of the main ones that moisturizes, or is absorbed, by hair. So in answer to the original question, depends on your definition of moisturize.

sarahthegemini
December 9th, 2013, 04:43 PM
The way I understand it is that it depends on the type of oil - if it is a sealant/non penetrative oil, then you would be sealing the hair shaft and thus sealing out moisture. Which is why sealant oils work great on damp hair. If it is a penetrating oil though, then they can be effective on wet, damp or dry hair.

spidermom
December 9th, 2013, 04:49 PM
Further reading of the thread that biogirl posted has lead me to believe that coconut oil is one of the main ones that moisturizes, or is absorbed, by hair. So in answer to the original question, depends on your definition of moisturize.

Indeed. The definitions that I posted above refer to emollients, which contain lipids, rather than water. So by definition I don't see what the problem is. In speaking about hair and skin, lipids are moisturizing. They relieve dryness. They add pliability. Try stroking water over your lips when they're dry. Now try coconut oil. Both will relieve the feeling of dryness, but coconut oil lasts longer. I use the example of lips because they contain nerve endings so that you can feel what is happening, but the same principle applies to hair.

leslissocool
December 9th, 2013, 05:51 PM
The way I understand it is that it depends on the type of oil - if it is a sealant/non penetrative oil, then you would be sealing the hair shaft and thus sealing out moisture. Which is why sealant oils work great on damp hair. If it is a penetrating oil though, then they can be effective on wet, damp or dry hair.

Not really, I think it depends on the hair actually. My hair likes damp oiling with coconut oil more than it likes dry oiling with the same oil. Depending on your hair (porosity, elasticity, shaft ect) people can have different results.

My hair hates joba joba, almond and mineral oils even damp while LOOOOOVES heavy oils like coconut, olive and castor oil damp. I think experimenting would benefit your situation, I find it less of a theoretical process and more of an applied trial and error one.

QMacrocarpa
December 9th, 2013, 08:22 PM
I only oil dry (mostly on the day after washing) because oiling damp made my hair stringy and unpleasant. Dry oiling seems to reduce the need for split-preventing trims for me, with no downside, so I'm happy with it.

GreenBloodyShoe
December 9th, 2013, 09:18 PM
I always oil on dry hair with either pistachio oil or hazelnut oil. I have always been confused about oiling damp or wet hair. It is a well known fact that oil repels water, so I have always believed putting oil on wet hair was a waste because your hair wouldn't be able to absorb any of the oil. I oil my dry hair every two to three days the night befor I wash it with the heated oil. When I first apply the oil to my hair it often makes my hair feel crunchy or dry, but after soaking in for a while it makes my hair extremely soft.