View Full Version : Hair Oiling Changing Texture of Hair?

September 16th, 2019, 02:08 PM
Hey everyone! This is my first thread in the Mane Forum;

One of the first things I read about when I stumbled onto LHC about a month ago was oiling hair to help with dryness; I thought it seemed like a good idea since my hair gets gradually drier the further it is from the scalp. (My understanding is that this is normal).

I started using a shea butter cocoa "lube"** that I have from Jerome Stuarts (https://getthebutters.com/thebuttersprods) to oil my hair (it has a blend of shea butter, cocoa butter, aloe vera, grapeseed oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and guar gum in it). I'd flip it upside down in front of me and spray-bottle it wet with refrigerated filtered water from below the ears-ish down, touch a fingertip or two to the surface of the butters, and gently slide & wiggle it down the wet hair to the ends.
I'd do this for 3-4 days, gradually decreasing the amount of length I put oil onto each day, until I felt like I'd managed to get oil down to the tips of my hair. Hooray! Then I'd stop until the next time I took a bath and it was dry all over again. Woops. (I use CV shampoo bars that I've liked for a long time so the sudden dryness after oiling is a little weird, in a 'mermaid soak' style bath, and use an ACV rinse every 2-3 baths, with no additional soaps, conditioners, or additives.). I'd then repeat the cycle.

I think I henna'd the roots of my hair after about a week of this.

After 2 weeks my hair felt really nice and drastically improved from before (I had also learned about buns, so was keeping it up for the first time ever), but I also started noticing that the texture of my hair itself started to change gradually. It didn't feel damaged by this change so I continued for another weekish, but this morning I noticed that my normally fine hair feels like medium hair (cottony to the touch) at the last 5" or so.

That's a pretty dramatic change, so I've stopped the oil application for now to come and ask: what do you folks with a lot more hair care experience than me think is going on? If I should oil less frequently, change to a different oil, or maybe I'm not wetting the hair enough before putting the shea butter on? Maybe I should just add honey to my baths or something? (These are all just spitballs in the dark.)


**Before Jerome started making specialized products for skin and hair etc, and he only had 2 or 3 products, using the shea butter lubricants as an aftershave, lotion, scar treatment, sunburn treatment, hair oiling, etc was very common. I've been a customer for a long time so I've maintained that one-product-many-uses mentality.

September 16th, 2019, 02:53 PM
If it doesn't seem like a bad change, then I'd go with it. Change is inevitable, but it's nice to be able to steer it in a good direction. Most people's hair seems to get thinner, the closer it gets to the ends. Not only does the over-all volume of hair get thinner, but also, the individual strands get thinner. Thinner + dryer = more prone to break.

So, it sounds to me like you've stumbled across a recipe for being able to grow your hair longer with a healthier hemline than what you were able to do before your discovery.

September 16th, 2019, 02:56 PM
What you are using seems a "heavy" product to me. And you keep applying, and re-applying. I think maybe once after a wash is enough for the rest of the week.

Maybe it's time for a clarify-wash. What you are experiencing may be build-up from product overuse.

Strip the hair with a sulfate shampoo, even a couple times (not in a row, just for a few weeks), that should do it.

September 16th, 2019, 04:46 PM
It sounds like buildup to me, but if it you like it then keep using it! I tried using shea butter on my hair and it was a total disaster.

September 16th, 2019, 07:59 PM
I think you're getting buildup. Get a clarifying shampoo to wash hair from scalp to tips about every 10 days to two or even three weeks. Guar gum most definitely builds on itself and is described as a hair thickener. If you don't like that, change to oil only. My hair responds well to olive oil and safflower oil (one or the other, not mixed).

September 16th, 2019, 08:15 PM
I had a similar problem in that I started oiling my hair after joining LHC, and after a few months the ends (about a half-inch from the bottom) became crispy and felt rough. I use olive oil, and it had built up on the ends. I was also in the habit of washing the scalp only, letting the shampoo run down the length (APL) without actually washing it.

It took two shampoos to get rid of that crispy buildup. Now I am careful to thoroughly wash the length as well. I still oil after every wash and my ends are nice and soft now.

September 16th, 2019, 10:22 PM
Hi there, I agree it sounds like a heavy product. I would use it very lightly and maybe as a roo(rinse out oil) during a wash. I also agree that maybe a good deep cleanse is in order first before changing your routine to restart with clean "baseline" hair.

Jo Ann
September 17th, 2019, 12:17 AM
After clarifying, maybe you can try a ROO and/or LOC/LCO routine (links are in Lapushka's signature). If you're using a SLS-free shampoo, try clarifying once every four-six washes and follow it up with a deep conditioning treatment and LCO/LOC routine. That can solve your build-up problem.

September 17th, 2019, 02:20 AM
Oh wow thank you so much for your posts everyone!

Guar gum being a hair thickener; build-up from oil; using a sulfate and/or clarifying shampoo; oiling maybe once a week or ROO; washing full length of hair....

Okay... sounds like a clarifying clean is definitely in order then!
I checked around the websites I buy shampoo/soap from; all of them seem to make sulfate-free products and most seem like they'd cause build-up over time... I found an old shampoo that my partner used to use and I was excited about it because it's a 'pomegranate' sulfate shampoo, but then I remembered that I had an allergic reaction to it and that's why they stopped using it :/ It's a real pain in the butt but my skin is the kind where if I even wash my hands with a normal clean wipe or 'gentle soap' it starts burning, so I probably can't branch too safely into a regular sulfate shampoo afterall.

I did find one clarifying shampoo (advertised as such) by Jerome that has honey, hempseed oil, aloe, & castile cleanser as the base that I could pick up. Any recommendations from super-skin-allergy folks, though?

While I don't yet have the right type of shampoo, would it help at all to take a bath with Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) in the water? and/or maybe baking soda?

I really like the idea of moving the shea butter to my baths as a ROO, and doing LOC after semi-regular clarifying washes in the future. Because I don't use a conditoner with the shampoo bars I assume it'll probably help a lot with general end dryness.

I'll have to experiment with oil-only if I find that once I get everything clarified and continue to do it semi-regularily, there's still a build-up problem if I do more than just ROO with the butters.

Speaking of build up... I though that apple cider vinegar rinses were supposed to help with product build up, but they don't seem to really be doing that if I need to branch out to a different product to do that job. I always get a lot of dark coloured gunk in my horn comb when I brush and I'd hoped it was maybe just sebum after my first couple days of reading, but I'm starting to (resuming to) think it's always just been build-up of some sort. What do ACV rinses *actually* do?

I'm looking forward to trying these new pieces of info out! And hopefully with everything I can indeed grow a healthier hemline than I could have without ^^

September 17th, 2019, 02:24 AM
Oils don't give moisture to hair. They give slip and keep moisture in hair if you have moisturized before applying oil. So they can also keep moisture away if you don't wash away buildup which makes your hair dry and crunchy. Use clarifying shampoo regularly, moisturize before oiling, oil less and try different oils to see which works best for you :)

September 17th, 2019, 04:10 AM
I'm a super-sensitive-allergic-type person. That's why I try to go as chemical-free as possible. My favorite shampoo, which I've been using for a good 20 or 30 years, is Earthly Delight. I started a thread to ask if it had sulfates in it.


I got lucky and had some expert help from Lapushka & MusicalSpoons, saying it is sulfate-free & therefore not technically a clarifying shampoo, but that it may be functioning for me as such.

I am fond of doing ultra-heavy oilings. I use the Earthly Delight to wash them out. Sometimes I've had to shampoo 7 or 8 times to get everything squeaky-clean, but I'd rather do that and get the results I do, than to use a harsher shampoo just once that makes my hair tangle like nobody's business. (I threw away the Alifia for that reason. It's probably an excellent shampoo for whoever invented it & people with similar hair types, but I wasn't about to try to "use up my stash" and risk having to work through all those tangles, when I knew that the Earthly Delight worked perfectly for me. Sometimes, when a product is REALLY EXTREMELY wrong for me, I decide I'm saving money by throwing it away instead of having to undo the damage that will happen if I use it.)

If you want to read about my ultra-heavy oilings, go to https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=150332&page=4

September 17th, 2019, 11:10 AM
I'm going to copy and paste part of an answer (https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=150545&p=3709029&viewfull=1#post3709029) from the Earthly Delight thread as it may be relevant to you:

For me though, 'clarifying' just means shampooing my lengths with my normal shampoo, because I generally don't use anything outside of my normal wash routine, and my hair rarely complains. When it does get a bit tangly at the ends, shampooing my length fixes it so I have no need for any heavy-duty sulphate or otherwise proper clarifying product.

You said that your current shampoo might be one to build up, but I recommend trying it to shampoo the lengths anyway, maybe even a few times (i.e. each time for a few wash days) and see if it helps. If not, then you can still look for another product to do the job and I doubt it would make things too much worse in the meantime - but if it does help, then great, no need to try to find anything else!

ACV is supposed to prevent mineral buildup from hard water, and 'close' the cuticle of your hair to make it shinier and less prone to damage (because the cuticle is no longer as raised from washing). Nothing to do with product buildup though.

September 17th, 2019, 11:14 AM
Oh darn, allergies. That sucks. :(

Shea Moisture as well as HASK do a clarifying shampoo (no sulfates). Just FYI, in case the other one doesn't work out.

Like MusicalSpoons mentioned, don't forget to lather the lengths, don't just let the suds run down, you need to really "wash" it all.

September 17th, 2019, 11:25 AM
I'm going to copy and paste part of an answer (https://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=150545&p=3709029&viewfull=1#post3709029) from the Earthly Delight thread as it may be relevant to you:

You said that your current shampoo might be one to build up, but I recommend trying it to shampoo the lengths anyway, maybe even a few times (i.e. each time for a few wash days) and see if it helps. If not, then you can still look for another product to do the job and I doubt it would make things too much worse in the meantime - but if it does help, then great, no need to try to find anything else!

ACV is supposed to prevent mineral buildup from hard water, and 'close' the cuticle of your hair to make it shinier and less prone to damage (because the cuticle is no longer as raised from washing). Nothing to do with product buildup though.

I should make it really clear that my ordinary shampoo is a super-mild sulphate-free product, though it doesn't have anything in it to build up as far as I know. [If you read the full post from the other thread you'll see that simply washing the lengths still worked for me even with a sulphate-free shampoo that may possibly have contained ingredients that might build up for others.]

September 17th, 2019, 01:23 PM
Thanks MusicalSpoons, lapushka, Kalamazoo ~

I'll try implementing my 'old' shampoo technique as part of my routine for clarifying, before trying new products then--I used to super thoroughly rub my shampoo bar through the length of my hair until I could get it to all sud up and it'd hold itself up on top of my head. I'd let it sit for a couple of minutes, feeling it bubbling on my scalp, and then submerge it in the bath to get it out. (And since it's more than just my usual tidbit of shampoo in the bath water, I'll have to rinse it really well too) My hair tends to feel 'squeaky clean' when I use a lot of my shampoo... so for clarifying purposes I'm gonna guess that's a good sign? I always think it's a kind of scary feeling.

Incidentally, before bed last night I read Ursula's generic newbie advice and was wondering about the new product talk a bit more worriedly so this advice made me really happy. I still took a look at the products you guys mentioned--if using my shampoo I already have to thoroughly wash my hair doesn't work out (as apposed to touching it minimally at the oiliest scalp spots, which is what I mostly do), I think I'll try the Jerome shampoo first since I gotta buy soap from him anyway, and then if that doesn't work I think Shea Moisture's shampoo looks promising too! Both of those other shampoos are clear, and I saw in the other thread that the pearlescent ones cause a bit more buildup.

Using thorough washing to try current shampoo as a clarifying wash, squeaky clean as 'clarifying'?, clear shampoos vs preadolescent shampoos, add thorough washes to regular wash as a routine, user-error change before new product level of change, I gotta start a hair journal for all this only a permission level to go OTL

September 20th, 2019, 02:21 PM
Sorry for double post but I just realized I never updated this thread with my 'results' and that made me feel like I did a bad! Gotta document stuff afterall.

My wash with pleeenty of shampoo over the whole length of my hair, a really through water rinse, and ACV leave-in (thank you for explaining what the ACV does MusicalSpoons!) went really well. The texture of my hair was restored to normal and it went back to.... being just as difficult as I remember it used to be. Haha.

It frizzed up pretty badly when I combed it for the first two days so I cut out as much combing as I possibly could to not mess with it; now that it's day 3 since my bath and I *finally* have a little bit of natural oil again on my scalp, I was able to comb it as normal. Because the oil production is so slow I might not shampoo it next time I take a bath, but instead do a water only wash and then a ROO on the lengths. I'll have to see

It's also been super slippery. So so slippery. I almost became convinced that I forgot how to do a bun I've been doing for a month! so I started wrapping scarves in with/around the bun to get it to stay D:<

September 20th, 2019, 04:33 PM
Wahey, glad to hear it worked so well! And you're welcome :D

September 20th, 2019, 05:04 PM
Great to hear! :)