The Benefits of Using Hair Oil, According to an Expert

Attention all long-haired people: the reason everyone's been saying you shouldn't be washing your hair every day is because those natural oils (actually an oily substance called sebum) are what gives your hair its natural shine, and keeps it healthy, strong, and smooth. Most shampoos and conditioners end up stripping the sebum away and leaving your hair dry and sad. By not washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner so often, you help to keep sebum around longer.

Ideally, we would only wash our hair every once in a while, but the side effects of modern life (such as air pollution, regular sweat-inducing workouts, and secondhand smoke) mean the allure of freshly washed hair can be impossible to resist.

What to do? You want healthy, strong, soft, silky hair, but you'd rather not wait a week (or more) to give it a good wash. That's where hair oil comes in. The replenishing ingredients in a product like COMB Manuka Honey Infused Hair Oil or Ayu Ceremony Hair Oil work to hydrate and strengthen hair, inside and out. The fragrance, meanwhile, takes your self-care ritual to another more luxurious level.

We spoke to Ayu co-founder Madeleine Whitter about the story behind the brand's hair oil offering, which expands on the range of Vedic-inspired perfume oils.

"When we were travelling through Pondicherry in the South India we saw that the women would adorn their hair beautiful flower garlands, using incredible scented flowers like tuberose and jasmine," Madeleine tells us. "They would wake early in the morning to go off to the flower markets to collect the precious buds and sit in groups, threading together these garlands to wear in their hair.

"We were so in awe of this beautiful ritual, and we wanted to try to recreate a similar feeling with a hair oil. We worked with a team who helped us create a blend that was natural and full of precious oils that are known to benefit the hair, and smell delicious."

In terms of using hair oil, Madeleine says there are a few ways to go about it. You can use it as a leave-in treatment, or apply it under a hot towel for a DIY spa experience at home. Most people will want to use it on the ends of their hair, if the roots are already naturally oily.

Follow this simple guide to hair oil and soon enough your hair will be back to life and silkier than ever.

When to use hair oil:

Madeleine says if your hair is feeling dry at the ends or it's just a bit lacklustre, massage some oil in. "It's also good if you just feel like you need a pick-me-up," she adds. "You can also use it as a leave-in treatment at night for an even more hydrating effect."

How often to use hair oil:

It's different for everyone, but most people will be using hair oil every wash. "Every few washes I gently massage the oil into the ends," says Madeleine. "I tend to be oily at the root but dry on the ends, so that's where I need it most. Sometimes when I'm having a bath I'll add some of the oil to a hot towel and wrap my hair in the towel whilst relaxing in the bath. 

How to know it's working:

"When you can see the condition of your hair improve, you know it's working. My hair is softer and silkier when I use it and the lingering smell of magnolia always transports me back to India for a moment... dreamy!"

Round out your DIY day spa experience by following these 8 steps.

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