Oil Rinsing: A Moisture Hack For Dry Natural Hair

Is your hair dry? Has it been a little dull lately? Maybe you need to add Oil Rinsing to your Washday routine! It’s really simple too, trust me!

What is Oil Rinsing?

Oil Rinsing is basically saturating your hair with any oil(s) of your choosing before your condition your hair after a wash.

It should not be confused with pre-pooing. Pre-pooing requires certain oils that need to be left in hair for an extended period of time BEFORE washing, that is, shampooing is done.

How do I oil rinse?


1. Get some oil that you like.

2. After shampooing or your first co-wash, pour oil generously onto hair and scalp.

3. Leave for about 5 minutes, as you would a conditioner while in the shower. I reckon that having warm water running in the shower may allow the process mimic a hot oil treatment for a little bit.

4. Now there are two variants of the next step: Some people rinse off the oil and then condition as normal. Others add conditioner and then rinse both a while after. I tried the latter (because, longer time for oil to be in hair).

And that’s it really. Nothing elaborate. For my first experience, I used Taliah Waajid African Healing Oyl. It smells divine, this oil (or oyl as the product prefers to be called. Fancayyyy).

What oils are best for oil rinsing?

So you read this post and it turns out today is washday for you and you want to try out oil rinsing. You’re good to go if you have an oilsaid oil is liquid and will continue to be liquid at all temperatures while in your hair, and you like said oil. That’s really it. Even melted shea butter can be used as an oil for oil rinsing.

So what are the benefits of oil rinsing?

  • It rescues dry hair. Especially after a protein treatment or henna.
  • Increases hair moisture and softness
  • Aids easy hair detangling because the extra oil you will get in your hair adds slip to hair.
  • Can help reduce frizz
  • Hair shine

Having said this, if you do not like shiny hair, if you never shampoo your hair and if you have a problem feeling the presence of oil in your hair, then maybe oil rinsing is not for you. With oil rinsing, you have to remember that because there is a tendency for the oil to attract dirt and what not, it is necessary for you to wash hair occasionally.

I hope this was helpful to somebody. Has anyone else tried oil rinsing? Any advice? Testimonies?

Take all the positivity for the week. I wish you lots of good hair days!

– Mee Mee

26 Replies to “Oil Rinsing: A Moisture Hack For Dry Natural Hair”

  1. Hello My Dears,

    Hope all is well.

    Here at IslandKynks we are having an audience participation where you get to put together a photo collage of some of your best moments of being natural, transitioning or thinking about going natural.

    Do come and visit us at the following link: http://islandkynks.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/fun-ideas-natural-tresses-audience-participation-from-all-continents/

    Do hope you can participate and please have tons of fun 😀 😀 😀


    1. Hey Sugar,
      Havana twists and Nubian twists don’t need any special hair. Just buy regular kinky braiding hair, fit for kinky twists. Noble Afro Twist Braid, Supreme Royal Silk Afro Twist Braid, Bonny, Sublime, these are just examples.
      You can easily find them in the market or any place in your area where extensions are found.
      You can also order online from Olori, Sizzelle and The Kinky Apothecary.
      I hope this helps!

  2. Funny, I just did an oil treatment (with olive oil and conditioner) on Sunday (last wash day) because my hair was rebelling with all kinds of dryness lol. Yielded the best braidout I’ve done! 🙂

  3. Oil Rinsing is the business…but since I do not struggle with dry hair any more…I skip it. And I can never wash my hair with braids in. Hats off to all who do. After washing, I would notice the white balls at the root of my hair alllll around my edges – not me. Not today. Not ever. I just take my braids out instead (but, hey – I usually do my own hair haha)

    1. Castor oil!? I love my castor oil too much for this 😀 Oil Rinsing is meant to help lock in moisture into the hair rather than be absorbed (at least, that’s how I understand it) It worked for me 🙂

  4. I’ve tried oil rinsing a couple of times. What I did was after shampooing/cowashing I applied my oil for some time then topped it up with my DC(basically plain rinse out conditioner, nothing fancy) and detangled(twisting each detangled section) then wore my shower cap and left it all in. Rinsed out with my hair still in my twists. Sure enough, it helped with moisture but my hair was too oily for my liking. I’m talking oiliness that lasts for daysss. I don’t know if the benefits outweigh the oiliness oh but oil rinsing isn’t something I would do often cos u know, oily hair.

      1. Thanks Nekisha, made my life much easier. Now I’ll go have a peace conference with my olive oil and apologise in advance about using so much of it in one go lol

  5. Okay. So it seems like oil rinsing is the buzz word for moisture-retention these days. Heard about it like a month ago. Loved the idea but was hesistant to try it for two reasons. 1. I don’t like to condition after my wash coz I want to leave a ‘clean palate’ for my dc to work on. I even let the hair dry completely so the dc saturates (??) the hair. 2. I love my oils and the thought of them washing down the drain after such a short time in my hair gives me shivers (Overnight oil rinsing anyone?). I did plan to do an oil rinse last washday coz I was exfoliating with sugar and oil anyway so I figured I’d just slap some more olive oil on the length before co-washing. Easy, right? Nuh-uh! Chickened out n used shea butter instead (Broke student y’all). Then I was too lazy to do a DC so now my hair is vexing. So here’s my solemn vow, I will do a proper oil rinse when I co-wash on Thursday and let you know how it goes. So help me God. Love u AB and Mimi.

    1. Lol. The cheaper the oil, the better please. This is my thinking. Ain’t nobody got money to literally wash down the drain.
      Goodluck on Thursday and if you remember, let us know how it goes! <3

    2. I have read that your hair will absorb all of the good stuff from your deep conditioner in 20 minutes – 30 tops. Leaving it on for more than that is just eating time because its not doing anything more. With oil rinsing, it is best to use cheaper oil like sunflower oil or one of those; but I did use my olive oil because I had lots of it. Oil rinsing is meant to be the very last thing you do after you rinse your final product out of your hair. Here is a great video on YouTube that shows how simple oil rinsing is:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjKnmgvP91g
      In regards to you point #1 re clean palate, a deep conditioner basically replaces your regular conditioner so one wouldn’t shampoo – condition – deep condition but rather shampoo – deep condition – and if hair isn’t soft enough (because not all deep conditioners soften hair) you can condition – then you can oil rinse 🙂
      Hope that makes sense!!

    3. Me again! I did the oil rinse! Yaaaayyyy! And it turned out…. Naaaaayyyy!
      Totally not the oil’s fault tho’. I used a leave-in conditioner to spritz and bagged the hair so it would absorb before applying the oil (olive with a little castor) since I wasn’t doing a full wash. But the leave-in had hydrolyzed proteins so after baggying it felt like I had done a mild protein prepoo. (I hope I’m explaining this well). I hoped the oil rinse and co-wash would fix this but nehi! Still felt hard, not exactly dry but ‘tough’. At the end of the day it was good ol’ trusty shea butter to the rescue. Slathered it on and put the hair in Bantu Knots. Now it’s nice and soft.
      I think the oil rinse did help tho’. I’ll try again next week minus the protein. Thanks everyone.

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