Hot Oil Treatment

A hot oil treatment is the process of adding warm oil to the hair and scalp. The purpose of the treatment is to ensure that the moisture from water is retained as well as to soothe dry scalp. It’s very helpful year round. The treatment can be done wet or dry but is more effective when done wet. Water is one of the best moisturizer and this process helps to utilize the moisture from the water naturally.

Tea Tree Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Sunflower Oil, Vitamin E, Jojoba Oil and Many Other Oils.


You can use either one of those oils and there are others not listed. Keep in mind that the hot oil treatment requires about an ounce of oil depending on the length of your hair which is a good amount of oil per treatment. You don’t need to completely saturate your head with oil. This will do more harm than good because the oil is not a source of moisture but a moisture retaining tool. I personally use olive oil because its one of the least expensive natural oils. You can use it as a carrier oil for essential oils such as peppermint, lemon grass, lavendar and etc for their fragrances or beneficiary properties.

How its done?

Prepare the water bath for the oil.

Boil about a cup of water. Pour about an ounce of oil in a smaller bowl, cup, or plastic bottle. After the water has started boiling remove it from the heat. Place the oil container in the water container for about 2-5 mins or until warm. Add the warm oil to wet clean scalp and hair. Rub in and comb through with a wide tooth comb. Cover head with Saran Wrap or plastic shower cap without heat for about 20 to 30 mins . If you sit under a hood dryer 5 to 15 mins while head is still covered. Rinse out excessive oil with warm water. If you wash hair with shampoo or shampoo alternatives you will negate the hot oil treatment.

How often is it done?

It really depends on your hair type. If you have dry hair once a week. Fine hair once every two weeks or once a month. Hot oil treatments in excess will not harm your hair if done correctly.

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About Tamara

Tamara is the Founding Editor of Natural Hair Rules!!! Natural Hair Rules (NHR) was originally created as her personal hair journal. Since its creation in 2008, it has grown to one of the top natural hair/beauty blogs online today.


  1. What I do is that I put my oil all throughout my hair and
    then I cover my head with a plastic cap and then cover it with a
    plug in heating cap. After about an hour or so my hot oil treatment
    is done. This eliminates heating up your oil, or worrying about it
    burning your scalp. 🙂

  2. Yes, but it is necessary to mention that all oil treatments need to be used with caution as any hot mixture can result in surface or first degree burns. It is always a good idea to test the temperature of the oil on the inside of your wrist before applying to your scalp. Too hot for your wrist? Let it cool.

  3. Just a quick note: Olive oil is a carrier oil, not an essential oil from what I understand. Essential oils are distilled by using water or steam to get a concentrated essence of the plant, while olive oil (and other carrier oils) are simply pressed from the fruit. You couldn’t do a hot oil treatment with essential oils without putting them in a carrier oil due to how concentrated they are.

    • Anastasia says:

      Thanks for mentioning this. All the oils appropriate for a hot oil treatment would also be considered carrier oils… which is why I was confused to see tea tree (melaleuca) listed along side oils like castor, olive and jojoba.

  4. Thanks. I actually put some honey in mine though. I’ve got a whole lot of hair and it felt like I needed more oil to catch it all. But it’s my first time so I’m still learning.Didn’t have a saran wrap but I did have a grocery shopping bag. Little trick I learned from my mother LOL.20 minutes left 🙂

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