How long should you keep oil in your hair before washing it out?

woman with watch in hand

  • The amount of time you should keep oil in your hair before washing it out will depend on two things. The oil you use and what you want to use it for.
  • Are you using coconut oil to moisturize your hair? Leave it on for up to thirty minutes before rinsing it out. If you want to use it as an intensive repair treatment, I recommend leaving it on overnight.
  • Do you want to use argan oil to moisturize your hair? Leave it in for up to two hours before rinsing it out. And if you want to use it to repair your hair, you can also leave it overnight.
  • Do you want to use olive oil to repair your hair? You should leave it in for up to four hours before washing it out.
  • And what if you want to use castor oil to make your hair shiny and soft? Leave it in your hair for a maximum of two hours before washing it out.

 

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My goodness!

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What a revolution natural oils are causing!

And to think that they were always there.

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But now, almost like a fashion statement, everyone wants to use natural oils to improve their hair’s health.

 

But this is essential. Before you use any natural oil on your hair, you should take into account what kind of oil you’ll use and what you’ll use it for.

 Because that will change how long you should keep the oil in your hair before washing it out. 

 

There are many natural oils around, so many that I could go on until tomorrow making a list. Therefore, today I’ll just focus on the four most common oils used for hair care purposes:

  •  Coconut oil , the infallible one.
  •  Argan oil , which is gaining more and more followers every day.
  •  Olive oil , which is a must in every home.
  •  Castor oil , which is coming on strong.

 

But if you want to know how long you should keep each of these oils in your hair, you should keep in mind that they all have different densities.

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And that directly influences the time you should leave them in to act on your hair. Because  a light oil that rinses out easily isn’t the same as a heavier oil, which can take several days to remove from your hair if you overdo it. 

 

So, faster than a fireman, as the renowned Argentinean actor and comedian Carlitos Balá used to say, let’s see how long you should leave the oil you choose in your hair before washing it out.

 

How long to keep coconut oil in your hair before washing it out

woman keeps coconut oil on her hair

For me, this is the king of natural oils. Why? Because it’s versatile and economical, and you can use it for both cosmetic and culinary purposes.

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You can use it to deeply repair your hair and even as an anti-frizz product after you finish styling your hair. Of course, the time you leave it on your hair will depend on your goals.

 

  • If you’re going to use coconut oil to moisturize your hair, and leave it softer and tamer,  you can keep it in your hair for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it out. 
  • If you’re going to use coconut oil to repair your hair, for example, if it’s damaged by the use of heat tools or dye,  you can keep it on overnight in your hair and rinse it out the next morning. 
  • If you’re going to use it as an anti-frizz product, for example, on curly hair, after styling your hair,  you can leave it in your hair until the next wash.  Of course, in this case, you should just use five or six drops and distribute them evenly through your hair.

 

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This oil is light, so it has a low density. That means you won’t have a lot of work to get it out when rinsing. Be sure to shampoo twice if necessary.

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You can apply it up to three times a week as a mask. Only use it twice a week if you keep it in your hair overnight before washing it out.

 

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How long to keep argan oil in your hair before washing it out

nourishes and moisturizes scalp

Argan oil, like coconut oil, is a light oil, so you won’t have a hard time rinsing it out.

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It’s especially recommended for people with a sensitive scalp because it doesn’t cause irritation and also prevents flaking.

  • If you’re going to use argan oil because your hair looks limp,  you can keep it on for ten minutes in your hair before rinsing it out. 
  • If you’re going to use coconut oil because you notice your hair is dull and frizzy,  you can leave it for two hours in your hair before washing it. 
  • If you’re going to use it because your hair feels rough and dry,  you can leave it in your hair overnight and rinse it out the next morning. 

 

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You can apply it as a mask up to three times a week. If you choose to keep it on overnight, once a week will be enough.

To rinse it off, use a sulfate-free shampoo.

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How long to keep olive oil in your hair before rinsing it out

effective and natural method

Well, I don’t know if it’s because of my Spanish roots, but olive oil is ever-present in my house. It’s that Spanish omelet or a simple salad that completely changes its flavor if you use olive oil as a dressing or in cooking.

And believe me, even though modern man talks plenty about the benefits of olive oil, the Phoenicians already knew about its virtues back in 1050 B.C. Yes, that was a long time ago!

But let’s get back to the 21st century. How long should you leave it on your hair before rinsing it out?

 

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Don’t forget that olive oil has a higher amount of fatty acids, so it’s a denser oil.

And since it’s denser, you’ll have to keep it in your hair for less time than coconut oil, for example, and use it less frequently.

Because apart from the time you keep it in your hair,  you should only use olive oil on your hair once a fortnight. 

  • If you frequently color your hair and find it dry or straw-like,  you can keep olive oil on for two to four hours before rinsing it out.  Remember that you can only apply it once a fortnight.
  • If you want to use it in your hair care routine, you can leave the olive oil  on your hair for an hour before washing it out. 

 

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What you can’t do is keep olive oil on your hair all night long, because its density can generate excess oiliness and clog the pores of the scalp.

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How long to keep castor oil in your hair before washing it out

In the case of castor oil, I want to clarify three things:

  • You must be very careful with the amount of oil you use in your hair and which castor oil you buy.
  • You must use it with the right frequency.
  • You must respect the length of time you leave it on your hair.

Why?

 

Because castor oil is extremely dense due to the high concentration of fatty acids. That means that  if you abuse the amount of time you leave it on your hair, leaving it in for too long, it can cause hair loss. 

 

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Yes, that’s right. If you use it too often, it can clog the pores of the scalp and weaken the hair follicles. This leads to hair loss.

Also, I don’t recommend it for very oily hair.

Therefore:

  • If your hair is very damaged,  use castor oil once a month and leave it on for between fifteen minutes and two hours . And don’t overdo the amount you use on your hair. About four to five drops will be enough.

 

Also, keep in mind that castor oil is difficult to remove, so you’ll have to shampoo your hair several times.

 

Conclusion

Now you know how long you should keep each of these natural oils in your hair. It depends on the oil you choose and your goals.

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But as a stylist, I recommend starting with lighter oils, such as coconut or argan oil, until you gain more experience.

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