What is The Minimum Time to Keep Oil in Hair? 20 minutes

curly haired woman pointing at her watch

  • The minimum time you should leave oil in your hair is twenty minutes.
  • Because if you leave it in for less than twenty minutes, the oil won’t even moisturize your hair properly.
  • Now, if you need to repair your hair because it’s very damaged, you should leave the oil in for at least two hours.
  • And if you want to use oil to nourish your hair, you should leave it in for at least six hours.


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Is it better to apply coconut oil to damp hair or dry hair?



We’re talking about  “minimum times you should leave oil in.” 

What do I mean by this?


For example, let’s say you want to use coconut oil to repair your hair because you notice it’s rough and dry (since you usually color it).

In this case, you should  leave the oil in your hair for a MINIMUM of two hours  because that’s how long it will take the oil to repair the cuticles and the inside of your hair.

Now, you can also leave it in for three or four hours if you want, because nothing bad will happen to your hair if you do. Quite the opposite. The oil will have more time to repair your hair.


And now  suppose you bleached your hair . If this is you, you probably want to use oil because your hair, in addition to being dry and rough, is weak and brittle.

In this case, it’s crucial you respect the minimum time, which is six hours. Because if you apply the oil and rinse it out after just three hours, the oil won’t be able to repair the extreme damage to your hair.

And then it will be as if you never even used oil at all.


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That’s why I talk about minimum times. You must respect them if you want to achieve the goal you’re aiming for when applying oil to your hair.


Why is it important to respect the minimum exposure time when you put oil in your hair

woman looks in mirror while applying oil

Natural oils contain vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and fatty acids that give your hair everything it needs to be healthy.

They also increase hair strength and promote growth by moisturizing your scalp.


And the good news is that any oil, whether argan or olive, works in a simple way, penetrating through the cuticles and seeping down to the core, where it lodges to distribute nutrients throughout the hair fiber.

Of course, these things aren’t magic.  To notice the effects of oil on your hair, you’ll need to use it consistently and leave it in for a minimum amount of time to achieve your goal. 


So the question is, what do you want to use the oil on your hair for?

Because that will change the minimum time you should leave it in your hair.


If you want to moisturize your hair you should keep oil in for a minimum of twenty minutes

 You MUST leave it on for at least twenty minutes.  YOU CAN  leave it on for a maximum of two hours.


I can assure you that in twenty minutes the fatty acids in the oil will settle perfectly into your hair fiber and moisturize your hair.

You can use oil up to three times a week and leave it on for a minimum of twenty minutes to deeply moisturize your hair.


If you want to repair your hair you should keep oil in for a minimum of two hours

Because repairing your hair is a more complex action than moisturizing it, as the oil must also help to rebuild the structure of your hair that has been broken, for example, by bleaching or the frequent use of heat tools.

The oil will fill in the empty spaces in the cuticles so your hair won’t lose moisture. You should leave it on for at least 2 hours and repeat the application up to twice a week.


If you want to nourish your hair you should keep oil in for a minimum of six hours

In this case,  you need to leave the oil on much longer. Because to nourish your hair you need to repair and moisturize it. 


Six hours can be a long time. Therefore, you have two options.

  • Use the oil on your hair on a Saturday or Sunday, which are the days you’re likely to have more free time. So in the morning, after breakfast, for example, you can apply the oil and leave it on for six hours. In the afternoon, when you rinse your hair, your hair will be more hydrated and soft. It will look perfect at night.
  • You can also leave the oil in your hair overnight. In this way, you won’t even have to worry about clockwise movements. If you do this, you should cover your hair with a shower cap after applying the oil.


Now, there are some cases where you can apply oil and you won’t need to rinse it out at all. Let’s see what they are.


When you can keep oil in your hair without rinsing it out

frizz fighting oil

 If your hair is healthy, you can use oil as a “cosmetic.”  Many brands have launched essential oils on the market, which are just concentrated oils.

You can use these oils to:

  • Give shine and softness to your hair.
  • Define and shape curls.
  • Protect your hair from the high temperatures of heat tools.

In these cases, you don’t need to rinse the oil out. It can stay in your hair until the next time you wash it.


  •  If you want to add shine and softness to your hair , put three or four drops of oil in the palms of your hands and rub them together, to warm and distribute the oil. Apply it to dry hair. Start the application on the lengths and ends, massaging your hair, and apply the excess from your palms to the roots.
  •  If you want to define and shape your curls , you can replace your styling cream with oil. Apply it to your damp hair and start styling with your hands. Use eight to nine drops of oil.
  •  If you want to protect your hair from the heat of heat tools , apply six to seven drops of oil to damp hair. You can use a blow dryer or let your hair dry naturally. You can then use a straightener or curler, as the oil will protect your hair’s natural moisture.



Now you know how important it is to keep oil in your hair for the minimum amount of time needed to achieve the result you want.

In summary, the more damaged your hair is, the longer you should leave oil in.

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