Oiling Your Hair Overnight: Good or Bad idea? A hairdresser tells you…

woman prepared to go to sleep thinks

  • Oiling your hair overnight is a good idea in some cases and a bad idea in others. It all depends on the oil type.
  • If you want to moisturize your hair with light oils like coconut, argan, or linseed, it’s a good idea to leave it overnight. I’ll tell you in detail how to use them.
  • However, it’s a bad idea to use heavy oils like castor, olive, or almond oil to moisturize or repair your hair overnight. Those oils can clog your scalp pores and cause dandruff, scalp infections, and even hair loss.
  • Finally, if your hair is oily or fine, you shouldn’t leave any type of oil overnight.


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Can You Leave Castor Oil in Your Hair Overnight or it’s a terrible idea?


 Whether it’s a good or a bad idea to oil your hair overnight  is a topic I usually discuss it in my blog: all products used correctly are good.


The problem is that we need to be more conscious about how we use products to care for our health.

Hair health isn’t a minor issue.

If you use hair products because you want to improve your hair health, but if you misuse, the results can be very harmful.


Most people think of hair as a beauty accessory. In fact, hair protects your body as well.

Yes, your hair protects your scalp from the sun, cold, insects, and even helps you improve scalp temperature control.


So,  when you oil your hair overnight, you should think about your health rather than beauty. 

I don’t mean that you can’t leave the oil on overnight. You can oil your hair overnight PROVIDED you use the right oil.

Oils can be classified into light and heavy.

Did you know that?


This information helps to check if it’s a good idea or a bad idea to oil your hair overnight.

Let’s start with the good news.


If you want to use coconut, argan, linseed, or jojoba oil, it’s a good idea to oil your hair overnight

woman apply oil before going to sleep

Those oils are light.

What does it mean?


They quickly penetrate the outer layer of the hair, the hair cuticles, to reach the core. During the journey from your hair’s outer to the inner layer, the oil repairs, moisturizes, and nourishes your hair.

It’ll continue repairing your hair while you sleep.


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You should be careful not to overdo the application. That is to say,  you shouldn’t oil your hair overnight three or four times a week. 

You risk saturating your hair and scalp with fatty acids.


Then, you would achieve the opposite of what you wanted. Your hair would be greasy and generate dryness and dandruff.

Ideally, you should leave light oils in your hair overnight once a week. 


Now you know what oils you can use overnight and how.

Now it’s time for application.

  • Apply the oil to your dry hair starting at the roots. Gently massage all over your hair.
  • Continue by applying a few drops of the oil to your fingertips to massage your scalp.
  • Gather your hair in a bun and cover it with a shower cap.
  • Protect your pillowcase with an old towel. Now it’s time to let the oil repair your hair overnight.
  • The next morning, wash your hair with your usual shampoo. You can use conditioner.


Leaving castor, olive, sunflower, or almond oil overnight is a BAD idea

pot of almond oil

Those oils contain a huge amount of fatty acids and are dense. So,  it’s hard to remove them from the hair. 


Let’s take castor oil as an example.

This oil contains amino acids that are very good for your hair health. In just one application, your hair will be renewed from root to tip. However, applying and rinsing it out is very difficult.

Castor oil is so dense that it feels like chewing gum. It’s challenging to distribute it through the hair and it tends to be “sticky”.

Most of my clients have stopped using it because they didn’t have a good experience leaving the castor oil in their hair overnight.


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And the problem is that they used it incorrectly.  Castor oil, like any thick oil, should be applied for a maximum of forty minutes. 


As they applied it overnight, their hair had an ugly smell and they needed to wash it five or six times to remove the oil.

They even spent two days washing their hair several times to remove it.


So, if you apply the oil to moisturize your hair and then you have to wash it several times for two days in a row, what positive effect could the oil leave on your hair?

None. Quite the opposite. You’ll only dry out your hair. Remember that hair should be washed a maximum of two or three times a week to maintain its natural moisture.


Therefore, and to be clear,  dense oils such as castor or olive oil, are left on the hair for a maximum of forty minutes and should be used once a month. 

If you leave any of these oils overnight, you can cause dandruff, hair loss, dryness, and fungus on the scalp.


Finally, a very important final tip.

 If your hair is oily or fine,  you shouldn’t leave any kind of oil overnight. Otherwise, your hair will be dull and limp and will dry out the ends.



You can oil your hair with light oils overnight. However, heavy oils should be left on for a maximum of forty minutes and once a month.

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