By Hadassah Agbaps - December 22, 2016

Hi people, what's been on?

Today I'm going to be sharing an update on the oiling regimen I've been going on and on about. I call it the Indian oiling regimen since I got the idea from the Indian practice of oiling their hair. Read more here.

I've been consistently using this regimen since 2013 and have made changes along the way to better suit kinky curly hair of different textures with the help of feedback from the naturalistas around me.

This regimen is especially useful if you're suffering from unexplained dryness, brittleness, breakage, hair shed and dullness. Where this is excessive, please see your doctor.

During the period of adopting this regimen, it has really helped my hair by
- preventing breakage and improving length (I was able to finally grow my fine hair down to my waist)
- improving elasticity and strength
- improving sheen and softness
- improving moisture retention
- improving styling
and I can watch ZeeWorld without being envious of the beautiful, shiny, long hair of the Indian actors.

Taken December 11, 2015


The regimen has three parts,

Step 1: Shampoo

The first step is the shampoo step. If you've been oiling your hair everyday till washday, your hair will be protected from hygral fatigue (water causing your hair to expand) with the accumulated oil.

If this is your first time, apply a lot of oil overnight before shampooing (prepoo). You don't need to repeat this step again afterwards.

You can choose any shampoo of choice but it should be pH balanced, moisturising and sulfate free. The original shampoo regimen is a mix of Soapnut, Amla and Shikakai powder. If you don't have the time or ingredients to mix,  a gentle poo works fine.

My washing mantra is shampoo the scalp, condition the hair.

Dilute your shampoo in a bottle or cup with a spout.  It makes it easy to access your scalp and get it clean. It also makes sure whatever shampoo you're using doesn't strip your hair.

You can also wash your hair in braids or twists. Whatever helps you get access to your scalp. You can use this opportunity to give yourself a scalp massage.
Don't worry about your hair strands, they'll be cleansed by the run off while you rinse.

Optional : After rinsing off the shampoo, mix 3 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar , then use it to rinse your hair again. This is meant to acidify your hair and close cuticles so your hair feels smoother.  It's also helps with dandruff and itchy scalp.  So if this is you, try this out.
If you experience unexplained shedding, try brewing black/green tea and use it to rinse your hair.
Wait 5-10 mins before proceeding to conditioning.

Step 2: Condition
Sometimes I even skip the conditioning step and proceed to the oiling step especially after I've done an ACV rinse. However, conditioning helps provide the slip for detangling and coats the hair with moisturising ingredients.
I actually prefer deep conditioning instead of the usual conditioning for this step. I use the rinse out conditioner to cowash off my deep conditioner instead.

Condition your hair only. Try not to let the conditioners touch your scalp. You want to keep your scalp clear.

Blot off excess water and proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Oiling

After working with different oil mixes, this formulation has been effective in improving the health of my hair and scalp. You can use any oil you notice your hair loves.

Divide your hair into four sections.

Pour a small amount of oil into your palm, rub together to warm and massage into your scalp with your fingertips and the rest along the length of your hair.
If  your hair feels greasy, you have used too much.

This is how much I use for each section.

Do this for each section of your hair and scalp until fully absorbed.

I enjoy bending forward while I massage the oil into my hair and scalp.  Not only is it easier on my arms, it increases blood flow to the scalp.

After oiling your hair, apply a light leave in conditioner and then seal your ends with a moisturising butter.
Then braid or twist your hair till it dries.
This is so your natural hair stretches, the oil is given time to penetrate and you have a fabulous braid or twist out.


Everyday afterwards, apply a little oil to your dry hair and around your edges. You don't need to repeat all over your scalp unless you are treating any scalp issues.

Then apply your leave in conditioner. I suggest using a light leave in conditioner to avoid buildup.

It fits right into your LOC moisture routine as the Oil step.

By the time your next washday comes, you wouldn't even need to prepoo and with consistency, you'll notice less breakage and shedding, I kid you not!

Here's my wash and go after oiling for 3 days straight. When I'm lazy, I usually skip several days but I had just taken my hair out of a protective style and it was as brittle as kpekere so I had to be serious with oiling for 3 days without fail.

For this wash and go, I followed all three steps then oiled for three days before wetting my dry hair and applying styling product for my wash and go.

Because my hair was happy, I only used very little gel for each of the 8 sections of hair I worked with.

No drips.
No crunch.
No product overload.

Here's another wash and go done on lovely Nelo during the Hair Clinic I organised last weekend. All steps were followed and her 4c hair clumped beautifully! It also works well on relaxed hair (without the curling, of course...hehe).

P.S. Oils are not moisturisers, water while doing this regimen, don't forget to moisturise afterwards with a water based leave in.

Do let me know if you have any questions and don't forget to share your results with the regimen.

Till I spill again,
Live Beautifully.Naturally.
Hadassah A.

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  1. Do you have to repeatedly do the regimen or it's certain times?

  2. Yes, I repeatedly do the regimen though I may skip some days of oiling. It fits right into my henna sessions too as I oil after the henna process. The only thing that prevents proper oiling is when my hair is hidden under a weave or crochet braid.

  3. I'm considering this but quick question: do you moisturise before or after oiling?

    1. I moisturise after the oiling similar to the LOC step.

  4. Replies
    1. When u oil ur everyday do u wet ur hair. I have high porosity hair too and dry.
      I want to try this regimen

    2. For high porosity hair, apply the oil on dry hair. Allow it to absorb (your palms don't feel oily), then moisturise with a water based light moisturiser and seal with a butter especially the ends.

    3. What do u consider a light leave in. Can i use Vo5 moisture milk?

  5. Eager to try this out on my daughter's hair. I LOC in the morning before school but hair is dry by the time she gets back. Products i use: dampen with water, oil with castor oil, then apply cantu leave in conditioner (Argan oil) or cantu moisturising curl activator creme or mazuri olive oil deep oil cream or (when I am willing to share ��) my Sheamoisture coconut hair milk. I don't use the creams all at once but on different days. Hmmmm maybe I am using too many creams. Anyway how do I retain moisture? It can be a battle just touching the hair the next day.

  6. To utilise essential oil as a pre-shampoo hair treatment, you can deeply massage it through your hair and scalp. Cover a towel around your hair after application and wait for about thirty minutes before you wash it thoroughly. Eventhough it is very rare, argan oil can be purchased through various online stores as well as beauty supply retailers. essential oil

  7. Hi.interesting post. I can't wait to try it out. Pls I have a few questions : - what did u mean by dilute d shampoo? If one has d shikaikai(hp I got the spelling right),how would you mix that?
    - can we mix any number of oils together?

    1. Hi Bridget, diluting the shampoo means adding water to the shampoo...not in the bottle though, you take out the quantity of shampoo you want to use and dilute it with a cup of water. This is so it doesn't strip your hair and also makes it easier to apply on your scalp.
      If you have shikakai, you form a paste by mixing it with warm water or you can let it steep in hot water, allow that to cool and filter. Then use the shikakai water to clean your hair.
      About mixing oils, my advice is try them individually first and see what your hair likes.

  8. Hi Hadassah, thinking of incorporating this method, I place my hair in twists and wear a wig mostly, do I have to un-twist the hair everyday to oil it? Is this not too much manipulation?

    1. Hi Enigma,no you don't need to loosen your twists. Just rub a little oil in your palms and scrunched into your twists. Make sure it doesn't feel oily or you've used too much. A little daily then follow up with your usual leave in.

    2. Cool, thank you. It's commendable that you reply all comments. Keep it up!

  9. Hi.. quick question.. when in a p.s like braids the scalp is obviously the only part of ur hair u can reach.. can u do the Indian oiling method while in braids.. so it keeps growing

    1. Hi dear, yes you can still do the method with braids because your hair is not completely hidden in braids. It is intertwined with the braid extensions so you can oil the scalp and the length down to where your hair ends within the braids. The only styles that restrict access to your hair are weaves and faux locs.

  10. I tried to follow your instructions, but not beautiful like this

    1. Hi Emily, don't give up just yet. I've been using the method for 3 years now and didn't know if it was a keeper until after some weeks of consistent use. Try it for a month and if it doesn't help your hair in anyway, you can try something else. I had tried different methods of strengthening and retaining moisture in my fine breakage prone hair before this one finally worked, saw visible results and was confident enough to share.

  11. When ur oiling the hair first on dry hair and then use a light leave in. Then its not LOC method right?
    LOC means liquid or leave in first than oil. I'm confused?

    1. Hi dear, thanks for your question. I'll edit so it is clearer...the method is more OLC than LOC since you'll be oiling on dry hair using a penetrative oil.

  12. hello, i really need help, my hair is more weak than soft and it breaks much more than it grows. my main problem is how to get good hair product since i live at Abakaliki in Ebonyi state where good things are scarcely found. i currently use olive oil hair mayonnaise mixed with egg and olive oil as deep conditioner and organic cholesterol tea tree oil as rinse out and leave in conditioner and organic Roushun olive oil shampoo. the only oil i ever use is olive oil. Do you think you can help?

  13. hi dear... i also wish to know if Vitale Olive oil mayonnaise mixed with egg and olive oil can serve as protein treatment

    1. Hi Mabel, Vitale Olive Oil Mayonnaise is a light protein deep conditioner. You don't need to add egg as the protein is not small enough to bind to your hair. If you'd like something more hard core, I'd suggest gelatin, Aphogee 2 minute protein treatment or protein texture systems.

  14. Can I apply liquid to my hair before daily oiling or do I have to apply oil to dry hair?

    1. I personally mist my hair with water first then oil then leavein. It just works better for my hair but I massage my scalp prior to applying leavein. It seems to absorb better when I do it that way

  15. Hi I love your blog and I am just starting out using this method. I'm struggling to find a hairstyle to wear everyday. How did you wear your hair a majority of the time? Was it in a braided ponytail?

    1. Hi dear, thank you for your kind words! I've replied your email with this question but for the benefit of dearest readers, I'll write it hair is in the braided ponytail on the wash day. This gives time for the oil to penetrate deeply. By the time it dries the next day, i would take it down.The resulting braid out stretches my hair. I wear my hair in a high bun or wash n go majority of the time because they are the least manipulative styles for my hair.

  16. I have been using this method for several months now ndanusa I can confidently say it works! My hair has never been healthier. It has thickened, the colour has darkened and I have definitely gained significant inches in length. It just take dedication and patience. Thanks to you Haddasah, for sharing the secrets to healthy hair!

    1. Thank you so much, Adwoa for sharing your experience with the method! I'm so happy it worked for you! I hope this encourages every other diva trying out the method!

  17. I am so sorry I am late to the party, but I have always had such a hard time with my hair (unevenness, A LOT of breakage, and weak/brittle hair). I want to implement this method but a few questions:

    -How often do you wash your hair?
    -How often do you oil your hair? (some say not to oil every day & others say yes)
    -What light leave in conditioner do you suggest?
    - would you say this method or your new Ayurevedic method works best?


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