Suffering from hair loss? A dermatologist explains why oiling your hair is a bad idea

Oiling your hair is not always a good idea! If you’re suffering from hair loss, it can aggravate the situation.
hair loss remedies
Thought oiling can fix all your hair troubles? Turns out, that’s not true. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Shreya Gupta Published: 28 Sep 2020, 16:02 pm IST
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We’ve always heard all good things about oiling the hair and scalp. From nourishing your hair to strengthening the roots, oiling definitely has a lot of benefits to offer. But, have you ever noticed more hair loss when you are oiling your scalp?

Well, this happens because there is a flip side to oiling. It can result in increased hair fall. Don’t believe us? Hear it from a dermatologist.

Dr Manjul Agarwal, senior consultant, dermatology, Fortis hospital, New Delhi says, “Our scalp has roughly one lakh hair and each hair has its own oil-producing mechanism in the form of the sebaceous glands. The oil produced is considered sufficient for the scalp and hair. Hence, additional oil application is not recommended over the scalp.”

She talked about the two main reasons why oiling your scalp could be a bad idea:

1. Oil can contribute to dandruff
Applying oil over your scalp can result in a type of dandruff known as seborrheic dermatitis. It is also believed that dandruff is caused by a fungus which thrives in an oily medium.

“Applying oil on the scalp will only promote the growth of this fungus which cause inflammation of the skin and leads to an increased hair fall, especially if you are suffering from patterned hair loss or hereditary hair loss. Moreover, the inflammation and flakiness cause itching which can lead to hair loss,” says Dr Agarwal.

hair loss remedies
Oiling can give you dandruff! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. It can block the glands
Dr Agarwal says. “Excessive oil application blocks all the glands which open into your skin surface. This can lead to a hair infection called folliculitis. If this infection spreads to the hair roots, it can cause hair loss.”

Oil forms an occlusive layer on your scalp. So, if you are using any topical medicine for hair loss, it will be ineffective as it won’t be able to penetrate the oil barrier.

Also, read: You’re probably applying hair oil the wrong way. Here’s how you should be doing it, according to a dermatologist

Here’s what you can do
Instead of applying oil all over your scalp and hair, treat oil as a conditioner and apply it only along the lengths of the hair. This will help the hair to retain moisture.

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“The presence of oil along with the moisture trapped in the hair improves the elastic properties and the tensile strength of the hair. This also contributes to reducing the breakage of hair,” says Dr Agarwal.

Alternatively, you can also use a conditioner or a serum after shampooing. However, you will have to ensure that these products are also being used only along the lengths of the hair.

hair loss remedies
Apply oil only along the lengths of your hair. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Agarwal suggests, “You can increase the content of zinc, niacin, riboflavin, pyridine, and vitamins like biotin in your diet to improve the quality of your hair and reduce hair fall.”

So, ladies, do what’s best for your hair!

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About the Author

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always. ...Read More

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