Keeping hair healthy is key for good hair days. Every style and hair texture requires its own special recipe to achieve the best possible outcome. For locs, that happens to be hot oil treatments. On the hunt for the cliff notes version of how to style locs (and a tutorial on hot oil treatments), we tapped the all-knowing Gwen Jimmere, Founder and CEO of Naturalicious.
Hydration Is Key
The key to healthy hair is hydration. “Moisture is super important for all textured hair, and that goes for locs as well,” says Gwen. However, dreadlocks typically zap moisture, which poses an obvious challenge. “With the locking process, it’s harder for the natural oil from your scalp to get through the hair shaft. Your locs need a little extra help. That’s why the Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Mist is an important addition to your loc routine.”
Clear Your Scalp
Second to hydration is a clean slate – whether that means shampooing or priming the scalp. Your roots need to be clear for the hair to grow at its full potential. “The last thing that your locs need is buildup. That’s why grapeseed oil is so amazing. It’s moisturizing without weighing your hair down. Use it on your locs to give them the extra boost that they need,” she shares.
“Grapeseed oil conditions and actually seals in moisture. It’s amazing for shine and hair growth. The mist also contains avocado oil which can protect your hair from the elements. That’s because of the antioxidants it contains. With this spray, you get buildable hydration. Add as much or as little as you need for an effortless, on-the-go pick-me-up. You can use it on your scalp between wash days and on the loc itself for added moisture and shine,” Gwen adds.
Importance of Hot Oil Treatment for Locs
A hot oil treatment is a happy combination of hydration and cleansing, all in a warm and toasty package. “Hot oil treatments are crucial because they help lubricate your hair from the inside out. Oils are great for your hair but usually serve as sealants (meaning they seal in either moisture or dryness, depending on what you’ve done to your hair. This is because they are only able to work on the outside of your hair; they cannot penetrate your hair by themselves. But when you do a hot oil treatment, the heat from the warmed oil opens your hair follicles up, allowing the oil to actually penetrate your strands. This provides you with shinier, silkier, smoother strands that result in less knotting and brittleness,” she explains.
When it comes to locs specifically, hot oil treatments are key to hair health and Gwen recommends they are worked into your routine on a monthly basis. “As your locs mature, it’s a great idea to add a hot oil treatment to your hair regimen at least once or twice a month, but more often is always better,” Gwen shares. “Locs are prone to drying out and are going to appreciate the extra hydration. One of the many reasons the Naturalicious Divine Shine is so amazing is that it’s a lightweight hot oil treatment. There’s nothing worse than buildup. And getting buildup out of locs is a process that nobody has time for.”
Whether or not you have dreads, a hot oil treatment is one of the best things you can do for your hair. Gwen says it best, noting that “there are so many amazing benefits to a hot oil treatment regardless of if you’re loc’d or not.” It all comes down to benefits as using a hot oil treatment not only nourishes your locs, but it can help with growth as well. “That’s because when you use a hot oil treatment, it stimulates blood flow to the scalp. It can also help with dry scalp and dandruff.”
How to Do a Hot Oil Treatment for Locs
Like any other natural hairstyle, your locs deserve the best care that they can get. With proper care, you’ll never have to worry about gross buildup, or breaking, thinning locs that look dry and dull,” says Gwen. She adds this should be done every time you wash your hair or ideally every 7-10 days.
Though it may seem complicated it’s actually relatively straightforward; Gwen outlines the steps. “Warm the oil bottle or packet in hot water, and apply the oil directly to your hair & scalp. Cover your hair with a plastic cap. Rinse with warm water after 30 minutes.” She recommends Naturalicious Step 3: Moisure Lock & Frizz Fighter.
A little intimidated by hot oil? We totally get it. HERE is the best non-hot oil for your hair type.