The Best Hot Oil Treatments You Didn't Know Your Natural Hair Needed

Plus, how to do it properly.

Once the cool weather sets in, that's your cue to ensure you give your hair the extra TLC it needs.

Plus, with the heat blasting inside to keep you warm, both elements are simultaneously sucking the moisture out of your hair. But thankfully, giving yourself a weekly hot oil treatment could be exactly what you need to ensure your tresses are hydrated and healthy not only in the winter, but all year long.

Here, Naté Bova, hairstylist and founder of Naté Hair Care, explains everything you need to know about hot oil treatments, plus his go-to products.

What Is a Hot Oil Treatment?

A hot oil treatment consists of coating your hair with a nourishing oil (it could be a single oil or a blend) then, using either a heat cap or bonnet dryer, add heat to help the product soak into your strands.

"The best time to do a hot oil treatment is during the colder months or when humidity is down as the hair may have a harder time retaining moisture," Bova explains.

Benefits of a Hot Oil Treatment

Hot oil treatments are great for injecting moisture and nutrients into your curls. The heat will open the cuticles of your hair shaft, allowing the oil to quickly penetrate into it. "Coarser hair types like [type] 3 and 4 [hair] can benefit from hot oil treatments — especially if you're looking for weight and curl definition," reveals Bova.

Your hair texture will help you determine what kind of oils you want to use for your hot oil treatment. And while you can purchase some already made concoctions, you can easily create a DIY hot oil treatment.

"Type 3 hair may require a lighter weight oil than type 4 hair," states Bova. "Type 3 isn't as coarse, so it will not need the weight type 4 [hair] would need for the oils to penetrate."

For finer hair, Bova recommends argan, jojoba, and grapeseed oils. "They have a smaller molecular size and can easily penetrate type 3 hair with lower porosity," she shares. While thicker, coarser hair may require coconut or castor oil.

How to Prepare for a Hot Oil Treatment

Before doing any type of hair treatment, you'll want to ensure that your hair is thoroughly cleansed and detangled.

Start off by using a clarifying shampoo, then a light conditioner that will help you comb out knots in the shower, without weighing your hair down.

The Best Products for a Hot Oil Treatment

01 of 02

Okay Pure Naturals Almond Hot Oil Treatment

ALL NATURAL: The Best Hot Oil Treatments Your Hair Needs Now
Okay Pure Naturals

If you have type 3 hair, Bova suggests trying Okay Pure Naturals Almond Hot Oil Treatment. It contains both honey and almond to help strengthen and nourish your hair while preventing breakage.

02 of 02

Okay Pure Naturals Coconut Hot Oil Treatment

ALL NATURAL: The Best Hot Oil Treatments Your Hair Needs Now
Okay Pure Naturals

This coconut hot oil treatment is great for type 4 hair of all porosity. It offers deep moisturizing benefits that will help curb dryness and nourish brittle strands.

ALL NATURAL: The Best Hot Oil Treatments Your Hair Needs Now
Getty Images/ InStyle

How to Do a Hot Oil Treatment

Step One:

"You want to shampoo and towel dry your hair," instructs Bova. Starting on clean hair allows the shampoo to wash away any product build-up to facilitate the oil penetrating into your hair strands.

Step Two:

Divide the hair into four sections — it's easier to manage the hair and apply the hot oil treatment this way. Then, coat each section thoroughly.

Step Three:

"Start at the bottom sections applying the oil to the hands first and smooth down from the scalp to the ends and comb through thoroughly [and] repeat on the remaining sections, " explains Bova. You can also opt to finger-comb your hair to distribute the product.

Step Four:

Now it's time for the heat to help the hot oil penetrate your hair cuticles. "Cover your head with a shower cap or bonnet and sit under a hood dryer," states Bova. If you don't have a hooded dryer, you can improvise. "Use a diffuser to warm the entire area of your head for 15-20 minutes," shares Bova.

Step Five:

Rinse thoroughly and style as usual. Is your hair feeling extra dry? Bova recommends, "If you feel like your hair could use a longer conditioning time you can leave the oils in overnight and rinse in the morning."

Voilà! You've completed your first hot oil treatment — and your hair thanks you.

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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