How Often Should You Oil Curly Hair

How Often Should You Oil Curly Hair? Recommended By Haircare Expert

Maintain luscious, hydrated curls with expert advice on oiling frequency for curly hair. Discover the ideal oiling schedule for your hair type and climate, backed by 10 years of hairstyling expertise.

As a hairstylist and haircare expert with over 10 years of experience, I've witnessed firsthand the transformative power of oiling for curly hair. Curly hair, with its unique texture, requires special care to maintain its bounce, hydration, and overall health.

How Often Should You Oil Curly Hair?

Generally, people with dry or coarse curls may benefit from oiling their hair 2-3 times per week, while those with finer or oilier curls may only need to oil once a week or less.

How Often Should You Oil Curly Hair in a Week and Why?

Oiling curly hair is an essential part of maintaining healthy, hydrated curls. Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair, and the bends and curves of the curls make it difficult for the scalp's natural oils to travel down the hair shaft.

This can lead to dryness, frizz, and breakage. Oiling helps to replenish moisture, prevent frizz, and promote healthy hair growth.

So, how often should you oil your curly hair? The answer depends on a few factors, including your hair type, climate, and lifestyle.

Hair Type

  • Dry or coarse curls: 2-3 times per week
  • Fine or oilier curls: Once a week or less


  • Dry climate: More often, as dry air can sap moisture from your hair
  • Humid climate: Less often, as humidity can help to keep your hair hydrated


  • Regularly use heat styling tools: More often, as heat can damage your hair and make it more prone to dryness
  • Frequently swim or exercise: More often, as sweat and chlorine can strip your hair of its natural oils
How Often Should You Oil Curly Hair
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How to Oil Curly Hair Overnight Without Making it Greasy?

For those of us with curly hair, we know the importance of moisturizing our precious locks to keep that beautiful curl pattern intact.

However, it is important to remember not to overdo it when it comes to oiling your curls. 

Oiling curly hair overnight can be a great way to deeply hydrate and nourish your curls, leaving them soft, bouncy, and frizz-free. However, it's important to do it the right way to avoid making your hair greasy. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose the Right Oil: Select a lightweight oil that's easily absorbed by your hair, such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, or almond oil. Avoid heavy oils like coconut oil, which can make your hair greasy.
  2. Start with a Small Amount: Begin by applying a small amount of oil to your hair, focusing on the ends and mid-lengths. Avoid applying oil directly to your roots, as this can make them appear greasy.
  3. Use a Wide-Tooth Comb or Your Fingers: Distribute the oil evenly through your hair using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers. Avoid using a regular brush, as this can break your curls.
  4. Protect Your Pillow: To prevent oil from transferring to your pillow, cover your hair with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet. This will help keep your hair hydrated and prevent it from becoming greasy.
  5. Wash Your Hair in the Morning: In the morning, wash your hair thoroughly with a gentle shampoo and conditioner to remove any excess oil.
  6. Adjust Based on Your Hair Type: If you find that your hair is still greasy after washing, you may need to adjust the amount of oil you use or reduce the frequency of your overnight oil treatments.
  7. Experiment with Different Oils: Different oils have different properties, so experiment with a few different ones to find what works best for your hair type.

Expert Tip: If your hair is type 3 or 4, you should only oil your curls overnight after a thorough washing. Applying too much oil can leave your hair looking greasy.

When you are ready to oil your curls make sure to start off with a dry scalp. Before applying your choice of oil, gently massage it in your scalp and spread it evenly across the ends of your curls. 

Oils such as jojoba, argan, and coconut oil can all be used to deeply moisturize your locks and keep it looking healthy.

After massaging the oil in your scalp, loosely braid your hair and leave it in for the night. This will prevent the oil from transferring onto your pillowcase and help keep your bed sheets clean.

leaving oil in curly hair overnight

In the morning, you can undo your braid and rinse off the excess oil with lukewarm water. This will allow you to wake up with moisturized, yet non-greasy curls.

If you are planning to oil your curls overnight, it is wise to take your time and do the rest of your nightly routine. This will give the time needed for the oil to absorb into your scalp and gently spread throughout your curls. 

Oiling your curls overnight can be a great way to keep your curls hydrated and so using a silk or satin bonnet to protect your pillowcases or bedsheets from getting oily is also a great idea. 

What Kind of Oils Can I Use on Curly Hair?

oils for curly hair

As an experienced hair care professional, I can confidently guide you through the world of oils for curly hair. Curly hair, with its unique twists and turns, demands special attention to maintain its bounce and vitality. Oiling, an age-old practice, plays a crucial role in nourishing and revitalizing curly locks.

When selecting oils for your curly mane, consider opting for lightweight options that are easily absorbed by the hair shaft. These oils penetrate deeply, providing essential moisture without weighing down your curls. Here are some of my top recommendations:

Jojoba Oil

A versatile and gentle oil, jojoba closely mimics the sebum produced by our scalps, making it a natural humectant that locks in moisture and prevents dryness. Its lightweight nature ensures your curls remain bouncy and defined without any greasiness.

Grapeseed Oil

Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, grapeseed oil provides deep nourishment and protection from environmental damage. Its lightweight texture and non-comedogenic properties make it suitable for all hair types, including oily or prone-to-breakage curls.

Almond Oil

A treasure trove of vitamin E, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids, almond oil strengthens hair follicles, promotes hair growth, and enhances shine. Its lightweight consistency penetrates deep into the hair shaft, adding moisture and taming frizz without leaving a greasy residue.

Argan Oil

Known as "liquid gold" for its nourishing properties, argan oil is packed with vitamin E, antioxidants, and fatty acids that revitalize and protect curly hair. It helps to combat dryness, reduce frizz, and enhance shine, leaving your curls looking soft, supple, and vibrant.

Avocado Oil

Loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, and D, avocado oil deeply moisturizes and softens curly hair. Its rich consistency helps to smooth the hair cuticle, taming frizz and promoting manageability.

Remember, the key to choosing the right oil for your curly hair lies in understanding your hair type and its unique needs.

Experiment with different oils to discover which one works best for you, and enjoy the transformative power of oiling for healthy, beautiful curls.

Is it better to oil curly hair or deep condition it?

When it comes to type 3 and 4 curls, the main goal is to keep the hair moisturized, since dryness can increase frizz and lead to breakage. The million dollar question then is: Should you oil or deep condition your curls? It’s a heated debate for sure, but everyone’s curly hair is different so determining what’s best for each individual texture is key.

The truth is, both treatments offer a range of benefits, but they serve different purposes. Applying oils to your hair is meant to act as a sealant, locking in moisture and protecting your curls from environmental damage. It’s also great for giving them an extra boost of shine and nourishment! 

Deep conditioning, on the other hand, consists of penetrating the hair with a heavy-duty treatment ( nutrients and moisture included) to restore its health and shine.

Ultimately, the best practice is to rotate between oiling and deep conditioning. Try using either every other week or every two weeks.

As a rule of thumb, to make sure you don’t dry out your curls, ensure that each time you oil, use a lightweight oil before styling and make sure to use a deep conditioner afterward. 

Also be sure to not over oil, as excessive amounts can cause the hair to become weighed-down and greasy.

In the end, consistent oiling and deep conditioning is the key to success. Develop a routine tailored to your hair texture and curl type and stick with it. With enough care and love, your curls will be healthy, hydrated, and always looking their best!

Summary on oiling curly hair types 

In conclusion, the frequency with which you need to oil curly hair depends largely on your individual hair texture and type - type 3 and type 4 hair typically needing more frequent oiling than other types. 

The kind of oil used is also very important, with jojoba oil, argan oil, and coconut oil being particularly beneficial as they both add moisture to your tresses while also prevent loss of moisture by sealing your cuticles.

Ultimately, you will need to experiment and determine the best oiling frequency and type of oil that works best for you. 

With the right amount of love and care (and some oil!), you can enjoy beautiful, healthy curls and waves all year round.

Also Read:

Related: Are Hot Oil Treatments Good For Low Porosity Hair

Related: Will Vegetable Oil Help My Dry Scalp And Hair

Related: Best Oils For Low Porosity Hair

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