The BEST oil treatment for hair is…

This post also appears as part of Skincare Saturday at the Purely Primal Skincare Blog!
Those that have the Purely Primal Skincare Guide know how much I love nourishing oils.
I love them for the skin, the hair, and even the teeth (I brush my teeth with the Orawellness oil blend, in addition to morning oil pulling.)
I love the hair oil treatments from Tropical Traditions and Dragonfly Traditions, to name a few. 
I’ll put just about anything on my head, provided it’s natural and I think it’ll nourish my hair and scalp. Ghee? Why not! Olive oil? Sure! Neem oil? Don’t worry about the smell – that means it’s working! Honey, milk, Apple Cider Vinegar (why do I always feel the need to capitalize that?), avocado, homemade mayo, egg yolks…it’s all been on my dome.
And, for the most part, it’s all been lovely.
But there’s one “oil treatment” that is simply beyond incredible. It leaves my hair so soft, I can’t stop running my fingers through it. I can’t stop marveling at the results. I literally can’t stop forcing my husband to “pet my hair.” (Sorry, honey.)
What is it?
It’s the natural, self-made oil from my very own scalp.
Sound weird? It’s not. In fact, our bodies produce this oil for a reason: it’s exactly what our hair and scalp need.
Now, I’m not suggesting we start harvesting scalp oil to sell on the black market. (Although, who knows? In the words of Randy, Samantha Baker’s best friend in Sixteen Candles, “it could be highly profitable.”)
All I’m suggesting is: let’s wash our hair less so we can nourish it more. Allow some of those nourishing oils to build up now and then. When you finally wash, you’ll notice softness that’s different and more natural than you could imagine.
The screenshot below (from this video) shows my hair in a just-washed state, after a week of letting the natural oils nourish my locks. Not bad, right? (Watch the video for more views.)

natural oil treatment.jpg

Thanks to the balance that “No Poo” has afforded my hair and scalp, I don’t need to wash my hair but a few times each week, and even then it hasn’t reached that delightful peak of greasiness; so for me, this means letting it go unwashed for a good week.
During this time, I make sure to brush my hair gently every day with a boar-bristle brush (you can find one here) to distribute the oils, and I’ll do a nice scalp massage with my fingers as well. I’ll even do a water-only wash if I’m especially dirty, which will get rid of everything but the natural oils.
This gives my scalp and hair a break from regular washing, and, once washed again, my hair is indescribably soft.
Now, I work from home, so unless I’m trying to impress our goats, I don’t worry too much about looking a bit…unwashed. But for those who need to hide their showerlessness, I’ve got two words for you.
Sock. Bun.
The sock bun is one of the greatest inventions ever gifted upon humanity. Here’s an instructional video (that’s not me, but it’s a great vid – ignore the conventional hair products, though; they’re not necessary)…and you can find my absolute all-time favorite “Hot Bunz” tool – which makes it soooo much easier – here, or at most Walgreens.
I’m rockin’ a sock bun (I used the “Hot Bunz” tool) in the photo below, from my Instagram account.

Sock Bun

I was at least 5 days deep into my “natural oil treatment” when these photos were taken. Hair was a bit shiny, but not dirty-looking.
And since I know not everyone is too lazy to get a haircut has long, sock-bunnable hair, I highly recommend you just plan to go unwashed over a nice, long weekend. Hide out, binge-watch Game of Thrones or read a good book, and enjoy the conditioning benefits of your scalp’s own nourishing oil.
Thoughts? Objections? Ideas? Let me know by heading over to the Facebook page.
Thanks for reading!

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17 Responses

  1. I’ve been using baking soda and ACV for at least a year or two and love it, but I do it every day, will sometimes do it every other day…I have long, wavy hair and I really do like to wear it down. After reading your original post, I’m a few days into my unwashed hair state and am rocking my first sock bun, but I have to wonder whether I can sustain this. Brushing my hair takes out the wave, and I’d really prefer to have my hair down rather than hiding it in a bun. I’m not sure whether I see the point of doing this regularly, long-term. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t use baking soda and ACV every day if it makes my hair look and feel absolutely amazing?

    1. P.S. HUGE THANKS for the original recommendation for baking soda and ACV from your website! It changed my life. Shampoo was the worst and my hair has never looked better.

      1. No reason at all, Elissa! If it’s working for you, go for it. My hair is fine in texture and very straight, and for the most part (and for most hair types, though not all) I generally caution that it’s not meant for daily use. However, that’s not a hard & fast rule! You won’t wake up one day with a head full of broken hairs if you do it daily. I do think a break from washing now and then is great, though – an occasional affair with the sock bun can’t hurt!

        1. After making my comment, I decided to go a little further down the rabbit hole with my experimentation. Hey, I feel as you do–why not, as long as it’s not made of Aquanet? That night, I washed with water only, and the results were amazing. The next day, coconut oil on the ends–awful. I think I’m into this idea of letting it go for a few days once in a while, and trying to do water-only washes more often. I’m glad you posted this–it got me to shake things up.

  2. I love that you posted about this. I started washing my hair once, maybe twice, a week during my senior year of high school, which was a little over (ahem…) 10 years ago. I didn’t realize the good I was doing for my hair at the time – I was more concerned with the, “Oh, I don’t care how I look” vibe. I actually think by doing this, I protected my hair from being worse than it could have been during my massive eat-only-whole-grains-and-low-fat-dairy-phase a few years ago. Eek. Granted, I was still using conventional/store-bought “natural” shampoos up until recently, I have not had to wash my hair more than twice a week in ten years, and sometimes only once. And that has been pretty wonderful.
    I tried the baking soda/acv method a while back and found it was a bit too harsh for me. I’m currently trying a DIY honey shampoo with an ACV rinse and am pleased with the results so far.

    1. I went through the same phase in high school, Abbey! I still remember my outfit of choice: navy blue “swishy” pants with a grey thermal with a hole in the shoulder. Considering how concerned I was about my looks and “fitting in,” I haven’t a clue where that phase came from. But I’m sure it did my hair some good, too!

  3. I have pretty severe eczema/scalp issues that are exacerbated by conventional shampoo so I tried the no poo method, but I failed miserably. I know there is a detox period you have to go through but I just couldn’t bear it. I’ve finally found a couple of natural shampoos that I can tolerate but I would still love to wash less. Maybe I will try not washing on the weekend and sporting a bun.

  4. Hi Liz! I’m giving this a shot – rocked my first sock bun yesterday and I actually got a bunch of compliments on looking “put together” (little do they know! *evil laugh*). I do have a question, though – do you find that washing with water only does enough to get rid of sweat after a particularly hot or exercise-filled day? I’d hate to mess up my natural oils with unnecessary extra washing, but I do try to get my sweat on at least every couple days.

    1. Awesome, Rachel! I find that water wash doesn’t do much but get rid of water-soluble things…dirt, sweat and the like! You should be good to go 🙂

  5. I tried the “no poo” method but it did not go well for me. I have hair extensions and do hot bikram yoga multiple times a week. I am literally sopping wet by the end of the 90 minute workout and washing my hair is a must. Recommendations on a natural, organic shampoo that might work for me? Thanks!

  6. I have trained my hair to be able to go without washing for a week, so I’m doing a wash once every week. Is that about how long you go? My hair seems to be similar to yours. Fine, long, etc. When you do wash your hair, what do you do? I’d love to start using something more natural. Also, what do you use to condition?

  7. I’m in week 2 of no-poo and really wishing my fine, straight, shoulder length hair would work in a sock bun! So cute! Thanks Liz!

  8. My hair goes from way too dry to way too greasy and dirty looking. Probably because it tends to be oily and so I have to wash it a couple of times. I am thinking of cutting it short because I can’t seem to work out a way for the tips to be less dry even when it starts looking dirty and oily… Any suggestions?

    1. Sometimes it takes awhile for your whole scalp to adjust and to distribute the natural oils, but at the same time, no one approach works for everyone! Your environment, your water, etc., can all factor in to whether something like this will work for you. Don’t feel bad if you can’t make it happen! And hey, if short hair speaks to you, go for it! I cut mine short while I was pregnant (after this video was made) and I loved it. Now it’s long again, and I love that too! It’s just hair, after all!

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