What Happens If We Don't Apply Oil On Hair?

Hair oiling is a time-honored tradition across many cultures, touted for its myriad benefits for hair health. However, the modern lifestyle often leaves little room for such practices. This article delves into what happens to your hair when you skip oiling and why it might be worth reconsidering this age-old routine. Welcome to afterthought.

The Role of Hair Oil

Before exploring the consequences of not applying oil, it's crucial to understand what hair oil does. Hair oils serve several key functions:

  • Moisturization: Oils help lock in moisture, preventing dryness and brittleness.
  • Nourishment: They provide essential nutrients that strengthen the hair shaft.
  • Protection: Oils create a protective barrier against environmental damage.
  • Scalp Health: Regular oiling can promote a healthy scalp by preventing dandruff and itchiness.

Consequences of Skipping Hair Oil

1. Increased Dryness and Brittleness

Without the regular application of oil, hair tends to lose moisture more quickly. This leads to dry, brittle hair that is more prone to breakage. The protective layer provided by oil helps in retaining the natural moisture of the hair, making it look and feel healthier.

2. Loss of Natural Shine

Oiled hair often appears more lustrous and shiny. When you stop oiling, you might notice a reduction in your hair's natural sheen. This is because oils help smooth the hair cuticle, allowing it to reflect light better.

3. Weakened Hair Structure

Hair oils nourish the hair shaft with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Without these nutrients, hair can become weaker over time, leading to issues like split ends and thinning. The absence of these nutrients may also slow down hair growth.

4. Scalp Issues

The scalp benefits significantly from regular oiling. It can prevent dryness, flakiness, and dandruff. Without oil, the scalp may become dry and itchy, leading to discomfort and potential scalp disorders. An unhealthy scalp can also hinder hair growth.

5. Increased Frizz and Tangles

Oiled hair is less likely to become tangled and frizzy because the oil smooths the hair cuticle. Without this protective layer, hair can become frizzy, especially in humid conditions, and more prone to knots and tangles.

6. Environmental Damage

Hair is exposed to various environmental stressors like pollution, UV rays, and harsh weather conditions. Oil acts as a barrier, protecting hair from these elements. Without this protective layer, hair may suffer more damage from external factors.

The Science Behind Hair Oiling

Hair oiling has both an occlusive and emollient effect. Occlusive agents form a barrier on the hair surface, locking in moisture. Emollients fill in the gaps in the hair cuticle, making the hair feel smoother and more flexible. Oils also penetrate the hair shaft to some extent, providing deep conditioning from within.

Alternatives to Traditional Hair Oiling

For those who find traditional hair oiling cumbersome or unpleasant, there are alternatives:

  • Leave-in Conditioners: These can provide similar moisture-locking benefits.
  • Hair Serums: Designed to smooth and protect hair, serums can mimic the effects of oil.
  • Deep Conditioning Treatments: These can be used periodically to nourish and hydrate the hair.


While the practice of hair oiling might seem old-fashioned to some, its benefits are rooted in science and tradition. Skipping hair oil can lead to increased dryness, brittleness, and other hair issues.

However, with modern alternatives available, it's possible to maintain healthy hair without traditional oiling. Whether you choose to oil your hair or opt for other methods, the key is consistent care and attention to your hair's needs.

Also Read: How To Make Hair Roots Strong?

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