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Hot oil restores parched summer hair

This hot summer has left my hair frizzy, frazzled and unmanageable. What’s the answer? More heat! Hair oil is great on its own, but works even better when it’s warm.

Heat opens up your hair cuticles and allows the oil to penetrate more deeply, giving you even glossier results. It’s excellent for the health of your scalp, too. Do this treatment once a week and you’ll soon notice the difference – your hair will be stronger, softer and shinier.

Choose your oil

I’ve just indulged in a bottle of Aromatherapy Associates Enrich Hair Oil. It’s top quality and one of my favourites. The base is coconut oil and murumuru butter (a natural emollient extracted from seeds of a palm tree found in the Brazilian Amazon). It also has essential oils of ylang ylang, geranium and rosemary, which smell divine and enhance that *special beauty ritual* feeling.

What you need

  1. Oil
  2. Tangle Teezer or wide toothed comb
  3. Shower cap – I’m the last person who wants to add to the world’s plastic overload, but the disposable caps in hotels and spas do work perfectly. The greener option is to buy a sturdier shower cap and keep it specially for this.
  4. Hairdryer
  5. At least 20 minutes to spare.

What to do

  • Brush your dry hair thoroughly – 100 times if you like, as people advised in The Olden Days.
  • Slather your hair with the oil, massaging it into your scalp and combing it through (lean over the bath or basin to catch drips). Just when you think your hair can’t take any more, add a bit more to the ends for luck!
  • Tuck your hair into the shower cap.
  • With your hair dryer on a hot setting, blast your hair through the cap. Most of the oil is absorbed in 20 minutes, but you can go on for longer if you like. Usually I do short bursts of a few minutes with the dryer, then wander off and do something else. On a quiet Sunday I can keep this up all morning … yes, my life is that exciting.
  • When you’re done, shampoo your hair thoroughly two or three times in hot water, and put conditioner just on the ends.

If you want to, you can leave any hair oil or intensive mask on overnight. Apparently Jerry Hall does this with olive oil. But only do this if you can afford plenty of new pillowcases (which obviously she can).

TookyTip: My Aromatherapy Associates oil is gorgeous but you can use any oil and the heat treatment still works. A huge jar of high quality coconut oil, for instance, only costs about ten quid and lasts for months. Or try mustard seed oil for about a fiver a bottle. It’s traditionally used in India and leaves hair beautifully glossy. The only drawback is it does actually smell of mustard!