Skip to Content

How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp?

If you like soft hair but not greasy hair, the answer to “how often should you oil your scalp?” is an important one.

What Are The Benefits Of Oiling Your Scalp?

Lots of guys say their hair feels healthier, softer, curls more, and grows faster when they use oil regularly. Some of the biggest proven benefits:

• Oiling your scalp is good for dry hair.

Oil doesn’t hydrate your hair, but it does protect your hair from getting dryer. Use conditioner and a hair moisturizer, then put oil on top to trap the moisture, keeping your hair soft and glossy all day.

• Oiling your scalp helps with blood flow.

The act of massaging oil into your scalp feels awesome. It stimulates blood flow, which some experts think may help with hair growth.

• Oiling your scalp encourages curls.

Curly hair LOVES oil. You can turn waves into full-blown curls with some high quality hair oil. Plus, it helps your curly hair look sleek and defined, rather than floofy or frizzy. Don’t get me wrong – floofy hair is fun, but it’s equally fun to switch it up with some scalp oil.

There are also some downfalls to using oil. It’s not always the right choice for guys with thin or fine hair, and if you overuse oil, your hair will look greasy.

Be sparing, and figure out how often you can safely use oil on your hair and scalp.

How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp?

Broadly speaking, you shouldn’t use oil every day. For most guys, the balance falls somewhere between once a week and 3 times a week.

Too much oil will clog your pores and look greasy. The right amount of oil will help your scalp stay healthy and flake-free, without weighing down your hair.

How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp For Dreadlocks and Braids?

Black guys with dreadlocks and braids often struggle with dry scalp and hair, especially compared to white guys. 

You should use a hair moisturizer with an oil on top every 1-2 days, but don’t overdo it with the oil. Too much oil will clog your pores and make it difficult to wash your hair at the end of the week. It can also make your dreads and braids look limp.

When you’re moisturizing your scalp with dreads, start with a moisturizing shampoo and apple cider vinegar rinse, or aloe vera and witch hazel, then fall back on oil. Oil alone won’t keep your scalp from drying out.  

You can follow a similar routine with braids. 2-3 times a week, spritz your scalp with a moisturizer, then follow up with an oil to keep the moisture from evaporating too quickly.

How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp For Curly Hair?

Depending on how curly and thick your hair is, you can use oil 1-3 times a week. 

When you have curly hair, you really shouldn’t wash your hair every day. That will dry it out. Oil adds even more protection for your curls after and in between washes, especially if you spend long days outside in the sun.

I recommend starting with once a week, and oiling your scalp more as needed.

How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp For Straight Hair?

Guys with straight hair don’t always need scalp oil. I only recommend it if you suffer from dryness, flakes, irritation, or dandruff. Though, be cautious. If you overuse oil, it can add to your scalp problems rather than solving your scalp problems.

Try a coconut oil shampoo, rather than straight oil. It’s nourishing without being as heavy as oil.

How Often Should You Oil Your Bald Head?

Bald guys probably see the most benefits from oiling their scalp. When your skin is exposed to the elements, it dries out faster. Think about how often you have to use lotion on your hands.

Your scalp is no exception. Without hair to trap moisture, your head will dry out faster, especially since it faces the sun. Some bald guys can get away with oiling their scalp almost every day.

It’ll even give you that awesome shiny bald head look.

How Often Should You Oil Your Scalp For Hair Growth?

It’s a myth that oiling your scalp frequently can stimulate noticeable hair growth. There’s no concrete evidence proving that oil will help your hair grow.

However, the act of massaging oil into your scalp does promote blood flow. Some experts think that’s good for encouraging hair growth.

And using oil weekly does protect your hair from drying out or becoming brittle, so your new hair growth will look shinier, softer, and thicker. It’s not that you’ll grow more hair faster, it’s that oil protects and nourishes the hair that you’re already growing. 

Is It Okay To Oil Your Scalp Every Day?

For the majority of guys, using oil on your scalp every day is excessive. Oil coats your hair, so it doesn’t disappear over the course of the day. If you don’t wash it out, you’ll still have some oil in your hair the next day.

And if you’re washing and oiling your hair daily… that’s not necessarily a good move. Overwashing your hair promotes dryness. 

Your scalp does produce its own natural oils (though they don’t smell as good as hair oils, and they’re less predictable). 

Stick with 1-3 times a week, depending on how fast your hair and scalp dry out.

How Do You Oil Your Scalp?

There are 2 great times to oil your scalp: the night before you wash your hair, or once your hair is washed and dry, fresh out of the shower. I recommend the first technique for guys who like the benefits of hair oil, but don’t like leaving it in their hair. The latter is better if you have hair and scalp that dries out quickly, and you need oil to protect your hydration throughout the day.

Be very sparing with hair oil. Rub 2-3 small drops in your hands, then gently pat it into your hair, trying to distribute it evenly.

Take your fingertips, and give yourself a scalp massage once you have some oil in your hair. This is key to getting the oil down near your roots, where you need to protect moisture.

And that’s it! If you’re leaving it overnight, use shampoo to wash it out in the morning. Or you can let the oil sit in your hair all day.

If you notice negative side effects like scalp acne or irritation, stop using hair and scalp oil, or use it less frequently.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.