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WHY HAIR OIL MAY BE BAD FOR YOU: Newsflash! When it comes to hair oils, you may want to consider proceeding with a little caution.

Take it from an expert: “I would never recommend putting natural oil directly on hair,”says Rod Anker, celeb stylist and brand ambassador for Schwarzkopf India. “It blocks the follicles and reduces the pH level, and hair loss is directly linked to the pH level of your scalp.” Oh dear, bummer.

When quizzed for his take, my personal hairdresser concedes the point, saying that heavy-duty oils can indeed clog the “pores” of the hair follicle, hindering hydration to the fragile root. The result? Brittle strands susceptible to breakage and thinning.

HOW TO USE IT CORRECTLY: All is not lost. We need only look to skincare for an analogous situation: If hair oil coats our cuticles so much so that it prevents absorption of moisture, then it follows that you should apply oils as the very last step in your regime.

Or, in other words, apply your water-based hair treatments (read “shine-boosting serums”) before topping up with a styling oil (the equivalent of a heavier night cream). Makes sense, right?

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Once you’ve applied your conditioning “base” products to your coif, feel free to rake just the tiniest bit of hair oil through the ends of your tresses for a photoshoot-ready sheen. I like Phyto’s posh Huile Soyeuse Lightweight Hydrating Oil, which is a pampering pre-styling primer that you simply smooth into the ends of damp hair before blow-drying. 

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Oils are also perfect for taming pesky flyaways; for this purpose, opt for a dry oil formulation like Alterna’s Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist, which is awesome for lending a really reflective mirror-like mirage. Dispense one drop between your palms and lightly skim it across the surface for a generous shot of shine.

So no, hair oils are not “bad” for you, per se. Like heavier-textured cold creams for your face, the trick is to layer them judiciously, at the end of your regime. I hope this gets you out of future hairy situations. Good luck!