“Should I oil my locs?” is a tricky question. On the one hand, it can impart shine to dry/dull-looking locs. On the other hand, if not used correctly, it can lead to even more dryness and, in some cases, build up.
First things first… Regardless of how you choose to use oil on your locs, it should be a light oil (such as avocado, jojoba, coconut or olive) that can be easily absorbed into the hair and skin. From personal experience, oiling the length of my locs with avocado oil a couple of times a week worked great for me… until 2 years into my loc journey. At which point, I started to notice the — no pun intended — dreaded lint build up some people get on the very back row.
What was actually happening is that my now fully locked hair was carrying an excessive amount of oil, which lint from my coat and sweater collar clung to during the winter months. I now choose to colour over these locs rather than go through the arduous process of having a professional attempt to pick it out without damage.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to use oil is on the scalp to combat the dryness many people of colour suffer from. If extra shine is desired, regular hot oil treatments are a great way to promote the health of one’s locs in general.
Everyone’s locs are different, so consider this solely a tale of caution. But when choosing to use oil on your locs, make sure it’s a light oil and use it sparingly. Cleansing your hair with a high-quality shampoo that won’t strip it (sulfate-free) will also do wonders for you.