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Hot Oil Treatment Vs. Deep Conditioning: What’s Best for Your Hair Type?

Undergoing hair care treatments is a must if you want to keep your precious locks healthy and alive in between all those chemical treatments and regular heat styling.

And if you’ve decided on pampering your hair, then you’ve got two safe ways to do so: hot oil treatment or, alternatively, deep conditioning. Both of these techniques are different from one another along with their uses, pros, and cons.

Before determining the best option between hot oil treatment and deep conditioning for nourishing your hair, let’s explore each of these hair care solutions to understand what they offer.

Hot Oil Treatment

hot oil treatment for hair care

Hot oil treatment is a hair care solution that mimics the natural oil production within your hair. This treatment has been out there for a long time.

The hot oil treatment process involves coating your hair with warmed-up plant-based oil. The purpose of this process is to nurture hair strands and protect them. This eventually leads to strengthening the hair.


  • Restores the lost shine of hair
  • Improves blood circulation in the scalp and allows it to breathe
  • Helps in reducing dandruff
  • Can be effective in reducing hair loss
  • Maintains your hair moisture and prevents dryness


  • People with sensitive skin may experience adverse reactions when using it
  • Doesn’t suit people with itchy scalp

Deep Conditioning

deep conditioning treatment

As the name suggests, deep conditioning is the intense version of regular hair conditioning. People use this type of treatment when regular conditioners don’t provide the desired results.

Deep conditioning can help restore dry, dull hair and bring it back to life. It comes in the form of a thick hair mask that you need to apply to your hair relatively longer than regular conditioners.

There are multiple types of deep conditioners, each focusing on treating specific hair issues. One may compensate for the lack of protein in the hair, while another might aim to increase the moisture in your hair.


  • Provides hair with a smoother and softer texture
  • Helps moisturize hair that is dry due to the frequent use of dye
  • Makes tangled hair easier to brush
  • Can provide your hair with a pleasant scent that lasts for hours
  • Helps in repairing the damaged strands


  • It can make some people’s hair feel greasy
  • Not suitable for fine hair
  • High-quality deep conditioning can be expensive
  • Damages hair color

Hot Oil Treatment Vs. Deep Conditioning

hot oil treatment vs deep conditioning

Now, let’s get into our in-depth comparison to figure out which hair treatment is better for your hair type.

1. Core Benefits

Hot oil treatment and deep conditioning each come with a distinct set of benefits.

Hot Oil Treatment

benefits of hot oil treatment

Hot oil treatment improves your damaged hair condition and makes it more elastic. It also prevents hair breakage in the long run.

In addition, here are the other main benefits you’ll get when using this type of treatment:

Deep Conditioning

benefits of deep conditioning

Deep conditioning prevents tangles and seals the hair’s moisture. Unlike hot oil treatments, it works mainly on the top layer of the cuticle.

Besides these benefits, it also provides the following advantages:

  • Makes hair strands look smoother by enhancing their damaged areas
  • Improves the appearance and texture of the hair by neutralizing the negative charge of the hair fibers
  • Minimizes hair frizz making it easier to brush and detangle after wash
  • Boosts the effectiveness of hair’s natural oil

The Takeaway

Each one of the two solutions has its benefits. You should choose from them based on your hair condition. Alternatively, you may use both to get the best of both worlds.

2. Ideal Hair Type

Each of the compared hair care solutions targets different needs and preferences, as indicated below.

Hot Oil Treatment

People with dry, frizzy, brittle, or color-treated hair should prioritize using hot oil treatment.  Given that, if your scalp is greasy, you need to pick lightweight oils like almond oil and olive oil.

On the other hand, if your hair is extremely dry, it’s better to use thicker oil, such as coconut oil.

Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning suits most damaged, textured, and even dry hair types. However, it doesn’t suit people with thin, oily hair as it can be heavy on these types of hair.

It is also not recommended to deep condition after coloring your hair as doing so may cause your hair color to fade or become uneven.

The Takeaway

Use a hot oil treatment to improve color-treated, frizzy, and brittle hair. If your hair is textured or damaged, deep conditioning is the way to go. That said, both work perfectly on moisturizing dry hair.

3. Duration of Effectiveness

One of these solutions is effective in the short run, while the other’s impact lasts in the long run.

Hot Oil Treatment

Hot oil treatment results are long-term. It can increase your hair’s softness, thickness, and overall health over time due to its high nutritive value.

Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning results are relatively short-run. It helps make your hair softer and smoother temporarily. So, you need to use it continuously to maintain the desired results.

The Takeaway

Deep conditioning provides great short-run results, but hot oil treatment offers long-term effects.

4. Ingredients

Each of the hair care solutions can be made of various valuable ingredients. Let’s take a look at them.

Hot Oil Treatment

ingredients needed for hot oil treatment

Hot oil treatment is made mainly of one or multiple oils that your hair can absorb perfectly. You can purchase a pre-made product or DIY it. Here are the most common oils used in this treatment:

  • Argan oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Amla oil

Deep Conditioning

ingredients needed for deep conditioning

Deep conditioning masks can include a wide variety of ingredients that fall into two categories: humectants and emollients.

Some of these ingredients include eggs, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, banana, henna, olive oil, and mayonnaise, to name a few.

The Takeaway

Hot oil treatment consists mainly of one or more natural oils. Deep conditioning products, on the other hand, include a wide variety of humectants and emollients. Both can share a few ingredients, like olive oil or coconut oil.

5. Temperature

Hot oil treatment is, of course, hot, while deep conditioning is cool. Still, there’s more to know about the temperatures of both.

Hot Oil Treatment

It’s essential to warm up oils before using them when applying hot oil treatment. However, you should be careful not to heat these oils to a temperature that can scald you.

In addition, excessively high temperatures of oil can deactivate some of the treatment’s active ingredients.

Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning doesn’t usually require any type of temperature manipulation. Nonetheless, some ingredients in deep conditioners can be a little cold, depending on the product or recipe.

The Takeaway

Deep conditioning can contain cold ingredients. Conversely, as its name shows, hot oil treatment is only used when hot.

6. Application Time and Duration

Following the recommended time and duration for applying each of these solutions is crucial.

Hot Oil Treatment

You’ll need to apply and leave hot oil treatment on your scalp for around 30 to 45 minutes.

After that, you should wash your hair to remove the excessive oil. For this reason, hair oil treatment should be used before washing the hair.

Deep Conditioning

You should leave deep conditioning on your hair for around 22 to 40 minutes. It also requires your hair to be free of dirt or excessive oil. That way, it is typically used after hair washing.

The Takeaway

You should apply deep conditioning for 20 to 40 minutes. You should use it after hair washing.

On the other hand, you need to use a hot oil treatment for 30 to 45 minutes. It’s recommended to use it before washing your hair.

So, Hot Oil Treatment or Deep Conditioning: Which Is Better?

If you have dry, frizzy, thin, or color-treated hair, hot oil treatment is better for you. For damaged or textured hair, you should choose deep conditioning. And if your hair is just dry, both treatments can be beneficial.

That said, these two hair care solutions aren’t necessarily alternatives; you can also take both treatments if you need the benefits of each.

You now know the main differences in the comparison: hot oil treatment vs. deep conditioning. In any case, remember that it takes time to start noticing results when using hair care solutions. That way, you need to be patient and use the treatment consistently.

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