Have you ever considered using oat water – the strained liquid from oats soaked in water – to rinse your hair? Oat water has the beneficial qualities of moisturizing and softening hair when used as a hair cleanser.
Start by making your own oat water or buy store-bought oat water. Use the oat water as a cleanser by dousing your wet hair with it and gently rubbing it into your scalp, before thoroughly rinsing your hair clean.
This process can precede regular shampooing and conditioning, or happen between shampoo and conditioner applications.
To learn more about the step-by-step process of rinsing hair with oat water, how it all works, and the benefits/risks for your hair, keep reading.
We’re outlining tips on how to make your own oat water, when is the ideal time to use this method, and more.
How to Use Oat Water to Cleanse Hair
Cleansing hair with oat water is a somewhat newer trend in the world of DIY moisturization.
Oat water penetrates hair to let moisture in and locks in that moisture, too.
What’s great about this hair care method is that it’s very accessible since you can even make your own homemade product with water and some rolled oats.
If you’re looking for a moisture boost to damaged or especially dry hair every now and then, you might consider an oat water hair rinse the next time you wash your hair.
Now, let’s get into why this rinse is effective, what items you need to do it, and the step-by-step breakdown of how to do the rinse.
How It Works
The reason that oat water is especially effective for hair moisturization and repair is that oats contain important nutrients.
These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Omega fatty acids (linked to boosted hair growth and thickness)
- Vitamin B (stimulates hair follicles to grow new hair)
- Beta-glucan (helps with deep scalp hydration, which promotes healthier hair)
Oats are also well-known for their skin-soothing properties when used topically.
If you’ve ever taken an oatmeal bath to soothe a rash, then you probably understand the effect it can have on irritated skin.
Well, oats can do the same thing for your scalp – the skin beneath your hair.
This is particularly important when it comes to an oat water rinse because you’re not only nourishing your hair; you’re also nourishing your scalp.
And a healthy scalp that is moisturized and free of dryness/irritation is linked to healthy hair.
The two go hand in hand, as an unhealthy scalp is often due to oxidative stress, which leads to premature hair loss and other issues.
Therefore, oat water works in multiple ways to promote healthy hair.
What You Will Need
You only need a few things to complete this hair care routine, making it highly accessible:
- A clean water source to wet your hair with
- A wide-toothed shower comb
- Oat water
- Your hands
The rinsing process is pretty simple, too:
- First, thoroughly wet your hair, whether in the shower or under a faucet
- Next, pour the oat water over your hair, making sure to get your roots, the length, and the ends
- Use your fingertips to gently massage the oat water into your hair, especially around the scalp area
- Let the oat water soak into your hair for a few minutes (5 minutes tops)
- Return to a faucet or stick your head back under the showerhead and rinse thoroughly
Benefits of Cleansing Hair with Oat Water
We already briefly touched on how oat water works so effectively with hair care. But let’s also consider the specific benefits of an oat water hair rinse:
Improved Hair Moisture
Proper hair moisture is essential to keeping your hair healthy and protected against breakage and damage.
By administering moisture to your scalp, you are preemptively making your hair moisturized as well.
Furthermore, if your oat water contains oat proteins, it has the ability to coat your hair in such a way that it thickens the hairs and protects them from damage.
Prevents Dandruff and Flakiness
Because oat water is so soothing to your scalp, it prevents the development of scalp dryness, which can lead to unwanted dandruff and flakiness.
This poses oat water as a healthy and natural alternative to over-the-counter dandruff shampoos that contain additives that may irritate your scalp further.
Makes Hair Soft
Oat water is also known for its ability to soften your hair after rinsing with it. By reducing hair dryness, your hair takes on a renewed appearance of health, and the texture softens in the process.
Makes Hair Shiny
A proper oat water rinse can also improve the shine quality of your hair. If you are used to frizziness and dryness in your hair, then it isn’t going to be sleek and shiny.
Instead, it may even develop dandruff and begin to look quite dull. An oat water rinse can restore the health of your hair, which makes it shinier.
Risks of Cleansing Hair with Oat Water
Although products derived from oats are thought to be generally beneficial to hair health, there are risks to keep in mind with any topical product coming into contact with your skin:
First of all, it’s important to note that oat water is subject to cross-contamination if you get it store-bought (even if you make your own).
If you are highly allergic to gluten, for example, and your oats are cross-contaminated with gluten, then you run the risk of accidentally ingesting or breathing in gluten particles.
This is an allergen risk to keep in mind.
Oat Intolerance Risks
Furthermore, some individuals who have celiac disease are also prone to oat intolerances.
So, if you run that risk, then you should be extra careful when using oat water on your scalp, in close proximity to your mouth.
Oat Sensitization Risk
There have also been studies linking the use of oat moisturizing products on children to oat sensitization (development of sensitivity to oats).
These are all noteworthy factors to keep in mind when considering this hair care practice.
Tips for Cleansing Hair with Oat Water
An oat water hair cleanse is pretty straightforward, but there are a few tips that can help you to get better results:
Cleanse with Oat Water Before Using Conditioner
If you want to get the most out of your oat water hair washing routine, then you should do so before you use conditioner or leave-in conditioner on your hair.
You might even use the oat water rinse before you shampoo your hair.
Make Homemade Oat Water
If you want to save money, use more natural hair products, and know exactly what’s in your product, you can always make your own! Making homemade oat water is as simple as soaking rolled oats in water for about 25 minutes.
Next, you just have to blend this mixture or add it to a food processor and strain the liquid. The resulting oat-ey water is your homemade oat water!
Best Rinsing Water Temperature
When rinsing the oat water out of your hair, it’s best to use cooler water if you can handle the chill.
This is because cool water helps your hair to lock in the moisture of the oats by closing your cuticles, whereas warm water does the opposite.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is not a recommended daily hair treatment. Instead, you should do an oat water rinse roughly once a week for best results.
Yes, you can use oat water to cleanse hair, regardless of your hairstyle.
Store-bought oat water costs vary based on brand and region. Typically, you’ll pay anywhere between $4-$6 for a carton. A can of rolled oats, on the other hand, costs about half of that.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.
Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she’s always happy to recommend you her favorites.