It’s important to keep hair hydrated, because it can cause thinning, breakage, uneven application of chemical hair color, and can even cause some locks to snap off. Some people are fortunate to live in an environment or have a hair type that is easily hydrated by the air around them. Others have to work a little harder. No one should berate people who have the best interest of their hair in mind and try to keep it hydrated. It’s a disservice to say they are foolish for trying. But it’s harmful to say that oils destroy hair 100% of the time. That simply isn’t true. While it may not work 100% of the time, it won’t hurt 100% of the time either. Some people have to use different methods than others to keep their hair hydrated, and they should feel free to explore those options.
Some people’s hair responds well to oil while others do not. The unfortunate side of that fact is that people often don’t find out which camp they’re in until they have some trial and error. Whether your hair will respond well to oil is based on a few factors including method of application, climate, sebum production, hair type, and what kind of oil is being used. Some oils are very heavy and clog up the lock, making them heavy and dry. Some are lighter, and those who have disaster stories with heavy oils sometimes find the lighter ones work fantastic.
In dry climates, some people will find their hair is more moisturized when the water is sealed into the hair shaft with an oil. However, people in more humid climates will find that oil isn’t necessary at all to keep those water molecules near their hair.
Lastly, there are wild misconceptions about oil and what it does. It’s marketing and misinformation. I have heard all kinds of stories that say oil will moisturize/hydrate hair (false, only water does), make it grow faster (false, only hormones do that) or repair damage (most hair damage is 100% permanent). People cake on products without understanding their purposes, and that causes many problems down the line.
Caking on oil can actually dry hair out, make it heavy, and can even cause buildup. We do our best here to educate people and encourage moderation so they don’t make those mistakes.
It definitely sounds like you have found what makes your hair happy. That makes me glad to hear! I’m sorry your hair had to feel nasty before it started becoming clear and healthy, but it’s good to hear you have found your way.