Avocados have long been consumed by mankind, dating back to the Aztecs in the 13th century in central Mexico where the fruit originated from.
Later in the New World, explorers transported the avocado, making its way across oceans and bordering lands. But it would be another couple hundred years until the fruit would be pressed for oil.
To supplement the deficit of fats and cooking oils during World War II, America was pushing experiments in mass-scale production of avocado oil. Today avocado oil is used beyond the kitchen, in the health and beauty industry.
Jessica Lopez Pagan, a hairdresser on Long Island, recalled her mother applying avocado oil to moisturize her hair when she was a little girl.
“It’s something my mom grew up doing,” she said. “We have coarse, curly hair, so anything helps.”
Aside from hydrating hair, there are several benefits to using avocado oil for hair.
Is Avocado Oil Good For Your Hair?
There are several benefits that avocado oil can bestow upon your hair. Avocado oil, with its unique chemical composition — essential fatty acids (oleic, omega-3 and omega-6), antioxidants, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E — makes for the ideal hair salve.
Strengthens and Fortifies Hair to Prevent Aging
It is important to add antioxidants like vitamins C and E to your diet because they counteract oxidative stressors. Radiation and smoking, for example, negatively impact hair growth, eliminating oxygen from circulating to hair follicles.
A study found in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science reveals that vitamin C plays an important role in collagen synthesis. Collagen, which is the most abundant form of protein in our bodies (25% of the body’s total protein mass), is responsible for constructing healthy skin, nails, muscles and hair.
In the context of hair, collagen can build proteins and strengthen the dermis, the layer of skin that contains hair roots, as a means to potentially combat hair from thinning. Additionally, vitamin C assists your body in absorbing iron, an essential mineral for shiny hair and proper hair growth.
Does Avocado Oil Make Hair Growth Faster?
Both iron and zinc play essential roles in hair care, adding shine and luster. Magnesium, which is found in avocado oil, encourages healthy hair growth deep in the hair follicles.
Commonly referred to as an “anti-stress” mineral, magnesium calms our nervous systems when we work too hard or push ourselves too much. These stressors, all too common in a society where we find ourselves burning the candle at both ends, reveal themselves in the wrinkles on our foreheads and the strands of hair all over our shower curtains and in our brushes and combs.
First, magnesium helps inhibit calcium from building on your scalp. Calcium buildup clogs hair follicles, causes inflammation and dries out the scalp. By removing this calcium buildup, magnesium promotes better circulation and ensures your hair follicles are receiving the proper nutrients needed to grow.
Our hair, mostly made of proteins, relies on magnesium for protein synthesis. According to Viviscal, a company that produces hair supplements for those with thinning hair, “better protein synthesis means healthier hair and a predictable hair cycle with normal growing and resting stages. Protein synthesis also helps create melanin, which helps prevent your hair from going gray.”
Without proper amounts of magnesium, calcium continues to build up, congesting follicles and causing hair to shed.
The B-vitamins present in avocado oil — pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7) and folate (B9) — promote healthy red blood cell production, an essential process to transport oxygen to cells in your body. These cells include the scalp and hair follicles, where hair growth occurs.
Avocado oil is also rich in unsaturated fats, otherwise known as the “good fats.” Our bodies cannot produce these essential fatty acids on their own, and a deficiency of these essential acids can lead to hair loss. Because of its high monounsaturated fatty acid (71%) and polyunsaturated fatty acid content (13%), avocado oil delivers oxygen through the bloodstream to hair follicles, fortifies cells and their development, ultimately encouraging strong, healthy hair.
According to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 120 healthy women participated in a randomized control trial to evaluate hair density in 2015. Women who had been given a six-month supply of omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants showed interesting results compared to those who had not been given the supplements. After six months of treatment, “photograph assessment demonstrated a superior improvement” with essential fatty acids and antioxidants acting “efficiently against hair loss in improving hair density and reducing the telogen percentage and the proportion of miniaturized anagen hair.”
Adds Moisture and Hydration
Foods rich in fatty acids like avocado oil, egg yolk, coconut oil and mayonnaise are beneficial for your hair because they add hydration, moisturizing your locks to make them look healthy and strong.
Your hair is the fastest growing tissue in your body, and vitamins play a vital role in helping healthy hair growth. Vitamin A, for example, is essential to quench dry and brittle hair and maintain healthy amounts of scalp oil. These healthy amounts regulate blood circulation, ultimately contributing to healthy hair growth.
Ironically, one way we damage our hair is by brushing it. Forceful pulls and yanks to remove knots in our hair lead to breakage and split ends. Avocado oil counters this deterioration, acting as a nourishing, detangling balm that protects hair from breaking. The levels of biotin, vitamin E and essential fatty acids are responsible for smoothing and conditioning strands.
In recent years, various leading store brands like Garnier have launched avocado-based leave-in conditioning hair treatments as confirmation to avocado oil’s benefits.
Dandruff is the result of dry, inflamed and flaky scalps. Keeping the scalp moisturized and promoting proper circulation to the hair follicles minimizes the appearance of dandruff. Use avocado oil to maintain healthy scalps.
Repairs Damaged Hair and Eliminates Frizz
From hair brushes to hair ties, there are a number of factors that can cause brittle hair. The nourishing vitamins and fatty acids in avocado oil form a protective barrier that coats hair strands, making them more flexible and less prone to breakage.
How to Use Avocado Oil For Hair
With all these benefits in mind, it’s a no brainer why you should treat your hair to avocado oil. Plus, with versatile applications, avocado oil pushes the boundaries when it comes to hair regimens, acting as an essential all-in-one product.
Use avocado oil as a leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture and hydration all day. The added amino acids and proteins found in this DIY leave-in conditioner help promote shiny, healthy hair.
What You’ll Need
- 1 ounce coconut oil
- 2 ounces aloe vera gel
- 1 tsp. avocado oil
- ⅓ cup water
- spray bottle
- measuring cup or bowl
1. Add avocado and coconut oil to a small bowl and mix with a spoon.
2. Pour aloe vera gel and water into a spray bottle.
3. Pour coconut and avocado mixed oils to the spray bottle.
4. Shake well before each use.
5. Spray the leave-in conditioner over freshly cleaned hair, before styling, and avoid applying to the roots. This routine tends to give hair the best-looking appearance.
6. Gently run your fingers through the strands, evenly distributing the treatment.
7. Twist ends to lock in moisture. You can even do this at night, and braid your hair to condition it all night long.
Because it contains fatty acids that require higher melting points, coconut oil solidifies at room temperature. For this reason, you may need to heat up your DIY leave-in conditioner, and/or unclog the nozzle from your spray bottle.
Beard Conditioning Oil
Landing a spot on the Beard Club’s “Top 10 Best Essential Oils for Beard Growth,” avocado oil absorbs easily, conditions facial hair, eliminates dandruff and plumps collagen levels to give beards both “fuller and healthier appearances.” This DIY beard oil blend by Mountain Rose Herbs not only conditions beards but also offers an unforgettable woodsy scent.
What You’ll Need
- 1/2 ounce organic jojoba oil
- 1/2 ounce avocado oil
- 7 drops Virginia cedarwood essential oil
- 3 drops organic pink pepper essential oil
- 2 drops organic clary sage essential oil
- 3 drops of vitamin E oil, optional
1. Add cedarwood, pink pepper and clary sage essential oils to a glass bottle.
2. Gently shake to blend oils.
3. Add jojoba oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E oil to the bottle.
4. Gently shake to evenly mix.
5. Apply beard oil to a freshly cleaned, towel-dried beard.
6. Add a dime size amount of oil to the palms of your hand (nickel or quarter size if sporting a bigger beard), rub together, and gently run through your beard, evenly distributing oil.
You could also utilize avocado oil to make a hair mask, a hair treatment that is typically made from various oils (often including avocado oil or olive oil), butters, and other hydrating agents.
Clary Collection is a Nashville-based company specializing in organic plant-based skincare products. Although their renew and repair oil — made from avocado oil, calendula, plantain, chamomile, neroli, lavender and rose hip — was designed to repair skin and minimize the appearance of scars and stretch marks, it makes for the perfect deep conditioning hair mask.
Jessica Lopez Pagan recommended using ripe, freshly mashed avocados. The blacker the avocado’s skin, the better.
What You’ll Need
- 1 egg
- 8 drops of clary renew + repair oil
- 1 ripe avocado
- castor oil
- 4 drops of essential oil (rosemary, lavender, tea tree and peppermint oils are great at stimulating hair growth).
1. Mash avocado in a bowl
2. Crack the egg and mix in egg yolk,
3. Add 8 drops of Clary renew + repair and 3 drops castor oil.
4. Coat hair, cover with a towel or shower cap and leave on for 20 minutes.
5. Rinse with cool water
6. Shampoo and condition
Hot Oil Treatment
Howard T. Love, who worked for the United States Department of Agriculture during WWII, was tinkering in the lab during this time with a solvent extraction for avocados. For the California Avocado Society, an organization dedicated to the fruit’s research and advancements since 1915, noted avocado oil’s “high skin-penetrating power.”
Applying avocado oil topically, rather than ingesting it, is beneficial. By bypassing the digestive system, avocado oil can be absorbed directly to your bloodstream, prompting proper circulation. Research indicates that magnesium, for example, is more effective when applied topically “due to better absorption and fewer side effects as it bypasses the gastrointestinal tract.”
What You’ll Need
- Equal parts of avocado oil and coconut oil (2-4 tablespoons depending on length and thickness of hair)
- 4 drops of essential oil (rosemary, lavender, tea tree or peppermint oil)
- Glass jar
- Warm Towel
1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Add avocado, coconut and essential oils to a glass jar.
3. Place the jar of oils in boiling water for two minutes.
4. Dab a drop of oil on your hand to test the oil’s temperature before applying it to your hair. If too hot, let cool for a few minutes.
5. Gently apply the oil into clean, washed hair.
6. Cover hair with a warm towel for 20 minutes.
7. Shampoo and condition.
Use avocado oil as a scalp massage, once a week, to regulate blood circulation, strengthen hair roots, promote healthy scalp and eliminate dandruff.
What You’ll Need
- 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
- 2-4 drops of essential oil (rosemary, lavender, tea tree or peppermint)
- Glass jar
- Saucepan or microwave
1. Boil water in a saucepan. If using a microwave, skip this step.
2. Combine avocado oil and essential oils in a glass jar.
3. Place the jar in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
4. Test the temperature on your wrist.
5. Dip your fingers into the oil in the glass jar.
6. Gently massage the oil to your scalp in small circular motions.
7. Let sit for 20 minutes.
8. Shampoo and condition hair.
To untangle stubborn knots, add a dime size amount of avocado oil to the palm of your hands and run through the knotted areas. The oil acts as a slick lubricant that works well at detangling knots better than combs and brushes, which tend to break knots and cause split ends.
How Long Should You Leave Avocado Oil In Your Hair?
Depending on the method you utilize, you should generally leave avocado oil in your hair for 15 to 20 minutes. When using avocado oil as a conditioner, hair mask, hot oil treatment or scalp massage, this timeframe should provide just enough time for your hair to reap the benefits of this oil.
First and foremost, if you are allergic to avocados, you should not use avocado oil. If you are unsure, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional.
In some cases, your hair may be able to reap similar benefits from olive oil. For instance, olive oil can also be utilized to hydrate the scalp and reduce dandruff.
We all know that too much of anything is not good, and that moderation is key. Exposing your hair to high amounts of certain vitamins can have adverse effects. For example, too much vitamin C can propel hair loss. According to Dr. True and Dr. Dorin, two leading hair restoration experts in NYC, “too much vitamin A causes your hair follicles to reach the end of the growth phase at a much quicker pace, causing them to fall out faster than the body can replace the hair.”
In one case study from the Veterinary and Human Toxicology Journal, excessive amounts of vitamins A, D3 and E administered on calves rendered acute diseases and irregular bone development.
Similarly, an over surplus of fatty acids can compromise our hair. Norman Hord, Associate Professor at Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said, “The dysfunctional immune response to excessive omega-3 fatty acid consumption can affect the body’s ability to fight microbial pathogens, like bacteria.”
Though these results are not entirely conclusive, Hord advocates for further studies in the lab.
“As is all true with any nutrient, taking too much can have negative effects. We need to establish clear biomarkers through clinical trials. This is necessary in order for us to know who is eating adequate amounts of these nutrients and who may be deficient or eating too much.”
Also, remember that oil is slippery. Be extra careful in the shower when rinsing it out.
Though it may seem like guacamole and avocado toast have propelled the avocado into a popular trend, people have been benefiting from the avocado and its oil for quite some time. Hair products that line the shelves of stores — promoting this and that — often contain harmful chemicals that do nothing but leave you high and dry.
Using our 100% pure avocado oil — devoid of any harmful chemicals and jam-packed with essential nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants — is a healthy and cost-effective way to treat and care for your hair.
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