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Avocado Oil For Hair: Benefits and Uses for Healthy Hair
Avocados have long been a staple in kitchen cupboards thanks to their high vitamin and healthy fat content. As well as adding them to your diet, the goodness inside avocados can also be used topically as a remedy to many different skin and healthcare concerns.
Using avocado oil for hair care is an easy and all-natural way to replenish and promote healthy locks. From strengthening your strands to protecting against environmental stressors, we’re going to break down the benefits of avocado oil for hair, its uses and more.
What is avocado oil?
Avocado oil is derived from the flesh of the popular superfood avocado. The main health benefit of avocados is that they are naturally rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
As well as having a high concentration of heart-friendly fat, avocado oil also a great source of oleic acid, folic acid, fibre, potassium, lecithin, sodium, magnesium, niacin, vitamins A, B6, E and K. Properly pressed avocado oil is incredibly healthy and promotes antioxidant activity which reduces damage caused by free radicals.
Avocado oil is commonly used in skincare and beauty products or as a cooking oil. This is because it is rapidly absorbed into the skin and the high monounsaturated fat content delivers moisturising properties. As cooking oil, it has a high smoking point which makes it great for cooking at high heat. It doesn’t have a strong flavour so you can use it as a substitute oil in cooking and baking.
How is avocado oil made?
Avocado oil is made by pressing the green flesh of the fruit to release its oil. With such a high fat content, avocados can sometimes contain up to 30% of oil.
Once an avocado is ripe and ready to be processed, they are picked, washed and the skin and pit is removed from each fruit. The flesh is then ground and malaxed (mixed) to encourage oil separation from the fruit. The less the avocado is malaxed, the purer the oil will be. Once the oil has been released, the mixture is passed through two centrifuge systems to separate the fleshy pulp from the oil and remove any waste particles.
Organic, cold-pressed and unrefined avocado oil vs avocado oil
Avocados can grow all over the world, and each strain is slightly different in composition. This means that not all avocado oil is made equal, the quality of avocado oil all depends on where and how the fruit is sourced.
Organic avocado oil is made with avocados that are grown without the use of chemical pesticides, fertilisers and other harmful treatments. These conditions produce a purer oil than if the fruit was grown inorganically.
The quality of the oil can also be affected in the malaxing stage. The more it is mixed, the more of its health properties that it loses. This means that avocados used to make extra virgin avocado oil should only be mixed for the shortest time necessary to collect the oil. High temperatures can also disrupt the purity of the oil, so many producers use the cold-pressed method of malaxing at a low temperature to ensure the oil is pure and unrefined.
Benefits of avocado oil for hair
It’s suitable for all hair types
Avocado is a lot lighter than many other beauty oils. Thanks to this, you can use it without the fear of it building up on your scalp or weighing down your hair. This means that the oil is a great choice for those with thin or thick hair types. Even better, it won’t clog your pores either.
It’s extremely nourishing and strengthens hair strands
Thanks to its oleic acid and monounsaturated fat content, avocado oil can penetrate deep into each strand of hair rather than just sitting on top of each hair shaft. These compounds strengthen each hair and add flexibility, making hair more resistant against breakage. This makes avocado oil perfect for counteracting dry and brittle hair, or for hair prone to breaking when brushed. It can also help to fortify hair against damage caused by chemical treatments like bleaching and dying.
It also moisturises your scalp
The same fats and acids that nourish the strands of your hair are also excellent for delivering moisture to the scalp. They can penetrate deep into the skin to soothe and nourish dry or sensitive skin.
It promotes hair growth
Avocado oil’s wealth of vitamins and nutrients make it perfect for promoting overall hair health and growth. Vitamin B, or biotin, is widely known to play an important role in the health of hair, skin and nails. This is because it improves keratin infrastructure to stimulate growth. Vitamin D, that’s also found in avocado oil, plays a key role in the generation of new hair follicles as well.
It can treat dandruff and psoriasis
If you suffer from an extremely dry scalp, you may also have dandruff, flakiness or psoriasis as a side effect. As well as the highly nourishing compounds in avocado oil, it also contains fungicidal and antibacterial ingredients. These may help to regulate the imbalance on the surface layer of the skin and add moisture to damaged and dry hair follicles, preventing the formation of dandruff. This may also reduce the symptoms of psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. Despite this, avocado oil should not be used as a sole replacement for medications. Always consult your dermatologist before using it in combination with medication to treat these conditions.
It can repair damage caused by UV rays
Free radicals are made as a result of unprotected sun exposure and air pollution, and they can cause oxidative stress in our body. Avocado oil is rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant compound that fights off oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E does this by protecting cell membranes and making free radicals inactive so that they are less likely to cause harm. Due to this, the vitamin E in avocado oil can help to protect, reduce and repair any free radical damage caused by UV rays.
It can protect against environmental damage
Harmful UV rays aren’t the only thing that avocado oil can protect against. You may be unknowingly exposing your hair to other environmental factors that are also causing damage. For example, pollution, seawater, chlorine, air humidity, a change in temperature and strong winds can all affect the overall health of your hair. They can cause the strands to dry out, become brittle, tangled and frizzy.
Applying avocado oil to hair can protect against the environmental damage caused by these conditions. The oil coats the strands with a layer of moisturising fatty-acids and antioxidants to shield it from damage and drying out. Try running some avocado oil through your hair before spending time in the sun, sea or in the winter months.
How to use avocado oil for hair
Detangle knotty hair
Avocado oil can help to loosen and detangle knotty hair. Lightly coat the ends of your hair with a few drops of oil and gently brush through with a wide-toothed comb. To minimise tugging and hair damage, start brushing at the ends and work your way up to the roots. You can also switch to brushing with a smaller toothed comb or hairbrush after you’ve finished.
Protect against breakage and add moisture
Use it in place of your favourite hair oil to provide moisture and protect against breakage and split ends. Add a few drops to your palms, rub them together and smooth over and through the lengths of your hair.
Tame frizz and flyaways
Humidity taking a toll on your strands? Tame any frizz or flyaways by rubbing a drop or two of oil between your fingers and spot applying to where you need it. Only use one or two drops to start off with to prevent weighing your hair down with too much product.
Use as a heat protectant
Protect your hair against heat products like hair dryers and styling tools by using avocado oil. Pour five to ten drops, depending on the length and thickness of your hair, of oil into the palm of your hand. Rub them together before finger combing through the lengths and ends of your hair or wherever you’ll be applying heat.
Promote growth with a scalp massage
Studies have shown that certain essential oils can actually promote growth. Peppermint and lavender essential oils can stimulate blood circulation, unclog blocked follicles, strengthen the roots and encourage your hair to grow when applied to the scalp
These essential oils must be mixed with a carrier oil before application, and avocado oil is a wonderful choice. Mix around 30ml of organic, cold-pressed avocado oil with five drops of organic lavender essential oil or organic peppermint essential oil to create your own at-home hair mask. Massage five to ten drops of the mixture into your scalp for a relaxing treatment. As avocado oil is a light and easily-absorbed oil, it shouldn't leave your skin feeling greasy and will sink into your skin. However, if you wish to wash it out after your scalp massage you can.
An overnight hair treatment
If your hair is extremely dry, brittle or just in need of some TLC, why not try using avocado oil as an overnight hair treatment or intensive conditioner?
1. Start with dry hair.
2. Take a tablespoon of avocado oil in the palm of your hand and apply it to your hair.
3. Gently finger comb through the lengths and the ends before massaging the leftover oil into your roots.
4. You can leave it in for 10-15 minutes and wash it out, or you can cover your hair with a showercap and leave the oil to work its magic overnight.
5. Wash the residue out when you’re finished.
A hot oil treatment
Hot oil hair treatments are a popular way to provide deep nourishment and care for your hair. They’re also really soothing and a great way to pamper yourself.
1. Pour three to five tablespoons of avocado oil into a glass jar or container. Mix in equal amounts of extra virgin coconut oil. If you want to give your hair extra nourishment, add in a few drops of peppermint or lavender essential oil too.
2. Warm up the mixture by placing the jar into a pan of hot water for two to three minutes. The oil should be gently warmed. Never place hot oil on your body and take caution when handling hot water. Always test the temperature of the oil by dabbing a small amount on the inside of your wrist.
3. Massage the warm oil mixture into your hair and scalp. Make sure you coat all of your hair in the oil.
4. Wrap your hair with a towel and leave for up to 20 minutes.
5. Wash the oil out with warm water.
A healthy hair mask
For the ultimate pamper treatment, pair avocado oil with other natural, hair-loving ingredients for an overall hair-health boost.
1. Mix one avocado and one banana with one tablespoon each of avocado oil, coconut oil and honey.
2. Slather the mask over your scalp and hair, ensuring that every strand is coated.
3. Leave to set for around 30 minutes. You can even leave it in for up to three hours for more intensive care.
4. Wash the mask out with your regular shampoo and rise with water.
Taking caution when using avocado oil
We love to use avocado oil to treat a wide range of ailments, however when applying it topically, you should always take caution.
Always carry out a patch test before use to make sure that your body doesn’t react to the oil. You can do this by applying a small amount of oil behind your ear or in the crook of your elbow. Wait for 48 hours and observe the area for any signs of irritation. These could be redness, irritation or pain. Any irritation is unlikely as avocado oil is generally well-tolerated, but it is possible. Allergic reactions caused by avocado oil are also more common if you are also allergic to latex. If you suffer from any irritation, do not apply any further avocado oil to your skin or hair.