People are exposed daily to a large number of potentially harmful chemicals in their cosmetic products. The use of chemical-infused hair care products provides short-term effects and may cause damage to the hair. Some chemicals found in your bathroom cabinet can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions, while certain toxic ingredients may harm your health and pollute the environment.
If you are concerned about chemicals in your hair care products, consider incorporating natural oils in your hair care regimen. This way, you can reduce exposure to chemicals that are unsafe, while enjoying the amazing benefits of natural hair oils.
Almond oil is a multi-functional oil that can substitute a lot of your store-bought lotions, shine enhancers, and leave-in conditioners, saving you time and money. This light feeling oil is safe to use, except for people with a nut allergy.
Types of Almond Oil
Almond oil is extracted from the seed of the almond fruit. Two different types of almonds come from different trees – the bitter almond and the sweet almond.
Bitter almond oil is poisonous in its pure form. The bitter almond tree has pink flowers and non-edible fruits. Thanks to the delightful almond scent, the bitter almond seeds are used for producing oils for fragrance. This almond oil should be used only by professional therapists.
Sweet almond oil is extracted from pressed sweet almond seeds. The sweet almond tree (Prunus dulcis) has white flowers and produces edible almonds that can be used for culinary purposes and for cosmetic applications. Sweet almond oil is pale yellow and has a mild nutty scent. This oil is a rich source of vitamins A, B, and E, antioxidants, fatty acids, and important minerals, which makes it an excellent beauty product for skin, hair, and nails.
Benefits of Sweet Almond Oil for Hair
Almond oil is an excellent moisture sealer, that can lock in moisture, improving the overall health of your hair. This lightweight oil gets absorbed quickly, without leaving your hair feeling sticky or greasy.
Moisturizing and conditioning effects: Due to its ability to penetrate the hair shaft, sweet almond oil is used to seal in moisture and to restore softness and natural luster to dry hair. The high content of fatty acids prevents hair from drying out and keeps it strong, pliable, and easy to manage.
Conditioning treatment for dry hair: To keep your hair hydrated, apply oil to your damp hair and scalp 30 minutes before washing. Comb your hair gently to spread the oil evenly from the roots to the ends of your hair. Wrap your hair with a plastic shower cap and a hot towel to trap the heat inside or use a heated gel cap to increase the treatment effectiveness. For best results, repeat this treatment once or twice a week.
Leave in conditioner: To help lock in moisture, put a few drops of oil on your palms and rub them together to warm the oil. Run your fingers through damp hair to spread the oil from the roots to the tips, focusing on the ends.
Shine enhancer: Almond oil can bring life back to hair that is over-processed with color and bleach. The oil adds a nice sheen to dull hair, making your strands manageable and tangle-free. To add luster and shine, apply a little almond oil to your damp hair. You can also add a few drops of the oil to your regular conditioner.
Curl enhancer: If you have curly hair, rub a few drops of almond oil on your palms and run your hands through your hair. This will make your curls smoother and give them better definition.
Smooth and silky hair: For adding softness to hair, put a few drops of oil and gently massage the scalp, then work it through your hair. Allow the oil to absorb into your scalp and hair for 30 minutes before shampooing or leave it on as long as you like.
Split ends tamer: High levels of protein in almond oil help make hair stronger and prevent the strands from splitting. Using almond oil as a deep conditioning treatment prior to shampooing helps moisturize dry and damaged hair and prevents split ends.
Sun protection: Omega-3 fatty acids in almond oil help reflect harmful UV rays, protecting your hair and scalp from sun damage while improving elasticity and strength of your strands.
Hot oil treatments: Mix almond oil with other hair oils and use it to do hot oil treatments.
Sweet Almond Oil for Healthy Scalp
Almond oil can prevent some scalp problems and improve the overall health of your scalp.
Relief for itchy scalp: A scalp massage with almond oil helps soothe the dry and itchy scalp. A hair mask containing almond oil helps moisturize your scalp and hair to prevent dryness during cold winter months.
Dandruff control: The antibacterial and antifungal properties of sweet almond oil help soothe scalp inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of dandruff. The emollient properties of almond oil help soften and remove dead skin cells from the scalp.
To fight dandruff, massage almond oil into your scalp. Let it sit for an hour before a bath or leave it overnight for maximum results. For best results, mix almond oil with tea tree, coconut, rosemary, and lavender oils.
Relief for eczema and psoriasis: Because of its moisturizing and mild antimicrobial properties, sweet almond oil is often used to soothe the dry and irritated scalp and alleviate the discomfort of eczema and psoriasis.
Almond Oil for Hair Growth
High in proteins, folic acid, vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium, which are important for stronger hair, almond oil increases hair elasticity and prevents thinning hair.
Almond oil soaks into the scalp easily, without clogging pores, and keeps your scalp hydrated and clean. It efficiently dissolves dirt, oil, pollutants, and dead skin cells to unblock clogged hair follicles, allowing the hair to grow.
To cleanse your scalp, apply almond oil a few hours prior to showering. Massage gently into the scalp in circular motions using your fingertips. Leave the oil overnight for the best results. Repeat twice a week.
Almond oil is easy to combine with other essential oils, such as castor, rosemary, or lavender oil, for improved potency and effectiveness in promoting hair growth.
How to Choose and Store Almond Oil for Skin and Hair
Cold-pressed almond oil is made by mechanical procedures of pressing ripe seeds, without using heat or chemical solvents. Cold pressing is a healthier method, as the functional ingredients are better preserved. Cold-pressed sweet almond oil is slightly darker and is more expensive than refined almond oil.
It’s important to read the label to ensure you are buying 100 percent pure, unscented, food-grade, sweet almond oil with no additives. Make sure the bottle says “sweet” almond oil. If the price is too low, check the list of ingredients to ensure you are buying a genuine product.
Certified organic almond oil would be safe for sensitive skin types as a replacement for beauty products that can cause skin irritation.
Check the date of minimum durability to ensure you are purchasing a fresh product. Properly stored almond oil will stay fresh and potent up to a year. Make sure it is packaged in a tightly sealed dark glass bottle to prevent oxidation and to preserve freshness. Keep it in a cool, dry place (it need not be refrigerated) away from the light.
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.