Chemical-based products we are using on our hair can bring short-term benefits but they may harm the hair in the long run. Certain harmful chemicals in hair care products can cause skin irritations, pose health risks, and pollute the environment.
If you are concerned about chemicals in your hair products, consider incorporating natural oils in your hair care regimen. This way, you can reduce exposure to chemicals while enjoying the amazing benefits of natural hair oils.
Almond oil is a versatile oil that can substitute several of your store-bought products such as hair lotion, shine enhancer, and leave-in conditioner. This light feeling oil is completely safe to use, excluding people with a nut allergy.
The Two Types of Almond Oil
Almond oil is extracted from the seed of the almond fruit. There are two main types of almonds that come from different trees – the bitter almonds and the sweet almonds.
Bitter almond oil is poisonous in its pure form. Thanks to the delightful almond scent, the bitter almond seeds are used for producing oils for fragrances. This type of 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) produces edible almonds that can be used for culinary purposes and also for cosmetic applications. Sweet almond oil is pale yellow in color and has a mild nutty scent. It is rich in vitamins A, B, and E, antioxidants, fatty acids, and minerals. Those bioactive compounds make sweet almond oil one of the key ingredients in cosmetic products for skin, hair, and nails.
Brands that are suitable for use on the hair: Sweet Almond Oil for Skin by Viva Naturals (natural and unscented), Organic Sweet Almond Oil For Hair Growth by Hair Thickness Maximizer (100% Pure Organic), Pure Almond Hair Oil by Hollywood Beauty (certified organic), All Natural Sweet Almond Oil by Nature’s Oil (100% pure, works well as a carrier oil), Sweet Almond Oil by QUANE COSMETICS (organic, cold-pressed), Almond Oil Treatment by Okay (12 Natural Oils), Premium Mega Hair Oil Sweet Almond by Difeel, and Almond Drops Hair Oil by Bajaj (contains mineral oil and fragrance!).
Benefits of Sweet Almond Oil for Hair
Almond oil gets absorbed quickly, without leaving your hair sticky or overly oily. This lightweight oil can greatly improve the look and overall health of your hair.
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.
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 the treatment once or twice a week.
Leave in conditioner: To lock in moisture in the hair, put a few drops of oil on your palms and rub them together to warm the oil. Run your fingers through the 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 a healthy shine, apply pea size amount to your damp hair. You can also add a few drops of the oil to your regular conditioner.
Curl enhancer: To make your natural curly kinky hair softer and more manageable, rub a few drops of almond oil on your palms and run your hands through your hair. This will make your curls feeling silky smooth and give them better definition.
Smoother, silkier 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 protector: 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 the mixture for hot oil treatments.
Using Almond Oil for Healthy Scalps
Almond oil can improve the overall health of your scalp and prevent some scalp conditions.
Relief for itchy scalp: A scalp massage with almond oil helps calms the dry/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
Almond oil is rich in healthy hair-growing ingredients such as proteins, folic acid, vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium. It helps prevent thinning hair, strengthens hair fibers, and boosts hair elasticity.
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 and nourish 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 Buy and Store Almond Oil for 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.