Almond Oil for Hair

Medically reviewed by Karen Cross, FNP, MSN on February 14, 2018Written by Kathryn Watson on February 14, 2018

Overview

Almond oil comes from pressing the seeds of the almond tree (almond nuts) and extracting oil from what comes out. Almonds have been valued in many ancient cultures for their healing and health properties, including high levels of protein, omega-9 fatty acids, and vitamin E. These properties suggest that almond oil can improve the shine and strength of your hair. Sweet almond oil is the oil most commonly sold and recommended for use as a hair product. Keep reading to find out if sweet almond oil is something you should try to make your hair look healthy.

Benefits of almond oil for hair

Almond oil softens hair

Almond oil is an emollient, meaning it can fill in gaps in your hair at a cellular level. That makes your hair feel smoother to the touch. Using almond oil on your hair gives it a softer texture over time. Once almond oil is incorporated into your hair care routine, you may also notice that your hair is easier to comb through and style.

Almond oil strengthens and repairs hair

Using certain oils to treat hair can make it less prone to breakage and diminish split ends. The lubricating properties of nut oils, like almond oil, diminish friction during hair styling. A study on Brazilian nut oils (many of which contain oleic acid and linoleic acid, just like sweet almond oil) showed improvement in hair’s resilience when it was treated with small amounts of oil ingredients.

Almond oil could make your hair grow

There aren’t clinical trials that prove that almond oil is effective in making hair grow. But here’s what we do know: almond oil can make hair stronger and less prone to split ends, which means your hair growth won’t be slowed by losing hair that becomes damaged. Almond oil contains high amounts of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant. When antioxidants combat the environmental stress around your hair, your hair looks younger and healthier.

Almond oil treats scalp conditions

Almond oil can also be used as a treatment for flaky scalp (seborrheic dermatitis) and scalp psoriasis. While we don’t have studies that show how almond oil treats these conditions, almond oil has been used to treat dry scalp conditions in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Rubbing a small amount of almond oil directly on your scalp increases blood flow to the area and introduces powerful antioxidants to the skin on your head.

Uses

You can apply almond oil directly to your hair, rubbing a small amount in between your palms before applying it. If you’re looking to increase shine and softness, pay special attention to the ends of your hair. Massage the oil into the end of the hair shaft and leave the oil on your hair after styling it.

You can also use almond oil as an ingredient in a conditioning hair mask. Mix 2 parts room temperature coconut oil with 1 part sweet almond oil and a creamy, natural conditioning agent, like avocado. Apply this potent hair mask to clean, dry hair, and leave it on for up to 40 minutes.

Some people use almond oil in a capsule or liquid form as an oral supplement. We don’t know if this directly impacts the health of your hair. But it does give you a big dose of protein, vitamin E, and omega-9 fatty acids that could improve your overall health. You can find almond oil supplements in almost any health food store.

Potential risks and side effects

Almond oil is generally safe for anyone to use on their skin. Anyone who has a severe nut allergy should not use almond oil on their hair, or for any other purpose, as the allergic reaction it triggers could be a serious one.

Don’t put pure almond oil on your hair before heat styling. The oil will heat up around your hair follicle and could burn your scalp or the hair shaft itself.

The takeaway

Using almond oil on your hair to increase strength and shine is low risk for most people and likely to work. There are limited studies available to demonstrate how almond oil conditions and strengthens hair, so more research is needed. But the active nutrients and properties of almond oil have been shown to help hair appear stronger, softer, and shinier. As an added benefit, almond oil is gentle on your scalp and smells great after it’s applied.

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