The black seeds that are pressed for black seed oil come from Nigella sativa, a flowering plant found in Western Asia, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe. Used in traditional medicine and cooking, the seeds are known as:
A key component of black seed oil, thymoquinone, has demonstrated antioxidant properties that may help relieve inflammation. Many advocates of black seed oil use it on their hair.
According to a 2016 review, Nigella sativa seed is an ideal ingredient for medicine and cosmetics. The study details black seed oil’s properties as:
Advocates of black seed oil for hair suggest that these properties can help maintain scalp health by addressing issues such as dandruff while keeping the scalp moisturized. Clinical research doesn’t support this claim, however.
These people also suggest that black seed oil could help seal in the moisture in individual hair shafts because it’s rich in fatty amino acids.
Proponents of black seed oil as a hair loss remedy do have some research to back up their claims.
Also, a 2017 study indicated that an herbal hair oil containing Nigella sativa resulted in hair fallout reduction of up to 76 percent.
Telogen effluvium is a condition characterized by a temporary shedding or thinning of hair.
A 2013 study of 20 women with telogen effluvium showed significant improvement when treated with a lotion containing 0.5 percent black seed oil.
However, given the study’s small sample size, further research is needed to determine whether black seed oil really is effective for treating telogen effluvium.
Along with hair care, black seed oil is noted for its benefits for skin. According to a 2015 review, these benefits may include the following:
Along with uses for hair and skin, research suggests black seed oil may be beneficial for treating certain conditions, such as:
Studies have shown that black seed oil has a number of characteristics that potentially give it a place in the treatment or relief of a number of conditions.
Although there haven’t been many studies focused on black seed oil for hair, it would appear that black seed oil might support a healthy scalp and counteract thinning of hair.
If you’re considering using black seed oil for your hair, talk about it with your doctor. Your doctor can offer you specific advice about black seed oil, including potential interactions with any medications that you currently take.