There are many mainstream treatments on the market that promise to stop hair loss and possibly even regrow hair. The most popular include minoxidil and finasteride.
But there is a growing trend towards the use of natural oils.
Oils, including avocado, often contain an abundance of nutrients and minerals which can be conducive to hair growth. And while they may not work for all types of hair loss, they can be a good option for anyone who is interested in a more natural approach.
In this article, we’ll discuss avocado oil and why it might be a viable option for hair loss sufferers. We’ll then discuss the various benefits associated with external and internal avocado oil use, as well as how you can pick the right avocado oil for your needs.
Why Use Avocado Oil?
Avocado oil has been used as a beauty treatment for hair, skin, and nails for thousands of years. As a hair treatment, avocado oil strengthens and protects your hair like no other oil.
The reason avocado oil is beneficial for hair is because it contains an abundance of monounsaturated fats, proteins, copper, folic acid, magnesium, and minerals that strengthen the building blocks of your hair.
In fact, avocado oil contains healthy doses of vitamin E and B (1).
Vitamin E is a good ingredient because it strengthens the hair follicles and repairs damage caused by harsh chemical treatments (2).
Vitamin B provides nourishment to your hair follicles and prevents a flaky scalp (3). This healthy oil is known as a superfood because of these essential ingredients.
Avocado oil can be taken internally as a nutritional supplement. It can also be used externally on your hair as a topical treatment.
Benefits of Using Avocado Oil On Your Hair
The benefits of using avocado oil for your hair has been studied extensively by researchers around the world. These are the top 4 benefits of using avocado oil on your hair.
1. It Can Effectively Detangle Hair
When your hair is wet, it is in its most fragile state. During this time, it can become tangled and break off.
Avocado oil acts as a lubricant that keeps your hair from getting tangled, and it also makes it easy to remove snarls and knots.
Interestingly, the main components of avocado oil (fatty acids) may also reduce lower hygral fatigue (4). This occurs when the hairs repeatedly swell with water and dry. Over time, this weakens the ‘walls’ of the hair and damage can occur.
By penetrating the hairs and providing moisture, the fatty acids enable the hair to retain less water which will keep them stronger.
2. It Can Treat Dry Scalp
Chemical products such as detergent shampoos, relaxers, perms, and color treatments can cause your scalp to become dry and flaky. You may also be predisposed to dry skin, or medical conditions such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (5).
If left untreated, a dry scalp can lead to hair loss. This is because a dry scalp tends to be itchy, and scratching can dislodge hairs and cause irritation. The inflammation associated with dandruff and other autoimmune disorders may also trigger miniaturization of the follicle (6).
Avocado and similar plant oils can penetrate into the top layers of the scalp so as to moisturize and hydrate (7). This is essential in the treatment and management of such skin conditions.
3. It Moisturizes Hair
Hair breakage occurs because your hair has become dry and brittle. A good way to minimize hair breakage is to use products such as avocado oil that provide moisture for your hair.
Oil is essential to the health of hair, and a dry or otherwise poorly moisturized scalp can cause problems such as breakage, split ends, and thinning.
Shampoos and hair products strip the scalp of its natural oil (called sebum) (8). This leaves the scalp vulnerable, and the hairs even more so.
Avocado oil has been shown to penetrate the top layers of the scalp so as to provide moisture. And when applied to the hair strands, it can also strengthen them to prevent any breakage or splitting.
4. It Contains an Abundance of Nutrients and Minerals
When talking about hair growth, some of avocado oil’s most important components include linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and oleic acid. These essential fatty acids are found in other oils – including olive and canola– and they provide support to the hair’s main structural protein keratin (9).
But the list of beneficial ingredients doesn’t stop there.
Avocado oil also contains β-sitosterol, β-carotene, lecithin, minerals, and vitamins A, C, D, and E (10).
Many of these components have been covered in-depth throughout the blog, so I won’t touch upon them here. But suffice it to say that avocado oil is an abundant source of nutrients and minerals that are vital to the health of your scalp and hair.
Choosing the Best Avocado Oil for Hair Loss
Due to its well-documented health benefits, avocado oil has become popular among people who want to grow long and healthy hair. As a result of this increased popularity, there are many different brands of avocado oil on the market.
When you are selecting your avocado oil, you need to beware that not all variations of avocado oil are created equally. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind as you are shopping for your next bottle of avocado oil.
1. Purchase Avocado Oil That Is Not Mixed with Other Oils
Some companies will misrepresent the ingredients in the bottle of avocado oil. Although avocado oil might be prominently written on the front of the bottle, the ingredients listed on the back of the bottle reveal a different story.
Read the ingredients to verify that the bottle contains only 100 percent avocado oil.
If the avocado oil is mixed with other oils, you should not purchase it. Your hair will receive the best benefits from avocado oil alone.
2. Select Avocado Oil That Is Sold in a Dark Bottle
When oil meets heat and light, it can become rancid. Oil that is rancid has an unpleasant odor because it is stale and old. Rancid oil has lost its health benefits.
Avocado oil that is sold in dark containers made of glass tends to be fresher than avocado oil that is sold in light plastic bottles. This is because darker glass bottles serve as a barrier to protect the avocado oil from the sunlight and heat.
3. Your Avocado Oil Should Be Cold-Pressed
This is a process by which avocado oil receives minimal processing. Cold-pressed avocado oil is closer to its natural state, and it’s able to retain its natural nutritional properties.
4. Consider Cost Effectiveness Rather Than Cost Alone
Quality oils can be expensive. The price of a bottle of avocado oil ranges from $5 to $30. Instead of buying a large bottle of inexpensive, low-quality avocado oil, it might be a better value to purchase a smaller bottle of high-quality avocado oil.
In order to grow your hair, you need to use avocado oil that contains all of the essential vitamins, fats, and minerals.
Risks and Possible Side Effects
Though adverse effects of avocado oil may be rare when compared with other treatments, such as minoxidil or finasteride, there is still a risk.
Believe it or not, it’s possible to be allergic to avocado. An allergic reaction can range from mild (itching, hives, upset stomach) to severe (vomiting and/or diarrhea, difficulty breathing, wheezing, swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and/or throat).
The risk of this increases in those who are allergic to latex, banana, kiwi, peach, and chestnut.
If avocado is not a usual part of your diet or beauty routine, it’s best to test avocado oil on a small patch of skin (such as the inside of your wrist) before you use it internally or externally.
Do keep in mind that avocado oil alone is likely not enough to stop hair loss. This is especially true if the loss is related to a condition such as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) or Alopecia Areata (AA) (12, 13).
Avocado oil is a mainstay in the health and beauty industry, and for obvious reasons. It contains vital nutrients and minerals, which can be beneficial to your hair, skin, and overall systems.
Avocado oil may help to support a healthy scalp and hair strands, but it’s unlikely to regrow any significant amount of. In some cases, it may not help to promote hair growth at all.
If you are worried about hair loss the first step is to seek medical advice and get a qualified diagnosis. After all, there are many types of hair loss so understanding which type you have will help you treat it more effectively.
Avocado oil is lacking high quality clinical evidence to suggest it may be useful for certain types of alopecia. We recommend sticking to FDA approved treatments such as minoxidil and finasteride.