We brush our hair vigorously, we subject it to treatments that can weaken it, such as dyeing or straightening, or to products that suffocate it and cause irritation, we style it into hairstyles that are sometimes too tight, we expose it to the sun, sudden changes in temperature, wind and humidity. In short, in everyday life our hair is really under stress. As a result, our hair can become brittle, may break easily, fall out, but dandruff, itchy scalp and dull or even oily and heavy hair can also appear. What can we do to take care of our hair? There is a very ancient remedy, belonging to the Ayurvedic tradition, which, however, precisely because of its innumerable benefits, is making a comeback in recent years, the hair oiling. Hair oiling is the application of an oil on the scalp and hair. After this application, a gentle massage is performed on the scalp and then the product is left in place, finally rinsed with shampoo. Even science is dedicating its effort on the study of the properties of hair oiling and what has emerged is that there are some oils that are better than others for performing this treatment. Oils that manage to penetrate the hair, repair and nourish it. So, let's figure out which vegetable oils to use according to our needs, for healthy, shiny and strong hair.
Coconut oil for damaged hair and dandruff
Coconut oil is among the best products we can use to take care of our hair. The exotic tradition of Polynesia has given us the amazing monoi oil, made by infusing tiare flowers, or gardenia tahitensis, in coconut oil and used by Polynesian women to take care of their hair. But science has also thoroughly studied coconut oil and its applications for the beauty and health of hair. Based on research, it has been found that coconut oil is one of the best oils to prevent protein loss in the hair, thus leaving hair stronger and healthier, both for pre and post shampoo treatments. We recommend a pre-shampoo treatment so that the hair does not become heavy. The beneficial action of coconut oil was found to be better than other oils, also widely used in hair treatments, such as mineral oils and sunflower oil. Coconut oil, due to its lauric acid content, shows a high affinity with hair proteins and this allows it to easily penetrate the hair, thus being beneficial both for preventing hair weakening and for treating brittle hair (Rele at al, J Cosmet Sci, 2003). Not only that, coconut oil coats the hair and helps retain hydration (Mysore et al, Int J Trichology, 2022). Coconut oil also helps in case of dandruff thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal action, also able to protect the skin flora (Saxena et al, Sci rep, 2021 - Mysore et al, Int J Trichology, 2022). In fact, studies have observed that topical applications of coconut oil on the skin allow, in three months, to restore the skin microbiota by promoting the growth of good bacteria, associated with a healthy scalp without dandruff. But let's see how to use coconut oil for hair health. Quickly melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a double boiler. Apply to damp scalp and then to all lengths. Massage and leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with shampoo. Thanks to this coconut oil mask you can benefit both the hair, treating it if it is fragile or preventing an increase in porosity if it is healthy, and the scalp, counteracting the formation of dandruff and itching.
Argan oil for stressed and greasy hair
Pollution and sun rays can stress our hair, which can weaken. An argan hair mask before shampooing, distributing two tablespoons of argan oil on the scalp and lengths and leaving it on for 15-20 minutes, or the use of a few drops of oil distributed on dry hair has made it possible to protect the hair and prevent protein loss, leaving the hair strong, supple and healthy (Sharifi et al, J Cosmet Dermatol, 2022). Massaging argan oil on the skin as a pre-shampoo compress also helps to regulate the production of sebum, thus being useful in case of oily scalp (Mysore et al, Int J Trichology, 2022).
Castor oil for shiny hair
In this case there are few studies dedicated to the use of castor oil for hair, but all the research carried out indicates that castor oil can be beneficial for the hair. In particular, it has been observed that castor oil helps add shine to the hair, retains hydration, thus counteracting dry and dehydrated hair, and brings nourishment to the hair follicle (Phong et al, J Drugs Dermatol, 2022). Castor oil is very thick and can be difficult to remove from the hair. Therefore, it is best used mixed with other oils, such as the lighter jojoba oil. In a small bowl, you can mix one tablespoon of castor oil and one tablespoon of jojoba oil. Apply to the scalp with a massage and then to the hair, leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with your shampoo.
Pumpkin oil and rosemary oil in case of hair loss
Rosemary oil has a stimulating action on the hair follicle. Studies have observed that the regular application, for at least 6 months, of rosemary oil on the scalp twice a day is able to stimulate the microcirculation around the hair follicle with an action comparable to that of a preparation containing 2% of minoxidil, the active ingredient used to stimulate hair growth (Popescu et al, Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol., 2022). Regular application of pumpkin oil to the scalp has also been shown to stimulate hair growth. It is believed that this beneficial action is due to its content in fatty acids, phytoestrogens and vitamin E (Hajhashemi et al, Avicenna J Phytomed, 2019).