Flaxseed oil has many potential health benefits. But did you know that flaxseed oil also can benefit your hair? Read on to discover flaxseed oil benefits for hair and how to use flaxseed oil to make dry, winter hair look thicker and healthier.
What is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil, comes from small golden seeds known as one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil contains the fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body converts into helpful eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
People have been consuming flaxseed oil for its healthy benefits for a long time. In the ninth century, European ruler King Charlemagne believed so strongly in flaxseed oil benefits that he passed laws requiring its consumption.
Understanding Omega-3 Fatty Acids
To learn how flaxseed oil helps hair growth, we must first understand omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are healthy fatty acids believed to contribute to healthier cognitive and cardiovascular functions, decreased inflammation, as well as glowing skin and shiny hair. Since the human body is unable to produce omega-3 fatty acids on its own, you would need to consume omega-3 through food or elsewhere.
If you don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, you can suffer from thinning, brittle hair. This is why it’s so important to supplement your diet with healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed Oil Benefits for Hair
A 2014 animal study indicated that flaxseed oil had a positive effect on both hair length and thickness. Flaxseed oil is good for hair for a few reasons:
- Flaxseed oil provides nutrition for hair follicles because it’s rich in fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids nourish hair follicles for healthy hair growth. Deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can result in dry, brittle hair.
- It’s also rich in protein and selenium, both of which are necessary for growing healthy, shiny hair.
- Flaxseed oil’s omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, and may lower inflammation associated with hair loss, dandruff, and other unhealthy scalp conditions.
- Its vitamin E content provides additional nourishment for hair follicles and moisturizes the strands.
How to Use Flaxseed Oil for Healthy Hair in Winter
Is winter making your hair dry, brittle and unmanageable? Apply flaxseed oil to your hair as a solution! Flaxseed oil is a great way to support healthy hair growth since it has the ability to hydrate dry hair, preventing breakage while your hair grows. Follow the tips below to use flaxseed oil for healthy hair.
When purchasing flaxseed oil, look for cold-pressed, organic oil from a respected manufacturer. Flaxseed oil should be stored in a dark-colored, opaque bottle to prevent oxidation. Flaxseed oil is also available in capsule form.
Keep flaxseed oil in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and consume it within six to eight weeks after opening. Do not use flaxseed oil for cooking. However, it’s fine to use on foods that have already been heated.
Flaxseed oil can either be added to food, taken as a supplement, or used on the outside of hair strands as a conditioning treatment or hair mask, to keep hair looking strong and thick even in winter.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to use flaxseed oil to nourish dry, damaged winter hair:
1. Flaxseed Hot Oil Treatment
To see immediate results, apply this flaxseed hot oil treatment to hair once or twice per week. Wet hair in the shower, then briefly towel dry so hair is wet but not dripping. Massage a small amount of flaxseed oil into your scalp. Comb the remaining oil through your hair. Add extra oil as needed if you have longer hair.
Wrap hair in plastic wrap, then wrap in a towel and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. The plastic wrap and towel will hold in your natural body heat, allowing the flaxseed oil to penetrate hair shafts more thoroughly. Then wash the oil from your hair with a mild shampoo.
2. Flaxseed Oil Hair Spritz
For on-the-go moisturizing in winter, try this flaxseed oil hair spritz. This mixture also works great for detangling wet hair. Mix one part water, one part flaxseed oil, and one part sunflower oil in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of a hair-healthy essential oil like lavender for a pleasant scent.
3. Flaxseed Oil Treatment for Split Ends
If you find that only your ends are dry in winter, apply flaxseed oil directly to split ends. Spray split ends with water, then apply a teaspoon of flaxseed oil to ends.
Tips for Using Flaxseed for Hair
Flaxseed oil is well-tolerated by most people. But large amounts of flaxseed oil (more than two tablespoons per day) may cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. Doctors may recommend that you do not consume flaxseed oil while taking blood-thinning medications, blood sugar-lowering medications or certain immunosuppressive drugs. Pregnant women and nursing women are recommended to avoid flaxseed oil.
The body converts flaxseed oil’s ALA to helpful DHA and EPA, other fatty acids essential for human health. However, if the body is deficient in other vitamins or minerals like biotin, zinc, and copper then conversion rates may be lower. To keep your body fueled with hair-healthy nutrients, take a supplement like Viviscal. For men, the Viviscal Man hair supplement contains flaxseed extract, along with other essential nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc and horsetail stem extract that help to promote thicker hair and less hair shedding.*
As with any new ingredient, speak to your doctor before adding flaxseed oil to your routine. If you’re concerned about hair loss, you should also visit your doctor to rule out any serious issues.
Have you ever tried flaxseed oil for healthy, shiny hair? Let us know in the comments!