Avocados are the Tom Hanks of fruits and veggies: They can do no wrong. They're beloved by all and universally appealing. Avocado oil, specifically, is super high in monounsaturated fatty acids and omegas which are great for your internal, skin, and hair health, has vitamins E, D, and A, and even has chlorophyll which helps "feed the cells throughout your body the nutrients that it needs," says Lois Hines, founder of Tropic Isle Living. Yes, you read that correctly, using avocado oil for hair benefits may be the least discussed perk of the fruit, but it's definitely legit.
"Avocado oil is amazing for all types of hair because, since it is so packed with healthy fats, it can really penetrate the hair shaft and help moisturize, nourish, and reduce signs of split ends and breakage rather than just lying on top of the hair," says Hines. Additionally, since we all need vitamin D for our hair, and often melanin-rich skin and natural hair don't get enough of the nutrient from just being out in the sun for a few hours, when you put avocado oil in your hair through a treatment or a mask, you can really reap the hair restoring and preventative hair loss benefits, she explains. On top of that, since the oil also contains high quantities of vitamin E, it can even help protect your hair from the damaging rays of the sun and environmental aggressors, promote good scalp health because of its anti-inflammatory properties, help with healthy circulation to keep your hair follicles working, and delay the graying process because it is a nutrient protector.
Most people usually want to keep oils away from their scalp and hair since it can cause hair to look overly greasy, but Hines says that she "loves using avocado oil for skin and hair in the summer because it's lighter than other oils and still nutrient rich and when combined with a sealing oil like castor, it can really help nourish your scalp and hair follicles without feeling too heavy or oily." According to Paula Simpson, biochemist, beauty expert, and author of Good Bacteria for Healthy Skin, since it's so light, "it's a better option for fine hair" as well.
Here's how to use avocado oil for hair benefits
1. Hair mask: For an all-over hair boost, Simpson recommends making an avocado mask to "promote hair moisture, fortify, and encourage hair growth and scalp health." Hines favorite recipe is made by blending together one avocado for healthy fats, half of a cup of mayo, because it's "eggy and protein-rich," and half of a cup of classic plain yogurt, "since milk is great for hair health as well." This is a great recipe to use alone or in conjunction with a hot oil treatment (recipe below) "once a week or every other week if your hair is feeling dry or breaking a lot," she explains. To apply, massage the mask into your hair from the scalp all the way way down to the ends like a paste, cover it with a heating cap or plastic bag, and let it sit alone or under a dryer for about 30 minutes before rinsing out.
2. Styling: Got frizz? (Same.) "Lightly apply avocado oil with your fingertips to the ends of your hair to smooth out frizz or hold curls for the day," says Simpson.
3. Hot oil treatment: Especially for natural hair "which requires a lot of maintenance because it sucks oil and drinks water like there's no tomorrow," oil treatments are great for repairing and preventing breakage and providing an added boost of hydration. To make one, "mix equal parts avocado oil with a sealing and suspending oil like Tropic Isle Living's Jamaican Black Castor Oil ($9) that will help prolong the benefits and effects of the avocado oil, lightly warm the blend, put it in an empty applicator bottle, and then directly pour on to your scalp and massage through the rest of your hair. After that, put on a heating cap or bag and let the treatment sit for an hour before washing," explains Hines. This helps add nutrients to your hair before washing and because of the heat and the fact that you're letting it sit and soak into your hair and scalp, the benefits won't wash away when you shampoo. Warning: one thing to keep in mind when using castor oil, since it is seed based, it's best to "patch test the oil on your skin before applying to make sure that you won't have a sensitivity or reaction to it."
4. For a scalp boost: "To promote a healthy scalp, encourage hair growth, and combat scalp flaking, try a scalp-friendly mask," says Simpson. You'll need: a tablespoon of avocado oil, a tablespoon of plain yogurt, one probiotic capsule, and a half teaspoon of honey. "With gentle pressure and circular motions, massage the mixture into your scalp to promote absorption and circulation," she says. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes before washing and conditioning as usual.
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