As the name suggests, avocado oil is an oil that stems directly from avocados. After originating in Mexico, avocados have gained popularity worldwide, leading to natural healthcare experts investigating their potential to create a healthier lifestyle. Since then, the medical world has latched onto its benefits also; to the extent that it now has prescription status in France.
While avocado oil may is a prescription drug elsewhere, it’s available as a natural supplement in many other places. In terms of its nutritional profile, it’s rich in:
- Oleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties
- Essential fatty acids, which aid cellular repair
- Thiamine, which the body needs to generate energy for its cells
- Riboflavin, which promotes better cellular health
- Vitamin A, which plays a role in strengthening hair
- Potassium, which regulates cholesterol levels and by-proxy can balance your testosterone
As you can see, avocado oil is rich in a variety of nutrients. It’s for this reason that we’re interested in whether it can reduce hair loss, or encourage hair to regrow.
The benefits of avocado oil for hair loss
One of the significant benefits we’ve noticed is that avocado oil serves a lot of purposes. While we can use emu oil to rub into our heads or take as a supplement, avocado oil is perfect for cooking too. So, if you want to maximize your hair regrowth potential, you can switch your usual cooking oil and replace it with avocado oil. However, bear in mind that it burns at a high heat. If you cook at too high a temperature, it loses its nutritional benefits. As such, if you want to use avocado oil for cooking, we recommend cooking at low to medium temperatures only.
Also, we’ve found ways it can benefit other areas of your body. These include:
- Your joints. As avocado oil has anti-inflammatory benefits, it can reduce the side effects that come with arthritis. It’s for this reason that it’s a prescribable drug in France.
- It’ll lower your blood pressure. The presence of good fats and potassium in avocado oil helps to reduce the number of bad fats you have. As a result, your arteries are less narrow, which means your heart doesn’t have to beat as hard. The result? Lower blood pressure.
- You absorb more nutrients. Avocados contain lots of carotenoids, which in turn help you absorb nutrients. If you eat a nutrient-rich diet, your gut has an easier time consuming the vitamins and minerals, which then contributes to better follicular health.
With lower blood pressure, less inflammation, and better nutrient absorption, your hair’s follicles naturally stand to benefit. Better blood flow and more nutrients mean a higher delivery of essential vitamins and minerals to your scalp. Similarly, if you reduce inflammation, you tackle some of the underlying processes that exacerbate conditions such as psoriasis.
Can avocado oil slow down hair loss?
As one of the few fruits that contain thiamine, avocado oil has the potential to slow down hair loss. However, how effective it depends on why you’re losing hair. As the Mayo Clinic highlights, we need thiamin to ensure our cells generate energy from the nutrients we eat, encouraging cells to grow and thrive in the process. Theoretically, thiamine’s presence in avocado oil means our bodies will have an easier time absorbing the nutrients it needs to slow down hair loss, as it accelerates the rate at which our cells use them. If you’re suffering from a condition such as androgenic alopecia, where you lose hair because the follicles are shrinking, using thiamin to drive more nutrients into the cells helps them stay healthier for longer.
Similarly, riboflavin is a potent antioxidant. In one study, which focused on fish, it was found that the absence of riboflavin increases oxidative stress and allows free radicals to damage cells. As another piece of research has demonstrated, the presence of free radicals on our scalps means we’re more likely to see a worsening of conditions such as psoriasis. Using avocado oil, you can introduce riboflavins to the area, protecting your scalp from free radicals and slowing down hair loss.
Another benefit of riboflavin is that they activate Vitamin B6, which then increases the amount of melanin we produce. When we create more melanin, we boost the number of keratin cells on our scalp. As you may already know, keratin plays a role in strengthening your hair. If your hair is stronger, you’ll find that the loss is slower.
Another vitamin that battles free radicals are Vitamin A, which means its presence in avocado oil provides another way to combat them and protect your hair follicles. However, we should probably add that too much Vitamin A causes hair loss too; so you need to strike the right balance. If you are using Vitamin A to slow down hair loss, make sure you don’t add in supplements, or it’ll have the opposite effect.
Can avocado oil help regrow hair?
If you suffer from a condition such as psoriasis, folliculitis, or dermatitis, you may find that avocado oil helps you regrow your hair. One study focusing on Vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil compared it to one that doesn’t, to see which one is more effective in treating psoriasis. Initially, the one without avocado oil appeared to reduce psoriasis more, providing the scalp with healthier follicles that regrow hair. However, this cream plateaued at four weeks, whereas continuous use of the avocado oil-based cream saw persistent results. This suggests it at least benefits those of us who lose hair through dermatitis-related conditions.
Similarly, another study found that the oleic acid we find in avocado oil reduces the presence of tinea capitis. Like psoriasis, tinea capitis causes hair loss through its patchy effects on the scalp. However, it’s closer to ringworm than psoriasis. The study in question highlighted how the fungi behind tinea capitis start to diminish in the presence of extra fatty acids. As oleic acid is a fatty acid, applying it to your hair will help the follicles increase sebum production, which in turn kills off the causative fungi, which then primes your follicles for regrowth.
Finally, potassium’s presence in avocado oil works well with Minoxidil, which is a conventional treatment for those suffering from androgenic alopecia. According to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, potassium accelerates the rate at which your scalp absorbs Minoxidil, which in turn allows it to act faster and promote better hair regrowth. However, if you receive Minoxidil as a prescription drug, you may want to consult with your doctor before adding avocado oil to the mix.
Is avocado oil safe to use?
According to Now Foods, there are no safety concerns associated with avocado oil. It isn’t in the list of ingredients detailed in cosmetic products, and it isn’t subject to restrictions. At the moment, we haven’t identified any toxic concerns. However, if you have had an allergic reaction to avocados in any form in the past, don’t use it again. While we’re not sure how well it absorbs through the skin, there’s always the potential for another anaphylactic reaction.
How to make a DIY avocado oil hair mask
When you make a DIY avocado oil hair mask, you need to make sure you don’t blend it with ingredients that work against each other. Instead, aim for those that complement each other. Our suggestion for a practical DIY avocado oil hair mask is:
- Blend two tables of avocado oil with, two tablespoons of coconut oil, a tablespoon of Manuka honey, and two drops of lavender oil. Lavender oil also a powerful antioxidant, plus it induces relaxation. Adding it to your hair mask boosts its potency.
- Apply the mask to your hair and massage it in gently. We recommend massaging it in for at least one minute, using a timer on your phone. Massaging encourages blood to flow to the surface, which means your hair’s follicles are more likely to benefit from great oxygen delivery and will absorb the nutrients.
- Add a shower cap to your head, then sit back and relax. After half-an-hour, massage your hair for another minute to promote more blood flow and then rinse it out using warm water. Using warm water is essential, as too much heat diminishes the oil’s benefits. Cold water, on the other hand, vasoconstricts the blood vessels, which makes it harder for your hair’s follicles to absorb the nutrients.
When you grow in confidence, you may want to consider using other essential oils. Some of our suggestions include:
- Eucalyptus oil. As Eucalyptus oil has antiseptic properties, it is useful for conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and dandruff. Also, it’s invigorating, which means it’ll boost your energy levels.
- Chamomile oil. If you’re suffering from high-stress levels, you’re producing more cortisol. Chamomile oil lowers stress and tackles conditions such as anxiety and depression. As a result, you can tackle the hair loss that comes with stress-related conditions. For example, telogen effluvium.
- Peppermint oil. Not only does peppermint oil smell great, but it also reduces testosterone levels. As such, it’s ideal for androgenic/hereditary alopecia.
Will you experience any side effects when using avocado oil?
Avocado oil is one of the few oils that doesn’t produce side effects. However, there has been one case of a user reporting mild itching. When you use the oil as an oral supplement, you can do so safely for up to two years. As for topical applications, it remains safe for three months.
Naturally, we can’t find any studies stating whether it’s safe for use during pregnancy. However, we have noted that it may cause an allergic reaction in those who have a latex allergy.
As one of the most natural oils available, avocado oil is ideal for cooking with, available as an oral supplement, and comes in a topical form that you can use for creating hair masks. Its high antioxidant properties mean it protects your hair follicles, which can slow down hair loss. Also, it contains vitamins and minerals that promote hair regrowth in those suffering from dermatitis-related conditions, and it can boost the efficacy of Minoxidil. While there are few side effects associated with the oil, it is one to steer clear of if you have a latex allergy, and ask your doctor for advice if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.