Avocado's To The Hair Rescue
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
Over the past year I’ve noticed a progressive change in the health of my hair. It's dull and frizzy and the hair around my forehead is breaking and appears to be thinning. It feels very dry and my scalp is dry and flaky. I have naturally thick, course hair so compiled with the other issues I feel my hair is starting to look something like the Crypt Keeper (I may have just dated myself). I’ve seen a lot of articles online showing coconut oil is great for skin and hair. However, I can't use coconut ingredients due to an auto immune disease I have called Psoriasis. So, I did a little digging to see what else I could use. It turns out you can use almost any fruit or vegetable oils for skin and hair as long as it doesn't contain any synthetic ingredients. To my surprise, avocado oil is as good as coconut oil.
We've all heard the benefits of eating avocados, rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents to help reduce the risk of heart disease but I didn’t know the fruit can be used for topical hair treatments. Surprisingly, as a hair treatment, avocados are nutrient dense, high in vitamins and Omega-3 and Omega-6 which help to protect and strengthen hair at a cellular level. Phytosterols and Vitamin E are absorbed into the scalp and hair shafts to stimulate growth.
I didn’t have any avocados (even if I did I had a hard time convincing myself to use it in my hair instead of eating it) so I used the second best option, avocado oil. It's more abundant, less expensive, shelf stable, and I actually had some avocado cooking oil in my pantry. I had to wonder if "cooking oil" was safe for skin and hair or just for cooking. From what I read online all oils, regardless of type, can be used for skin care. However, not the same if used for cooking. Cooking oils have to be identified as such due to the high temperatures they encounter. Avocado oil has a high smoke point (the highest of all cooking oils) means that you can cook to incredibly high temperatures. The smoke point of an oil is basically the point at which an oil stops cooking, and starts burning. So you can use cooking oils on skin and hair just can't use all oils for cooking. Make sense? Sorry, I digress.
Hot Oil Treatment
A hot oil treatment is so simple. Warm up the oil in a glass container under a hot tap for a few minutes. It should only be warm to the touch. Be cautious when using a microwave to heat up the oil. Test the oil on wrist before applying to scalp to avoid the risk of burning yourself. Another option is to heat up the hair after the oil has been applied. I recommend using a squeeze bottle to make the process cleaner and allows you to apply the product more evenly.
How To Apply
Separating the hair is four sections and tie up with clips. Squeeze a small amount of oil directly on the scalp and massage with your fingers. Once the scalp is evenly coated, cover with a shower cap and allow the treatment to sit for 15-30 minutes. Shampoo and condition hair as normal. You can use hot oil treatments once or twice a month. If your scalp and hair are naturally oily you can use a less fatty oil like Jojoba or almond oil. Thick, course, or extra dry hair you can use coconut oil.
Results Are In
I've done the hot oil treatment once a week for the past two weeks and the results are amazing. Due to the thickness and length of my hair I use about 1oz of oil. The first time I let it sit for about an hour and the second time I let it sit longer to see if that improved the results. It didn't. In both treatments I used the oil at room temperature and used a blow dryer on the highest setting for about 5 minutes. For maximized results, I would recommend sitting under a dryer for the full 15-30 minutes. There are a ton of at-home options found online. I included a few of my favorites below.
I would highly recommend the hot oil treatment over the hair mask due to being more convenient and a cleaner process. I saw a 100% improvement in the first treatment. I no longer have the majority of the issues I listed before, except the thinning around my forehead. It's too soon to report any difference but I'm crossing my fingers since hair growth is one benefit of using hot oil treatments. A word of advice, make sure to shampoo thoroughly and use hot water but not where the water turns your skin red. If you don't get all the oil out just shampoo it again. When using the conditioner use the coldest setting you can stand so you close the hair cuticle, it will provide added shine.
Avocado Hair Mask
If you have an extra avocado laying around here’s a recipe for a hair mask. Simply mix all ingredients in a food processor or mash it all together in a bowl. The recipe is for normal shoulder length hair. Double it for longer or thicker hair. Apply to scalp and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. Honey is sticky but it’s a natural humectant and pulls moisture from the air sealing it into the hair. The egg protein is nourishing and promotes shine. It’s also high in fat and enhances softness.
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp honey
This hair mask recipe isn’t limited to these three ingredients. There are many wonderful recipes on Pinterest. The most common added ingredients were bananas, olive oil, or coconut oil. Make sure to do research to know what will work best for you.
Due to the reactions I have to coconut ingredients I prefer to make my own skin and hair care products whenever possible. My favorite ingredients are the NOW Solutions brand because they are specifically formulated for skin and hair and they offer a huge variety of affordable options. You can use these for sugar scrubs, cuticle oils, body butters, etc. A small bottle can go a long way.
I'm such a supporter of making my own products because I can control what I come into contact with. It help me control my Psoriasis outbreaks. I also get bored using the same stuff all the time and love the satisfaction I get. My hope is you like what I post and will share with friends and family.
Hot oil treatments and hair masks are only a short term solution for hair issues. As it's said, "you are what you eat", for long-term results it's recommended a person should eat a vitamin-rich diet with antioxidant-rich foods can help promote healthy skin and improve hair growth from the inside out.
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