Many people like using oils and conditioners on their hair but may experience a plateau where their dry hair or itchy scalp isn’t improving. Some beneficial natural oils, such as flaxseed oil, can also be taken internally or applied externally. The oil is packed full of omega-3s and omega-6s that can improve all the cells in your body, increase hair thickness, promote hair growth, and generally provide benefits to the entire body.
Flaxseed oil is also 100% natural and is sourced from flaxseeds. The oil is safe for vegans or vegetarians to consume. It’s a great substitute instead of taking fish oil. Science has proven that flaxseed oil contains many more beneficial compounds than fish oil does, but without the harmful mercury content.
What Is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil also is considered a vegetable-based type of oil. Besides its high omega-3 fatty acid content, it has many other beneficial compounds. Flaxseed oil is also known as linseed oil or flax oil. Flaxseed oil contains about 50 percent to 60 percent of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Some of these are ALA—alpha-linolenic acids. The oil in flaxseed is also unsaturated, so it won’t affect the arteries in the body if you consume it.
Flaxseed oil is made from the seeds of the flax plant, also known as Linum usitatissimum, L. When the seeds are crushed or pressed, a colourless or light yellow oil is released. The oil is pressed from the ripened seeds for the best quality. After the oil is extracted it’s then processed and bottled for the consumer market.
Flaxseed oil has a long history of usage by humans. It’s believed that they may have originally been cultivated as far back as the Neolithic era, or 10,000 BC. During 4000 to 2000 BC, flax cultivation was popular in the Middle East and along the countries of the Mediterranean Sea.
The flaxseed plant continues to be grown today for its seeds. It’s frequently grown in larger quantities in the USA and Canada. There are different grades of the oil, which is a consideration when you’re buying the oil to benefit your hair.
What Are the Benefits of Flaxseed Oil for Your Hair?
Consuming the oil will help to provide healthier skin and hair, and even reduce inflammation in the body. Often many hair conditions can be due to poor health, malnutrition, unhealthy diet, or disease. The oil works to correct these problems, resulting in many benefits to your health. Once you have your health under control, your hair will naturally grow in thicker and fuller.
Flaxseed oil is considered a drying oil. This means that if you use it directly on your skin or hair, that it will dry, not leaving a sticky or oily feeling behind. The oil also works well as a carrier oil if you wish to add in a drop of two of your favourite essential oils for external application.
Using flaxseed oil to improve the looks of the hair is catching on around the world. Both men and women realize that a cheap store-bought shampoo or conditioner is not going to have any longterm effects on improving their hair. Instead, a genuine and natural supplement, such as flaxseed oil, can truly improve the look and feel of your hair.
Here are just a few more ways that the oil can improve the looks of your hair.
1. Adds moisture and shine to hair.
It’s similar to castor oil but absorbs much better into the hair. It can be used as a styling aid, to help keep loose strands from falling out of an up-do.
2. Avoids acne issues on scalp.
Many oils are comedogenic, such as coconut oil, so if you apply them to your skin, it can cause blocked pores and acne. Flax seed oil is a nice light oil, so even if you get some on your forehead or your neck, you won’t have to worry about it causing acne.
3. Works at strengthening your hair.
You can apply the oil directly to your scalp to encourage hair growth, or you can take it as a supplement. The flaxseed oil will help hair to grow faster and thicker.
4. Improve the elasticity of your hair.
When hair gets thin it can also become dry and brittle. This causes excess breakage that can make your hair look frizzy and dull. Taking the flax seed supplement will help to improve the elasticity of your hair so that it will grown in stronger. It will be able to withstand styling, even when you’re curling or brushing it.
5. Cost-effective hair care product.
There is no need to buy expensive hair serums when you can purchase a small bottle of flaxseed oil to use as a hair restorative.
6. Helps alleviate eczema.
Eczema can occur on every part of the skin, including the scalp. It can be particularly itchy and cause hair loss if not treated. The flaxseed oil can help stop the itchiness and speed healing.
7. Reduces dandruff.
The compounds in flaxseed oil work to fight dandruff due to the anti-inflammatory properties and the amino acids that kill bacteria.
How Can You Take Flaxseed Oil to Improve Your Hair?
Flaxseed oil is an edible oil and can be used as a nutritional supplement and as a beauty oil to improve the look and feel of your hair. In certain parts of the world the oil is added to food. It has a strong nutty taste and is good with potatoes.
If you purchase the oil in a bottle, you can pour a small amount into your salads as a dressing, or you can simply take a few millilitres of the oil from a spoon. If you enjoy smoothies or protein shakes, you can add the oil to the mix. You can also pour it over your food, such as yoghurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. Flaxseed oil has benefits in helping to improve digestion too, which could be a factor with people who are suffering from malnutrition, and perhaps those who aren’t eating enough due to an upset stomach.
While flaxseed oil can be poured into your food, it doesn’t make a good oil for cooking. This is because all the beneficial compounds are lost when it’s heated up. Stick to a different type of oil for cooking, such as coconut, and save your flaxseed oil to help benefit hair and skin.
Flaxseed oil is also sold in capsule form so you can quickly and easily take it in the morning during breakfast. This may be the best way to consume it, because if you’re taking it for health benefits, you’ll need to take a larger quantity for an extended length of time.
You can also use the oil directly on your hair. It can soften and lessen the appearance of dry split ends. It can be used as a styling aid to make your hair look softer and silkier. You can apply it to your scalp to help encourage hair growth. The fatty acids in the oil can help to rebalance a scalp that’s excessively oily or too dry. The flaxseed oil can also help to stop the fungus that is responsible for dandruff, and control the bacteria that causes scalp acne.
You can also pour a small amount of the oil into your shampoo or your conditioner bottle to achieve more benefits. Choose one or the other to avoid your hair getting too greasy. If you use it in your conditioner, let it soak into your hair and scalp for ten minutes before rinsing it out.
You can also warm up the oil with a bit of hot water and apply it as a hair mask. Cover your scalp with a clean towel and let it soak in for twenty minutes. Then wash your hair normally with shampoo. There’s no need to use conditioner.
What Is the Nutritional Content of Flaxseed Oil?
Because your hair is made up of keratin, a type of protein, your body also needs plenty of protein to help it look its best. Besides protein, your hair also needs vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fatty acids. Your hair gets this nutrition from your diet. If you don’t get it from your diet, then you’ll start having issues with your hair.
The good news is that it’s never too late to begin a healthy diet, full of beneficial supplements that can improve every cell, organ, and even your hair.
If you’re curious about how much nutrition is in one tablespoon/15 ml of flaxseed oil, there are 120 calories, 0.01 grams of protein, and 13.6 grams of fat. There are also EPAs, DHAs, and ALAs, all types of fatty acids. The oil also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, biotin, C, and E.
How to Choose a Quality Flaxseed Oil for Hair
Flaxseed oil is used to make paint, coatings, and wood finishes. This is the lowest grade of the oil and is not considered edible. Be sure to purchase a food-grade flaxseed oil if you’re planning on using it as a health supplement for your hair.
When you purchase a bottle of flaxseed oil or flaxseed oil supplement, ensure that you’re purchasing it from a respected and well-known brand. The best type to buy is cold-pressed and organic, meaning that it’s free of harmful pesticides.
The oil should be sold in an amber or black opaque bottle that has UV-protectorant properties. This helps to reduce oxidation of the oil, as it doesn’t last as long as other types of oil. If you’re purchasing supplements in capsule form, buy a quality brand. Read the ingredients list to find a type that is free of preservatives, fillers, or additives. Vegetarians or vegans may prefer a plant-based gel cap, rather than a gelatin or glycerol-based type.
How to Store Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is one type of oil that has a shorter shelf life and that must be kept in the fridge to retain its freshness. It can oxidize and turn rancid. It’s important to open the oil as soon as you buy it, and to use it often and regularly. The oil should have its cap screwed on tightly.
Ideally, you should consume your flaxseed oil about six to eight weeks after opening. If you think you might forget to take it, purchase a smaller bottle. The capsule supplements will have a longer shelf life. Read the expiry date on the container so you can consume them before then.
Flaxseed Oil Warnings & Side Effects
Just like with any other type of food or oil, flaxseed oil can have its own set of precautions and side effects. The good news is that this oil is generally well-tolerated by most people. As long as you take the recommended dosages, you shouldn’t have any issues. But if you have any of the following issues, then discontinue use.
- Loose stools or diarrhea can result when you take more than two tablespoons/30 grams of the oil per day.
- If you’re on blood thinners, ask your doctor first, as omega-3 fatty acids can strengthen the effects of this medication, and it may need to be adjusted.
- If you’re diabetic, consult with your doctor first.
- If you take cyclosporine, ask your doctor if you can take flaxseed oil to lessen its side effects.
- If you experience hives, a bad rash, or trouble breathing, discontinue use.
Closing Thoughts On Choosing Flaxseed Oil for Fuller Silkier Hair
Flaxseed oil is a versatile oil that can be massaged into hair and scalp, or consumed with a glass of water, or added to your food. It contains a higher amount of natural amino acids that promote the healthy growth of hair and skin. If you prefer, you can buy flaxseed oil capsules for a much easier and quicker way to consume them every morning.
With regular consumption or application of flaxseed oil, your hair will grow in thicker and fuller, and soon you’ll be getting plenty of compliments!