Sesame oil is more commonly used in cooking but it can also encourage lush hair growth and soft, silky hair. Sesame oil is actually an edible oil made from sesame seeds, so you can be assured that it’s 100% safe to use on your body. This oil has traditionally been used for centuries by Asian and African cultures for alternative medicine. Sesame has been proven to have healing and soothing properties for skin and hair.
There are records dating back 5000 years that tell how sesame seeds were immune to droughts and often could be grown where other types of crops would fail. It’s believed that sesame seeds were one of the first types of oils to be extracted by humans. It’s believed sesame oil was first grown in the Indus Valley of North India, then first exported to Mesopotamia around 2500 BC.
Sesame oil still has a spot in modern day medicine to help provide many benefits to beauty care. Sesame oil is also commonly added to margarine, butter, ghee, and hydrogenated vegetable fats to improve texture and lifetime.
How Is Oil Extracted From Sesame Seeds?
Sesame oil is a type of edible vegetable oil extracted from tiny yellow-beige coloured seeds. The oil has a light yellow colour, slippery oily texture, with a pleasant nutty flavour. It’s an oil that is used to flavour many dishes, and can be traced back for many centuries to planted crops. Even though it’s popular to use today, production is still mostly limited to Asia, as the process to harvest the oil is still inefficient.
Sesame seeds are contained within a hard capsule. This capsule only opens up once the seeds have fully ripened. The time can vary, so farmers help the process along by cutting the plants by hand, then storing them in an upright position to allow them to fully ripen. In 1943, a high-yield crop was developed, but there are still many challenges to growing this type of crop for profit in the USA. Besides the USA, sesame crops are mostly grown in Asia and the Middle East.
Sesame seeds are commonly grown in developing countries, which is why new technology hasn’t been used to fully automate the process. Sesame oil can be extracted by a number of methods.
A variety of processes can be used to extract sesame oil from the seeds. These can involve hot water flotation, presses, expellers, and other processes. In more developed countries, an expeller press is used, as well as bigger extraction machines.
Cold pressing is a common process done to extract the oil. It’s also more popular for processing food-based oils, as the oil doesn’t have to be exposed to chemical solvents, or higher temperatures during the extraction phase.
Sesame oil sold in stores may be refined or not. Refined oils have been done through a solvent extraction process, neutralized, and then bleached to make the look better for the market.
Unrefined sesame oil is often preferred by consumers as the refined oil has its beneficial nutrients removed. A different flavour can be obtained from unrefined oil, while refined oil is made from toasted sesame seeds.
This type of oil is polyunsaturated and has semi-drying properties, so when it’s applied to hair or skin it absorbs nicely.
What Makes Sesame Oil Effective for Hair?
Sesame oil is full of fatty acids that make it beneficial for hair. It contains linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and others. The oleic and linoleic fatty acids account for 85% of the fatty acids in this oil. Besides a high fatty acid content, sesame oil also contains a high amount of vitamins E and K.
Sesame oil is one of the more stable oils to buy so it has a decent shelf life. But it can still benefit from being stored properly so that nutrient loss and oxidation is avoided. It should also be stored in amber-coloured bottles to avoid light exposure.
7 Benefits of Sesame Oil for Hair
Sesame oil has many benefits for hair and scalp. It contains a high fatty acid and vitamin content that not only helps provide moisturizing properties, but healing properties that help to nourish the hair roots.
Here are 7 benefits of using sesame oil for hair and scalp.
1. Prevents premature greying of hair.
The fatty acids and vitamins in sesame oil can actually prevent the premature aging of hair follicles so you can retain the natural colour of your hair. It’s believed that sesame oil may even darken the colour of your hair. The fatty acids and vitamins can help to restore hair health.
2. Encourages healthy hair growth.
Sesame oil can benefit hair by encouraging the circulation of blood through the scalp, which in turn helps to encourage the growth to the hair shafts and hair follicles. The oil can also penetrate deep into the hair follicles to prevent damage from chemicals in shampoos and conditioners. The best way to use the oil to encourage healthy hair growth is as a hot oil treatment. This can be applied directly to your scalp then washed off after 20 minutes.
3. Provides UV ray protection.
Putting the oil on your hair provides a way to naturally provide sunblock protection for hair and scalp. This prevents your hair from being damaged by the sun’s rays after extended exposure when you’re outdoors. The oil helps to provide a protective barrier around the hair shaft and the skin. Since the oil nicely absorbs, it’s a much better way than trying to rub sunscreen along your hairline. The oil can also help protect the hair from the damaging effects of pollution.
4. Provides soothing properties to scalp.
Sesame oil can provide soothing properties to a scalp that may be suffering from hair dryer damage or from diseases. The oil can work to soothe the itchiness from dryness and dandruff. Since it’s believed the oil also has cooling properties, this can be beneficial for people who blow dry their hair every day. The sesame oil can lock in the moisture to further protect hair and scalp from damage.
For people who suffer dandruff, the oil can also provide moisturizing properties, and soothe the itch that dry flakes can cause. The beneficial properties within the oil, such as fatty acids and vitamins, will also work at killing off the fungus that causes dandruff.
5. Provides moisturizing properties for hair.
The oil provides natural moisturizer to both hair and scalp. It can also make your hair look shiny when used as a styling aid, and can also benefit hair when used as a leave-in hair conditioner. Sesame oil is suitable for all types of hair. If you have extremely damaged hair, the oil can penetrate into your hair and help to revitalize it so it looks better. The oil can also be used to combat regular dryness, but can also be used for people who have normal hair, but want a bit of additional moisture without using store-bought hair conditioners.
If your hair is damaged from over-styling or heated appliances, the oil can help to revitalize your hair and scalp. If the hair needs extra help, the oil can be used for a deep conditioning oil treatment for overnight. The oil easily washes out of the hair in the morning.
6. Prevents premature hair loss.
The oil can work at combatting hair loss. There can be many reasons for hair loss, from aging, to stress, and disease. Even over-styling your hair can cause more strands to fall out. Sesame oil can help to combat these conditions and restore hair roots to a normal rate of growth.
7. Effectively treats head lice.
Sesame oil can be used as a carrier oil with essential oils to fight head lice. The oil itself will smother the lice, while the essential oils will work at killing any eggs left in the hair. The treatment can be left on the hair for 20 minutes or so, and then washed out with shampoo. This is a more natural way of treating hair without worrying about using toxic pesticides on your hair.
How to Easily Apply Sesame Oil to Hair
Sesame oil can be easily applied to your hair. You can simply pour a few drops into the palms of your hands and rub them together to warm the oil. The oil can then be applied to where you’re focussing the treatment. Rub it into the scalp if you’re treating your scalp, or rub it into your hair strands to soften them. You may wish to focus on the roots if you have dry split ends.
Sesame oil can also be used as a hair mask. You can pour 10 ml of sesame oil into your hands and use it to rub through hair and scalp. Let it sit on your scalp for 20 minutes. If you want to do an overnight treatment, wrap a light towel around your head to protect your pillow.
Once you’re ready, you can wash your hair with a normal shampoo. There’s no need to weigh your hair down with conditioner. After a few treatments you’ll discover how soft your hair feels.
Other Beauty Benefits of Using Sesame Oil on Body
There are other beauty benefits to using sesame oil for beauty. In Ayurvedic medicine, using sesame oil has been commonly used for massage. It’s believed that the the oil can rid the body of heat during the massaging process.
The oil may also be used for making cosmetics. It’s a good oil to use in soap making, and it can also be used as a carrier oil for essential oils.
This oil is perfect for providing anti-aging properties to the skin, since it has a high amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works to combat free radicals that can cause damage to hair or skin. This is one of the main ingredients of anti-aging creams and serums, but instead of wasting your money, you can simply purchase a bottle of sesame oil to cover all your beauty needs.
Sesame oil can also help to remove blemishes. Fungus, viruses, and bacteria can all cause rashes on the skin. Sesame oil naturally contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These will help your skin to heal up much faster from problematic skin conditions.
When sesame oil is used over time, it can help to improve your skin’s elasticity and texture. This will help to make it look younger.
Sesame oil is commonly used as an all-over massage oil. Massage is good at helping injured or sore muscles to heal up. It’s also perfect for helping you to relax at the end of a long day. The oil helps to work the muscles much better than if you didn’t use any oil at all.
Sesame oil can help to heal cuts and wounds. Its natural antibacterial properties will help prevent infections, while its vitamin E content will promote faster healing and decrease the appearance of scars on the skin.
Sesame oil is also perfect to use on extremely dry body parts. Often the cuticles on the hands can be dry and peeling, or the elbows and knees can be extra dry. A few drops of sesame oil can help to soothe these regions. It can even benefit dry and cracked feet.
Final Thoughts on Using Sesame Oil for Hair & Beauty
There are many different choices of natural oils to use to benefit hair and beauty. Many people like to use sesame oil as it has a light and smooth consistency and smells good. It’s an oil that remains affordable, and you can always pop into your kitchen to borrow your bottle of cooking oil, without needing to fill up your cupboards with a bunch of haircare or beauty care products.
If your hair, scalp, or skin needs some help with managing dryness or an irritating condition, give sesame oil a try first. Soon you’ll discover how your hair looks soft and smooth and is much easier to style, while your skin looks healthy and radiant.