Mustard oil is also known as mustard seed oil. Mustard oil is made from tiny mustard seeds of the mustard plant called Brassica juncea. Just like making other types of vegetable oils, the oil is extracted from the mustard seeds by pressing or grinding them. The seeds undergo a steam distillation process to make the oil safe for human consumption.
The oil can both be consumed and used for skin and hair. But just like any other type of natural oil, you want to ensure that it’s a good brand. The oil has a dark reddish-yellow color that makes it distinctive from other kinds of oils for hair or skin.
Mustard oil does have a strong spicy odor, but most people find it quite pleasant. The smell does dissipate after it’s been applied to hair or skin. Usually, you only use a minute amount, so the aroma is not a concern for most people.
What Makes Mustard Oil Effective for Hair Care?
Mustard oil contains a high amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that the human body requires for skin cell growth, hair growth, and to keep internal organs healthy and functioning. Most of its content is of monounsaturated fats and about 12% of saturated fats. If saturated fats are a concern in your diet, mustard oil is a better choice than olive oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil, or olive oils, as its saturated content is lower.
There are also other essential compounds, such as allyl isothiocyanate glucosinolates, that both have healing and antimicrobial properties. It also contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It also includes a high amount of erucic acid (40%), which is beneficial as a healing and antimicrobial compound.
10 Benefits of Mustard Oil for Hair
Mustard oil can benefit your hair and scalp. Here are ten benefits to help improve the texture and fullness of your hair.
1. Anti-fungal properties
The high erucic acid and ALA content of the mustard oil works to naturally eradicate the fungus that causes dandruff and dry, itchy flakes. These organisms can build up over time and block hair follicles, which results in thinner hair and can cause hair loss. Glucosinolate can help to prevent the growth of unwanted microbes. Mustard oil will help to restore your scalp to its natural balance.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties
The compounds found in mustard oil are naturally anti-inflammatory, so they will help to soothe the pain and swelling of acne on your scalp. The oil can also be beneficial for other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. All of these scalp conditions can eventually lead to hair loss. Even a conventional prescription medication called Diclofenac has one of its ingredients as mustard oil. The oil also works as an anti-itching remedy to help soothe itchy scalp from a variety of skin conditions.
3. Works as a natural sunscreen
Many people forget that their scalp needs to be protected from the sun too. Often the hair part suffers from a bad red rash when one has been out in the sun for too long. Rubbing a small amount of the oil on your hairline or hair part will help to block your skin from the UV rays of the sun.
4. Stimulates natural hair growth
The healing compounds in the mustard seed oil will help to provide nourishment to the hair follicles. The oil naturally increases blood circulation in the scalp that’s needed for faster hair growth. The fatty acids in the oil help to nourish the hair and encourage hair growth too. Its antiseptic properties help to fight organisms that can decrease hair growth and cause hair loss.
5. Prevents grey hairs
Often a lack of nutrients to the hair follicles can cause premature aging, which includes the loss of pigmentation to hair that results in a grey color. Using mustard seed oil will encourage the production of melanin so that hair can continue growing in with its natural pigmentation.
6. Use for hairstyling
Just a few drops of the oil will help to keep your hair in place, without risk of flyaway strands. This is much safer than using hairsprays or gels that can block your hair follicles and cause issues over time. Simply rub a few drops in your fingers and pat onto your hair.
7. Good antibacterial properties
The scalp suffers the same skin conditions as the rest of your body, and that includes acne. Mustard oil contains fatty acids that will help to control the bacteria that are responsible for causing big itchy pimples on the scalp. The antiseptic properties of the oil will help to heal any pimples that are there.
8. Helps to repair split ends
Even though there’s no way to fix split ends permanently, a few drops of the oil on the tips of your hair strands will help to keep them looking smooth and silky. With regular application of the mustard oil to your hair follicles, your hair will start to grow in thicker and fuller, making future split ends less likely.
9. Prevents folliculitis
This is a condition where the hair follicles of your scalp become infected. It can have a wide range of causes. Often it can take some time to get rid of because as soon as you pick off the scaly dead skin, the follicles ooze out more liquid, and the cycle continues. Over time, the hair starts to grow in frizzy. People often have one or two infected follicles at any time on their scalp. Direct application of hair oil to these hard raised bumps on your scalp will help to kill the infection of the hair follicles quickly, restoring your hair to its normal lush growth. It’s also vital to do treatment immediately, otherwise more of the scalp’s follicles may become infected.
10. Natural remedy for lice and nits
Not only does the oil smother a lice infestation in your hair, but the fatty acids in the oil can kill lice and nits. The mustard oil can be applied all over hair and scalp, then covered with a plastic cap overnight. This technique also saves a lot of money from having to buy expensive lice remedies from the pharmacy.
How to Apply Mustard Oil on Hair
It’s simple to use mustard oil in your hair. Simply massage a bit of oil into your scalp or hair—wherever the focus of your treatment is. Place a plastic shower cap over your head and watch TV, or read a good book for three hours. At the end of that time, shampoo your hair.
How Long Should You Leave Mustard Oil in Your Hair?
Continue your treatments for at least ten days. At the end of that time, take a break to allow your hair to grow naturally. You can repeat mustard seed oil treatments at least once every season.
Never leave the oil on your head for longer than eight hours, as it can become irritating after that time.
Mustard Oil Side Effects
Just like using any other type of oil or natural remedy, there are a few things to be aware of before using mustard seed oil on hair or skin.
- It’s best for topical application, as the oil cannot be consumed in larger quantities without impacting health, as it contains a high amount of erucic acid.
- The oil can be used in small quantities for salads and cooking but should never replace olive or coconut oil for daily cooking.
- Do not use it if you’re pregnant or nursing.
- Do not use on children under age 12 years old.
- Apply the oil only to the external surfaces of the skin, avoiding eyes, ears, and nostrils.
- If you experience an allergic reaction, then discontinue use.