There are two ways to use flaxseed oil for hair and improving its strength and shine. Both of them rely on the extremely high omega-3 alpha linolenic acid content of flax seeds, which is concentrated even further in cold pressed flaxseed oil.
The first and most important is getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Many people report greatly improved hair and better health in general with a daily dosage of flax oil taken in a certain way.
The second is to use flaxseed oil on your hair directly, as a mask or conditioner, to immediately improve it’s strength and shine.
Flaxseed oil hair benefits also include minimizing dandruff problems and helping to prevent hair loss. So if you’d like to improve both your hair and scalp, a bottle of flax oil may be a far more effective option than expensive brand-name conditioners and treatments.
Omega-3 and Hair
While hair is composed primarily of keratin protein, omega-3 fats nourish the all-important follicles, encouraging healthy hair growth that is both strong and shiny from the outset. They may also help prevent inflammation that can lead to hair loss, dandruff and other scalp conditions. The vitamin E found in unrefined and cold pressed flax seed oil can also provide additional nourishment for the scalp, roots and shafts.
One of the most common indicators of an omega-3 deficiency is said to be dry, lackluster and brittle hair. Over time, a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can even lead to hair loss. Dandruff and eczema of the scalp can also be related to a lack of omega-3 fats.
As important as strong and shiny hair may be to you, it is actually pretty low down on your body’s list of priorities. Areas of the body like brain function, cell formation and inflammation prevention all rely on omega-3 fatty acids. If you are already deficient in omega-3 (and most of us eating a modern diet will be likely to be at least mildly deficient), then these vital areas will be prioritized first.
It is for this reason that we need to take a reasonably large amount of flax oil, or another omega-3 rich source like a high-quality fish oil, before we start seeing results with our hair.
Flaxseed Oil Dosage for Strong and Shiny Hair
It’s important to start slowly with flaxseed oil. Immediately taking large amounts of high omega-3 oil may shock your body into a negative reaction if it has been accustomed to dealing with a certain intake of fats.
Using flaxseed oil capsules makes dosages easier, but the oil is usually better value, especially at larger doses. Start with 1 gram in the morning with breakfast and 1 gram in the evening with dinner (usually one capsule or around a quarter of a teaspoon of flax oil) for the first week and see how well you tolerate it.
For the next week, up the dosage to 2 grams with breakfast or lunch and 2 grams with dinner (two capsules or around half a teaspoon).
Increase the amount to 4 – 5 grams twice a day (around a full teaspoon) on the third week and, assuming the oil is well tolerated, you should have a good maintenance dose of 8 to 10 grams a day.
Some people recommend up to 30 grams or 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil a day. If you would like to try these higher dosages it is recommended to increase up to this amount slowly, perhaps adding an extra 1 or 2 grams a week to your morning and evening intake.
Keep in mind as well that hair grows slowly, approximately half a millimeter a day and usually only for part of the month. Given this, even using a good dose of flaxseed oil, it is understandable that it will take a long time to see changes, quite likely months for full results.
Flaxseed Oil Hair Mask Instructions
While truly healthy hair comes from good internal nutrition, an easy way to see immediate results is to apply a flaxseed oil hair mask once or twice a week.
Very simply, start by wetting your hair in the shower and towel drying off excess water so that it is still wet but not dripping. Pour a small amount of flax oil into your palm and gently massage it all over your scalp.
Next comb the oil through your hair, perhaps adding a little more to the comb occasionally if you have longer locks. Then wrap up your hair in a towel, briefly warmed in the oven (but not too hot), and leave the oil in for 15 to 20 minutes.
After that time you can wash your hair with a light, natural shampoo but you won’t need any conditioner as the flax oil will leave your hair far softer and shinier than a regular conditioner.
Alternatively, for those with shorter hair or little time, simply add around a teaspoon of the oil to your shampoo in your hand and massage it in gently but thoroughly. This may be a little less effective than the flaxseed oil hair mask, but it’s easy to do any time you wash your hair and seems to produce far better results than store-bought conditioners.
It’s important to remember to store the flaxseed oil back in the fridge as soon as possible after using it in the shower to keep it fresh. Flax oil requires refrigeration to maintain it’s beneficial properties and avoid spoiling. It may be better to pour the oil you intend to use into a small bowl and take it with you to the shower, rather than leaving the bottle out for long periods.
For best results, both internally and externally, use a flaxseed oil for hair that has been produced from fresh organic flax with cold pressing and minimal processing. For even more options, the page on where to find flaxseed oil online has both high quality oils and ground flaxseed meal that meet these requirements and are often on discount.
I hope using flaxseed oil helps improve your hair, whether you take it as an omega-3 supplement, use it as a hair mask or try both. Elsewhere on the site I’ve also written about avocado oil for hair and making homemade amla oil for strong and shiny hair as well.