Avocado Oil Myths
Despite many websites giving a long list of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fats, amino acids and protein (yes I know they are basically the same thing but many popular sites don’t seem to) supposedly in avocado oil, and then giving reasons why all of these nutrients are responsible for its hair growth properties, the truth is actually much simpler and more powerful.
First a little cleanup of some of the avocado oil myths out there.
Avocado oil is not a significant source of protein. It is an oil after all and the whole purpose of extracting an oil is the removal of proteins, carbohydrates and any other substances that aren’t fat based. Take a look at the nutritional information on a bottle of it and you will usually see the protein content listed as zero.
While fresh avocados are a great source of vitamins and minerals, the oil itself does not contain the same sort of broad spectrum of these nutrients. Even cold pressed avocado oil, with its gentle manufacturing process, is still created by separating the oil from the rest of the pulp. Obviously, many water soluble vitamins like vitamins C and the B vitamins will be largely removed. Fat soluble vitamins on the other hand, and one in particular as we shall see, are concentrated instead.
Finally, while it does contain some omega-3 alpha linolenic fatty acids, the amount is relatively small (a good fish oil or flaxseed oil is your best bet here). Far more important, from a hair benefits point of view, is the extremely high content of monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado oil.
Hair Growth Nutrients
The monounsaturated fatty acid content in avocado oil is even higher than extra virgin olive oil and is one of the main reasons it is so good for your hair. Many people’s hair is dry, damaged and weak from poor nutrition, heat styling, chemical treatments and environmental pollution. Monounsaturated fats, when applied directly in a hair mask, can moisturize, nourish and strengthen hair strands, improving the way they look and protecting them from damage.
Massaging avocado oil into your scalp also stimulates blood flow to your hair follicles. With improved blood flow and circulation to the scalp, more nutrients can reach the follicles to stimulate new growth and healthier hair in general.
Finally, and perhaps most beneficially for hair care, its monounsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols and high levels of antioxidants like vitamin E, are well absorbed into our scalp and hair shafts. This not only has a highly moisturizing and protective effect against environmental stressors and damage, it may also stimulate new growth and help unclog blocked follicles.
The combination of antioxidant vitamin E, moisturizing plants sterols and the rich levels of monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado oil, provides three nutrients that have been individually recommended for stimulating hair growth, in one simple, highly absorbable topical treatment.
While there are no clinical trials I’m aware of (and are unlikely to be since pharmaceutical companies can’t patent natural treatments), many people report positive results with using avocado oil for hair growth.
Three Ways to Use Avocado Oil for Better Hair
Applying a good cold pressed avocado oil to your hair will improve its appearance and texture while strengthening and moisturizing the strands. See the page on treatments for some simple homemade ideas that are likely to be far more effective than your expensive store bought conditioners.
Massaging avocado oil into your scalp stimulates circulation and allows it to penetrate in deeply, providing beneficial nutrients, unclogging blocked follicles and, it is reported for many people, stimulating new growth.
Last but not least, use the oil for healthier cooking and as a recipe addition or salad dressing. Good nutrition on the inside can be just as important for strong and healthy hair in the long run.
Next up is a look at avocado oil skin benefits and how to save money on moisturizers.
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