Black Currant Oil for Hair Loss and Skin Benefits
Black currant oil is a potent nutritional oil with many beneficial properties.
Here’s how the gamma linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil can help treat thinning hair.
Also ahead, the best dosage for hair loss and other potential benefits of using black currant oil.
Hormones, Hair Loss and Fatty Acids
Androgenic alopecia is a form of hair loss that can affect both men and women. In men the condition is also known as male pattern baldness and leads to a receding hairline, loss of hair on the crown and eventual baldness.
For women, androgenic alopecia is characterized by thinning hair over the entire scalp, with usually the worst hair loss in the crown region.
There are many factors that can contribute to losing your hair, but a deficiency in certain important fatty acids is a common one. Here’s where high quality black currant oil capsules, like these ones I take, can help.
The seeds of black currants are rich in 3 valuable fatty acids for healthier hair. They contain high levels of gamma linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid and stearidonic acid. Here’s a quick look at each of them.
Gamma Linoleic Acid
Black currant oil is one of the richest known sources of gamma linoleic acid, also called GLA, with up to 20% content. This fatty acid has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is often recommended for inflammatory conditions.
In terms of hair loss, the GLA can inhibit the conversion of testosterone to another compound which attacks hair follicles. By blocking this conversion the oil may help prevent further hair loss due to androgenic alopecia in both men and women.
Alpha Linolenic Acid
The anti-inflammatory effects of black currant seed oil are also greatly enhanced by its high alpha linolenic acid (ALA) content, usually between 12% and 15%.
ALA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid, yet dietary intake of omega-3s has diminished greatly in recent decades with our increased intake of processed foods, virtually devoid of this vital nutrient.
Omega-3 fatty acids like the alpha linolenic acid are a precursor to anti-inflammatory series 3 prostaglandins. They specifically counteract inflammatory series 2 prostaglandins formed from processed omega 6 fats, like those found in processed vegetable oils and margarine.
This is particularly important for people with thinning hair as prostaglandin D2 (a series 2 prostaglandins) has recently been identified as a contributing factor in accelerated hair loss.
Getting good levels of omega-3 fats into your diet, and importantly lowering your intake of omega-6 fats from processed vegetable oils, helps to get the balance right between pro and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
A lesser-known omega-3 fatty acid, stearidonic acid is also involved in mediating your body’s anti-inflammatory responses.
While you can make stearidonic acid inside your body with delta-6-desaturase, levels of this enzyme are often reduced with age and modern processed food diets.
This makes supplementing with a high source of GLA, ALA and stearidonic acid like black currant oil a smart choice, especially if your body is showing signs of deficiency, such as thinning hair and poor skin tone.
Dosage and Timing
The most common recommended dosage for taking black currant oil is two 500 mg capsules twice a day, once with breakfast and once with dinner.
However, many report even better and faster results with three capsules equaling 1500 milligrams in total per day, ideally one with every main meal.
Like all nutritional treatments for hair growth, it can take a while to see full results. This is because hair itself takes so long to grow.
Taking a high GLA black currant oil, like this one I use, can help reduce further hair loss fairly quickly if fatty acid deficiencies were contributing to the problem.
Even so, it’s likely to be at least a month, more often two or three months before results can be seen clearly.
An improvement in your skin’s appearance is more likely to be noticeable first, particularly if you are deficient in gamma linoleic acid or omega-3 fats.
More Benefits of Black Currant Oil
The high levels of beneficial fatty acids in black currant seed oil like GLA, ALA and stearidonic acid can have many other positive effects for your health and appearance. Here’s 3 of the best:
1. Skin Structure
Your skin is also highly sensitive to a deficiency in important fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids. Taking black currant oil is often reported to help with inflammatory skin conditions like acne, eczema and even psoriasis.
Gamma linoleic acid is also involved in melanin production and may help normalize pigmentation problems like age spots and uneven skin coloration.
2. Brain Function
Your brain is highly reliant on omega-3 fats and increasing your intake has been shown to have a beneficial effect on a variety of different brain related conditions.
These can be as wide-ranging as improving mood and stress reduction, treating learning disorders in children, reducing migraines and improving the quality of your sleep.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
As already detailed above, ALA, GLA and stearidonic acid can contribute to reducing excessive inflammation response in your body due to a high intake of unnatural omega-6 fats found in many processed foods.
Unhealthy diets and lifestyles are behind excessive inflammation and no one supplement can prevent all of these problems.
Black currant seed oil is rich in the right kind of fatty acids to help swing the balance back a bit further in the right direction though.
If you’d like to try black currant oil for hair loss and the other benefits discussed here, this is the best version I’ve found and use myself. It’s produced without the solvent hexane and uses the much superior cold pressing method.
You may also like to try this smoothie recipe for hair growth that combines many different superfoods for hair, including black currant oil, into a delicious drink.
Correcting simple nutritional deficiencies can often result in significant improvements. Not just in your appearance with better hair and skin, but also in relation to many other underlying conditions.