Abyssinian Oil For Hair: Benefits And How To Use It

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Ramona Sinha

Are you looking for a lightweight and hydrating oil for your hair? Try Abyssinian oil, one of the best kept secrets of nature. This oil is produced from the Crambe abyssinica and is also known as Abyssinian mustard. This ultra-light and non-greasy oil has high levels of erucic acid (1). It is closely related to rapeseed and mustard oil.

Although there is lack of evidence to support Abyssinian oil’s topical benefits, it is said to have intense moisturizing properties. It mimics human sebum and makes the hair silky, making it a great alternative to silicone-based hair care products. If you are not aware of Abyssinian oil’s benefits for hair, scroll down to find out how it can keep your mane healthy.

What Is Abyssinian Oil And Where Does It Come From?

Abyssinian oil is a vegetable oil derived from the Crambe abyssinica crop and contains a high concentration of erucic acid and natural antioxidants. This crop is native to Eastern Africa and inedible. Abyssinian oil is mainly used for industrial purposes and in cosmetic formulations.

This biodegradable and environment-friendly vegetable oil is fragrance-free and is light yellow. It has a non-greasy texture and is lightweight and highly stable as it can withstand high temperatures. It contains tocopherol (vitamin E) (2). This oil is said to moisturize the hair, prevent breakage, and keep it silky, smooth, and shiny. Scroll down to learn about the hair care benefits of Abyssinian oil.

How Does Abyssinian Oil Benefit Your Hair?

  • Conditions The Hair

Abyssinian oil keeps your hair strands hydrated, repairs split ends, and prevents frizz. It helps retain moisture in your cuticles and keeps your hair smooth.

  • Improves Hair Manageability

Abyssinian oil strengthens the hair fibers and makes the hair manageable. Regular use of this oil keeps the hair healthy.

  • Boosts Scalp Health

The unsaturated fatty acid (erucic acid) in Abyssinian oil keeps the scalp healthy and soothes scalp discomfort. This lightweight oil does not build up on the scalp, thus keeping the roots healthy. It also helps keep the scalp moisturized and prevent dryness and flaking.

  • Protects From Heat Damage

The hydrating and nourishing properties of Abyssinian oil protect the hair from heat damage. Heat styling tools can strip the natural oils from the hair strands, leaving them dry and brittle. Applying Abyssinian oil as pre-heat treatment can prevent this damage.

If you want to use Abyssinian oil on your hair, here is how to do it.

How To Use Abyssinian Oil On Hair

  • As An Overnight Treatment: Saturate the hair strands with Abyssinian oil and cover the head with a shower cap. Leave it overnight and wash off the next day. This overnight treatment conditions the hair and prevents breakage.
  • As Pre-Shampoo Treatment: Apply Abyssinian oil to the hair. Wrap a warm towel around the head and leave it on for at least an hour. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. This pre-shampoo treatment prevents dryness.
  • As A Heat Protectant: Apply a few drops of Abyssinian oil to damp hair strands and blow dry your hair. You can also apply a few drops of the oil to the hair right before using any heat styling tools, like straighteners or curling tongs, to prevent heat damage.

Abyssinian oil has recently emerged as an alternative to many popular skin and hair care oils, especially argan oil. Due to its immense hair care benefits, many beauty enthusiasts have started using it. Here is a comparison of the two oils to help you decide which is better for your hair.

Abyssinian Oil Or Argan Oil: Which One Is Better?

Comparing FactorsAbyssinian OilArgan Oil
CompositionIt contains 63.77% unsaturated fatty acid (erucic acid) and is said to prevent hair breakage.

It also contains tocopherol (vitamin E) (2).

It contains oleic acid (46%-4%), linoleic acid (31%-35%), 95% triacylglycerols, and free fatty acids (1.1%-2.0%). It was found to prevent hair protein loss (3).
ManageabilityAbyssinian oil is said to keep the hair hydrated, smooth, and manageable.Argan oil is popularly used for hydrating the hair. It prevents the upward curving of the overlapping hair cuticles(3). This keeps the hair smooth and manageable and prevents moisture loss.
Prevents Hair BreakageAbyssinian oil is said to keep the strands hydrated and prevent hair breakage.Argan oil prevents protein (keratin) loss to minimize hair breakage.
Natural Shine EnhancerBoth Abyssinian oil and argan oil keep the hair shiny and glossy.

Both argan oil and Abyssinian oil can help keep the hair healthy and strong. If you want to use both, here is how you can blend and use the oils.

Anti- Hair Breakage Remedy With Abyssinian And Argan Oils

  1. Mix equal portions of Abyssinian and argan oils in a bottle.
  2. You may add five drops of vitamin E oil to this concoction.
  3. Shake the bottle and apply the blend to your hair.

If you want to include this oil in your hair care regimen, we have a few recommendations for you.

Best Abyssinian Oils To Buy: Recommended Brands

Here are a few brands you may try:

  1. High Altitude Naturals Abyssinia Seed Oil: This is cold-pressed Abyssinian oil and does not contain any chemical solvents.
  2. Julia’s Essentials Abyssinian Oil: This is 100% pure Abyssinian oil and can withstand the high heat of blowdrying.
  3. Oslove Organics 100% Pure Abyssinian Oil: This is 100% pure expeller-pressed Abyssinian oil and can be used on both skin and hair.

To Conclude

Compared to other oils, the crop of Abyssinian oil does not require much water, making it environment-friendly. This oil has a pale yellow color and is lightweight and non-greasy compared to other hair oils. It gets absorbed quickly and is especially beneficial for dry and porous hair. Try this oil if you are looking for lightweight nourishment for brittle, dry, and damaged hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Abyssinian oil protect the hair from fungi?

No. There is no scientific proof supporting the antifungal activity of Abyssinian oil.

Will Abyssinian oil help in controlling dandruff?

No. It may not help control dandruff. However, it may help keep the scalp and hair moisturized.

How can I prevent split ends?

Moisturize the hair ends with Abyssinian oil to prevent split ends.


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Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.