What Is Black Seed Oil? How To Use Black Seed Oil (Kalonji) For Hair Growth And Baldness

by Pooja Karkala

We’ve all had our fair share of hair shedding. It’s an issue that is almost impossible to avoid because of the myriad factors that lead to hair fall. Unfortunately, for some of us, the problem does not just go away, and that is exactly why it is crucial to start taking care of your hair as soon as you notice the first signs of balding.

It is completely normal to lose between 50-100 strands of hair every day (1). However, anything more than that can be a serious cause for concern. Fighting the issue early on helps not only curb the problem but also regrow your lost hair. In this article, we are going to look at the benefits of black seed oil (also known as Nigella sativa oil or black cumin oil) for hair and how it can assist you in your fight against hair fall.

What Is Black Seed Oil? What Are Its Medicinal Properties?

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Black seeds are produced by Nigella sativa, a flower native to Eastern Europe, Southwest Asia, and the Middle East. They are commonly known as black caraway, black cumin, black onion seeds, and kalonji. These seeds have been used in remedies for thousands of years for allergies, asthma, diabetes, headache, weight loss, arthritis, and intestinal worms.

Today, black seed is most commonly used in beauty and hair care remedies. The oil extracted from these seeds has antioxidant properties that help relieve inflammation on the skin.

Thymoquinone, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound in the oil, fights skin diseases caused by bacteria and fungus (2). Thymoquinone contains proteins, alkaloids, and saponins that boost hair growth and slow down the aging process of cells, thus preventing hair thinning (2). It reduces hair fall caused due to inflammation of hair follicles.

Black seed oil regulates imbalanced hair growth cycle and activates the hair follicles. It nourishes your hair, increases its shine, and eliminates scalp dryness.

Usually, black seed oil is added to shampoos, oils, and homemade hair care products as it improves the volume and texture of your hair and stops hair loss with continued use. It also offers a wide range of other hair benefits that are discussed in the next section.

Benefits Of Black Seed Oil For Hair

1. Maintains Scalp Health

Black seed oil has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and analgesic (pain-killing) properties that help in maintaining scalp health (3). It deals with issues like dandruff and soothes skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. It also helps keep your scalp moisturized and balances oil production.

2. Stimulates Hair Regrowth

Black seed oil contains nigellone and thymoquinone, both of which are powerful antihistamines. Antihistamines are commonly prescribed to patients with androgenic alopecia or alopecia areata (4). Using black seed oil is a safe way to reap the benefits of antihistamines for hair regrowth without having to take any medication.

3. Curbs Hair Fall

This is the most commonly known benefit of black seed oil when it comes to hair. It is one of the best ingredients you could use to treat hair fall. It contains over 100 different nutrients that are rich sources of nourishment for your follicles and hair. The extra nourishment will nurse your follicles back to health, thus curbing hair loss (5).

4. Prevents Graying

Black seed oil is also known for its effectiveness in preventing and reversing graying. It contains linoleic acid that prevents the depletion of the pigment cells in your follicles (6). It is an effective treatment for people who have vitiligo, a skin condition where patches of skin lose their pigment over time (7).

5. Conditions Hair

Sebum, the natural oil produced in your scalp, keeps your hair moisturized and nourished. Not everyone’s scalp produces the same amount of sebum, making hair types range from dry to oily. Black seed oil normalizes the oil production on your scalp. This ensures that your hair remains well conditioned without becoming too greasy.

The oil is in fatty amino acids (6), (8). These amino acids help seal moisture in your hair shaft, thus easing frizz and making it more manageable.

6. Prevents Damage

Free radicals can wreak havoc on your scalp and hair. Black seed oil contains antioxidants that neutralize the effects of free radicals on your hair. This helps keep your hair and scalp healthy and damage-free (6).

7. Promotes Blood Circulation

Black seed oil contains omega-3 and 6 biomolecules that encourage blood circulation, especially in the head. This promotes rapid hair growth within weeks (6).

You can use kalonji oil alone or in combination with other ingredients to boost hair growth. Following is a list of kalonji oil remedies that will arrest hair fall and promote hair regrowth.

How To Use Black Seed Oil For Hair Growth And Baldness

1. Kalonji Oil Hair Treatment

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You Will Need

2 tablespoons black seed oil

Prep Time

1 minute

Processing Time

30 minutes-1 hour

Process
  1. Pour the black seed oil in your palms and rub them against each other to warm it up.
  2. Start massaging the oil onto your scalp. Focus on the areas that are losing most hair.
  3. Once your scalp is covered in the oil, work the oil through your hair from the roots to the tips.
  4. Leave the oil in for about 30 minutes to an hour and then wash it off with your regular shampoo.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

Massaging helps stimulate your hair follicles and boosts hair growth. In addition to this, the kalonji oil will nourish your follicles with the essential nutrients that it needs to produce healthy hair (6).

2. Black Seed Oil With A Carrier Oil For Hair

Black seed oil can be used in combination with other carrier oils to boost its efficiency. Below are three kalonji oil treatments with olive, coconut, and castor oil that help promote hair growth.

i) Black Seed Oil And Olive Oil For Hair

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon black seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Prep Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

30 minutes-1 hour

Process
  1. Mix kalonji oil with olive oil in a bowl.
  2. Start massaging the oil blend into your scalp. Focus on the areas that are losing most hair.
  3. Once your scalp is covered in the oil, work the oil through your hair from the roots to the tips.
  4. Leave the oil in for about 30 minutes to an hour and then wash it off with your regular shampoo.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

This treatment is ideal for people with oily/combination hair. Olive oil is an excellent hair conditioning ingredient that softens your hair and makes it silky. It deals with issues like hair breakage and split ends and facilitates hair growth (7). Olive oil, when combined with black seed oil, can eliminate dandruff, keeping your scalp and hair 100% clean.

ii) Black Seed Oil And Coconut Oil For Hair

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon black seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Prep Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

45 minutes

Process
  1. Mix black seed oil with coconut oil in a bowl and heat the mixture for a few seconds in a microwave until it is slightly warm.
  2. Massage this oil blend into your scalp for about 15 minutes and then work it through the entire length of your hair.
  3. Once your hair and scalp are covered in the oil blend, leave it in for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with your regular shampoo.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

This treatment is ideal for people with normal hair. Coconut oil has amazing penetrative properties that allow it to seep into your hair shafts and follicles and nourish them with its nutrients (8). When used in combination with black seed oil, it boosts its efficiency as a hair fall remedy.

iii) Black Seed Oil And Castor Oil For Hair Growth

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You Will Need
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black seed oil
  • 1/2 tablespoons castor oil
Prep Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

30 minutes-1 hour

Process
  1. Combine the black seed oil and castor oil in a bowl.
  2. Start massaging the oil blend into your scalp, focusing on the areas that are losing most hair.
  3. Once your scalp is covered in the oil, work the oil through your hair from the roots to the tips.
  4. Leave the oil in for about 30 minutes to an hour before washing it off with your regular shampoo.
How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

This treatment is ideal for people with dry hair. Castor oil is well-known for its growth-boosting properties. It is packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties and is also rich in vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and omega-1 and 2 fatty acids (9). This helps increase hair thickness and the rate at which your hair grows. When combined with black seed oil, it can help curb hair fall and promote healthy and fast hair growth.

3. Lemon And Black Seed Oil For Hair

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You Will Need
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons black seed oil
Prep Time

5 minutes

Processing Time

Overnight

Process
  1. Squeeze out the juice from one fresh lemon and use it to massage your scalp.
  2. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
  3. Let your hair air-dry, then massage the kalonji oil into your scalp for about 10 minutes.
  4. Once your scalp is covered, work the oil through the entire length of your hair from the roots to the tips.
  5. Go to bed with the oil in your hair and wash it off the next morning with shampoo.
How Often?

1-2 times a week.

Why This Works

Lemon is rich in vitamin C, which helps boost the collagen levels in your scalp (10). Its acidic content also balances the pH of your scalp. However, do not keep it on for more than 15 minutes as it causes dryness and flakiness. Also, avoid this remedy if you have sensitive skin as lemon juice can cause redness and irritation. This remedy is perfect for people with oily hair who have been experiencing a lot of hair fall.

[ Read: 7 Ways In Which Lemon Helps Hair Growth ]

4. Black Seed Oil And Honey For Hair

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You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon black seed oil
  • Warm towel
Prep Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

20 minutes

Process
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until they form a smooth paste.
  2. Massage the mixture into your scalp. Focus on the areas that are losing the most hair.
  3. Once your scalp is covered, work the mixture through the length of your hair from the roots to the tips.
  4. Cover your hair with a warm towel to improve the efficacy of the hair mask.
  5. Leave the mixture on for about 20 minutes to an hour before washing it off with your regular shampoo.
How Often?

Once a week.

Why This Works

Honey is a humectant that seals the conditioning effects of both the oils in your hair, leaving it feeling soft and manageable. You can also drink a mixture of one teaspoon of black seed oil and one tablespoon of honey mixed in a glass of water. This is a popular remedy that not only helps curb hair fall but also has many other health benefits.

5. Black Seed Oil And Fenugreek

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You Will Need
  • 1 ½ tablespoons black seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
Prep Time

3 to 4 minutes

Processing Time

1 hour

Process
  1. Grind the fenugreek seeds into a fine powder.
  2. Mix the olive oil, black seed oil, and fenugreek powder to make a paste. If the paste is too thick, add a little water.
  3. Set it aside for an hour.
  4. Apply this mask to your scalp and hair and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse it off thoroughly with a natural shampoo.
  6. Let your hair dry naturally.
How Often?

Once a week.

Why This Works

When combined, coconut oil and fenugreek act as a wonderful remedy for hair problems like hair loss and hair thinning. This mixture makes your hair strong and shiny. Fenugreek is a great source of protein and nicotine that promote hair growth and lecithin that makes your hair healthy and strong (11). This remedy nourishes the hair roots and improves your scalp health.

Results – Before/ After

Since the density of black seed oil is thick, rinsing it can be a painful process. Check out the tips given below to remove black seed oil from your hair easily.

How To Remove Black Seed Oil From Hair Easily

Using just black seed oil does not cause build-up on the scalp, but using it with other carrier oils like olive or castor oil can lead to scalp build-up. In such cases, wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo twice a week. This will keep your scalp clean and grease-free.

Though black seed oil works wonders on your hair, it does come with its fair share of potential side effects. Check them out below.

Potential Side Effects of Black Seed Oil

Before applying black seed oil to your hair, do a patch test to avoid any allergic reaction or toxic epidermal necrolysis, a type of severe skin reaction. Though there are very little known side effects of black seed oil, in some cases, it can cause blisters on the skin caused by a toxic reaction. This oil should also not be used by pregnant women. If you have hyper-sensitive skin, consult a doctor before using this oil.

Though there are tons of hair care remedies in the market, using traditional plant-based oils can give you some miraculous results. One such ingredient is black seed oil. It has a long history of use as traditional medicine for skin, beauty, and other health purposes. So, without much ado, go ahead and try these amazing hair loss treatments. Also, don’t forget to tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

References

  1. The Hair Shedding Visual Scale…” Dermatol Ther, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Black cumin (Nigella sativa) and it’s constituent…” Iran J Basic Med Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  3. Natural therapeutic approach of Nigella sativa…” Integrative Medicine Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  4. Treatment of alopecia areata” Dermatologic Clinics, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
  5. A Review on the Cosmeceutical and External Applications of Nigella sativa” Journal Of Tropical Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  6. The effectiveness of coconut oil mixed with herbs…” International Journal of Ethics in Engineering & Management Education.
  7. The Benefits of Olive Oil For Hair Regrowth” Evergreen Beauty College.
  8. Investigation of penetration abilities of various oils into human hair fibers” Journal Of Cosmetic Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  9. CASTER OIL-800-22OCT15” Academia.
  10. You are What you Eat!” The Pennsylvania State University
  11. Health Benefits Of Methi (Fenugreek)” Academia.

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Pooja Karkala

Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.
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