Benefits Of Jojoba Oil For The Hair And How To Use It

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Anjali Sayee

Moisturizing, repairing, and protecting – jojoba oil is the golden ticket to hair care. Its smooth and greasy texture spreads easily on the hair and hydrates it. This oil is a natural wax similar to sebum, making it suitable for all hair types. Whether your hair is dry or damaged, jojoba oil’s multi-beneficial properties will make it soft, shiny, and healthy. Read on to know how to make the most of these powerful benefits. 

What Is Jojoba Oil? 

Jojoba oil is a clear and odorless oil obtained from the crushed beans of the jojoba shrub, which is mostly found in the deserts of Southern Western America and Mexico. This emollient is a polyunsaturated liquid wax that contains fatty acids and straight-chain alcohol esters. It reduces the signs of premature aging, prevents breakouts, soothes burns and bumps, and fights fungal infections.

Benefits Of Jojoba Oil For The Hair: What Does Science Say?

  • Natural Moisturizer: Jojoba oil is similar to the natural sebum produced by humans. It has natural restorative esters identical to sebum and can be used as a natural emollient for the hair (1). This natural wax ester can help moisturize and soften the hair.
  • Dry Scalp Treatment: This multi-beneficial oil can help stimulate hair growth and soothe psoriasis and eczema. It also treats dry scalps since the composition is similar to sebum (2).
  • Restorative Treatment: Jojoba oil is popularly used as a hair restorative treatment due to its hair protecting benefits. It also boosts hair and scalp health.
  • Non-Comedogenic And Cleansing Properties: This oil helps remove excess sebum that clogs the scalp pores. Jojoba oil can also cleanse the hair and scalp, removing sticky buildup or airborne substances (2). It is often used in hair care products for its anti-dandruff and hair restorative properties.
  • Improves Hair Manageability: Jojoba oil can be used to manage tangled hair, reduce split ends, and moisturize dry scalp (3). It also helps restore the hair and skin pH balance (4). 
  • May Aid Hair Growth: A study showed that massaging jojoba oil with an essential oil (like lavender or rosemary) onto the scalp could stimulate hair growth (5). However, there is not enough scientific evidence suggesting that jojoba oil stimulates hair growth.
  • Antimicrobial And Anti-inflammatory Properties: Jojoba oil has anti-proliferative, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, which suggest that it can help protect the scalp from breakouts and infections and promote scalp health (6). Studies also show that jojoba oil has a soothing effect on inflammation caused by dandruff and psoriasis (7).
  • Nutrient-Rich: Jojoba oil contains vitamins A, E, and F, squalene, saturated and unsaturated alcohols, and fatty acids and esters (7). Squalene, also found in human hair, acts as a protective agent (8). Vitamins A and E have antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage that causes the signs of aging.

Read on to know how the vitamins in jojoba oil benefit the hair.

What Vitamins And Minerals Does Jojoba Oil Contain? 

Jojoba oil is well-known for its rich vitamin and mineral content. It contains natural forms of vitamin E (1).  Vitamin E prevents oxidative damage to the hair, improves moisture retention, conditions the hair, balances sebum production, and maintains the scalp’s pH level.  It also improves blood circulation, which can stimulate hair growth. A study showed that the topical application of vitamin E induced hair growth in rabbits (9). Vitamin E also boosts collagen production and helps improve hair elasticity.

Jojoba oil contains vitamin A, which has antioxidant properties and can prevent damage and hair loss caused by free radicals (10). The topical application of retinoids (derivatives of vitamin A) can help treat conditions like alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia (11).

Now that you know the benefits of jojoba oil, let’s not be ignorant of its side effects. Check out the following section!

Side Effects Of Jojoba Oil

While the topical application of jojoba oil is mostly considered safe, it can cause contact dermatitis (12), (13). Perform a patch test on the arm’s underside or at the back of the neck to check for any irritation, redness, or allergic reactions. Do not ingest topical jojoba oil as it contains erucic acid, which may increase the risk of heart disease (14).

Here are a few ways of using jojoba oil to moisturize and improve the hair.

How To Use Jojoba Oil For The Hair

  • Hot Oil Treatment: Research shows that massaging the scalp with oil can stimulate hair growth (15). Jojoba oil can be used as an overnight hot oil treatment with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. 
  • Blend two to three drops of jojoba oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil and apply it to the hair and scalp. Cover the head with a shower cap and leave it on overnight.
  • Enhancing Hair Care Products: Add a few drops of jojoba oil to your shampoo or conditioner to enhance its effectiveness.
  • Hair Mask: Jojoba oil can be used with other ingredients as a hair mask to nourish a dry scalp and as a restorative hair treatment. It can be paired with replenishing ingredients like honey, olive oil, avocado, eggs, and oatmeal.
  • Direct Application: Apply jojoba oil directly to the hair and scalp. Leave on for half an hour as a general hair care treatment. 

Note: Jojoba oil is generally hypoallergenic and safe for use on skin (2). However, do a patch test if you have sensitive skin/scalp. Avoid the oil if you observe any inflammation on the scalp (like seborrheic dermatitis or folliculitis).

It comes as no surprise that jojoba oil is used in many hair care products. Using it regularly can help treat dry and damaged hair. Its nutrient-rich composition nourishes the hair and makes it healthy. Follow the methods mentioned above and harness the multiple benefits of jojoba oil to improve your hair quality. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply jojoba oil directly to the scalp?

Yes. Topical jojoba oil is safe on the scalp.

Jojoba oil vs. coconut oil – which one is better?

Coconut oil is a well-known hair care oil. It penetrates the hair follicles to strengthen them from within and protects the hair from UV damage and enhances its length and density. On the other hand, there is not enough scientific evidence to show that jojoba can promote hair growth. Jojoba oil is recommended if you have a dry scalp or hair.

Can I use jojoba to seal in moisture?

Yes. Jojoba oil retains moisture in the skin/scalp.

How often should you use jojoba oil in the hair?

Jojoba oil can be used once a week, provided it does not irritate the skin or scalp.

Do you apply jojoba oil to wet or dry hair?

Yes. Jojoba oil can be applied to both dry and wet hair. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that jojoba oil is absorbed quickly when applied to wet hair.

Sources

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.