How To Use Red Palm Oil For Your Hair

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Several natural tree oils can have advantageous effects on your hair and scalp. One such oil is the red palm oil. It has emollient properties, reduces hair damage, and is an effective hair cleanser. You can use it as a moisturizer or as a leave-in conditioner too. Here, we further elaborate on the benefits of red palm oil and discuss its usage. Keep reading.

What Is Red Palm Oil?

Red palm oil is a natural and edible oil also known as virgin red palm fruit oil. Red palm oil comes from the Elaeis guineensis tree that grows in parts of Africa and Asia. The source of red palm oil is the fruit of the oil palm tree. This fruit has a deep red color, especially when it is unprocessed, which gives the oil its name. This red color comes from carotenes such as lycopene, alpha-carotene, and beta carotene in the oil (1).

But how does this oil promote hair health? We look at the same in the following section.

Benefits Of Red Palm Oil For Hair

1. Has Emollient Properties

Red palm oil has significant emollient properties. An emollient is a substance that reduces irritation on your scalp and provides lubrication to your hair. Red palm oil is also known to seal hair moisture and protect it. The emollient properties of red palm oil for hair are derived primarily from the presence of palmitic acid and myristic acid (2). These acids may protect your hair and scalp from irritation.

2. Cleanses And Conditions Your Hair

Natural oils can effectively cleanse your hair and condition it. The myristic acid in the oil works as a cleansing agent for the hair and scalp. The oil also contains stearic acid (2). This acid may effectively remove grease and grime from the hair. If your hair is dehydrated or dry, these ingredients may also double up as conditioners and protect your hair from significant damage. The oil also adds shine to your hair.

3. May Fight Scalp Damage

Red palm oil may fight scalp damage. The carotenes it contains may play a role here (1). Additionally, it also may protect the scalp from exposure to UV rays. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

4. Has Antioxidant Properties

Red palm oil contains vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Some studies suggest that vitamin E can fight oxidative stress in the scalp and promote hair health (3). Oxidative stress may accelerate hair aging too (4).

These are the few major benefits of red palm oil. But how can you use it? We discuss the same in the following section.

Using Red Palm Oil For Hair Growth

Red palm oil has several hair benefits and can make your hair retain its strength for extended periods. There are several ways you can use red palm oil for hair growth.

  • Before Shower

You can apply red palm oil to your head before you take a shower. Make sure you massage the oil into your scalp – this increases blood flow to the scalp and promotes hair growth. Since this is a benign natural oil, it does not cause any harm to your hair even if left for long periods. You can leave the oil on your hair overnight and take a shower in the morning. Wash the oil off your hair using a  proper cleaning shampoo.

  • After Shower

You can also use red palm oil for hair after a shower as a leave-in conditioner. Ensure your hair is damp when you apply the oil. The oil protects your hair and also prevents frizz. This is especially beneficial if you color your hair. The oil forms a protective layer on your hair and protects it from harmful outdoor elements.

Final Words

Red palm oil has been in use for thousands of years. Its emollient properties and cleansing and conditioning capabilities may help promote scalp and hair health. Though more research is warranted to validate some of its benefits, using red palm oil seems to be safe. Use it regularly, as directed – and you shall see your hair health improve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between red palm oil and palm kernel oil?

Both red palm oil and palm kernel oil come from the oil palm tree. However, red palm oil comes from the tree’s fruit while palm kernel oil comes from the fruit’s seeds.

How do I know whether red palm oil is unprocessed?

Natural red palm oil will have a rich red color, which fades with processing.

4 Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Vitamin A and carotene.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1254289/
  2. Characteristics of fatty acid composition and minor constituents of red palm olein and palm kernel oil combination.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7832187/
  3. Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819075/
  4. Oxidative Stress in Ageing of Hair.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929555/
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).