Fish oil offers several health benefits thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids. But are you aware it may help promote hair health as well? It may also help soothe an irritated scalp and prevent dandruff. In this article, we discuss fish oil for hair health. We also look at how it works and how you can use it to derive the maximum benefits. Take a look.
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Fish Oil – How Is It Extracted?
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of fatty fish like mackerel, anchovies, trout, salmon, etc. The oil has many therapeutic and cosmetic applications. It is extracted through various methods like the use of supercritical fluids, wet pressing, extraction using solvents, or fish silage employing enzymes (1). The most common extraction method is wet pressing, carried out in four stages – cooking, pressing, decantation, and centrifugation.
Fish oil has various benefits for hair. Let us explore them in the following section.
How Does Fish Oil Benefit Hair?
1. Stimulates Hair Growth
Mackerel is a fatty fish rich in nutrients. In a mice study, mackerel-derived fermented fish oil increased the proliferation of dermal papilla cells, thereby stimulating hair growth. The oil prolonged the anagen phase of the hair follicle growth and increased the hair shaft’s life period (2).
2. Improves Scalp Health
Fish oil has antibacterial properties (3). The oil may help keep the scalp clean and improve hair and scalp health. It helps protect skin against aging and dermatitis. It also may promote wound healing (4).
3. Reduces Hair Loss
Omega-3s were also found to inhibit 5-alpha reductase, which produces the hormone that causes hair loss. Th fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce hair loss and improve hair health in terms of hair strength and volume (6).
These are a few of the important benefits of fish oil. In the following section, we will look at how you can use it for hair growth.
How Do You Use Fish Oil For Hair Growth?
1. Include Fish In Your Diet
Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help improve hair health. The recommended fish include mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, and lake trout. Try adding fish oil to your recipes and smoothies. You may want to check if you are allergic to fish oil before adding it to your diet.
2. Take Fish Oil Supplements
You can also choose fish oil capsules or pills available on the market. A health professional can guide you properly about the correct dosage.
3. Use A Hair Mask With Fish Oil
Fish oil is not often used topically because of its strong odor. But anecdotal evidence suggests that applying a blend of olive oil and fish oil to your hair offers nourishment and moisturization. However, scientific studies are scarce in this aspect.
How Much Fish Oil Should You Take?
A dosage of 250–500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day should suffice (9). The dosage also depends on an individual’s needs. If you have any specific health condition, consult your doctor before taking a fish oil supplementation.
Intake of fish oil and its supplements are generally considered safe. However, fish may also have the risk of mercury contamination (10). In this case, fish oil supplements from a reputed brand are preferable. Pregnant and lactating women may also benefit from fish oil supplements.
When on supplements, stick to the prescribed dosage. Overconsumption of fish oil, as per anecdotal evidence, may lead to headache, indigestion, nausea, rashes, bad breath, and diarrhea. If you have any medical conditions, please check with your doctor before adding fish oil to your diet.
Fish oil has been shown to promote hair health. Even if you do not consume fish, you may try fish oil supplements. The right diet, regular exercise, and proper sleep can promote your hair health. We believe this article has given you sufficient information. Make sure you start taking fish oil today.
- Methods of extraction refining and concentration of fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Mackerel-derived fermented fish oil promotes hair growth by anagen-stimulating pathways.
- Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of omega-3 rich oils/curcumin nanoemulsions loaded in chitosan and alginate-based microbeads.
- Cosmetic and Therapeutic Applications of Fish Oil’s Fatty Acids on the Skin
- Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women
- Efficacy of a Nutritional Supplement, Standardized in Fatty Acids and Phytosterols, on Hair Loss and Hair Health in both Women and Men
- Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use.
- Complementary and alternative treatments for alopecia: a comprehensive review.
- Scientific Opinion on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)