Fish Oil For Hair Growth: Benefits, How To Use, And Precautions

Experience the antibacterial, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties of this natural oil.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS
Written by Arshiya Syeda, BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Dip
Edited by Eshna Das, BA, MSc
Fact-checked by Swathi E, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 

Usage of fish oil for hair growth is slowly gaining popularity. It is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. When applied regularly, it can soothe the scalp, reduce irritation, promote hair growth, and combat dandruff. Read on to learn more about fish oil, how it can benefit your hair, and how to use it correctly to reap the maximum benefits.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Fish Oil

What Is It?
A golden liquid extracted from the tissues of fatty fish like trout or mackerel that has a pleasant ocean taste.

What Are Its Benefits?
It stimulates hair growth, improves scalp health, and reduces hair loss.

Who Can Consume It?
Anyone can consume this except people with a fish oil allergy, diabetes, and liver disease.

How Often?
You can consume 1.1 g to 1.6 g daily.

Caution
Overconsumption of fish oil may lead to headaches, indigestion, nausea, rashes, and diarrhea.

Fish Oil – How Is It Extracted?

Person pouring fish oil capsules from the bottle into the hand
Image: IStock

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?

A display of fish oil capsules with other hair care products and a comb
Image: Shutterstock

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 papillai  XA component of the hair follicle that consists of mesenchymal cells that play a major role in the regulation of hair growth. cells, thereby stimulating hair growth. The oil prolonged the anagen phasei  XThe first and the most visible and longest phase of the hair growth cycle that can last between two to eight years. of the hair follicle growth and increased the hair shaft’s life period (2).

2. Improves Scalp Health

Woman revealing a healthy scalp afer taking fish oil regularly
Image: Shutterstock

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 dermatitisi  XA common term for non-contagious skin disorders categorized by itchy, dry, swollen, discolored, and irritated skin. . It also may promote wound healing (4).

Importance Of Fish Oil In Hair Health

Fish oil contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids like DHA, which reduce atopic dermatitis and oxidative stress. This suggests that the oil might reduce hair loss caused by oxidative stress. Omega-3s can help reduce hair loss by increasing hair density and reducing the telogen phase of hair growth (5). Omega-3s being healthy fats also may prevent a flaky and dry scalp.

3. Reduces Hair Loss

Omega-3s were also found to inhibit 5-alpha reductase, which produces the hormone that causes hair loss. The fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce hair loss and improve hair health in terms of hair strength and volume (6).

Other Important Facts About Fish Oil

Fish oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote thick hair (7). Marine protein supplements were found to improve the skin and hair of women with self-perceived thinning hair (8).

Belle, a YouTuber, has tried fish oil so she shares her insights in her video. She says, “I really like fish oil, I feel like omega-3s and fish oil in general is just really good for your body not just for hair growth so this one in particular, I just take it for my well-being (i).”

These are a few of the important benefits of fish oil. In the following section, we will look at how you can use this natural remedy for hair growth.

How Do You Use Fish Oil For Hair Growth?

1. Include Fish In Your Diet

Grilled salmon can provide the benefits of fish oil to your hair
Image: Shutterstock

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.

The following graph from a study published in Current Opinion in Lipidology illustrates the fatty acid content of three of the most popular fish oil supplements in the US (based on sales). The majority of fatty acids in supplements are mainly composed of EPA and DHA, two essential omega-3 fatty acids. However, the concentration of these fatty acids differed between brands, making it difficult to generalize the supplements as a whole. Thus, one should carefully read about the nutrients on the product label and pick one that meets their needs.

Fatty Acid Content In Fish Oil Supplements In The United States

Source: Are dietary fish oil supplements appropriate for dyslipidemia management? A review of the evidence

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 of these fish oil supplements.

protip_icon Trivia
Algae oil is an excellent alternative to fish oil and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and provides similar benefits as fish oil supplements.

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 and works well as a hair care product. However, scientific studies are scarce in this aspect.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You may add coconut oil and a few drops of essential oil (preferably lavender, peppermint, or tea tree oil) to mask the unpleasant odor and maximize the mask’s benefits.

How Much Fish Oil Should You Take?

Consume fish oil in the right dosage
Image: Shutterstock

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.

Precautions

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 supplements may take some time to show results. Let’s understand in the next section.

How Long Does It Take For Fish Oil To Work For Hair?

The timeline for fish oil to impact hair health varies individually, typically taking several weeks to a few months to see noticeable improvements. A study involving 120 women found that taking omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements could promote hair growth after 6 months of use. It also helped reduce hair loss (11). Since fish oil is also loaded with these fatty acids, it might take 6 months to show any results. However, further research is needed to confirm fish oil’s consistent support for hair growth. Apart from that, genetic factors, dietary habits, and the severity of hair issues may also influence the rate of results. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on integrating fish oil into your hair care routine.

Infographic: How Fish Oil Benefits Your Hair

Fish oil is enriched with essential fatty acids that can improve your hair health in numerous ways. Whether you take it in your diet, as supplements, or apply it topically, it can ensure healthy hair and a nourished scalp. We have summarized all the good things about fish oil for hair in the infographic below. Take a look.

how fish oil benefits hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Fish oil is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and can help promote hair growth, promote a healthy scalp, reduce dandruff, and minimize irritation. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil offer several benefits to the hair. You may use fish oil for hair growth in the form of fish oil or hair growth supplements or hair masks. Including fish in your diet is also a good way to improve hair health. Follow the tips mentioned to use fish oil correctly and consult a doctor before taking any supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put fish oil directly on my hair?

Yes, you can apply fish oil directly to your hair. But it has a strong, unpleasant odor.

Is fish oil good for thinning hair?

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, and consuming it may increase hair density (5). It stimulates hair growth, supports hair loss prevention, and improves your scalp and hair health.

Can I take biotin and fish oil together?

Yes. You can take biotin and fish oil together. However, consult your doctor before taking these supplements as they may cause nausea and other side effects.

References

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. Methods of extraction refining and concentration of fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids
    http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0122-87062018000300645
  2. Mackerel-derived fermented fish oil promotes hair growth by anagen-stimulating pathways.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164340/
  3. Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of omega-3 rich oils/curcumin nanoemulsions loaded in chitosan and alginate-based microbeads.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31404604/
  4. Cosmetic and Therapeutic Applications of Fish Oil’s Fatty Acids on the Skin
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117694/
  5. Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25573272/
  6. Efficacy of a Nutritional Supplement, Standardized in Fatty Acids and Phytosterols, on Hair Loss and Hair Health in both Women and Men
    https://www.hilarispublisher.com/open-access/efficacy-of-a-nutritional-supplement-standardized-in-fatty-acids-and-phytosterols-on-hair-loss-and-hair-health-in-both-women-and-m-2471-9323-1000121.pdf
  7. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/
  8. Complementary and alternative treatments for alopecia: a comprehensive review.
    https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/492035
  9. Scientific Opinion on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)
    https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2815
  10. [Mercury in fish and its importance in health]
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25517058/
  11. Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25573272/
Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
The following two tabs change content below.

Latest Articles