Almond is truly a wonder food with the many benefits it has for health, skin and hair. Almonds lower cholesterol, decrease cancer risks, helps avoid heart disease, control blood sugar, and helps manage weight. For skin too, it has many benefits like skin brightening, tan removal, treat acute skin infections like psoriasis and eczema, and is a remedy for chapped lips, wrinkles, cracked heels, dry feet and hands. It also helps relax muscles when used for massage. Even for the hair, the benefits are multiple and we look at just how almond oil is extremely important for healthy, beautiful hair.
Almond is a powerhouse of nutrients. Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc, besides a number of other minerals and vitamins. It comes in two different forms – bitter and sweet. The sweet almond oil is more commonly used for health and beauty purposes as bitter almond oil isn’t consumable though it can be used topically. Almonds are native to the Indian subcontinent, Middle East, and North African regions, and have been a part of many traditional home remedies for innumerable years.
The oil is light and aromatic making it all the more attractive to use, as there isn’t any bad smell or sticky texture that would work as a deterrent for use. It is one of the most commonly used hair oil for many, many generations in India, besides coconut oil. You get many brands that offer almond oil. You need to ensure that the one you use is pure in form and that there is no form of adulteration. Cold-pressed almond oil without any other additions would work the best.
1. To Treat Dandruff and Hair Damage
2. To Check Scalp Infection and Inflammation
3. To Treat Hair Loss and Split Ends
4. For Softer and Shiny Hair
5. For Healthy and Stronger Hair
6. Different Ways to Apply
7. Almond Oil For Different Hair Types
8. Hair Masks Using Almond Oil
To Treat Dandruff and Hair Damage
There can be many causes for dandruff. It could be dryness of skin, not cleaning properly and regularly, too much shampooing usage, seborrhoea dermatitis, eczema, scalp psoriasis, allergy, or a yeast-like fungus. A dandruff build-up affects the hair follicles also as it gets accumulated at the scalp and around the hair roots and doesn’t let the required oxygen reach it. Almond oil helps in softening dandruff which loosens its hold on the scalp and can be easily cleaned out when shampooing after the oiling.
Remedy: Mix almond oil with a tablespoon of amla powder. Apply it to your scalp, massaging it in. Leave on your hair for an hour before washing it with hair-appropriate shampoo.
To Check Scalp Infection and Inflammation
Pollution, heat, dust, and chemicals in hair products can get built up in hair and affect it by causing inflammation and infection. Not taking proper care to avoid these factors leads to weak hair, dandruff, etc. The anti-inflammatory properties of almond oil soothe and reduce inflammation.
Remedy: Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to 2 tablespoons of almond oil. Add 1 teaspoon of tea tree essential oil and 1 tablespoon of honey to the mix. Mix well and apply to the scalp. Keep this for half an hour, before washing it off.
To Treat Hair Loss and Split Ends
Scalp inflammation and dandruff build-up can lead to hair loss. Many other factors like lack of proper nutrients, dryness of hair, etc. to lead to an increase in hair loss, as also split ends. What your hair needs are a boost of hydration, and removal of any inflammation and dandruff. Almond oil helps with just that. It also promotes re-growth of hair and decreases hair thinning. Almond oil has magnesium, calcium and zinc. Less magnesium and calcium can lead to less hair growth and ultimately, hair loss. Zinc deficiency can lead to alopecia that leads to thinning of hair. As almond oil has these minerals, regular use of it helps avoid hair loss.
Remedy: Mix together almond, castor and olive oil in equal amounts. Massage this onto slightly wet hair. Repeat this twice a week for a few months to remove split ends. Massage your scalp and hair with almond oil. Dip a towel in hot water and squeeze the excess water out of the towel before wrapping it securely around the head. Keep this for half an hour or so before washing it off with an appropriate shampoo.
For Softer and Shiny Hair
Almond oil helps give the much-needed hydration to your hair that helps them look shiny, and feel soft. The essential fatty acids in almond oil help in not only moisturising the scalp but also the hair strands themselves, thus leading to healthy hair.
Remedy: Mash one avocado, and add almond oil to the mash. Mix properly and apply this paste to your head. Keep this on for 45 minutes before you wash it off with a shampoo.
For Healthy and Stronger Hair
Almond oil has vitamin E in it that is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralise the problematic free radicals that affect hair health. It also helps in tackling damage to hair caused by various factors like pollution, chemicals, heat, etc.
Remedy: Take some herbal henna and soak it in water overnight. Mix 3 tablespoons of almond oil and one egg to this in the morning. Add a drop or two of lavender essential oil. Keep the mix for 10-15 minutes before applying it to your hair. Keep it for an hour before washing it off.
Different Ways to Apply
Almond oil can be applied in various ways that are helpful in achieving healthy, beautiful hair. One way is to use it post-wash as a leave-in conditioner. All you need is to apply a few drops of almond oil to your hair once it is dried off. It gives your hair a healthy shine and forms a layer that protects the hair from external harmful factors like pollution, dust, etc.
For this quick-fix, first, you have to comb your hair to detangle it. Ensure that the hair is dried and not wet when you comb it. Start towards the end and slowly move upwards to ensure that there is no unnecessary pressure on the hair leading to hair fall. Once the hair is detangled, take less than half a teaspoon of almond oil in your palms and rub your hands together. Run your fingers through your hair ensuring the oil coats all of it. You don’t need a lot of oil for this. It tames down the flyaway hair and frizzy hair too. Ensure you don’t touch your hair roots when applying otherwise the hair starts looking oily. You can do this daily if you want to.
Another way is a more elaborate one and is done before you apply shampoo to your hair. It is a deep conditioning treatment for the hair. For this, you need the hair wet, as the wetness helps the hair absorb the almond oil better. Use warm water for this wash, as the warm water softens the bonds in your hair helping to detangle it well. Once you wash your hair with warm water, use a wide-toothed comb to slowly and fully detangle the hair. Comb it after drying the hair a little using a towel.
You will need to heat the oil a little – it should be warm to the touch but not hot. So, microwave the oil for around 10 seconds. This opens out the outer cuticles of the hair, making it easier for the moisture to penetrate into the hair. After detangling the hair, take the warm almond oil on your fingers and massage it into your scalp. Start from the hairline and move towards the crown first.
Use the circular motion of the fingers, applying just enough pressure while massaging the oil in. Then do the same from the nape to the crown. Ensure the entire scalp is covered. It also helps in stimulating new hair growth, conditioning the hair roots, and protecting the hair
Once the whole scalp is covered, use a wide-toothed comb to help disperse the oil to all your hair, strands included. If you fall short towards the tips of the hair, take few more drops of almond oil that should be applied to the tips. Take a warm towel and wrap it around your head for an hour or so. Once done, wash it off with a gentle cleansing shampoo. Do this treatment once a week.
Almond Oil For Different Hair Types
If you have oily, greasy hair, then you should use hot oil treatment. Mix almond oil with coconut oil. Heat this in a microwave for around 10 seconds and apply it to your hair and scalp. Don’t wait too long before washing your hair though. Just wait 10 minutes, and then wash your hair. Mix two to three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a mug of water and use this to rinse your hair. Then use an appropriate shampoo to cleanse off the excess oil. This treatment conditions your hair and hydrates it. By washing it immediately, you ensure that excess oil doesn’t accumulate and only the necessary amount is retained.
If you have dry, frizzy hair, then you need to give your hair a moisture and protein boost. Almond oil works as a conditioner and natural hair emollient, while on the other hand, an egg can repair hair damage with its high protein content. Break one egg into half a cup of almond oil. Whisk it together to make a smooth paste. Detangle your hair and section it. Apply the paste to the scalp and the hair – from roots to tips, section by section. Tie a towel around this, or use a shower cap to keep the hair and the paste together and wait for 45 minutes. Then wash your hair with an appropriate sulphate-free shampoo. Use a good conditioner also, after the shampoo. Once you towel-dry your hair, take a few drops of almond oil and apply it to your hair as a leave-in conditioner.
Combination hair is either one that is patchy – oily in some parts of the scalp, and dry in others. Or it is oily at the roots and dry towards the ends. For such hair, you need to use a hot oil treatment for the scalp. Apply the warm oil on the scalp and wash it off immediately. Use an apple cider vinegar rinse, like the one used above to get rid of the excess oil on the scalp. Before you use shampoo, towel-dry the hair and apply warm oil to the strands of the hair avoiding the scalp and the roots of the hair. Keep this oil for half an hour or so, and then wash your hair with an appropriate shampoo.
Hair Masks Using Almond Oil
There are a couple of hair masks that use almond oil. Here are some that will help your hair get a healthy shine and soft texture. Mix together three tablespoons of almond oil and three tablespoons of castor oil. Add some petals of hibiscus flower to this mix. Massage this into your scalp and hair for 10 minutes. Leave for an hour after that, and then wash it off with an appropriate shampoo.
Another mask uses argan oil, egg, almond oil and shea butter. Take one egg yolk, one tablespoon of almond oil and one teaspoon of Shea butter. To this mix, add half to one teaspoon of argan oil. Dampen your hair with warm water, and detangle it. Apply the mixture to the hair. Wrap it in a towel and leave for 30 to 40 minutes. Then using a sulphate-free shampoo, rinse it all off. Do this treatment once a week.
Take one tablespoon of almond oil and add it to a quarter a cup of yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of raw honey. Whisk this together to form a paste. With an applicator brush, apply it to your hair, section by section as a thick mask. Leave for 30 to 40 minutes before washing it all off using an appropriate shampoo. Towel-dry your hair and then leave it to dry naturally. Do this treatment once a week.
You can also read about the health benefits of almonds for hair care.
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