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May 4, 2012

Sunflower Oil for Hair


by Shelli of Hairscapades 

If you remember, as part of the GOC, I indicated that I would start oiling my scalp with sunflower oil. This was because I went to a salon where the stylist recommended sunflower oil to reduce shedding. After some research, I found information that indicated sunflower oil is a nice light oil for those with oily hair or fine hair that is easily weighed down (see articles here and here). However, I didn’t find anything to support that the topical application of this oil to the scalp reduces shedding or thickens hair. I did find that taking a teaspoon a day orally might provide these benefits though.


Nutrition
Sunflower oil contains gamma linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid. Such fatty acids are essential to hair health, says Spencer David Kobren in his book, “The Truth About Women’s Hair Loss: What Really Works for Treating and Preventing Thinning Hair.” GLA also is effective in preventing hair loss from male and female pattern baldness as well as alopecia areata, which causes round patches of lost hair. Just 1 tsp. a day is all that’s needed, Kobren says.
In regard to topical hair application, I located a study that compared the protein retaining and hair strengthening properties of coconut oil to sunflower and mineral oils.
The findings clearly indicate the strong impact that coconut oil application has to hair as compared to application of both sunflower and mineral oils. Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair. This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft. Mineral oil, being a hydrocarbon, has no affinity for proteins and therefore is not able to penetrate and yield better results. In the case of sunflower oil, although it is a triglyceride of linoleic acid, because of its bulky structure due to the presence of double bonds, it does not penetrate the fiber, consequently resulting in no favorable impact on protein loss.
After reading this information, I have decided that:
  • I will not use sunflower oil on my scalp.
  • May occasionally use it on my hair post-wash.
  • I will continue to use Vatika oil for pre-pooing.
  • I may start incorporating a teaspoon of sunflower oil a day into my diet (i.e. on salad).
So, what will I use on my scalp? I have decided to use Wild Growth Hair Oil (WHGO). Stay tuned for more on my research on that)!

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Do you use sunflower oil for your hair and/or scalp? If so, how and what has been your experience with it?

20 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

I always thought that Omega-3s were better for you in your diet than Omega-6s....

Anonymous said...

I love sunflower oil. It gives my hair shine without making it greasy.

Anonymous said...

I use sunflower oil as part of the oil blend I make for my scalp and also in my hot oil mixes. It is a nice light oil and I do not find it to be greasy so I will continue to use it.
This post was a good read though.

Abstract said...

Thanks for the info Shelli! Since my hair is both fine and somewhat thin, I guess this means I need to start pre-pooing again with coconut oil! I haven't really done that at all in the last 6 months at least. I've been trying to cut back on the amount of time I spend on my hair regimen where I can.

Trini Jamz said...

i have wild growth and it's soooo expensive, but i know it's good but i seldom use it because of the smell! it smells yuck on its own, but when i sweat...ewwww
It worked wonders on my roots when i was relaxed tho, it's really the bomb...but they need to work on the smell...

Ayisha B said...

I love coconut oil I think it the best thing for your hair and skin. It's very light on the scalp and gives great shine on the hair. WGHO is a nice product but is very heavy for fine hair and can become tacky in texture. The smell isn't the best. I used it on relaxed hair but didn't think it to be a good idea for my natural hair. Shelli is there any reason you don't use coconut oil on your scalp? I put the oil in a bottle with an applicator point top and since it melts at a little warmer than room temperature I just squeeze it directly on my scalp and massage it in.

Anonymous said...

Sunflower Oil does horrible things to my scalp. Its unbearable. I bought the big bottle too. I just knew that it was going to be on point.

Anonymous said...

Where do you purchase sunflower oil?

Follow my tumblr:
www.journeymahogany.tumblr.com

Anonymous said...

I never used Sunflower Oil, but I do you Safflower Oil when I do pre poos with oils and it wasnt so bad. As for coconut oil, its the best! Nuff said.

Ashley L.

Anonymous said...

I use sunflower oil as a sealant because it contains cermides which acts as a natural silicone. It really helps me retain moisture in my hair.

Anonymous said...

I love, adore, and and am quite keen on coconut oil for oil rinses. I oil rinse once a week after I wash and before I condition, and my hair is left moisturized without being weighed down and detangling is a breeze. Also the oil drips on my face when I rinse it out and it leaves my skin soft and glowing. Did I say that I love it?! ;)

I do not apply oils directly on my hair throughout the week for moisture. I prefer to lightly use butters. Oils leave my hair feeling too greasy, even when I use a small amount.

curlygirl3883 said...

Thanks for the info Shelli! I'm in desperate need of something to ease the shedding. I went on my lunch break to Sally's to pick up the Wild Growth Hail Oil (WGHO) $7.99. I had to Google a few of the ingredients but I can't wait to see what the results will be like. Side Note: The smell is NOT as bad as some people describe.

hairscapades said...

Anon. @ 8:33: Seems that's it's important to have a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6. An "American" diet (meaning beef and processed food heavy) can be unbalanced towards the Omega 6 side. But, for those who eat a Mediterranean type diet, there is more of a balance. You had me put on my research cap, so thanks;)! Here are two good articles that I found on the topic.

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-6-000317.htm

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400149/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6.html

So, it does seem to be a good idea to evaluate your diet prior to incorporating sunflower oil into it. I tend to fluctuate between a very health diet with lots of Omega 3 (salmon, flax seed, walnuts, etc.) and falling off the horse and eating too much junk. I had a great week last week, but had a very stressful week that had me off the wagon. But, back on next week as I have a vacation for which I need to get myself in order;)!!.

Anon @ 11:34: I used it on my scalp a couple times last week and didn't have any problems, but the only things that ever seemed to really bother my scalp were Jamaican black castor oil and amla. Have you tried just using it on your hair or do you prefer another oil?

@ JourneyMahogany: I found it at ShopRite. I think you can find it at most grocery stores.

@ Trini Jamz: I've read that some find the smell horrendous, others find it herb like. The suggestions I've read are to add an EO of your choice like lavender or rosemary. Have you tried that? If I find the smell intolerable, that's probably what I'll do. But, I don't tend to have a sensitive nose.

@ Ayisha: I never thought about using coconut oil on my scalp as I hadn't read anything about it. Then, several months ago, I saw this post on BGLH that indicated that oils like coconut and olive are high in oleic acid and can feed the fungus that causes dandruff.

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2011/12/is-greasing-your-scalp-necessary/

However, that being said, I realize that the WGHO has olive and coconut oil in the first three ingredients!!! DOH!! LOL!! But, I've never had dandruff, so I'll keep an eye on my scalp to see if it develops when I start using the WGHO. I definitely plan on using it sparingly as I hear it is very heavy. I really want to test it on my nape area where the hair is finer, straighter and far more sparse than the rest of my head. I'll definitely try to track the area over several months to see if there is any increased density/strand thickness. If not, I'll probably call it a bust.

And to all who talked about coconut oil ... yeah, IT ROCKS! In case anyone wasn't aware, the base of Vatika oil IS coconut oil:). LOVES IT!!

Thank you all for the feedback!!

Shelli

Anonymous said...

OMG. More stuff to remember. Creamy crack anyone? Just kidding. LOL! It's hard out here for a natural. I need to start making a reference book to keep up with everything.

Nicol C.

Anonymous said...

LOL at 'it's hard out here for a natural!!
Sugarberri

LBell said...

I have been using sunflower oil in my oil mix and my leave-in since the start of this year and it has made a MAJOR difference. My strands have always been very fine and fragile but with this oil it's like there's more "there" there. I'm guessing the ceramides in it have something to do with it? I dunno but it's a keeper for sure!

Annie L. said...

I LOVED the sample I bought from Essential Wholesale. I bought it for ceramides/oleic acid, I used it alone as a sealant and it left my hair soft, non-oily, non-greasy looking, sealed in moisture well and didn't seem to 'sit' on my hair. I also liked it as an oil wash for my face. I didn't re-buy because I was eliminating a lot of products and wanted to wait a while before buying anything else. I liked it though and would recommend.

Tea Wash said...

im definitely going to try sunflower oil. ive been using different oils since the price of jojoba oil has increased significantly. I do use oil on my scalp but thats only if i have a protective style like braids in

Leah Omonya said...

Thats a shame that would've been so nice, sunflower oil is soo chep compared to the others.

watkinsabob said...

Like for real...how many different oils are there. Geez. Seem like everyday theres a new one i'm learning about. wow!

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