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.

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)!

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