Black seed oil is becoming increasingly well-known around the world as an elixir that can benefit consumers in a variety of ways. Some use it as they believe it offers them a whole range of health gains, while others swear by the health benefits of black seed oil for hair.
Whatever your reasons for trying using this incredible oil, there is now some pretty compelling evidence to suggest that the humble liquid can make you look and feel better, so why not give it a try yourself?
What Are the Benefits of Black Seed Oil for Hair?
There is evidence to suggest that the use of the oil, applied directly on the scalp, can help promote hair growth. A study published in 2014 by a group of Malaysian scientists found that a mixture of coconut oil and black seed oil applied to the scalp resulted in the best results.
The study compared hair growth, when various oil extracts were applied to the scalp, with the two aforementioned oils generating the best results.
The scientists behind the study looked at past evidence, suggesting that black seed oil carried a high level of essential fatty acids, as well as linoleic acid. This useful chemical has previously been found to be useful in treating premature hair loss and greying.
Loss of hair colour is usually caused by a declining number of special cells in the hair follicles which secrete melanin, so kalonji oil like castor oil could be potentially slowing the ageing process, by keeping these special cells around for longer.
Another study from 2014 found that when people experiencing hair loss started using coconut oil mixed with extracts, including black seed oil, hair loss was reduced by up to 70 per cent, when compared with those treated with just coconut oil by itself.
One study held in 2013, published by the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, looked at the use of black seed oil on a specific hair loss conditions affecting women. Specifically, they examined a distressing condition called telogen effluvium, which affects the scalp, leading to hair thinning and loss of hair.
Despite including only 20 participants, the study found that treating women with this condition using the oil helped them dramatically. Participants noted a 70 per cent improvement in their condition, directly as a result of using the oil, the study found.
It’s undeniable that this study and others like it have gone some way to establish and clarify the use of black seed oil for hair. However, they are also limited in the scope and size.
Perhaps more research can be carried out in the future, on the use of black seed oil for grey hair, for example, to expand the knowledge we have about how it can be used as a cosmetic hair treatment product.
Moisture and Condition of Hair
The presence of essential fatty acids has long been viewed as a major benefit for any hair treatment, as proponents claim that this ingredient helps lock in the moisture, to prevent damaged or dry hair.
In 2016, a major review of research into the effectiveness, side effects and potential benefits of black seed oil to hair and other parts of the body was carried out. The findings were published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research.
The review produced some pretty compelling evidence that black seed oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which explains why people have been using it to promote improved hair and scalp health for many years.
With a healthy scalp comes healthy hair and anyone looking for a natural solution to ongoing dandruff or an itchy scalp problem may find that black seed oil is the answer.
Can You Leave Black Seed Oil in Your Hair?
You can apply the oil to your hair in whatever way you wish. Some choose to use it like a black seed oil hair mask and rinse the oil out after shampooing. Others use it before shampooing their hair and leave it on for a number of minutes, to allow it to sink in through the hair shaft.
If you are using black seed oil for hair alone, it may make more sense to use a little on dry hair, to help keep the ends moisturised and keep any frizziness under control.
If you don’t want to use this oil on dry hair, it might be a good idea to use it as a head massage oil, as the massage action could also help to stimulate hair growth. Some people believe massaging the head thickens hair. Add black seed oil to your regular massage oil products, and you could have a winning combination, for anyone suffering from thinning hair or male pattern baldness, for example.
Some consumers enjoy adding the oil to bread, or even mixing small amounts into drinks, to feel the benefits of black seed oil from the inside out.
Where Does Black Seed Oil Come From?
This oil is extracted from a black-coloured seed, most often known as the nigella seed, or simply the black caraway or black cumin seed. Thymoquinone seems to be the main active ingredient that gives black seed oil hair benefits and makes it popular for other health and cosmetic uses.
The black seeds themselves come from the Nigella sativa plant, which grows in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa and Western Asian countries. The seeds are jet-black and triangular in shape. They have a distinctive look, a pleasant smell and have been used in cookery for centuries.
Nigella seeds have been used in the parts of the world where the plant grows naturally for generations, as locals are aware of the effects of black seed oil for hair and even for many other practical uses, including treating skin conditions, joint pain and infections, for example, although there is inconclusive evidence to support this.