Avocado has long been used in the beauty world as an ingredient in face masks, serums, oils, shampoos—the list goes on. We’ve personally noticed it popping up a lot more in hair care products from various brands so we decided now was finally the time to do a little bit of a deep dive on avocado’s hair benefits. Below, we reached out to a couple of experts to unearth more about how the fruit can potentially deliver healthier hair, along with how to use it properly. Get all their expert advice below!
(Image Source: Unsplash / Alekseeva Maya)
About the Experts
Kaveri Karhade, MD, FAAD is a board-certified general and cosmetic dermatologist based in San Francisco, California.
Cataanda James is a brand educator for The Mane Choice and a licensed cosmetologist.
Avocado Hair Benefits
1. It adds shine.
Avocado is often touted as being hydrating, though that may not entirely be the case. Because it is so thick, Kaveri Karhade, MD, FAAD notes “it is unlikely to be able to penetrate the hair shaft and rather more likely sits atop the hair.” However, she does not that avocado can help seal the cuticle, leaving you with shiny hair in the process.
Licensed cosmetologist Cataanda James confirms this benefit to be true as well, noting it’s all thanks to the magnesium and potassium in the fruit.
2. It softens your hair.
Not only does avocado add shine, but it also softens your hair as well. “Avocado can help soften the hair, especially for dry and brittle color-treated hair,” notes Dr. Karhade. James shares that while it “helps maintain the integrity of the hair from roots to midshaft, it does not reverse existing damage to overly sensitized hair.” Translation? If your hair is pretty badly damaged, you’ll need something a little stronger than avocado to get the job done.
3. It may help with dandruff.
One surprising benefit of the fruit is its potential ability to help quell dandruff. “A less-studied but important benefit is that avocado may have some utility for those who suffer from dandruff or itchy scalp,” says Dr. Karhade. “Recent research shows the activity of the sugar in avocado against the yeast implicated in dandruff” can aid in soothing the scalp.
4. It helps with detangling.
Avocado provides a nice bit of slip to otherwise unruly hair. If you need a little help detangling your knots, consider using the fruit. James shares that the reason avocado helps with detangling is that “fatty acids provide a more pliable, smoother glide, which ultimately helps reduce breakage.”
5. It will possibly strengthen your hair.
James points out that the combination of vitamins A, D, K, and E, biotin, and zinc all work together to strengthen your strands. Who would’ve guessed that avocado would be the missing link to achieving stronger hair?
Hair Type Consideration
Before you start slathering avocado on your hair (or your toast) on a regular basis, there are some things you should consider—namely, your hair type. “Those who tend to have hair that turns greasy quickly, or those who prefer to wash hair more infrequently, may find avocado too heavy,” says Dr. Karhade. “Also, those with fine hair may find that the heavy oil-based avocado weighs the hair down.”
James also cautions against using the fruit if you have any allergies. “Those who have food allergies (certain nuts, fruits, and other foods) should avoid using any product containing avocado as this may result in adverse reactions,” she mentions. “Avocado is known to have similar proteins which may or may not cause a reaction. If you do have a history of allergies, it is always wise to do a strand test to ensure you won’t develop a reaction or skin irritation.”
So who does benefit from using avocado on their hair? Those with dry, brittle, or even color-treated hair. “Avocado works best on medium-to-coarse, dry, and brittle hair as it wraps the strands and provides a boost of moisture which aids in softening the hair’s overall texture,” says James.
(Image Source: Unsplash / Bethany Randall)
How to Incorporate Avocado Into Your Hair Care Routine
To eat an avocado or to apply it? Why not both? James does note that ingesting it may be better because “your body is better equipped to digest and break it down so it travels to the bloodstream faster and your body can retain more of the nutrients.” But, you can still have better hair by applying it topically.
Dr. Karhade emphasizes the importance of applying avocado on dry hair when using it as a topical because “avocado is oil-based and will be repelled by wet hair.” She recommends applying a fresh, mashed avocado as a hair mask, leaving it on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinsing out with shampoo. This can get a little messy, but that’s all part of the DIY fun.
Should you prefer using some avocado-based hair products, James has you covered with a few of her top picks from The Mane Choice. She suggests the Soft As Can Be Revitalize & Refresh 3-in-1 because it can be used as a co-wash, leave-in conditioner, and detangler. “It rinses away impurities, works wonders to hydrate, restore moisture, and eases the detangling process,” James notes.
She recommends that “those with fine hair should use a pre-poo.” Her choice? Easy On The CURLS Detangling Hydration Conditioner. “[It] coats the strands with nourishment and hydration to provide ease in detangling, boost in softness, and improvement in shine.”
Her final product pick is the Crystal Orchid Biotin Infused Styling Gel because it “tackles frizz, defines curls, and smooths hair while leaving it feeling strong and healthy-looking for a polished finish.”
We’re not the only fans of using avocado for healthy hair. So is Cardi B. Discover her go-to, avocado-based hair mask HERE!