Black cumin seed oil has been the talk of the town, as far as hair oils go. Many claim it has helped them achieve stronger, longer hair, while others are fans of the softness and shine it adds to their strands. But does black cumin seed oil actually do anything for hair? Is it really deserving of all the attention it’s receiving in the beauty space? We know that sounds skeptical, but we have to be sure. With so many other notable hair oils out there, we did our due diligence to find out whether or not black cumin seed oil offers the hair benefits it claims.
(Image Source: Getty / Yana Tatevosian)
About the Expert
Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York and a Clinical Assistant Professor at Cornell.
What Is Black Cumin Seed Oil?
So what is black seed oil anyway? Board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD explains that “black seed oil comes from a small plant known as Nigella sativa, and while the seeds have been used for flavoring, they have also been used for various health benefits.” She notes that the oil is “known to contain thymoquinone, so it’s thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.”
Black Cumin Seed Oil Hair Benefits
1. It has antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties.
The thymoquinone in black cumin seed oil is what gives the oil these properties. And these benefits help strengthen the hair and scalp to give your strands everything they need for healthy growth.
2. It protects against free radical damage.
Dr. Garshick notes that because black cumin seed oil contains thymoquinone, this offers antioxidant benefits. The biggest benefit being that it protects against free radical damage. Essentially, free radicals can speed up the aging process of the hair and scalp leaving you with weaker strands. Black cumin seed oil can help prevent that.
3. It reduces inflammation.
Again, black cumin seed oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, “it can help to soothe and reduce inflammation,” notes Dr. Garshick.
4. It may add softness and shine.
“It may help to add shine to the hair as well and uses sebum to keep the hair feeling soft,” says Dr. Garshick. More studies would need to be done to determine if this is true, though many have noticed softer, shinier hair after using the oil.
5. It can possibly help with hair growth.
There aren’t enough studies out there to confirm whether black cumin seed oil can in fact help with hair growth, but with its antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties, it has helped some see a boost in hair growth over time and even a reduction in hair shedding.
Things to Consider Before Using the Oil
One great thing about this oil is that almost anyone can use it. Almost every hair type has something to gain from using the oil, whether it’s experiencing softer strands or possible hair growth. Dr. Garshick does note that one hair type will benefit the most from the oil than others. “While all hair types will benefit, those with dry hair may notice the most improvement from using black cumin seed oil,” she states.
As with any new hair care product, it’s important to take allergies into consideration. If you know you’re allergic to cumin, this isn’t a product you should try. And if you have a sensitive scalp and/or hair, a spot test can help determine if this oil will cause irritation. “When applying topically, it is always best to do a spot treatment first to determine if any potential allergies or sensitivity occurs,” says. Dr. Garshick.
How to Use Black Cumin Seed Oil for Hair
Dr. Garshick shares that the oil can be ingested or applied topically. How you use the oil will all come down to personal preference, though topically may allow you to better target any problem areas. But more important than how you use the oil is the type of oil you use. “In general, finding a product that uses cold-pressed oil is important,” notes Dr. Garshick. “Otherwise, the heat processing can impact the beneficial components of the oil.”
Best Black Seed Oil Hair Products
If you’re in need of some black cumin seed oil products, we’ve got you covered.
CHI Luxury Black Seed Oil Blend Dry Oil
This product comes recommended by Dr. Garshick herself. This lightweight dry oil is perfect for those who tend to have greasy or oily strands, as the formula is fast-absorbing and won’t leave any residue behind. Plus, you’ll still get the benefits of added thickness and shine.
(Image Source: CHI.com)
Pura D’or Hair Thinning Therapy Energizing Scalp Serum
Another recommendation from Dr. Garshick, this scalp serum from Pura D’or helps reduce hair thinning, dullness, breakage, and limp strands thanks to its proprietary blend of nourishing hair ingredients. Yes, black cumin seed oil is one of them.
(Image Source: Amazon.com)
Amazing Herbs Premium Black Seed Oil
Cold-pressed oil is always more potent as the process is better able to maintain the oil’s nutrients. If you’re looking for a black cumin seed oil that is as powerful as they come, you’re looking at it.
(Image Source: Amazon.com)
RAWYA Cold-Pressed lack Cumin Seed Oil Soft Gel Capsules
Applying the oil topically isn’t for everyone. We get it, it can get a bit messy. So if you still want to reap the benefits of black cumin seed oil for hair, try these soft gel capsules instead.
(Image Source: Amazon.com)
Another unexpected oil we’re loving right now is hemp oil. Learn all about its benefits HERE!