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Jojoba Oil for Hair: Everything You Need to Know

Jojoba oil has long been lauded as a powerful skin and hair ingredient. A variety of beauty products and brands are eager to add the oil into all their products, splashing its name across any and all packaging. But, what exactly is jojoba oil? And what are the benefits it really offers our hair? To get all the dirty details on this ingredient, we reached out to the experts. Below, they break down everything you need to know about the oil!

Open bottle of jojoba oil for hair
(via Getty)

What Is Jojoba Oil?

To kick things off, it’s important to understand exactly what the oil is. “Jojoba oil is derived from the seeds of the jojoba shrub. It contains loads of vitamin C, copper, zinc, and vitamin Bs,” shares Bridgette Hill, certified trichologist and founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis. However, she does point out that jojoba oil “is not technically an oil, but an ester. Ester, meaning having a wax-like substance, made up of the proper chain of free fatty acids that can be absorbed by the scalp tissue versus fatty acids that penetrate at a minimal degree.”

While Bridgette notes the oil is being studied every year, “the seeds and oil anecdotally have been given credit to treat skin and scalp disorders, superficial wounds, immunity, and hair growth.” Don’t worry, we’ll get into all those benefits below.

Benefits of Jojoba Oil for Hair

1. It helps maintain the scalp’s pH balance.

Bay Area dermatologist Dr. Kaveri Karhade shares that the oil is incredibly beneficial when it comes to maintaining your scalp’s pH. “We’re learning daily that is incredibly important in growing healthy hair.” We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a healthy scalp equals healthy hair.

2. It can aid in managing dandruff.

Struggle with pesky flakes? Turns out, jojoba oil may very well be your saving grace. “The copper, zinc, vitamin E, and B vitamins work together to combat and manage dandruff as both a pre-shampoo scalp treatment and topical to use two to three times a week for management,” shares Bridgette.

3. It helps with other scalp ailments as well.

It’s not only dandruff the ester-based oil can help with. Bridgette points out that it’s “an excellent oil to manage compromised skin barrier scalps such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis.” Dr. Karhade shares that this is because “jojoba oil can have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antifungal activity.”

4. It adds moisture and hydration back into the strands.

This is specifically more of a benefit for those with frizzy or curly hair, Bridgette mentions. She also shares that the oil offers moisture and hydration “without a tacky or sticky feel.” And we all know how hard to come by that is.

5. It can boost your hair’s shine.

Something we all want is shiny hair. And often, that seems unachievable. So why not give jojoba oil a try? As Dr. Karhade notes, “There is little evidence that jojoba oil penetrates into the hair shaft. In fact, given its relatively large molecule size, it’s unlikely that it enters each hair strand but rather sits atop it. This can lead to a glossy shine and perhaps smoother hair.” Sign us up!

Things to Consider Before Using Jojoba Oil

Don’t purchase all the jojoba oil you can just yet. There are some things to consider before slathering it all over your strands. For instance, your hair type. Those with fine, flat, or oily strands should limit their usage. “It should be used minimally and only infrequently by those with fine or limp hair, as oils can quickly weigh the hair down,” shares Dr. Karhade.

Bridgette notes that all hair types can benefit from the oil, it all depends on how you use it. However, she does warn against using it if you have a more serious scalp condition. “Should anyone have a severe medical scalp condition, I caution with jumping into using plants on the scalp,” she says. “Plants are medicinal and can counteract or contribute to the disruption of the scalp microbiome. I suggest consulting with a trichologist or dermatologist who specializes in scalp and hair.”

How to Use Jojoba Oil for Hair

Fine hair types should use it minimally.

Again, those with fine hair will want to use the oil sparingly. And when it is used, try not to use a lot of it. Bridgette suggests using it as an overnight scalp and hair treatment to manage dandruff. “Shampoo in the morning with a zinc, lay, oatmeal, mineral-based shampoo” to thoroughly cleanse out the oil.

If using it on dry hair, Bridgette recommends using it as a pre-shampoo treatment. “Apply the oil to dry, un-shampooed hair five to 10 minutes before shampooing with a clay-based or detergent-based cleanser.”

To add moisture into frizzy, fine strands, you’ll want to apply it right out of the shower when your hair is drenched. “Thoroughly emulsify a dime amount of jojoba oil into the hands, as if using the oil as a moisturizer,” notes Bridgette. “Once the majority of the oil is absorbed, you should feel a slight slip. Next, turn the head upside down and scrunch the hair to define the curls or run the fingers through the mid-shaft to ends to control frizz, then style as usual.”

Medium to coarse hair types can use it liberally.

Bridgette shares that you can use the oil two to three times a week to combat dandruff and add moisture back into your strands. “The coarser the hair, consider mixing jojoba oil with a moisturizing leave-in conditioner to offer extra slip and hydration to prevent excess tension,” she suggests.

Try a hot oil treatment for your scalp.

If you want to focus on maintaining your scalp health, Dr. Karhade suggests a hot oil treatment. “A once-weekly warm oil treatment would be most beneficial applied to the scalp, left on for about an hour, and then washed off.”

Best Jojoba Oil Hair Products

Allpa Botanicals Jojoba Hair Oil: $27

Dr. Karhade recommends sticking to a pure jojoba oil, such as this one. It’s made from cold-pressed jojoba oil hand-picked from farming crops in the semi-desert region of Argentina.

Allpa Botanicals Jojoba Oil

(via Allpa Botanicals)

Cliganic 100% Pure Organic Jojoba Oil: $8.99

This pure jojoba oil comes recommended to us by Bridgette. We suggest this one for those with dry skin and hair, as it will moisturize any dry spots like no other.

Cliganic 100% Pure Organic Jojoba Oil

(via Cliganic)

Pattern Jojoba Oil Blend: $25

Bridgette is also a fan of this jojoba oil blend from Pattern. Mixed with safflower oil, rosehip oil, olive oil, and lavender oil, this blend works wonders on low porosity strands. Your scalp and strands will be moisturized without feeling weighed down.

Pattern Jojoba Oil Blend

(via Pattern)

The Jojoba Company Australian Jojoba: $19.95

A brand dedicated to jojoba? No wonder Bridgette recommends this product. Sustainably grown in Australia, this blend delivers vital nutrients and antioxidants to your skin, scalp, and hair.

The Jojoba Company Australian Jojoba

(via The Jojoba Company)

Not sure if jojoba oil is the best for your strands? Discover the best hair oil for your specific hair type HERE!

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