November 21, 2019 at 12:00AM by CWC
Avocados are the Tom Hanks of fruits and veggies: They can do no wrong. They’re beloved by all and universally appealing. In the avocado’s case (because we all know why Hanks is great), it’s super delicious to eat (duh), really good for your skin, and even good for your hair. Yes, using avocado oil for hair benefits may be the least discussed perk of the fruit, but it’s definitely legit.
“Avocado oil is an amazing oil for hair,” says Debbi Burnes, beauty expert and founder of Sumbody. “It has a high content of monounsaturated fat, vitamins E and D, and oleic acid, and is one of the very few oils that can penetrate the hair shaft and cuticle as opposed to just lying on top of the hair.” Because it can really get into your strands, it can work to moisturize your hair while reducing split ends and breakage.
Most people will want to keep the oil away from the scalp since it can cause hair to look overly greasy, and because the bottoms of hair tend to be the driest (unless of course, you’re washing it out following or doing some sort of a scalp mask, as mentioned below, and then go ham). “In addition to the lipids, avocado oil contains fat soluble antioxidants and bioactive phytochemicals, including vitamin E and carotenoids, which help protect hair from environmental aggressors and pollutants that can make hair dry and brittle,” explains Paula Simpson, biochemist, beauty expert, and author of Good Bacteria for Healthy Skin.
If you’re shy to use an oil in your hair anywhere on the strand, I hear you—but avocado oil is relatively light. “Unlike olive oil, it is a very light oil and absorbs well as opposed to leaving a greasy coating,” says Burnes. Simpson adds that, since it’s so light, it’s a better option for fine hair, too—and it’s good for “most hair types because it can penetrate the hair and scalp, as opposed to other oils that sit on top of the hair strand.”
Here’s how to use avocado oil for hair benefits
1. Hair mask: For an all-over hair boost, Simpson recommends making an avocado oil, honey, and egg white mask to “promote hair moisture, fortify, and encourage hair growth and scalp health.” Blend the ingredients together, slather all over your hair and scalp, and leave for 15 to 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing.
2. Styling: Got frizz? (Same.) “Lightly apply avocado oil with your fingertips to the ends of your hair to smooth out frizz or hold curls for the day,” says Simpson.
3. Overnight treatment: If you want an intensive treatment, Burnes recommends wearing some as you sleep. “On dry hair before washing, warm some avocado oil up, massage it into the scalp and comb through your hair,” she says. Though you can leave it on for 10 minutes, she says you can wear it overnight, even covering your hair with a cap to increase heat.
4. For a scalp boost: “To promote a healthy scalp, encourage hair growth, and combat scalp flaking, try a scalp-friendly mask,” says Simpson. You’ll need: a tablespoon of avocado oil, a tablespoon of plain yogurt, one probiotic capsule, and a half teaspoon of honey. “With gentle pressure and circular motions, massage the mixture into your scalp to promote absorption and circulation,” she says. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes before washing and conditioning as usual.