If you’re wondering “will vegetable oil help my dry scalp and hair?” you’ve come to the right place. In this article I’ve explained how to apply vegetable oil to hair and if it’s a good idea.
A lot of people know about the benefits of using hair oils like coconut oil and olive oil for their hair. But will vegetable oil moisturize hair too?
Well, the question itself is a bit misguided.
See what most people say when they mean vegetable oil is “cooking oil” which includes oils like soybean, sunflower, and canola (rapeseed) oils. But in truth, any oil extracted from plant sources can be considered vegetable oil.
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So technically, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and even cocoa butter are all vegetable oils.
But for the sake of simplicity and to get to the point, I’ll consider vegetable oils that are not traditionally used for hair care like sunflower and soybean seed oil in this article.
Are they just as moisturizing as other hair oils? Can they help in hair growth? Is it safe to apply them to hair? Find out more below!
Will Vegetable Oil Help My Dry Scalp And Hair
To answer the question in short…yes! Vegetable oils do help in moisturizing dry hair and scalp. Fatty acids and triglycerides form the base of most vegetable oils and these are immensely beneficial in adding and retaining moisture in hair and scalp skin.
However, the reason why most cooking oils haven’t been traditionally used as hair oil is because they are highly processed. Sometimes this is necessary to make the oil more fit for human consumption.
But this process can remove several nutrients from the oils as well.
However, you can still use vegetable oil for hair and scalp as there are several benefits, especially if you choose a less processed, more organic brand.
Benefits Of Vegetable Oil For Scalp And Hair
So how exactly does vegetable oil benefit your scalp and hair? Well even with processing a lot of nutrients survive in cooking oils and help you with the following.
It Helps Condition Hair, Reducing Frizz
Vegetable oils are formed of vegetable fats that stay liquid at room temperature. These contain triglycerides, fatty acids and compounds like linoleic acid that help retain the moisture content in your strands and skin cells.
So using vegetable oil as a sort of leave-in conditioner or hair mask can improve dryness on the scalp and prevent hair from getting frizzy too.
Boost Scalp Health
A lot of vegetable oils (especially if they are unprocessed) are rich in tocopherols, which are essentially antioxidants that are formed from Vitamin E.
These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation on the scalp by reducing oxidative stress and helping scalp cells heal better.
According to research, tocopherols can also help shield skin cells from UVB radiation as well. So it can add a layer of protection during summer months.
A lot of people also use vegetable oil as an overnight lice treatment as they can help suffocate lice!
Can Help With Hair Growth
Now this isn’t true for ALL vegetable oils but there are certain oils such as olive oil or grapeseed oil that do have compounds such as oleuropein that are shown to have effect on hair growth.
Apart from directly affecting hair growth, vegetable oil application on hair can reduce tangles, breakage, dryness, and other factors that contribute to hair loss. So they can also help you get longer hair in a roundabout way.
How To Apply Vegetable Oil To Hair
If you’re wondering how exactly you start applying vegetable oil to your tresses, here are some tips.
Use it as a leave-in conditioner: Yes, the easiest way to use vegetable oil is to simply take a few drops and apply it to your dry hair and scalp. You should, however, keep in mind that the oil you use must suit your hair type and texture.
I suggest going for sunflower oil if you have wavy, thick hair as it’s both moisturizing and sort of lightweight, grapeseed oil if you have thin, fine hair as it’s very lightweight and heavier oils like coconut oil for curly hair.
Apply it with a hair mask: If you’re not a fan of the way cooking oil feels on your hair, why not use it in your weekly hair mask? Add other ingredients to the hair mask mixture to help your hair.
I usually add egg whites for damage repair, beer for shine, and sometimes other carrier oils like olive, argan, almond oil, etc. If needed, you can even add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance and other benefits.
As a deep conditioner: If you’re out of time or do not have a lot of these DIY ingredients at hand, simply apply a coat of your choice of vegetable oil for hair and leave it on for a while to help it deeply conditioner your hair.
You can even wrap a hot towel around your head or use an electric hair cap to ensure the oil penetrates better.
I recommend leaving vegetable oils on your hair for no longer than 5-6 hours. These oils tend to be very rich and viscous and might clog pores if left on for longer. They also tend to drip down and attract dust and grime which is not good for your hair or for your skin.
Also, make sure you’re using warm water to wash the oil off as it will not come off easily with cold water.
Disadvantages Of Using Vegetable Oils For Hair
While you CAN use vegetable oils to treat dry scalp and hair there is a reason why most people do not do it.
Firstly, vegetable oils are very processed and this isn’t always a bad thing as the process is required to remove certain compounds that cannot be consumed by humans.
However, this process, especially hydrogenation, removes a lot of nutrients from oil as well.
Some of the fat-soluble vitamins in the cooking oils will get absorbed by the body when you’re eating your food, but the topical application of these oils are unlikely to have any benefits.
Furthermore, vegetable oils that are most popular for cooking are peanut oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, canola oil, etc.
These oils are very rich and heavy, something which helps add texture to the food. But this can mean the oils are too heavy for hair, especially if you have fine, straight hair and can make it limp and greasy.
Some of these oils are also comedogenic, which means they clog pores easily leading to issues like scalp acne, pimples around the forehead, blackheads, etc.
FAQs about Vegetable Oil For Hair
How to grow your hair overnight with vegetable oil?
There is no remedy to help you grow your hair overnight. There are certain vegetable oils like olive oil that are known to boost hair growth but it won’t happen overnight.
You need to consistently use these oils as they help prevent breakage, dryness, etc. that stifle hair growth.
Also, regular massage of vegetable oils on the scalp can increase blood circulation on the scalp which helps the hair follicle get more access to nutrients and oxygen that are essential for it to begin a new hair growth cycle.
Does vegetable oil get rid of dandruff?
Using vegetable oils on the scalp can certainly reduce dryness-relating flaking and dandruff issues. Also, the tocopherols in vegetable oils can help control inflammation on the scalp, reducing itching and dandruff-like symptoms to a considerable extent.
However, not all vegetable oils are equally effective on dandruff. Some, like coconut oil, have specific compounds that help control Malasezzia, a fungus that is responsible for dandruff.
So if you have a dandruff issue, it’s best to know which vegetable oil is most effective in this regard.
Can you use cooking oil on dry hair?
Yes and no. There are some cooking oils like coconut oil or olive oil that are just as safe to apply topically on hair.
But a lot of other cooking oils like palm oil, mustard oil or canola oil, for example, are heavily processed (a necessary feature to make it more edible), removing a lot of the nutrients.
These processed cooking oils are also very heavy and can also clog pores on your scalp.
So to sum it up, you can use cooking oil on dry hair, provided you use the right type of cooking oil.
Summary On Using Vegetable Oil For Dry Scalp and Hair
Vegetable oils like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, etc. have always been used for hair as a moisturizer. However, when we talk about vegetable oils most people often think about cooking oils such as peanut oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, etc.
While these are also moisturizing to some extent, they are highly processed to make them better for human consumption. This hydrogenation process removes a lot of nutrients from the oil making them not as effective as other oils for hair health.
A lot of them have a thick, viscous texture that makes them great for searing, frying, etc. but render their usage on hair very difficult. This heavy texture can make them clog pores on the scalp and forehead and also make your hair look limp and greasy.
So the bottomline is that yes, vegetable oil or rather cooking oils can hydrate your dry scalp and hair. But they aren’t as effective or safe as olive oil, argan oil, etc. And if you do use cooking oils for hair, make sure they are non-hydrogenated and unprocessed.