Flaxseed is a plant-based superfood that has gained a great deal of popularity lately in the health and wellness world. But very few people know the amazing benefits flaxseeds has on our hair. When we consume flaxseeds, in either powder form or as whole seeds, we are not only improving our overall health but also our hair health. Flaxseed oil, however, can do wonders to the quality of hair and it speeds up the rate at which the hair grows when massaged regularly on our head.
It is easy to find in stores, cost-effective, and lasts a very long time. I usually buy in bulk from Costco or Bulk Barn and store it in an airtight container in my freezer to keep them fresh. I add them to most of my food and I love the nutty taste it brings to all my meals.
Flaxseed Oil & Hair Benefits
How exactly does it help hair grow, though? Before we dive into all the amazing benefits flaxseed oil has to offer for our hair, let me first explain how the oil is made and how it is different from whole flaxseed.
Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil, is extracted by cold-pressing the brown, nutty seeds of flax. Flax is rich in fiber, but the oil itself, isn’t. Also, whole flaxseed isn’t readily absorbed by the body, which is why the best way to reap its benefits is to either ground it into a powder form or to extract it into an oil. The oil is filled with protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants that are all fantastic for promoting hair health and hair growth.
Here are the three main benefits of using flaxseed oil for beautiful and strong hair that grows healthy and long.
1. Soothes & Cleans the Scalp
Sebum, natural oils secreted by the scalp, is regularly produced to protect the scalp from dryness. A dry scalp leads to conditions like scalp eczema, dandruff, and dermatitis, which all adversely affect hair growth. An itchy and flaky scalp can increase hair loss due to poor scalp hygiene. Applying flaxseed oil soothes and cleans the scalp by balancing the pH levels as well as the oil production of the sebaceous glands so that they produce the right amount of natural oil for healthy hair growth.
2. Nourishes Hair Strands
Omega-3 fats, especially plant-based ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) found in flaxseed oil is a heart-healthy essential fatty acid known to reduce inflammations throughout the body. These inflammations contribute to conditions in the body that cause hair loss or negatively affect hair growth. The plant-based ALA in flaxseed oil helps to nourish hair strands so that hair becomes smooth, strong, and less prone to breakage. This is because the oil helps to seal the hair cuticle so that it remains fully conditioned and moisturized, reducing frizz and split ends in the process as well.
3. Promotes New Hair Growth
Flaxseed oil is loaded with B-vitamins, a group of vitamins known to increase hair growth, and antioxidants like Vitamin E that promotes stronger, healthier hair follicles. B-vitamins make the hair grow at a more rapid rate, making hair unbelievably smoother and softer, while Vitamin E reduces the effects of free radicals on the scalp. Together, these vitamins improve blood circulation in the scalp that leads to new and fast hair growth.
3 Most Effective Ways to Use
Now that we know how beneficial flaxseed oil is to our hair, how do we use it to grow our hair? Below, I will list the three most effective ways to use flaxseed to obtain optimum hair benefits. But before I do that, I would just like to mention a word of caution.
Although flaxseed is a natural plant-based product, which makes it quite safe to use and consume for the most part, it is important to remember that consuming large doses of flaxseed daily (30 grams or higher) can lead to serious bloating, loose stools and bowels, and even diarrhea. This is because of the high fiber content in whole flaxseeds, as mentioned earlier. Pregnant or breast-feeding women must consult with their doctor before they start using flaxseed as it may lead to early pre-term labor.
For everyone else, here are some very effective ways to use the superfood.
1. Diet: Add it to a whole variety of your daily meals. Use the powder form in your favorite smoothie or even add a teaspoon to a glass of water to drink as your daily source of fiber. Alternatively, you can use it as an oil dressing over your favorite salads.
Recipe for Flaxseed Powder: You can easily make your own flaxseed powder at home. For example, take 1/4 cup of whole flaxseed and grind it in a blender to a fine powder. Transfer it to an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator for added freshness.
Recipe for Salad Dressing: add flaxseed oil to equal parts of organic honey and fresh lemon juice and you have yourself a very delicious, wholesome, and nutty-tasting salad dressing.
2. Oil: massage the oil on your scalp with your fingers and also apply it to the length of your hair. Wrap a hot towel or wear a shower cap to allow the oil to penetrate deeper into you hair shafts. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and conditioner after 30 minutes. Do this at least 1-2 times a week for best results.
3. Gel: Use it as a leave-in hair conditioner by making your own flaxseed gel to nourish and moisturize the hair so it grows smoother and stronger fast.
How to Make Flaxseed Gel:
2 cups distilled water
1/4 cup whole flaxseeds
Place flaxseed and water in medium saucepan and allow it to come to a boil.
Keep stirring so the mixture does not stick to bottom of pan (5-7 minutes).
Reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to stick to the back of the spoon.
Keep a watch out as this mixture will thicken quickly and you do not want to over-do it (Once it becomes a gel-like consistency, remove from flame). A mixture that is too thick will be hard to squeeze out.
Pour mixture through a strainer (or a nut milk bag) and allow it to cool to room temperature. Your flaxseed gel is now ready to use!
Apply: Add a few drops of essential oils to the gel and apply it to your scalp. You can do this on damp hair too and then allow the gel to naturally air dry. If it doesn’t bother you, you can leave it in as a conditioner or you can also wash it off after an hour. The key is to allow it to dry completely before washing it off. Use this gel as often as you would like and watch your hair become shiny and strong!
Transfer the gel to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks. If you start to notice an off-putting smell, chances are the gel has gone bad and that it is time to discard and make a new one.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about how to grow your hair with the help of flaxseed oil. Do give it a try and let me know what the results are. Please remember to be pateint and diligent in order to allow it ample enough of time to work. With regular use, you will notice your hair becoming smoother and stronger while new hair grows healthier and longer.