We already know all about the benefits of using almond oil on our skin. They include—but are not limited to—sun protection (though just a modest SPF 5), hydration, and reduced irritation. It may even lessen the appearance of dark circles. As such, you'll find it in many different skin products. We're talking about everything from lotions to moisturizing oils to face masks. But what about when it comes to our hair? Could it offer our scalp and strands similar benefits?
These aren't random or unsolicited questions. Lately, we've been seeing almond oil pop up in various haircare formulas: shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and styling serums are all highlighting it as a main (not to mention miracle-working) ingredient. Is it possible that almond oil is the buzziest new beauty ingredient, replacing coconut oil as the beauty buff's gold standard do-it-all ingredient?
According to Mariska Nicholson, Olive + M founder and plant-based oil expert, almond oil isn't just hype. It offers some serious benefits to the hair, just like it does to skin. "Almond oil contains some great benefits for hair due to its nourishing properties and high levels of vitamin E, magnesium and omega-rich fatty acids," she says. Applying it to the hair will provide immense hydration, resulting in soft and lustrous strands (and if you use it correctly, you may even achieve Disney princess-level shine).
There are a variety of ways to incorporate pure almond oil into your haircare routine. The simplest way that Nicholson recommends is using it in lieu of a traditional hair oil. Place a drop or two into your palms, press them together to distribute the oil evenly, then run them down the length of your damp hair "to promote shine and smooth flyaways."
If your hair is dull and rough from sun exposure, over-processing, or heat-styling, take the hydration to a deeper level by using pure almond oil and avocado as a moisturizing (not to mention all-natural) hair mask. "Mash up an avocado and mix with 1-2 tablespoons of almond oil to create a smoothing hair mask that packs a punch of hydration and shine," Nicholson says. "Apply to dry or damp hair and leave on for approximately 30 minutes. Follow by rinsing your hair and shampooing and conditioning as usual."
Almond oil even works miracles on dryness and damage. Simply soak your hair in a homemade almond and olive oil mixture (we've tried this before with a combination of coconut and olive oil and it made our hair incredibly soft and shiny). "For extra dry or damaged hair, try mixing almond oil with equal parts olive oil (one of our favorite plant-based oils!) and applying to your hair with a wide-tooth comb from root to ends. Rinse, wash and style as usual for hair with extra luster and softness."
If DIY beauty isn't your thing (or maybe you're looking to load up on all the almond oil hair benefits you possibly can) know that there are pre-packaged products that contain the ingredient—no mixing required.
Bumble & bumble formulates its iconic Hairdresser's Invisible Oil with almond oil to provide hair with supreme softness and manageability. It's a lightweight oil meant to sink into the hair cuticle; it doesn't sit atop of it making it look weighed-down and greasy.
Aveeno has a whole line of almond oil-infused haircare (see, we told you it was trending!). This shampoo uses it for the purpose of soothing the scalp from irritation and dryness.
Kiehl's Magic Elixir is a pre-shampoo treatment formulated to soften and smooth the hair cuticle. Take it from us: it works. It's all thanks to a stellar combination of ingredients like almond, rosemary, avocado, and safflower oil.
This hair mask has a buttery texture and lots of hydrating ingredients (including—yep, you guessed it—almond oil) to bring dry, damaged curls back to life. Damaged hair may lose its curl pattern, so using a moisture-rich mask like this can help spring them back up into proper spirals.
Nicholson recommends trying Ouai's hair oil, since it "smooths hair, adds shine, and a little bit goes a long way. You can even use it as an overnight hair mask, too!" Almond oil happens to be one of its main ingredients.
Kaur CD, Saraf S. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010;2(1):22-25. doi:10.4103/0974-8490.60586