It feels like every week, there's a new oil said to deliver amazing results for your hair: coconut oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, and more. The latest to join that list: apricot oil. The fruity oil is said to deliver a softer scalp and mane. But is the hype justified?
We wanted to hear from the experts on using apricot oil for shinier, healthier hair. To get the details on the oil, we chatted with Michelle Henry, MD is a board-certified dermatologist and Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon, and Shab Reslan, a trichologist and hair health expert at HairClub. Keep reading to get the details on everything you need to know about apricot oil for hair.
- Type of ingredient: Emollient and anti-inflammatory.
- Main benefits: Softens the hair shaft, soothes the scalp, and draws in moisture.
- Who should use it: In general, anyone with curly to coily hair types can use apricot oil.
- How often can you use it: It’s safe to use on the hair and scalp as needed.
- Works well with: Most hair care products.
Benefits of Apricot Oil for Hair
Many of us use oils to add shine and lock in moisture via the LOC method, which means liquid, oil, and cream. This method not only makes hair feel softer, but it locks in all the moisture from your washday routine. In the case of apricot oil, the fatty acid-rich oil has many benefits for both the hair and scalp, and Henry agrees. "[Apricot oil] contains linoleic and oleic acid, which is omega-9 fatty acids and acts as a wonderful emollient that makes hair and scalp softer and more pliable," she says, "It not only seals in the moisture, but it also absorbs small amounts of water from the air’s humidity to help maintain that barrier of hydration inside the strand and scalp."
In addition to its humectant abilities, apricot oil has a vitamin we love for skin that can be great for our scalps as well. "Apricot oil has high concentrations of vitamin A—required for cell rejuvenation and collagen stimulation," trichologist and HairClub hair health expert Shab Reslan tells Byrdie. "It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which provide protection and moisture for the scalp by decreasing inflammation which can lead to scalp issues and hair thinning or loss. It also contains a high amount of vitamin E, which is essential for scalp health. The healthier your scalp, the better quality hair it grows."
With this oil, softer, shiny, moisturized strands and a healthier scalp are just a few drops away—but how we use it is the key.
Hair Type Considerations
Oils are typically well-suited for curly and coily hair textures. However, Reslan recommends the use of apricot oil only on the scalp. "This oil is ideal for the scalp," says Reslan. "If you want to moisturize your dry or irritated scalp, I would highly recommend using apricot oil. I don't recommend applying oils directly to the hair itself, as it can create build-up if left on for too long. Most people are not washing their hair sufficiently as it is because of lack of time or shampoos that are simply too gentle. Adding an oil directly to your hair just adds another layer to have to clean off the hair. Eventual build-up can cause hair to appear dull, become prone to tangles, and get weighed down." If you enjoy using oils on the hair shaft, a gentle but effective cleanser is a must to bust any buildup that hair products and oils can leave behind.
How to Use Apricot Oil for Hair
Most hair experts advise treading lightly using oil on the hair shaft, but as a pre-poo treatment using oils to moisturize overnight or up to 30 minutes before your washing session can prevent hygral fatigue— the repeated swelling and drying of the hair cuticle. Because apricot oil is somewhat anti-inflammatory, Henry says, "It can be soothing so that it can help scaly inflamed scalp by penetrating the outer layer." However, she notes that the oil won't treat that condition if you have dandruff, but it could potentially help soothe because of the anti-inflammatory properties.
Reslan says apricot oil is an excellent carrier oil and has a few additional recommendations on incorporating it into your hair care routine. "On its own can be used to moisturize and nourish the scalp and follicle, but since it’s a great carrier oil, it can be mixed with any other essential oils to help distribute their properties," says Reslan. "My personal favorite essential oils are lemon for scalp clearing and cedarwood for hair growth stimulation. They should be mixed with a carrier oil as no essential oil can remain on the scalp or skin surface long enough on their own."
If whipping up our own DIY pre-poo conditioner is a part of your wash day process, try adding a few drops of apricot oil to your mixture. Olive oil, bananas, honey, and even eggs (for protein) can make for excellent at-home ingredients to help give your hair what it needs if it's feeling thirsty or brittle.
The Best Products With Apricot Oil
There aren't many apricot-infused hair cleansers, masks, or styling products on the market—yet. But the benefits of the fruit oil are worth adding the oil to your stash. Adding a few drops of this 100 percent non-GMO oil to a pre-poo mix or deep conditioning mask is a simple way for your hair to soak up all the benefits of this multifaceted oil.
Formulated with apricot and Australian macadamia oil, this budget-friendly, three-minute conditioner strengthens, provides split-end protection, and moisturizes the hair.