Avocados might be the most revered fruit—and yes, it is a fruit—to hit produce stands ever. Just imagine a world without avocado toast or guacamole. Aside from satisfying our taste buds, the superfood is also an incredible source of endless hair benefits. Packed with a slew of vitamins, lipids, and antioxidants, avocados (more specifically, the oils in avocados) are the haircare game-changer you've been looking for, and, turns out, it's been hiding in your pantry this whole time.
Type of ingredient: Moisturizer and protectant
Main benefits: Soothes the scalp, repairs the hair shaft, and protects strands from UV and environmental pollutants.
Who should use it: In general, avocado oil is great for most hair types as it penetrates deep into the scalp and shaft (perfect for damaged hair) but is lightweight and won't weigh down thinner textures. It's not recommended for anyone with an avocado allergy.
How often can you use it: It's safe to use up to two times a day, morning and night.
Works well with: Vitamin E
Benefits of Avocado Oil for Hair
"Avocado oil is a potent dynamo of omega-rich oils and antioxidants for healthy hair," says Paula Simpson, biochemist, beauty expert, and author of Good Bacteria for Healthy Skin. She tells us it's mainly composed of monounsaturated fatty acids, which seal hair strands, lock in moisture, and smooth breakage. "In addition to the lipids," adds Simpson, "avocado oil contains fat-soluble antioxidants and bio-active phytochemicals, including vitamin E tocopherols, vitamin D, and carotenoids (lutein and beta carotene) that defend hair from UV damage, environmental aggressors, and pollutants that can make hair feel dry and look brittle." Below, more notable benefits:
- Nourishes and strengthens hair: Treating your hair with avocado can moisturize, repair, and strengthen your strands. A 2015 study found that minerals in avocado oil help seal the cuticle, preventing hair from future breakage.
- Encourages hair growth: Avocados naturally contain biotin, a member of the vitamin B family that plays a major role in the growth of healthier, thicker, and longer hair.
- Promotes shinier hair: Oils in avocados have a higher content of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that give your hair a lust-worthy shine that lasts all day.
- Penetrates hair on a deeper level: The pantry staple is praised for its non-greasy feel, and its lightweight structure penetrates the hair and scalp, as opposed to other oils that sit on the surface.
- Supports a healthier scalp: The cocktail of vitamins and lipids moisturize and nourish a dry, flaky scalp, including dandruff. Additionally, a light massage with the oil helps stimulate blood flow.
- Protects your hair from the elements: Carotenoid antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein are powerful antioxidants that help defend the scalp and hair against UV damage and environmental aggressors and pollutants.
Hair Type Considerations
Simpson says the non-clogging properties of avocado oil make it the perfect option for all hair types, including thicker, higher-density strands. "It can penetrate the hair and scalp, making it more effective than other oils that clog or sit on top of the hair strand." Additionally, unlike an olive or coconut oil, the lightweight nature makes it the solution for moisturizing and adding shine to thinner hair types without weighing it down and making it look flat.
Avocado oil is a natural alternative to store-bought hair products, but if you have an avocado allergy, it's best to consult a physician before trying it at home. Even if it's not ingested, the oil derived from avocados can still cause side effects, such as irritation. If you're unsure, try a skin patch test before applying it to your scalp and strands to rule out any allergies.
How to Use Avocado Oil for Hair
Now that you know the benefits of avocado oil, you might be wondering how to incorporate the ingredient into your haircare routine. Whether you have an afternoon to spare or you're looking for a quick addition to your haircare routine, here are our favorite ways to achieve healthy, shiny strands with the pantry staple.
DIY a dandruff-busting scalp treatment:
Everything from detergent shampoos to color treatments—and even the weather—can cause dandruff. The fat content, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties in avocado oil nourish dry and irritated scalps and minimize flaking.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- Gently massage the mixture into your scalp to promote circulation and absorption.
- Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse hair thoroughly.
Make a shine-enhancing hair mask:
The carotenoid antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein in avocado oil help defend the scalp and hair against UV and environmental pollutants, leaving you with super shiny strands.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 egg white
- Blend ingredients together and slather all over your hair and scalp.
- Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Rinse hair thoroughly.
Use it as a styling serum:
No need to shell out tons of cash for an expensive styling serum. The omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids in avocado oil smooth hair, cut frizz, and add tons of shine. Lightly apply it with your fingertips from the mid-shaft through the ends and use a natural boar brush to evenly distribute.