Over the last few months (more like a full 12, if I'm being honest), I've had a slightly contentious relationship with my hair. Full, chest-length curls used to sprout from my head and grow without much trouble. But lately those tendrils have been replaced with thin, damaged, and uneven strands ready to break off at a moment's notice. I've swapped out every hair product, asked experts, and taken supplements, all on the off chance my hair might grow back into my good graces (only to be sorely disappointed a year later).
Desperate for answers and at the end of my fraying rope, I frantically bombarded our wellness editor—with her envy-inducing mane—and experts Jerlyn Jones, Lucy Chen, Veronica Joseph, and Gretchen Friese for insight. Their advice? Avocados. Yes, really.
Meet the Expert
- Jerlyn Jones, MS, is an Atlanta-based registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Lucy Chen is a board-certified dermatologist based in Miami. She practices at Riverchase Dermatology.
- Veronica Joseph is an IAT certified hair practioner. She is also the founder of Luxju.
- Gretchen Friese is a BosleyMD trichologist.
Keep scrolling to find out whether avocados can give you the mane of your dreams—plus, what experts say about the superfood for hair.
Avocado for Hair
- Type of ingredient: Moisturizer and anti-inflammatory
- Main benefits: Nourishes hair, protects against damage, promotes a healthy scalp
- Who should use it: In general, anyone with medium-coarse dry, damaged hair.
- How often can you use it: Daily
- Works well with: Jamaican black castor oil, rosemary oil, and argan oil
- Don’t use with: There are no known ingredients believed to deactivate or irritate the skin if used in conjunction with avocado.
Benefits of Avocado for Hair
Avocados can act as a “nutrient booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, K, and E, according to the California Avocado Commission. They are also chock-full of a number of vitamins and nutrients that may be important for hair health, such as vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, and zinc. So using avocado on your hair may come with a host of benefits:
- Nourishes and strengthens hair: "Avocado is loaded with potassium and amino acids, revitalizing and deep-conditioning coarse, dry hair," comments Chen.
- Smooths hair and boosts shine: According to Friese, potassium and magnesium, two minerals found in avocado, may lock in moisture, thereby improving hair's texture and shine.
- Encourage hair growth/prevent hair loss: "Avocados can unclog the hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. When massaging it into your scalp, you’re promoting blood flow and unclogging any blocked follicles while allowing the natural oils to get absorbed quickly," explains Chen. Also, the potassium in avocado can contribute to a healthy head of hair: "Potassium helps to regulate fluid balance inside and outside cells in the blood and is required to prevent hair loss," says Joseph.
- Protects against damage: "Avocados also contain antioxidants that help shield your scalp and hair from harmful free radicals that can linger from stress and pollution," says Chen. These include vitamins C and E, notes Joseph.
- Promotes a healthy scalp: Thanks to its natural oils, avocado can moisturize and rejuvenate a dry scalp, Chen tells us. "Avocados help support the scalp’s natural barrier, which helps maintain its natural balance and prevent inflammation. They can also help soothe an irritated and flaky scalp while eliminating dryness."
Hair Type Considerations
Given avocado's ability to take the texture of strands from straw-like to cashmere-soft, it is ideal for those who could use a boost of hydration. Chen tells us, "Those with dry, coarse hair and dry scalps will benefit the most from avocado’s soothing and moisturizing properties. Avocados are rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids that not only nourish the scalp but keep the hair looking healthy, shiny, and hydrated." Meanwhile, "Fine hair textures may find a product with avocado oil as a majority ingredient too heavy for their hair strands," comments Joseph.
How to Use Avocado for Hair
You've heard it before: You are what you eat. And as it turns out, adding a healthy fat like avocado to your diet can do wonders for that mane of yours. Still, that's not the only way to reap its benefits. If you're looking for more immediate results, you might want to consider incorporating avocado into your hair care routine directly. All that to say, you've got options:
- Add it to your diet: Avocado goes with everything. Try enjoying it in a smoothie, as a topping to salad, or as irresistible guac. "According to the California Avocado Commission, one-third of a medium avocado (50 grams) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a great, nutrient-dense food choice," says Jones. "Consuming avocados as a part of a healthy diet regardless of hair type will ensure all the beneficial vitamins, minerals and fatty acids required for healthy hair and scalp and hair growth are present consistently," adds Joseph.
- Try a DIY hair mask: "It would be best if you used mashed-up avocados in hair masks; there are several different recipes to try until you find the one that works best for you and your hair. You should apply it to dry hair since most hair masks are oil-based; wet hair won’t allow it to penetrate as deeply. If you’re unsure if you should use avocado in your hair, you can put a small amount on your forearm, wait 30 minutes and look for any adverse reactions," instructs Chen.
- Use as an oil: Avocado oil is incredibly versatile and can be used to condition, treat, and style hair. "Avocado oil coats the hair providing moisture and a protective barrier when applied topically," notes Joseph. You can even give yourself a scalp massage using avocado oil for the ultimate wellness routine.
Is avocado good for an oily scalp?
"If you have an oily scalp, you may not see the benefits of using avocado, as the main benefit is to add moisture," says Chen.
How long will it take for me to see results from eating avocado?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that after two weeks of eating two avocados a day you may notice hair's enhanced shine, softness, and manageability.
Can avocado make my hair grow?
Hair health begins at the scalp. Avocado helps to improve scalp conditions and provide a healthy environment for hair to grow. It also contains B vitamins, folic acid (iron), and potassium, all of which support hair growth, Joseph tells us.
Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). "The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review." 2019.