We're constantly in search of ways to help our hair flourish. Right now, grapeseed oil's got our full attention. You probably haven't heard much about the benefits of grapeseed oil for hair, so you've come to the right place. Although wildly under the radar, you can find the oil in many hardworking hair products, like hair oil blends, shampoos, conditioners, and styling products.
What is Grapeseed Oil?
"Grapeseed oil is a byproduct of winemaking, and the oil is extracted from the leftover grape seeds," says Nicholson.
Meet the Expert
- Chelsea Scott, hair expert and founder of TruHair
- Mariska Nicholson, oil expert and founder of Olive + M
- Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris, trichology practitioner and founder of natural hair care line of Alodia
- Cybele Fishman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC
- Liana Zingarino, a NYC hairstylist at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon
We spoke with hair care experts, as well as a dermatologist and trichologist to get all the details about the oil you definitely need to add to your haircare collection. Keep scrolling to learn all about grapeseed oil.
Type of ingredient: Antioxidant ingredient, moisturizer
Main benefits: Adds shine, fights frizz, lightweight
Who should use it: Grapeseed oil is beneficial for most hair types and is a great option for those with fine hair.
How often can you use it: Daily if you have thick, coarse hair. For those with fine hair, one to two times a week is best.
Works well with: Other natural oils like rosehip, jojoba, and almond oil
Don’t use with: Grapeseed oil works well with most ingredients.
Benefits of Grapeseed Oil
"Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes, which is interesting since we all love to eat grapes, but it is actually the part we toss away," explains Scott. And while we might associate grapeseed oil with cooking or skincare, it has an incredible amount of benefits for the hair as well.
- Helps with hair growth: Scott confirms: "When it comes to your hair, grapeseed oil is an excellent choice because it contains vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and OPCs, all of which are necessary for healthy hair growth and vitality."
- Moisturizing: "Grapeseed oil is an excellent natural choice to seal in moisture and hydrate the hair," explains Nicholson. "Because of its lightweight texture, it won't leave the hair feeling greasy," adds Chambers-Harris. "Grapeseed oil is great sealant when used after applying a water-based moisturizer. This oil contains a lower amount of monosaturated lipids (fats that can penetrate the hair strand) and higher amounts of linoleic acid (fats that sit on top of the hair strand). Because of its composition, this oil works as a great sealant."
- Smooths and blocks split ends: "When pulled through the hair, it can help tame frizz, or you can just apply to the ends to combat split ends," says Nicholson.
- Reduces dandruff: "Because of its high content of nutrients and emollient properties, when massaged into the scalp, it can reduce dandruff production by stimulating new, healthy cell growth," says Nicholson.
- Strengthens weak or brittle hair: "With its high levels of antioxidants, vitamin E, and omegas, it can help strengthen weak or brittle hair and restore shine," explains Nicholson. "Over-processed and dry hair benefits greatly from the grapeseed oil as a deep hydrator, leaving hair feeling moisturized and shiny," Scott adds.
- Reduces hair loss: "Applied directly to the scalp, grapeseed oil may prevent the production of a hormone called DHT that causes weakened hair follicles and hair loss," says Nicholson. Adding an essential oil, such as rosemary, to grapeseed oil may also help hair grow back in people who have experienced hair loss or thinning.
- Protects against UV damage: "Grapeseed oil has a high amount of phenolic compounds which are antioxidants, and can protect the hair from UV damage," explains Fishman.
- Incredibly lightweight: "The other advantage that grapeseed oil has over other types of oils for the hair is that it is practically weightless. This means it's a perfect option for those with even the finest, thinnest hair. It doesn't weigh hair down," explains Scott.
Zingarino adds, "It's also odorless so you won't have to worry about lingering scents that other oils can leave."
- Soothes the scalp: "Issues such as flaky, itchy scalp are relieved with the application of grapeseed oil directly on the scalp," Scott explains. "The essential fatty acids and nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties that help to nourish and soothe the scalp."
- Can help premature graying: Fishman explains, "While gray hair is from a variety of factors including genetics, oxidative stress also plays a role, so having antioxidants directly on the hair could theoretically help protect against premature graying." Scott adds, "These are the seeds that contain the most powerful antioxidants. The oil extracted from these seeds contains a compound known as OPC. Countless studies have shown that OPCs are highly potent antioxidants that can help prevent premature aging."
Hair Type Considerations
In general, grapeseed oil is a great option for most hair types, including color-treated and natural hair. But if you have thin, fine hair and have been looking for a great lightweight oil, grapeseed is especially for you. Chambers-Harris says, "Any hair type can use grapeseed oil, but it's an excellent choice for thin or fine hair because it doesn’t weigh the hair down."
How to Use Grapeseed Oil For Hair
Thanks to it's silky texture, using grapeseed oil can make your hair look shiny, soft, and moisturized. It's sometimes added to shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, or simply used on its own. Here's how you'll want to use it:
- Apply directly on hair: "If you want to use grapeseed oil as a de-frizz and cuticle sealer, apply a nickel-size amount onto damp hair and comb it through the root to your ends daily," suggests Scott.
- Mix into conditioner: Scott recommends that if you want to use grapeseed oil as a hydrator, add a nickel-size amount to your current conditioner.
- Apply directly on the scalp: "If you'd like to use it as a scalp treatment, use a dropper and apply a few drops directly into your scalp area and massage it in two times a week," says Scott. The perfect excuse for a DIY head massage!
Expert-Recommended Grapeseed Oil Products
This nourishing Aesop shampoo contains grapeseed oil, or Vitis Vinifera as it's called on the ingredients list. It's great for those with dry, damaged hair and has a great herbal scent.
Nicholson is a fan of this shampoo, too. "This leaves your hair glossy, moisturized, and super soft," she adds.
There's a reason this Heat/UV Protective Primer is a top seller. Not only does it protect against heat and UV, it can help to soften, silken, tame, de-frizz, detangle, and prevent breakage.
"I prefer to use 100 percent grapeseed oil and mix it into your favorite products so you know the efficacy and can control the amount used. I recommend Now Grapeseed Oil, as it is 100 percent pure grapeseed oil," suggests Scott.
Chambers-Harris recommends Alodia's Deep Conditioning Masque. This rich and nourishing mask is designed to infuse the hair with tons of moisture and hydration. It's made with a blend of grapeseed, avocado, and coconut oil to penetrate your hair and leave it feeling silky soft.
Byrdie editors love this multipurpose oil that teams up grapeseed oil and fermented green tea oil to give your hair the hydration it needs without weighing it down.
Can you leave grapeseed oil on your hair overnight?
If you have ultra-dry hair and are in need of an inexpensive deep conditioning treatment, you can warm some grapeseed oil, apply to your hair, and sleep in a shower cap covered with a bonnet. In the morning, shampoo your hair (preferably twice) so you won't weigh down your strands.
Is grapeseed oil a moisturizing oil or a sealant?
Grapeseed oil is a sealant. A moisturizing oil, like coconut or olive oil is one that penetrates the hair shaft to provide moisture. A sealant, like grapeseed oil, sits on top of the hair shaft, trapping in the moisture. If you're planning on using grapeseed oil, it's necessary to make sure your hair is properly hydrated first (with water and a leave-in), before applying the oil.
Can I use grapeseed oil on dry hair?
If you want to use grapeseed oil as a hot oil or pre-shampoo treatment, it's fine to apply on dry hair. If you want to use it as a sealant, your hair should be slightly damp.
Hosking AM, Juhasz M, Atanaskova Mesinkovska N. Complementary and alternative treatments for alopecia: a comprehensive review. SAD. 2019;5(2):72-89.