Baobab Oil Benefits for Hair
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General health is important for your well-being. General health includes taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. And part of physical care for yourself is caring for your hair. The health of your hair can reflect your general health and there are steps you can take to improve both. Using artificially-produced cosmetic items on your hair can create the appearance of healthy hair but mask underlying effects that may be taking place. It is important to get to the root-cause of health-related issues rather than simply treating symptoms, and this usually involves seeking out natural remedies to begin with. There are many natural remedies to poor hair health with one of them being baobab oil. With a significant history, baobab oil has been used by the human species for thousands of years and can have many benefits to the health of our hair.
The Baobab Tree and Fruit
Growing in Africa, Madagascar, and Australia, the Baobab tree is like no other. With a thick, bulbous trunk and growing up to 30 meters tall, this tree has been dubbed the ‘tree of life,’ perhaps for many reasons. For one, they are purported to have a very long lifespan, some up to 6,000 years! They are also life-giving in that they play essential roles in the ecosystems in which they live, helping to provide homes for numerous creatures and organisms, keep soil moist, and prevent erosion. The tree also provides sustenance to many animals either by the fruit it produces, the nectar found beneath its bark, or the bark itself which can provide some fluid when animals or people are in desperate need. For humans, most of the baobab tree is edible, from the roots, to sprouts, to the leaves, and the flowers. Even the seeds are used to create beverages or snacks. Locals also use the tree’s bark to construct items for trade, such as baskets, rugs, cloth, and nets. In addition to the aforementioned uses, baobab has also been used for medicine and ailments such as malnutrition, asthma, diarrhea, constipation, diabetes, and eczema, among others.
The baobab tree grows a prominent fruit that is protected by a tough outer shell. When harvested, the fruit’s shell has a yellow or brown appearance and is somewhat fuzzy. Inside the fruit is a fibrous matrix that holds seeds which are contained in white and somewhat powdery chunks of fruit pulp. It is purported to have a tangy flavor and tastes good on its own or as a beverage having been soaked in a liquid such as water or milk.
To make baobab oil, the seeds of this fruit are cold-pressed. This process produces a light yellow, elegantly fragrant oil that has many properties that make it beneficial to your health. To begin with, the oil is largely made of three main components: saturated fatty acids, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. These include palmitic, stearic, and linoleic acid, all of which have known benefits to your health.
Baobab oil has many applications for the improvement of hair health. For example, it can help to moisturize your hair and scalp, especially if either of them is dry. Part of what makes baobab oil useful for this is the presence of linoleic acid in the baobab oil; linoleic acid has cosmetic uses both for skin conditioning and hair conditioning, helping to keep your skin and hair moisturized and healthy both in feel and appearance.
Antioxidant Benefits for Hair
Antioxidant properties in the oil also help make it a good item to use for inflamed or irritated skin, such as with dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis. The other fats found in baobab oil (the saturated, mono-unsaturated, and saturated fats), also work to soften the hair and increase its elasticity.
These fats can either penetrate through the surface of the hair strand and into the core of the hair, or remain on the surface, both of which improve the health of the hair by moisturizing it or making it easier to detangle, respectively. It can help bring a gloss and a shine to your dry and thirsty hair that has been dying for a refresher!
Hair Damage Reversal and Prevention
Some sources also purport that this oil can be used to protect your hair from the harmful effects of sun exposure while helping to repair it from previous damage. And while this oil helps to moisturize your hair, it will not make it greasy as it is an easily-absorbed and less-dense oil; granted, if you use large amounts of it, you may experience some greasiness, but in moderation, the effects will be lovely.
Improving Strength and Shine of Hair
Being a source of vitamin C as well, baobab can help improve shine and strength of hair. An important part of the hair structure is the protein known as collagen. Collagen formation requires vitamin C, which can be found in baobab oil. Good hair growth also requires iron, and vitamin C can help increase iron absorption.
Baobab oil can be used in many ways to promote hair health. You can try massaging a couple drops into your scalp and hair the night before you are going to shower; in the morning, wash away the excess oil. Or you can try adding a couple drops to your hair conditioner and using the conditioner as you normally would, just being sure to shake the container thoroughly before each use. However you decide to use it, baobab oil can be a great addition to your haircare routine, helping to bring more moisture and shine to your hair.