Amaretto, alternative milk, marzipan – things that might spring to mind when someone mentions almonds... haircare solutions, though? Not so much. However, almonds, or rather almond oil, could be the next superhero ingredient you're looking for to tame your tresses. Lesser known than age-old favourites like argan, coconut, and jojoba oil, almond oil is the new kid on the haircare block and it packs a major punch.
Almond oil not on your radar yet? No sweat. We've compiled all the info you need to find out how this scalp soothing, strand strengthening and growth boosting hero works, plus, all the superstar products on the market you need to get your hair in tip-top shape.
What is almond oil?
You guessed it – almond oil is oil derived from the seeds of the almond tree. Nutrient-rich and chock full of antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins, almond oil can deliver serious nourishment to hair and skin.
Before you douse your locks in the stuff, there are two kinds of almond oil and knowing which one to use on your hair is key. First up: sweet almond oil. This is the type that you'll most likely find in products already sitting on your bathroom shelf. It's super nourishing, safe to apply directly to hair and skin, and even has culinary uses. Talk about a multitasker.
Bitter almond oil, on the other hand, isn't commonly used in cosmetics, besides fragrance since it has that strong, nutty aroma, and can be toxic if ingested.
What are the benefits of using almond oil on your hair?
If smooth, hydrated hair is your goal then almond oil is just the ticket. As an emollient – a substance that locks in moisture – almond oil can penetrate the hair and fill in gaps with fatty acids at a cellular level. This means that hair not only looks and feels smoother and more hydrated, but actually is. And, although the breadth of research on almond oil's ability to stimulate hair growth isn't huge, it's common knowledge that healthier hair grows better. Some sources even say that the magnesium in the oil promotes growth and stops thinning.
Almond oil's moisturising properties don't just benefit the hair, though. In fact, it is known to be a fantastic moisturiser for the skin thanks to the high concentration of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, that can help calm scalps irritated by sunburn, eczema, or dandruff.
Plus, if hair drying, straightening, or colouring are mainstays in your hairstyling arsenal, almond oil can fortify your hair against routine damage and even make styling easier. How? Infusing your hair with the rich nutrients from almond oil can prevent damage, and its lubricating properties can lessen friction during styling and minimise breakage.
Treating your hair with almond oil on the regular will result in stronger, smoother and well-conditioned hair overall, meaning less tugging a hairbrush through your mane and more GHDs (that's good hair days, BTW).
How do you use almond oil for hair?
Already got bottles of it in your beauty stash but not entirely sure how to use it? Read on.
Almond oil as a hair mask
Using almond oil as a hair mask is a great way to get your parched strands to really soak up the nutrients, minerals, and moisture almond oil has to offer. You can use it alone or as an ingredient in a homemade mask.
If you're using almond oil alone, simply warm it up between your palms and spread through your hair from root to tip. Massage it into your scalp and ends, dispersing with a wide-tooth comb. Allow the oil to sit in your hair for as long as possible, preferably overnight, and wash out to reveal shiny, conditioned locks.
Fancy yourself a chemist? Mix your own in-shower hair mask using almond oil and avocado for a creamy, moisturising treatment. Combine almond oil and mashed avocado, apply to your hair and let sit for several minutes before washing out.
Almond oil as a finishing oil
Another popular way of using almond oil is post-styling as a finishing oil. Finishing oils are typically applied to the hair after styling to tame baby hairs and flyaways, or, if humidity hits, they can fight the frizz and add shine.
Because almond oil is so lightweight and sinks in quickly, it makes for a great finishing oil. Smooth a tiny amount through the lengths of your dry hair, using the excess for flyaways, and you're good to go.
Almond oil as a leave-in conditioner
Finally, use almond-oil as a leave in conditioner to nourish your hair. Apply a couple of drops to the mids and ends of your damp hair, paying special attention to the ends if they're looking particularly crispy.
Pro tip: be aware of how much oil you use when using it as a leave-in conditioner as it could end up looking greasy once dry.
Are there any drawbacks to using almond oil on your hair?
In a word, no. Almond oil is generally considered safe for anyone to use on their hair with no risks or side effects.
Despite almond oil being lightweight and suitable for all kinds of hair, it's worth being mindful of your hair texture before going ham with any kind of oil, including almond.
Curly and coily hair textures tend to lap up the moisture very well, whereas finer hair can quickly go from advert-level lustre to grease that no dry shampoo could save if too much oil is applied. And, avoid loading up on oil right before taking to your hair with a curling wand – or any kind of heat styler, that is – as it could damage your ends.
Shop the best almond oil hair products:
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