Why Use Sesame Oil for Hair and Scalp?

Sesame oil is the oldest oil ever to be used by mankind and a rich source of the vitamins and nutrients needed for healthy hair. Add to that its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and you’ve got a hero hair oil with centuries of experience to back up its reputation. If you’re interested in hydrating your scalp, boosting hair growth, repairing damage, preventing dandruff and premature grays, even making hair thicker, this ancient beauty elixir is the answer. We’re breaking down the benefits of sesame oil for hair and scalp below.

What is Sesame Oil?

Sesame oil is a vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds, cultivated in India and Africa. The oil is extracted from the seeds through toasting or cold pressing. Cold pressed sesame oil is an excellent source of antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and minerals like magnesium, calcium and protein. It's also rich in amino acids and vitamins B, E and K. Sesame oil plays a crucial role in Ayurvedic medicine. It has many Ayurvedic benefits, including nourishing, calming, and warming. Sesame oil is the base of 90% of Ayurvedic treatments and is widely used for head massage. The Ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks and Romans have used sesame oil for both food and beauty purposes for thousands of years.

Benefits of Using Sesame Oil on Hair and Scalp

Prevents premature hair graying

Research suggests that the antioxidants found in black sesame seeds help combat cell damage responsible for gray hair, hair loss, and wrinkles. These antioxidants include sesamin, sesamolin, and sesamol and have many anti-aging and even hair-darkening properties.

Prevents head lice

Because of sesame oil’s antibacterial properties, using it on the scalp helps in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. It can be diluted with oils such as neem oil and tea tree oil to treat specific conditions like lice.

Protects the hair and scalp against UV rays

Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to your scalp and hair. Sesame oil is a natural sun-blocking agent. It resists up to 30 percent of the UV rays. The oil forms a protective coat on the scalp and around the hair shaft, keeping them safe from both the sun’s harmful rays and the damaging effects of pollution.

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Acts as a coolant

The heat can suck the moisture from your strands, damaging the follicles. But sesame oil acts as a coolant working from within and nourishing the scalp in and out. Sesame oil locks moisture in, preventing dryness from outside heat.

Fights dandruff

The fatty acids and antimicrobial properties in sesame oil make it ideal to treat dandruff and bring you back to healthy hair. Sesame oil addresses both the symptoms of a dry scalp and flaking; and the fungus or bacteria that causes the dandruff.

Stimulates hair growth

Sesame oil stimulates blood circulation on the scalp promoting hair growth. In addition, it’s rich in omega-3 and omega-6. Research shows that a deficiency in these fatty acids impacts hair loss. If hiding thinning hair or hair loss is a concern, sesame oil can help.

Hydrates the scalp

Sesame oil is an emollient, meaning it can penetrate the skin deeply to hydrate your scalp. The oil’s high fatty acid content also makes it good for combating a dry scalp. Sesame oil provides nourishment and moisture to soothe dryness.

Repairs damaged hair

Because of it’s high penetrating capability, sesame oil is able to treat hair damage and dry hair. It’s easily absorbed by the scalp and hair shafts, repairing damage and providing nourishment from deep within. And the emollient and occlusive properties mean sesame oil fills in gaps and forms a protective seal on broken strands and split ends. If you’re wondering how to repair damaged hair, sesame oil may be your solution.

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Make hair shiny

The emollient properties of sesame oil help to make hair shiny and smooth. It combats humidity and frizz for soft, smooth strands. Rub a little sesame oil over your ends or any unruly strands when styling.

Soothes hair

Sesame oil has soothing properties. Massaging the scalp and hair with sesame oil can relieve anxiety and prevent hair loss caused by stress. It’s also a remedy for migraines and insomnia. Other calming oils like eucalyptus and ylang ylang can be added to sesame oil to enhance its soothing effect.

How to Use Sesame Oil for Hair

Our Authentic Nourishing Oil and Authentic Moisturizing Balm are both amazing ways to bring sesame oil into your haircare routine. One of our other favorite ways to use sesame oil is in the form of a hair mask. Here are a few of our favorite DIY recipes.

Hair mask with sesame oil and almond oil

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of almond oil and 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a bowl. Almond oil conditions your hair without weighing it down. It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Vitamin E may reduce the oxidative stress in the scalp and boost hair growth 
  2. Massage the oil mixture into your scalp and work it into your hair. Ensure you cover your entire hair length.
  3. Wrap your hair around with a hot towel. You can heat the towel by immersing it in hot water.
  4. Leave the towel on for 30-40 minutes. Rinse your hair with a mild shampoo.

Hair mask with sesame oil and coconut oil

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a bowl. Coconut oil deeply nourishes your hair shaft with its rich content of fatty acids. It also helps control frizz and conditions your hair.
  2. Massage the oil into your scalp and work it into your hair. Ensure you cover the entire hair length.
  3.  Wrap your hair with a hot towel.
  4. Leave it on for 30-40 minutes and rinse your hair with a mild shampoo.

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Can I leave sesame oil on overnight?

The answer to that comes in the form of another of our favorite ways to use sesame oil for your hair — an overnight scalp treatment. Choose one of the masks from above and massage in a circular motion, covering all parts of your scalp .Cover your head in a scarf and wear it to bed. Wash the oil out of your hair the next morning with your favorite Davines shampoo.

Potential effects of sesame oil for hair

Those with an allergy to sesame seeds should avoid sesame oil in any way – by ingesting it or using it topically. 

Healthier Hair Thanks to Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is hydrating, promotes scalp and hair health and provides your hair with the nutrients it needs to grow. If you want shinier, stronger, healthier strands using sesame oil in your hair care routine, along with high quality hair care products can help. All Davines formulas are free of harmful toxins, use natural ingredients, and are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. And one percent of every purchase on our website is donated to 1% for the Planet, a charity for the betterment of our planet and communities. Our hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet.

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

Photos by @goldandglowco and Davines

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