Sweet almonds (Prunus dulcis) are native to the Middle East and South Asia.
I have been using sweet almond oil for massage for a long time. It works well for that so I was pleasantly surprised that I could also use it for my hair.
What are the benefits of sweet almond oil as applied to hair? [i]
1. The primary benefit of sweet almond oil is as a sealant and hair protector.
2. Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids form 71% of the fatty acids found in sweet almond oil so it does have a good ability to penetrate the hair shaft and moisturise hair from the inside.
However, note that its relatively higher density compared to other vegetable oils makes it less suitable for regular scalp application although it would work well as a moisturiser especially in a pre-shampoo treatment. [Master oil chart coming]
3. It makes hair bright, shiny and silky looking.
As it is denser than other vegetable oils commonly used for hair, ancient Egyptians routinely combined it with castor oil. This blend is complementary as, in turn, sweet almond oil improves the smell and texture of castor oil.
4. Apply to dry or damaged hair to reawaken the weak ends.
If you have weakening/dry ends mix a sweet almond oil and castor oil base with rosemary essential oil and rub into your ends daily/regularly.
5. After you’ve finished your washing, conditioning and moisturising routine apply to protect hair during heat styling, e.g. blow drying.
Sweet almond oil is rich in vitamins A (for maintaining healthy cell membranes), B1, B6 (shown to promote hair growth) and E (rich in antioxidants that promote blood and hence nutrient circulation to the scalp).
Again, I would personally only rub sweet almond oil into my scalp the day before a wash.
What is so “sweet” about sweet almond oil?
There are two types of almonds, bitter and sweet; no prizes for guessing which type sweet almond oil comes from.
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[i] Sweet almond oil and hair growth (livestrong.com); Sweet Almond Oil for Hair (ehow.com)
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward