You know the phrase don’t judge a book by it’s cover? Hold on to that when I say, mustard — yes, the condiment for pretzels and hot dogs, is a great ingredient for your hair. Ok, mustard oil, not the yellow squeezy bottle thing, but same thing, right?
What is mustard oil?
Extracted from a mustard seed, mustard oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for decades to treat the health of the scalp and hair. This specific oil is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids like Omega 3s and 6s. These natural fats make it a great conditioner for the hair. In fact, 100 grams of mustard oil has: 50 grams of monounsaturated fat, 21 grams of polyunsaturated fats, and 12 grams of saturated fat.
What can mustard oil do for the hair?
Because mustard oil is loaded with iron, calcium, zinc and other antioxidants like Vitamin B and E, it fully restores the health of hair — allowing it to grow at its full capacity. In addition, mustard oil has the potential to do the following by coating and sealing each hair strand:
- Reduce inflammation on the scalp by providing essential nutrients for the hair follicle.
- Promote hair growth and help to reduce hair shedding by preventing inflammation-induced hair loss and protecting hair follicles against demodex folliculorum (a parasite).
- Act as an anti-bacterial: this is the dandruff benefit (caused by yeast growth), in that it fights against a particular type of mite found on the scalp.
- Improve appearance of hair by smoothing split ends and restoring a glow to lackluster hair.
- Help prevent dry, flaky scalp and hair, frizziness, hair breakage, and split ends.
- Help heal heat and water damage.
- Add moisture to your hair and scalp.
The only caveat is, it’s not FDA-approved for oral consumption in the United States because of it’s high concentration (40 percent) of toxic erucic acid. But rest assured, if used as a topical for your hair or scalp, that is totally fine.
So, how do I use mustard oil on my hair?
First of all, although mustard oil can be used on all hair types, we recommend always doing a patch test first to ensure your skin can handle it before you slather and lather it all over your scalp. To do this, place a tiny drop of oil on your skin (near forearm) rub it in and wait 24 hours before applying it in your hair. Here you are looking for signs of redness, itching, tingling, or any other discomfort.
There are several ways to apply mustard oil to your hair:
- Quick oiling: Take a teaspoon of mustard oil and massage it into your scalp for about five minutes. Then, shampoo and wash hair as normal. If you’d wish to have more of a condition, you can apply the mustard oil and then sit with a shower cap on your head for about 30 minutes to allow the oil to better penetrate. This method is said to improve the hair root health for stronger, thicker hair. You can do this option weekly or monthly.
- Mustard powder: Take 1/4 teaspoon of mustard oil and 2 ounces of water to apply the powder throughout the hair.
- Mustard oil hair mask: Take a teaspoon of mustard oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil and mix together in the microwave for 10 seconds. Next, apply the mask onto the hair from roots to ends. Leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing out with warm water. Do this option once a month.
Also learn about how the foods you consume can help with hair growth.
Photo via Healthline