It seems like every day we’re all hearing about some new magical hair product or oil that promises strong, shiny hair. But there’s a strong chance that this pungent oil may have flown under your radar. Mustard oil, sometimes called sarson ka tel, has a special place in every Indian kitchen, but it also brings some serious health benefits to the table. And yes, that also includes hair growth and conditioning. Read on for more information about mustard oil for hair, along with other skin benefits.
What Is Mustard Oil?
is actually two different kinds of oil that are made from mustard seeds. The fatty vegetable oil comes from pressing the seeds and the essential oil is a result from grinding the seeds, mixing them with water, and then extracting the volatile oil.
This oil is a very popular cooking oil in many parts of the world, especially India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It has a strong flavor, pungent aroma, and a high smoke point, making it a great oil for autéing and stir-frying vegetables. Unfortunately, the oil is banned for use as a vegetable oil in the United States, Canada, and Europe, but those of us in these countries can still take advantage of its skin and hair benefits.
The Skin Benefits of Mustard Oil
As mentioned above, mustard seed oil has multiple uses both in the kitchen and on the beauty shelf. Here are just a few of the skin benefits of mustard oil:
Mustard seed oil can help reduce inflammation and pain.
This oil has a warming effect when rubbed on the skin and has been used as a home remedy for sore muscles. Research has actually shown that mustard seed oil has similar properties to capsaicin, a plant compound known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. However, you may want to avoid prolonged exposure, as skin burns have been reported on sensitive skin.
This oil can heal cracked heels and strengthen weak nails.
Due to its nourishing qualities, mustard seed oil can be a wonderful way to soothe dry winter feet. Simply massage some into the affected areas on your feet and then slip into some cotton socks before bed. You can also use the oil to lubricate your nail bed for quick and easy absorption. Again, be sure and do a spot test to ensure that your skin isn’t too sensitive.
It may even block microbial growth.
Many studies have found that mustard essential oil possesses antimicrobial properties and may help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. One test-tube study revealed that white mustard essential oil decreased the growth of various strains of bacteria — Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Bacillus cereus, just to name a few. Another study compared the antibacterial effects of many different essential oils against pathogenic bacteria and mustard essential oil was the most effective. This can also play a big role in eliminating dandruff and itchy flakes, but we’ll dive into that below.
The Benefits of Mustard Oil For Hair
Now that we’ve covered just a few of the big skin benefits of mustard seed oil, let’s chat about how this oil can transform your hair and soothe your scalp:
- Mustard oil is a fabulous conditioner. The alpha fatty acids in this oil work hard to keep hair hydrated, healthy, and conditioned. And in case you didn’t know: healthy hair grows faster.
- It can be used to eliminate dandruff. We already covered mustard seed oil’s antifungal properties, and it turns out that can work wonders for your scalp.
- Mustard seed oil is basically a super vitamin for your hair. The vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, Vitamins A, D, E, and K) are all vital for hair growth. And in case that wasn’t enough, it also has zinc, beta-carotene, and selenium to promote even more hair growth.
- This oil boosts circulation. Dull, lifeless hair doesn’t really stand a chance against mustard seed oil. Simply add a bit to your scalp and massage for a few minutes to improve blood circulation.
Is This Oil Best For Certain Hair Types?
With this particular oil, it’s important to remember that mustard oil can be used for all hair types, but not all skin types. It contains erucic acid and allyl thiocyanate, which can both irritate sensitive skin. Be sure to perform a patch test to ensure your skin can handle it. You may also want to combine the oil with a gentle carrier oil (castor, olive, etc.) to minimize the risk of irritation.
The Best Ways To Use Mustard Oil On Hair
Simply put: there’s no verification on the best way to use this oil. But you may want to experiment with the following methods:
- Quick Oiling: Take about a teaspoon and massage it to your scalp a few minutes before shampooing.
- Deep Conditioning Treatment: Take about a teaspoon of the oil, apply it to your scalp and then put a shower cap over your hair. Sit for about 30 minutes, allowing the heat from underneath the shower cap to help the conditioning process. You may want to combine it with a gentle oil, like coconut oil, to minimize the risk of irritation.
You can try either of these methods weekly or monthly.
Our mustard seed skincare choices:
Losing a small amount of hair is normal, especially as seasons change and hormones shift. However, if you are struggling with more than average hair loss and your doctor has ruled out health concerns, you may want to look at your hair care products. Can shampoo cause hair loss?