Sunflower oil is the hero hair ingredient you probably never knew you needed. You’re likely familiar with the use of sunflower oil in cooking, but hair care? Absolutely! The very same properties that make this oil good for your health make it good for your hair. Sunflower oil provides your scalp and strands with the nutrients needed for shiny, strong hair. Its hydrating, promotes scalp and hair health and can even help with making hair thicker. If you have dry hair or damaged strands, dandruff, frizz or thinning hair you should be using sunflower oil. We are breaking down the benefits of this hero ingredient and telling you how to use sunflower oil in your hair care routine ahead.
Sunflower oil provides your scalp and hair with the nutrients they need for healthy, strong locks. It also boasts some serious skin benefits — that’s why you’ll likely see it as an ingredient in your skincare, along with hair products like shampoos, conditioners and hair oil. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins K, E, B1, B5, B6 and C, in addition to minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, like Oleic acid and Linoleic acid, sunflower oil has several health benefits, including your skin and hair health. Native to the Americas, oil extracted from sunflower seeds has been used for centuries to soothe and condition the skin and hair.
Below is a breakdown of the benefits of sunflower oil for your hair and scalp.
"Sunflower oil contains Vitamin E among many other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E is a necessity in our diet. As far as our hair, it can help heal damage, create smoothness and helps with detangling and breakage. Sunflower Oil also contains fatty acids which help with elasticity of the hair, another component to help with breakage." —Sunny Brewer, Davines Technical Education Manager
Sunflower oil is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that fight dandruff causing bacteria and product build up leading to a dry or itchy scalp. It also reduces the occurrence of thinning hair, early hair loss, male and female pattern baldness and alopecia. If you’re interested in hiding thinning hair, sunflower oil can help.
Because of its high fatty acid concentration, sunflower oil has great emollient benefits. Emollients provide a protective barrier to moisturize, soften, and smooth the hair. And its light texture means sunflower oil easily penetrates the hair shaft to lock in hydration, combating dry hair and damage.
The fatty acids in sunflower oil make it deeply nourishing and perfect for taming unruly frizz. The oil forms a protective film around the hair cuticle eliminating frizzy hair. And because sunflower oil is lightweight, all hair types can use it to fight frizz without becoming too greasy and weighing your strands down.
Heat styling, color processing, and poor hair health habits inevitably lead to damage to your hair shafts. Sunflower oil can help you combat those damaging effects. One study showed as a hair care product, sunflower oil helps prevent hair damage and split ends. If you’re seeking softer, shinier strands or dealing with hair breakage, see our previous post How to Repair Damaged Hair.
Sunflower oil is made up of high levels of Vitamin E, which is needed for healthy hair growth; and Oleic acid, also essential for hair growth. This makes it a knockout ingredient for stimulating new strand growth.
From fine and straight to thick and curly hair everyone can benefit from using a hair oil made with sunflower oil. Here are some different ways of using it in your hair care routine.
Use sunflower oil for your hair as a mask. Take 1/2 ripe avocado or banana and mash them. Add coconut oil and sunflower oil. Mix everything until you get a smooth paste. Apply the mask on your hair and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse off with your everyday shampoo and conditioner.
Make a conditioner with sunflower oil for your hair: just add a drop or two of oil in your favorite conditioner. Apply the conditioner and rinse as you normally would. If your hair feels oily, rinse again with cool water to wash off the excess oil.
As an oil treatment, massage a quarter-sized amount of sunflower oil into your scalp and comb it through your strands to the ends. Wrap your hair in a warm towel and leave the oil on for 20 minutes to an hour. Then shampoo thoroughly and follow with conditioner.
To control frizz, apply a pea-sized amount of sunflower oil in your palms. Rub them together and smooth the oil through frizz or any unruly strands.
Sunflower oil is generally considered safe, but you should avoid it if you’re allergic to sunflower seeds. If you use too much or don’t shampoo it out thoroughly, your strands can look greasy. Some rules to remember are less is more when using hair oil, and thorough rinsing with warm water helps remove it all.
Avoid heat styling your hair after using sunflower (or any!) hair oil, as it can heat up and burn the hair shaft. If it’s your first time using it, make sure you do a patch test to see your reaction before applying it all over your scalp and hair. Follow these steps to do a patch test:
If you have dry hair or hair breakage, dandruff, frizz or thinning hair you should be using sunflower oil in your routine. Sunflower oil is hydrating, promotes scalp and hair health and provides your hair with vitamins and nutrients to grow strong strands. You can use the oil as a stand-alone hair treatment, a conditioner or styling product to bring your dull or damaged hair back to life. If you want shinier, stronger, healthier strands, our nourishing hair oil made with sunflower oil can help. All of our formulas 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