Used for several centuries for its nutritional and medicinal qualities, hibiscus vegetable oil also has beneficial properties for the scalp. Its toning action makes it an ally for fine and fragile hair. Learn more in this article about its use in hair care.
Hibiscus oil: its benefits for the hair.
- Hibiscus Oil: What is it?
- Hibiscus oil strengthens the hair fibre and reduces the appearance of damaged ends
- Hibiscus oil would stimulate hair growth
- Hibiscus oil would assist in eliminating dandruff
- Hibiscus Oil and Hair Care: How to Incorporate it?
Hibiscus Oil: What is it?
Hibiscus are herbaceous plants belonging to the Malvaceae family. Predominantly cultivated in North Africa, India, and Mexico, they are highly valued for their beautiful ornamental flowers, which bloom in autumn. Thehibiscus vegetable oil (INCI name: Hibiscus Sabdariffa Seed Oil) is obtained from the seeds of the plant. Organoleptically, it is a golden yellow liquid that is easily absorbed by the skin. Its scent is light and sweet, with some vegetal notes. It is commonly used in the manufacture of skin and hair care products, due to its numerous virtues. These come from its composition rich in active ingredients that we are going to discover.
Hibiscus oil strengthens the hair fibre and reduces the appearance of damaged ends.
The oil extracted from hibiscus seeds stands out due to its composition rich in unsaturated fatty acids, accounting for about 60%. This includes linoleic acid, a omega-6, and oleic acid, an omega-9. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, as it cannot be synthesised by the body. These active ingredients have nourishing properties that allow them to strengthen the hair fibre. Working in synergy with vitamin E, these biochemical actives create a coating around the fibre, which helps to protect the cortex, a structure present within. This mechanism helps to prevent breakage and the appearance of split ends.
Furthermore, the vitamin E found in hibiscus vegetable oil is a powerful natural antioxidant. Indeed, it is capable of eliminating free radicals, which can weaken the hair bulb, and promote hair loss and split ends. The application of hibiscus vegetable oil to the hair thus helps to protect it from certain aggressions such as exposure to UV radiation or pollution.
The oil produced from hibiscus flowers also contains vitamin C. This vitamin promotes the production of collagen by fibroblasts, a protein essential for the scalp. Indeed, according to some studies, it stimulates the synthesis of keratin, the main constituent of hair. This protein thus contributes to the structure and protection of hair fibres. However, it should be noted that the studies mentioned concern vitamin C itself and not hibiscus oil. Therefore, caution should be exercised regarding its effect on collagen production, as the only existing evidence is indirect.
Hibiscus oil would stimulate hair growth.
A scientific study has shown that the daily application of hibiscus vegetable oil stimulated hair growth in rats. It appears that the flavonoids present in the oil's composition enhance blood circulation by strengthening the walls of blood vessels. In doing so, they facilitate the delivery of nutrients to the hair follicles and promote growth. However, this is only one study, and more data would be needed to conclusively determine the effectiveness of hibiscus oil. Furthermore, this study was conducted on rats, not humans. Therefore, caution should be exercised regarding the effect of hibiscus oil on hair growth.
Hibiscus oil would assist in eliminating dandruff.
Hibiscus vegetable oil is also attributed with keratolytic properties. However, as these have not been the subject of scientific studies, caution is advised. According to some accounts, it appears that the application of hibiscus oil may help to remove dead cells accumulated on the scalp, namely the dandruff. This is due to excessive scalp flaking, caused by hormonal, parasitic origins, or induced by stress.
Hibiscus Oil and Hair Care: How to Incorporate it?
Hibiscus oil is incorporated into various hair care products: shampoos, conditioners, masks... It can also be used in its pure form, applied directly to the hair. To do this, apply a few drops of hibiscus vegetable oil, strand by strand, from your lengths to the ends, and leave it on for about fifteen minutes. You can then rinse with clear water. This oil bath helps to tone and strengthen the hair fibre, while also having a conditioning effect.
BABU M. & al. In vivo and in vitro evaluation of hair growth potential of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2003).
FAKOYA A. & al. Free radical scavenging and antigenotoxic activities of natural phenolic compounds in dried flowers of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (2005).
HAY Y. & al. Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers, Tropical Life Sciences Research (2010).
UPADHYAHY S. & al. Study of colouring effect of herbal hair formulations on graying hair. Pharmacognosy Research (2015).