Used in Ayurvedic medicine, Karanja oil is obtained through cold pressing the seeds of this shrub, also known as the Pongamia tree. This vegetable oil is known for its benefits to the skin, but that's not all. Indeed, it is also beneficial for hair due to its components. Which ones? What are its uses for hair?
What is the composition of Karanja vegetable oil?
Karanja oil is predominantly composed of unsaponifiable fatty acids: omega 3 or alpha-linolenic acid (2 to 3%), omega 6 or linoleic acid (15 to 25%) and omega 9 or oleic acid (50%). Due to their protective action, they are beneficial for the hair.
Karanja oil also contains karanjin and pongamol, two unsaponifiable flavonoids renowned for protecting the skin and hair against the effects of UV rays.
This vegetable oil also contains palmitic acid (9 to 12%), another saturated fatty acid with purifying properties.
The benefits of Karanja oil for hair
Karanja oil maintains hair hydration due to the presence of oleic acid. This acid retains water and strengthens the hydrolipidic film at the scalp level by leaving a light protective film. This prevents rough, split and brittle hair while adding shine to your hair.
Palmitic acid purifies the scalp. Therefore, this solution is suitable for combating dandruff, itchiness, and hair loss. As for alpha-linolenic acid, this molecule is also beneficial for hair by stimulating blood circulation. Consequently, it promotes hair repair and regrowth.
As for oleic acid, this lipid from the omega-9 family is nourishing for the scalp and hair fibres. It makes the hair supple and soft, but also shiny. Under the effect of the sun's rays, the scalp dehydrates and the hair thins, becomes brittle and falls out. The flavonoids contained in Karanja oil help to limit these effects.
How is Karanja oil used for hair?
This vegetable oil is suitable for fragile, curly and kinky hair. It tames unruly strands, thus facilitating detangling and styling. It can be the main ingredient of your hair care as an oil bath. Simply apply a few drops to your hair and let it act for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with your usual shampoo.
For curly and silky hair, use Karanja oil as a hair mask in combination with aloe vera gel, which is renowned for its moisturising properties. The treatment should be applied once or twice a week.
To combat dandruff, use this vegetable oil as a mask, once a week, before proceeding with a gentle shampoo. You can combine it with other vegetable oils that offer the same benefits.
For weakened, damaged or coloured hair, Karanja oil can also be applied as a mask over the entire hair, focusing on the ends and lengths. It nourishes and strengthens them while adding shine. To enhance its effects, mix it with other oils with similar benefits.