Is almond oil good for your hair? How is it used for hair growth, loss, dandruff and other hair care practices? How do the sweet and bitter varieties differ in terms of hair use. Read on to find out.
Sweet Almond for Hair-is it better than Bitter Almond?
- Sweet Almond for Hair-is it better than Bitter Almond?
- How is Almond Good for Hair?
- Benefits of Almond Oil for Hair
- Ways to use Sweet Almond for Growth, Loss Dandruff & Dry Hair
- Almond Oil for Hair Growth Reviews & choosing best Brands Ideas
- Before and After Results
- Other Beauty Benefits and Uses of Almond Oil
What is the difference between bitter and sweet almond
The almond tree is originally from Pakistan ranging all the way to Syria and Turkey. It is small in stature and deciduous growing to heights ranging 4 – 10 meters.
There are two types of almond oil. There is the bitter and the sweet almond oils each of which have their own special characteristics and properties.
Bitter vs Sweet
The bitter almond oil is extracted from the bitter almonds which appear as shorter and broader in shape compared to sweet almonds.
The sweet almond tree comes from the Prunus dulcis, var. amygdalus with white flowers while the bitter almond comes from the tree Prunus dulcis, var. mara with pink flowers.
Notice that the differences are not in the species but in the variations of the species. From the sweet almonds, come oil that is sweet with an emulsion with the latter being lesser than that of the bitter almond oil.
From the bitter almonds, come a lesser amount of fixed oil with an emulsion and a larger amount of essential oil. Sweet almond is normally considered a fixed oil while bitter ones, essential oil with this characteristic being linked to the proportions of each in the two.
To be particular, bitter almonds contain only 50% of the fixed oil that in the sweet almonds.
Regarding function of the two oils, sweet almond oil acts as a base or carrier oil while bitter almond is an essential oil. Fixed oils are esters of higher fatty acids and glycerin. They contain much more beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, minerals and fat-soluble vitamins.
Bottom line-Sweet is just sweet and Bitter is bitter(bad)
Due to these properties and according to the International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook 10th Ed. (2004), fixed oils are widely utilized in cosmetic industries due to their ability to treat the hair and skin.
Sweet almond oil is principally composed of oleic and also linoleic acids and glucosides in addition to the minerals and fat soluble vitamins making it an excellent lubricant for massage and beneficial for dry hair and skin.
Bitter almond oil should not be used on the skin due to some chemical in the oil such as hydrocyanic acid and benzaldehyde. Stick to scent and flavor if you are to use bitter almond oil though according to the Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless and Aromatherapy for the Beauty Therapist by Valerie Ann Worwood, bitter almond that is 100% benzaldehyde with no cyanide can be used in food grade product without causing any harm.
How is Almond Good for Hair?
What properties and ingredients in sweet almond makes it suitable for hair use?
According to the Final Report on the safety assessment of sweet almond oil and almond meal (1983), it is safe to use and its ingredients have been supported as safe. Here are some of the properties and the components: (Some as published The Provital Group)
- Clear and pale straw-colored hence will not stain your hair
- It is well tolerated unlike bitter almond oil and therefore suitable for use as an excipient, lubricant and sebum-restoring agent
- Anti-oxidants such as vitamin E (26.18 mg) in the oil help in the faster healing of inflamed areas of the epithelium of the scalp. Anti-oxidants also help in the reparative damage of collagen layer of the skin improving its condition.
- Minerals such as zinc, calcium and potassium are also contained in high quantities in almond oil. Owing to the numerous factors that lead to loss of hair, creed be paid to nutritional deficiencies such as mineral deficiencies. Deficiency in the level of calcium and magnesium ions in the body have been shown to cause hair loss. Other minerals that have been deemed essential for the maintenance of strong hair include zinc which has been linked to alopecia too and copper all of which are found in modest amounts in almond oil.
- Vitamins such as A, B and E – these vitamins help in the additional gloss to dull hair. Vitamin A maintains healthy cell membranes, while vitamin B1 and B6 promote hair growth. Vitamin E, as discussed before, is an anti-oxidant and also promotes blood circulation to the scalp.
- Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as oleic, Palmitic, Palmitoleic, Stearic, Linoleic and Linolenic acid. Oleic acid has been found to promote the transport of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) into the skin by softening the horny layer. This allows the scalp to benefit from the beneficial properties of the oil. According to Hartel, B (1996), these oils in moderate amounts increases the production of beneficial eicosanoids which are anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects. For a proper barrier function, linoleic acid is essential as it composes 41% of the several fatty acids in the epidermal ceramides. The fatty acids omega 3, 6 and 9reflect the damaging UV rays hence preventing dryness of the skin and hair.
- Its composition of squalene, tocopherol and phytosterols (120 mg) revitalizes the skin, improving the integrity of the dermal connective tissue which is essential to the scalp.
Benefits of Almond Oil for Hair
Control of Hair Loss
Due to the minerals magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc in almond oil, hair loss due to mineral, vitamin or fatty acid deficiency can be controlled.
The application of almond oil on the scalp will help in the prevention of hair thinning. The presence of anti-oxidants such as vitamin E prevent the loss of cells of the scalp due to oxidative stress upon exposure to UV or an infection.
Increase blood circulation to the scalp
Vitamin E has been shown to boost the circulation of blood in the scalp which is essential. Reduced oxygen and nutrient delivery to the dermal papillae cells may cause reversion to alternative sources of energy, testosterone.
Increased testosterone result in a rise in its conversion to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This may cause androgen-related hair loss. Massaging sweet almond onto the scalp stimulates growth of hair thereof.
The moisturizing effect of sweet almond oil provides the hair with enough strengthening vitamins and minerals. These prevent excessive breakage of hair.
A sealant and hair protectant
By applying almond oil to the scalp, the protective oily layer is restored after you have washed your hair with shampoo. To get the difference between a moisturizer, moisturizers prevent and treat dry skin whereas a sealant does not moisturize but only keeps it in.
Long and shiny hair
Shiny hair can be restored when almond oil is applied, replacing the body’s oil on each strand of hair. This prevents dulling and becoming brittle due to the use of shampoo and allows them to grow longer.
Ways to use Sweet Almond for Growth, Loss Dandruff & Dry Hair
Following are ways and recipes to use almond oil for hair treatment including hair loss/growth, dandruff, dry damaged hair and scalp.
How to use for Growth/Loss
Warm one tablespoon/15 mL of almond oil and apply it to the scalp every night before bedtime.
Steps to apply:
- Wash your hair before application and comb it
- Use your fingers to massage and rub the oil into your scalp around the roots
- Use your hairbrush or comb to spread the oil to coat all the hair
- Leave overnight for maximal absorption into the scalp or an hour before bedtime.
- Make sure you cover your hair or spread a satin on your pillow
- Shampoo and rinse your hair
- Just pat your hair with a towel
For oral consumption, eating a few almonds each day or mixing it into a salad or smoothie will help deliver proteins, vitamins and other nutrients too.
How to use for dry hair & Scalp
Steps to apply:
- Comb the dry hair until it is sleek
- Since the hair is dry, choose to apply half a teaspoon/2.5 mL warmed
- Divide or part your hair into 3 – 4 sections
- Rub the oil on your palms and use your fingers to run the hair
- Make sure to coat the scalp and the lower half of the shafts.
- Com and brush your hair to spread the oil
- Notice that your hair is sleeker, shinier and tangle-free
- Leave the oil on for the rest of the day
How to use for dandruff
Dandruff is mostly due to dry scalp.
Since almond oil can act as both a moisturizer and a sealant, it will help prevent further flakiness. To benefit from this;
- Divide your hair into parts
- Apply a half a teaspoon/2.5 mL of almond oil to the scalp
- Massage the scalp for maximal absorption and the hair roots too
- Wash after 30 minutes
- Repeat this 3 – 4 times and the dandruff should be gone
Almond Oil for Hair Growth Reviews & choosing best Brands Ideas
Tips Ideas choose the best
To choose the best brand of almond oil:
- Get a list of the different brands available in your area
- Study them by researching online and get their reviews
- Compare the beneficial components of pure almond oil and that of the brand
- Once you have chosen the brands to look at, check that their websites claims match that on the labels
- Choose the pure almond oil without additives unless you are interested in the additive
- Make sure that you test the oil on the inner wrist of your arm to check for any allergies
Reviews and Best Brands
Reviews differ in score in different platforms. According to Amazon, there are 3481 positive reviews and 248 negative reviews on almond oil. Negative reviews were on the brands’ specifications, packaging and delivery systems. Reviews that the oil is ‘thick, not smelling like almonds or even feeling like cooking oil’ as quoted by Kelly Hicks are supported by Makeupalley where one comment read:
“This is an ok moisturizer for skin and hair. I like the fact that it has a high vitamin E content and it is obviously natural and cheap. The reason I won’t rebut is the pungent smell. It smells exactly how you would think it smells: Like almonds!! Way too potent for me. I don’t like that and I actually had friends ask what I was wearing.”
96 % of the reviews however said that they would but almond oil for its beneficial properties.
According to Comaraboo.com, results based on 359, 773 reviews yielded the following as the two best brands:
- 100% Natural Sweet Almond oil 16 oz. Cold
- Heritage Store Aura Glow Massage Oil, Almond, 16
According to All Top 10 Best;
- Botanical Beauty Organic Sweet Almond Oil
- Lux Skin Oils TM Organic Sweet Almond Oil
- Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Oil
- Eve Hansen Pure And Natural Almond Oil
- InstaNatural Pure Almond Oil
- Angele Sweet Almond Oil
- Beauty Aura Pure Sweet Almond Oil
- Essential Depot Sweet Almond Oil
- Molivera Organics Sweet Almond Oil
- Now Foods Sweet Almond Oil
Before and After Results
Other Beauty Benefits and Uses of Almond Oil
Sources & References
 Gottschalk, T E. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook.10th ed. Washington: CTFA, 2004.
 Final Report on the safety assessment of sweet almond oil and almond meal. Journal of the American College of Toxicology 1983; 2 (5):85-99.
 Härtel, B. Essential fatty acids and eicosanoids in the skin: biosynthesis, biological and cosmetic importance. SÖFW-Journal 1996; 124 (13): 889-900.