By Chinwe of Hair and Health
Many women use olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and even jojoba oil on their hair in some fashion. However, few use or know about grapeseed oil.
WHY USE GRAPESEED OIL:
1. It is inexpensive. Compared to your more popular hair oils, this one is fairly inexpensive. Depending on where you purchase your grapeseed oil, it can cost almost 30-40% less than extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil. It also much cheaper and more accessible than jojoba oil.
2. It protects against moisture loss. Grapeseed oil contains a high amount of linoleic acid,
a type of omega-6 fatty acid. Research has demonstrated that when
applied to the skin, this fatty acid can help combat dryness by
providing protection against moisture loss (Source). This may be good news for a dry scalp.
3. It is fairly light. The consistency of grapeseed oil is somewhere between that of jojoba oil and olive oil (though much closer to jojoba oil). Thus, if you find olive oil to be too heavy or want an alternative to jojoba oil, grapeseed oil may be worth a try.
4. It is odorless. Grapeseed oil is odorless which makes it easier to use alone or in recipes without needing to add a fragrance (e.g., an essential oil).
HOW TO USE GRAPESEED OIL:
1. As a sealant. Depending on your hair, grapeseed oil
may work just fine as a sealant after a good wash and conditioning
session. Just apply the oil to damp hair to lock in the moisture.
2. To enhance a moisturizer. This oil can be used to enhance
your current moisturizer. Mix a little bit with your moisturizer to
increase moisture retention.
3. To alleviate a dry scalp. As discussed earlier, linoleic
acid has been demonstrated to provide a protection against moisture loss
when applied to the skin. Since grapeseed oil consists of a very high amount (~70%) of this fatty acid, it can aid in alleviating a dry scalp.
4. Mix into a whipped butter. Grapeseed oil can mix well into whipped butters and increase the moisturizing/sealant properties of your mixture.
5. As a hot oil treatment. Use the oil alone or mixed with other oils as a hot oil treatment prior to your wash.
CAN GRAPESEED OIL BE USED AS HEAT PROTECTANT?
Though the oil has a high smoke point (some sources quote 400 to 450
degrees Fahrenheit), this characteristic does not translate into it
being adequate as a heat protectant. A high smoke point indicates that
the oil requires a higher temperature to break down and start smoking.
In other words, grapeseed oil
may not degrade before reaching 400 degrees Fahrenheit but your hair
might. In contrast, a heat protectant contains a formulation of
ingredients that actually helps to reduce the transfer of heat to the
cortex of the hair (Source). That being said, it is much safer to use a commercial heat protectant than to experiment with grapeseed oil as a possibility.