Cactus oil (also known as prickly pear seed oil), is extracted from the seeds of the prickly pear cactus. It is a powerhouse of essential vitamins and fatty acids that can help promote healthier hair. Cactus oil has a higher concentration of minerals, vitamins and fatty acids compared to argan oil. Cactus oil is rich in linoleic acid, and it typically contains between 60-70% of this fatty acid when argan oil typically contains around 35% of it.
All of these nutrients found in cactus oil can help promote healthier, stronger and shinier hair.
1. Moisturizes the scalp and hair follicles
Cactus oil moisturises the scalp and hair follicles due to its emollient properties (meaning that it can help lock in moisture and keep the hair and scalp hydrated), its rich content in fatty acids (including linoleic acid) and vitamin E.
2. Protects against uv
UV radiation from the sun can be harmful to the scalp and hair. It can cause damage to the hair cuticle and lead to dryness, breakage, and loss of color.
Cactus oil is beneficial to protect the scalp and hair against UV damage. It contains high amounts of antioxidants like betalains, which neutralizes free radicals produced due to UV exposure. Also, cactus oil is rich in vitamin E, offering protection against oxidative stress caused by UV radiation.
3. Helps boost hair growth
Cactus oil (prickly pear oil) contains a significant amount of linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid that helps improve blood flow to the scalp. This enhanced blood flow has a positive impact on hair growth since the delivery of vital nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles facilitated.
Moreover, cactus oil is rich in vitamin E, which also plays an important role in promoting healthier hair growth. Together, the linoleic acid and vitamin E in cactus oil work hand in hand to promote better hair health and growth.
4. Helps protect hair from heat damage
Cactus oil contains antioxidants (especially vitamin E) and fatty acids (linoleic acid and oleic acid) that help to protect the hair from heat damage.
Antioxidants like Vitamin E can help to protect the hair from heat damage by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage in the hair.
4.2. Fatty Acids
Cactus oil also contains fatty acids, including linoleic acid and oleic acid, that help to nourish and hydrate the hair, which can help to prevent heat damage. When the hair is well-hydrated, it is less likely to become damaged by heat styling tools.
To use cactus oil to prevent heat damage to the hair, you can apply a small amount of the oil to your hair before using a styling tool. The oil will create a barrier between the heat and your hair, helping to protect it from damage.
5. Helps prevent hair loss
Hair loss can happen when the hair follicles become weakened or damaged. Cactus oil can help to prevent this by providing essential nutrients to the hair.
Cactus oil contains powerful antioxidants like Vitamin E, which can help to protect the hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage, which can lead to hair loss.
In addition, cactus oil is a natural moisturizer and can help to hydrate the hair and scalp, which can prevent dryness and breakage. When the hair is well-moisturized, it is less likely to get damaged or fall out.
To use cactus oil to prevent hair loss, you can apply a small amount of the oil to your scalp and hair, focusing on the roots and ends. Leave the oil in for at least 30 minutes, and then wash it out with a gentle shampoo. Regular use of cactus oil can help to strengthen and nourish the hair, preventing hair loss over time. However, it’s important to note that if hair loss is due to an underlying medical condition, it’s important to seek medical advice for proper treatment.
6. Reduces dandruff
6.1. hydrates the scalp
Dandruff occurs when the scalp becomes dry and flaky. Cactus oil can help to reduce dandruff by moisturizing the scalp and reducing inflammation.
It contains essential fatty acids that help to hydrate and nourish the scalp, preventing dryness and dandruff.
6.2. anti-inflammatory benefits
Additionally, cactus oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation and itching associated with dandruff.
To use cactus oil for dandruff, you can apply a small amount of the oil to your scalp, focusing on the affected areas. Leave the oil in for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if possible, and then wash it out with a gentle shampoo. Regular use of cactus oil can help to moisturize and soothe the scalp, reducing the frequency and severity of dandruff. However, it’s important to note that if dandruff is caused by an underlying medical condition, it’s important to seek medical advice for proper treatment.
7. Strengthen hair
Cactus oil can help strengthen hair due to its high content of essential fatty acids, particularly linoleic acid. Hair becomes weak and prone to breakage when it lacks essential nutrients and hydration, and cactus oil can help to provide these vital elements to the hair.
To use cactus oil to strengthen hair, you can apply a small amount of the oil to your hair and scalp, focusing on the ends and roots. Leave the oil in for at least 30 minutes, and then wash it out with a gentle shampoo. Regular use of cactus oil can help to nourish and hydrate the hair, reducing breakage and promoting stronger, healthier hair growth.
8. How to use cactus oil for hair?
Cactus oil can be used in a variety of ways to promote healthy hair. Here are some suggestions for how to use cactus oil for hair:
8.1. As a Pre-Shampoo Treatment:
Apply a few drops of cactus oil to your hair and scalp, then massage it in gently. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes (or overnight for a more intensive treatment), then wash your hair as usual.
8.2. As a Leave-In Conditioner:
After shampooing and conditioning your hair, apply a few drops of cactus oil to your damp hair and work it through the lengths and ends. Do not rinse it out.
8.3. As a Styling Product:
Use a small amount of cactus oil to smooth flyaways and add shine to your hair. Apply a few drops to your palms, then rub them together and work the oil through your hair.
8.4. As a Scalp Treatment:
Apply cactus oil directly to your scalp and massage it in gently. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, then shampoo your hair as usual.
8.5. In Homemade Hair Masks:
Mix cactus oil with other natural ingredients, such as avocado, honey, or yogurt, to create a nourishing hair mask. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it out.
It’s important to note that cactus oil is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount and add more as needed. Also, be sure to choose a high-quality, pure cactus oil without any added chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
9. Safety and Side effects
When using cactus oil for the first time, it’s a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any allergic reactions or irritation.
It’s also worth noting that cactus oil may not be suitable for everyone. If you have an allergy to cactus or any of its related species, you should avoid using cactus oil. Additionally, if you have any scalp or skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema, you should speak to a dermatologist before using cactus oil on your hair.
Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that cactus oil should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment. If you are experiencing severe hair loss, scalp irritation, or any other issues with your hair or scalp, it’s important to speak to a healthcare provider or dermatologist to determine the underlying cause and the best course of treatment.
It’s also important to note that while cactus oil is generally considered safe for external use, it should not be ingested. Keep it out of reach of children and pets, and avoid getting it in your eyes or mouth.
10. Choosing the right oil
When using cactus oil for hair care, it’s also important to use high-quality, pure oil that has been properly extracted and processed. Look for cold-pressed or expeller-pressed cactus oil, as these methods preserve the oil’s natural nutrients and properties. Avoid oils that have been extracted using solvents or chemicals, as these may contain harmful residues.
Always patch test before deciding to use any new product in your skincare routine. Apply any new product on your wrist, elbow or jawline first then cover the area.
If you don’t have any negative reaction following 24hours after application, then you can apply it on your skin.
This content does NOT provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is NOT a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult your own doctor for more information.