You may have been consuming flaxseeds for its numerous health benefits, but did you know it can also be used to get strong and healthy hair? Using flaxseed for hair has become quite the norm in the last few years. After discovering what this ingredient can do for your hair, women all over the world have started using flaxseed as a part of their regular diet as well as coming up with innovative ways to apply it topically. Now, before starting on any new technique or ingredient for hair growth, it is important to consult an expert to understand whether it really works and if it does, then how? Lucky for you, we consulted cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Mrunal Shah Modi, Owner & Director - Shine Skin, Hair & Laser Clinic, Mumbai, to shed some light on this.
- 1. Benefits of flaxseed for hair
- Increases elasticity of hair fibres
- Prevents split ends
- Stops premature greying
- Keeps dandruff and itchy scalp at bay
- Reduces hair thinning
- Strengthens hair from the roots
- 2. How to use flaxseed for hair
- Flaxseed hair oil
- Flaxseed gel for hair
- Eat raw flaxseed
- Crushed flaxseed
1. Benefits of flaxseed for hair
“Flaxseeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (1)or ALA which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and increases blood circulation. This makes it an exceptionally amazing ingredient for skin, hair and bone health,” says Dr. Modi. Interested yet? Below are all the benefits of flaxseed for hair.
Increases elasticity of hair fibres
According to Dr. Modi, “Flaxseeds are loaded with short-chain omega 3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid, which is necessary for maintaining the health of hair follicles. It helps increase the elasticity of the hair fiber, making it healthy, strong, shiny and prevents breakage.” If your hair lacks luster, is prone to breakage, looks dry and brittle, you can benefit a lot from this seed. Consuming or using flaxseed for hair can change the texture of your mane considerably. It will also ensure that the new hair which grows from the roots is strong and healthy.
Prevents split ends
“Flaxseeds are rich in vitamin E and proteins which are very good for the hair. It helps keep the hair hydrated and nourished from root to tip, thereby preventing split ends,” says Dr. Modi. It is rightly called a superfood for hair by some experts, as a regular intake of this seed can provide your body with calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium, all of which are necessary to maintain healthy hair growth. If split ends are your concern and chopping your tresses is not an option, try using flaxseed for your hair, along with a healthy diet and a good hair care routine to get results.
Stops premature greying
Premature greying of hair is a common concern these days, with women in their early 20s experiencing this problem. We asked Dr. Modi if flaxseed can help with premature greying, and as a matter of fact, it does! She says, “Flaxseeds are loaded with nutrients like proteins, minerals, vitamin B and vitamin E. This is a superfood for the hair. It keeps the scalp hydrated, prevents premature greying along with a number of other hair concerns.” Did anyone of you know the answer to your grey hair problem was sitting in your kitchen all this while? Go munch a spoon of roasted flaxseeds right now!
Keeps dandruff and itchy scalp at bay
Dandruff and itchy scalp getting you conscious whenever you step outside? Not anymore! “Flaxseed reduces infections like dandruff, itchy scalp, cicatricial alopecia and other scalp problems. The omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseed reduce the flakiness in the scalp, this creates a healthy environment for new hair strands to grow. The seeds are also known for reducing free radical damage, hence protecting hair and scalp from external aggressors.” explains Dr. Modi.
You can eat flaxseed or even apply it topically to get relief from scalp problems. We will show you a few ways to include it in your diet and how to use flaxseed for your hair in the second part of this article.
Reduces hair thinning
At times, it feels like your hair growth has become stagnant, and no amount of hot oil massages and hair packs seem to do anything for your precious mane. If you are in a similar situation, flaxseed can help you with that. A lot of factors are responsible for hair thinning, however, in women, hormonal imbalance and menopause are usually responsible for causing this. “A substance that is found in abundance in flaxseed is lignin, it works as an antioxidant that prevents hair loss and hair thinning caused by hormonal imbalance and menopause,” explains Dr. Modi.
Strengthens hair from the roots
A great source of soluble and insoluble fibres, eating flaxseed can also help with hair growth. According to Dr. Modi, “It increases the circulation on the scalp which helps in hair growth and prevents hair breaking. Flaxseed gel for hair is frequently used to encourage the growth of new hair follicles.”
2. How to use flaxseed for hair
Flaxseed can be used both topically and as a part of your daily diet to get all the essential nutrients and minerals from it. Below are a few ways to use it topically as well as consume it, adopt one or both for best results.
Flaxseed hair oil
Step 1: In a bowl, warm two tablespoons of flaxseed oil, it is easily available in stores.
Step 2: While it's still slightly warm, massage into your scalp using your fingertips. Apply on the shaft and tips too.
Step 3: Now wrap your hair in a hot damp towel (soak the towel in hot water for a minute or two and wring out the excess water)
Step 4: Allow the towel to stay on your head for about 30 minutes. It will allow the oil to seep deeper into the follicles.
Step 5: Wash with a mild shampoo. Repeat two to three times a week for best results.
Flaxseed gel for hair
Step 1: In a pot, add two cups of filtered water, then add 1/4th cup of flaxseed and keep it on medium heat.
Step 2: Once the liquid starts to thicken add a tablespoon of lemon juice and keep stirring.
Step 3: When the liquid reaches a gel-like consistency, remove from heat and let it cool down.
Step 4: When it has cooled down completely strain and store the gel in a jar.
Step 5: Use it as a topical treatment to address common hair woes or even as a natural hair gel to style your tresses.
Eat raw flaxseed
Raw flaxseed can give you more than just healthy hair. Rich in fibre and protein, flaxseed helps with weight loss and eases constipation. The magnesium in this seed improves your mood and enhances sleep.
Consume a spoonful of roasted flaxseed by itself or sprinkle it on your salads or stir-fried vegetables to add a nutty flavour. You can even add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your hot or cold breakfast cereal.
Another way to enjoy its nutty flavour while obtaining all the benefits, is by consuming crushed or ground flaxseed.
Grind flaxseed into a fine powder and store it in an airtight container to add to your favourite foods later. It can be added to your cookies, muffins and breads before baking or into milk to prepare a smoothie. You can also use it in any other creative way that you might like!