Ever tried looking at a sunflower and felt not even the slightest surge of happy vibes? Well, look at those smiling flowers again. Sunflowers are so bright and cheery that they generally evoke feelings of positivity the very instant you look at them. But have you ever thought if sunflowers could bring as much positivity to your tresses as well?
Our post for today will explore how sunflower oil is used in hair care, and why you should consider adding this cheery oil into your daily care routine.
What is Sunflower Oil?
Sunflower oil is extracted by pressing the seeds of the sunflower plant (Helianthus annuus). The oil that comes out from the seeds differ slightly in color, depending on how they were processed:
- Cold-pressing – Light yellow
- Hot-pressed crude – Brownish
- Refined oil – Transparent and colorless
Sunflower oil has two main components, linoleic acid, and oleic acid. Both substances are fats, with linoleic acid classified as polyunsaturated and oleic acid as monounsaturated.
Together, the combined levels of linoleic and oleic acid give way to three main kinds of sunflower oil:
- High Oleic Sunflower Oil – This oil contains around 80% of monounsaturated healthy fats. High oleic sunflower oil is often used in cooking and baking due to its neutral taste and stability against heat.
- Mid-Oleic Sunflower Oil – This variety of sunflower oil has roughly equal amounts of healthy and unhealthy fats. It is regarded as the standard oil type manufactured and distributed in several stores worldwide.
- Linoleic Sunflower Oil – This is the traditional sunflower oil type that’s high in polyunsaturated fats. It’s considered the least healthy variety of sunflower oil in terms of cooking and frying. Linoleic sunflower oil is often used in topical hair and skin preparations.
Sunflower oil is typically used in cooking and in making margarine. It’s also used as an emollient in several cosmetic products. An increasing number of people worldwide use sunflower oil topically to moisturize their skin and hair naturally.
Why Use Sunflower Oil For Your Hair?
While we’re all used to gushing over well-established essential oils for hair such as rosemary and cedarwood, sunflower oil proves that it can be as hair-friendly as the other ones.
Sunflower oil is rich on the following nutrients:
- Essential fatty acids (linoleic)
- Vitamins E, A, C, and D
All of these nutrients work together to nourish your scalp and hair. Specifically, each substance inside sunflower oils give you the following benefits for hair:
- Helps prevent thinning hair due to its high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), oleic acid, and vitamin E
- Halts inflammation on the scalp thanks to gamma-linolenic acid
- Fights cellular damage with its antioxidants
- Moisturizes the scalp and strands with its mix of fatty acids and vitamins
- Helps prevent sun damage due to its high beta-carotene content
A not-so-known type of alopecia called scarring alopecia benefits well from sunflower oil, specifically from its linoleic acid content. This was proven in a 2004 study on lambs. Skin wounds treated with sunflower oil had excellent results over those who were treated with conventional Vaseline. Hair follicles also regrew in lambs receiving topical sunflower oil by the study’s 21st day.
Another plus is that sunflower oil is so light and non-greasy. It’s easily absorbed into the scalp and strands, fully coating your entire head and hair without weighing it down. Sunflower oil also transforms your dry and brittle locks to gorgeously smooth, sleek, and shiny tresses.
Using Sunflower Oil for Hair Care
Loads of shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in hair products include sunflower oil in their main ingredients list. If you’re using one of them, great! But you can also directly apply sunflower oil to your scalp and strands in a myriad of ways.
You can use sunflower oil on its own or mix it with other oils to create rich hair concoctions. Here are some recipes for sunflower oil treatments that’ll surely boost your hair’s health and beauty:
1. One-Ingredient Treatment
Take some sunflower oil in a quarter-sized amount and warm it a little by rubbing it between your palms. Massage the oil on your damp or dry hair. Start from the ends and work all the way up to your scalp. You can also comb the oil through your hair.
Wrap your head in a warm towel or shower cap, then let the oils remain on your head for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse with a gentle shampoo and water.
Do this treatment twice a week or more often, depending on your hair’s dryness level.
Quick Tip: Sunflower oil is so gentle, you can even sleep with it on your locks overnight! Loosely braid your sunflower oil-soaked hair before sleeping (some even sleep with a shower cap on). Then, rinse your hair with your favorite shampoo upon waking up in the morning, and you’ll get effortlessly lively and smooth tresses in no time.
2. Lemon, Rosemary, and Sunflower Hair Conditioner
This natural conditioner infuses moisture, softness, and shine to your hair. It also helps boost hair regrowth by nourishing the hair follicles! Get started by preparing the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup of sunflower oil
- 3 tablespoons of pure lemon juice
- 10 drops of rosemary oil
Simply combine all four ingredients in a clean container. Mix them thoroughly to distribute each ingredient equally in the conditioner. Use as a regular conditioner after shampooing your hair. Leave this natural conditioner on your freshly-shampooed hair for around 5 minutes, then rinse off.
3. Infused Sunflower Hot Oil Treatment
This natural recipe uses dried sunflower petals from scratch. As with any other hot oil treatment, this sunflower version is great for rescuing your damaged hair and strengthening your brittle tresses.
Gather the following ingredients for this hot oil treatment:
- ¼ cup of dried sunflower petals (you can purchase some from Amazon or make your own)
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
- 2-3 cups of water
- A glass heat-proof jar
Follow these steps to start creating the sunflower hot oil treatment:
- Place the sunflower petals inside the heat-proof glass jar.
- Pour coconut oil and jojoba oil over the petals, immersing them fully.
- Fill a saucepan with water up to two inches. Heat it up in a stove, then place the oil and sunflower-filled jar on it.
- Reduce flame and allow water in the pan to simmer for two hours.
- After two hours, remove the jar, open it, and allow to cool a little over a few minutes.
- Transfer the infused hot oil to another glass jar, straining the petals as you pour the oil over.
- Cover the new jar securely and store the hot oil treatment at room temperature.
Quick Tip: You can use a slow cooker instead of a stove and saucepan. Set the slow cooker to low and heat the oils and sunflower petals for two hours as well.
Start your hot oil treatment by doing the following:
- Pour a small amount of infused sunflower hot oil treatment into a small glass jar or cup.
- Prepare a slightly larger bowl and fill it with hot (not boiling) water.
- Set the oil-filled jar above the bowl and warm it for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove oil-filled jar from the bowl, pour it onto your palms, and start applying it on your hair from the tips all the way up to the roots.
- Rub your scalp with some oil as well, especially if it is dry or flaky.
- Wrap a warm towel around your hair and head.
- Let the hot oil treatment sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Rinse your hair with a gentle shampoo afterward.
Do this hot oil treatment once a week, or up to twice a week if you have overly dry and frizzy strands.
4. Leave-In Conditioner
You can also use sunflower oil as a final touch to your hairstyle or simply to smooth out your frizz. Just take a small amount and smooth it all over your damp, dry, or styled hair. Sunflower oil has ceramides that coat the hair cuticles, leaving your tresses smooth, shiny, bouncy, and manageable.
Bonus: Ceramides can also hasten hair regrowth when used regularly!
Sunflower oil is as nourishing for your hair as it is for your mood. It uplifts your hair, giving your tresses shine, strength, moisture, and vibrant health with regular use.
Sunflower oil is packed with nourishing fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, and beta carotene. All these nutrients are beneficial for dry, damaged, and hair-fall prone tresses.
Surprisingly light and non-greasy, sunflower oil is also great for overnight hair treatments and as a leave-in conditioner. Your scalp and strands absorb the oil well minus the greasy and sticky feeling.
You can use pure sunflower oil on your hair, or you can use it to make hot oil treatments, masks, or conditioners. There are also lots of sunflower-containing hair care products available in the market today.
Indeed, sunflower oil can get you smiling all day with your lusciously beautiful and healthy strands!
Have you tried using sunflower oil for your hair? How did it go? How did you and your hair feel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!