One of the most difficult beauty challenges that we, women, face these days is to keep our hair strong, healthy, and shiny at its best. Continuous exposure to dust and dirt, a highly stressful lifestyle, improper diet, poor hair care practices, etc. are significantly associated with the most prominent hair woes including split ends, rough hair, and hair fall. All these apparently negligible issues can prevent the natural growth of our hair, which affects our self-confidence eventually. Mustard oil is known as the easiest proven solution for this purpose. In fact, it has also been used as a substitute for regular hair oil since ancient days. In this article, we will explore the benefits and uses of mustard oil for hair growth.
What is Mustard Oil?
Mustard oil (Brassica juncea) is a dark reddish-yellow colored edible oil with a strong aroma and sharp, pungent flavor. It is extracted from the seeds of the mustard plant by pressing or grinding and then, purified through the process of distillation. The spicy oil has widely been used in countries like India, Rome, and Greece for culinary and therapeutic purposes. It has a high smoke point, which makes it a common ingredient in many Indian and Nepalese cuisines for sautéing and stir-frying. On the other hand, topical applications of mustard oil are great for massaging the skin or treating the scalp and hair.
Pure mustard oil contains a fatty acid called erucic acid (up to 40%), which is adversely linked to our cardiovascular health (1). Hence, it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ingestion as a vegetable oil in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Rather, it is used as a hair and massage oil in those countries.
Different Types of Mustard Oil
With so many varieties available in the market, choosing the best mustard oil can be difficult. Check out the types you can select from:
- Kachhi Ghani: This is the most popular cold-pressed mustard oil (also called ‘raw grade mustard oil’) with a natural flavor and lots of nutrients (including antioxidants).
- Agmark: If the mustard oil comes with the certification of Agmark, it means that the seeds used are grown organically and the oil is also produced the same way. It ensures the quality and integrity of the product.
- Grade 1: This is a mixture of two types of mustard oils obtained by grinding brown and yellow mustard seeds respectively. It comes with a beautiful nutty flavor, which certifies its quality.
Mustard essential oil is a type of essential oil, which is extracted from mustard seeds through the steam distillation process. Unlike pure mustard oil, it is recognized as safe (GRAS) as a flavoring agent by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Nutrients in Mustard Oil
The health and beauty benefits of mustard oil are attributed to its strong nutritional profile. It is rich in healthy fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fats or MUFA (60%) and polyunsaturated fats or PUFA (21%) along with a low quantity of saturated fats (12%). Being a plant source of oil, it also contains plenty of essential omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In fact, mustard oil is known to have a higher ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than other similar oils. However, you will not get carbohydrates, fibers, proteins, vitamins, and minerals from mustard oil. Also, a tablespoon of mustard oil contains around 124 calories. (2)
Mustard oil also contains a certain compound called allyl isothiocyanate. This contributes to its signature sharp and pungent flavor.
Why Use Mustard Oil for Hair Growth?
Our scalp gets affected and loses its nutrition by a lot of external factors, which prevent the hair from growing in a natural and healthy way. With a regular massage of mustard oil, you can restore the health of your scalp and rejuvenate your tresses easily. The oil is available in every Indian household and can help you get long, soft, and silky hair in a few days without running to the salons for hair care treatments. Following are the ways mustard oil helps in growing hair:
1. Improves Scalp Circulation
Massaging lukewarm mustard oil into the scalp has been known to boost the flow of blood throughout it. This facilitates an even distribution of nutrients all over the scalp, reproduces more and more hair follicles, and promotes the growth of hair significantly.
2. Provides Nutrition to Hair
Proper nourishment of the scalp is very important for growing and maintaining good hair. Mustard oil is the solution to bank on as it keeps the scalp nourished by providing all necessary nutrients including the major ones like protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Strengthens It from Roots
The oil has antioxidants, minerals (calcium, iron, zinc), and vitamins (A, D, E), which are essential in the process of hair growth. Using it regularly for massaging the scalp offers good quality nutrients to the hair follicles, thus enhancing the strength of the hair from the roots.
4. Conditions It Deeply
When it comes to moisturizing and conditioning dry and frizzy hair naturally, mustard oil is a proven solution. Being a great source of high-quality alpha fatty acids, it works as a deep conditioner for hair. It seals moisture in hair strands, thus making them stronger and healthier for better and faster growth.
5. Reduces Dandruff
The mustard essential oil has great antifungal (3) and antibacterial (4) properties, which help in relieving the dry, itchy scalp. It also makes the scalp healthy by preventing or reducing dandruff caused by yeast, acne, or pimples. As a result, the hair grows quickly.
6. Keeps Scalp Infections Away
The high fatty acid content of mustard also helps in curing the inflammation of the scalp while its antifungal and antibacterial properties keep infections at bay. Using it as a scalp treatment may put a stop to your chronic hair loss problem and stimulate the growth of your hair to a great extent.
Read Also – Urine Therapy May Promote Hair Growth
3 Ways to Use Mustard Oil for Hair Growth
Knowing the right ways to apply mustard oil is crucial to ensure the maximum benefits for the scalp and the hair. Given below are the 3 most effective ways to use it for hair growth:
1. Quick Oiling
Take about a teaspoon of mustard oil and massage it into your scalp for 5 minutes before shampooing. Doing it every day will give you long hair while saving your haircare time considerably. This will also ensure that your hair does not become dry, especially if it turns brittle always after shampooing,
2. Moderate Oiling
Take some warm mustard oil and massage your scalp thoroughly with it. Once you are done coating the roots and the hair well with the oil, soak a towel in warm water and wrap it around your hair. Leave it for about half an hour. This will open up the cuticles and let the oil reach deep into the hair roots. Repeat 3-4 days a week for faster hair growth.
3. Overnight Oiling
Warm up some mustard oil and massage it well into your hair. Cover your head with a shower cap or put a towel on your pillow to prevent staining from the oil. Leave it overnight and do shampoo the following morning. Your hair will become strong and shiny with repeated use, thereby growing rapidly.
Mustard oil generates a lot of heat when massaged into the skin or scalp, which makes it an excellent pain reliever. If you have a tendency to catch a cold frequently, it is certainly a safe choice for you.
Read Also – DIY- How to Make Henna Hair Oil for Hair Growth
3 Simple Mustard Oil Masks for Hair Growth
Mustard oil is best used with other natural hair-friendly ingredients for the growth of hair. Below we have listed some of the hair masks prepared with mustard oil that can help keep your tresses long, shiny, and flowing:
1. Mustard Oil with Yogurt and Egg
Make a smooth paste by mixing one teaspoon of mustard oil with two tablespoons of yogurt and a whisked egg. Apply it thoroughly to your hair and let it dry for 30 minutes. Now, wash it off well with a mild shampoo. Try using this mask twice a week to get the best results.
2. Mustard Oil with Black Tea
The blend of black tea and mustard oil works wonders for treating dandruff and stimulating hair growth. Massage your scalp well with this mask and leave it on for at least half an hour. Then, wash it off properly with a shampoo that suits your hair. Use it at least thrice every week to get noticeable results within a few months.
3. Mustard Oil with Coconut Oil
If you have extremely brittle and dry hair, sometimes it is better to indulge in this nourishing and moisturizing hair mask that combines the goodness of both mustard oil and coconut oil. Take equal quantity of both the oils in a bowl, mix them well, and apply the mixture to the hair. Rinse it off with a shampoo after half an hour. Also, make sure that you repeat it at least once every week.
You can also try using mustard oil with other simple ingredients, such as olive oil, mayonnaise, butter, etc. But an excess usage of this oil may result in dryness. So, always opt for the right quantity.
Health and Skin Benefits of Mustard Oil
Now, let us have a quick look at the health and skin benefits offered by mustard oil:
- The powerful antimicrobial properties of mustard essential oil may help in inhibiting the growth of certain harmful microbes, fungi, and molds (5).
- It works as a natural pain reliever due to the presence of allyl isothiocyanate in it (6). The compound may desensitize certain pain receptors in the body and alleviate widespread pain (7).
- Omega-3 fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in mustard oil help reduce inflammation in the body, which may ease conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (8).
- Mustard oil comes packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which are effective in lowering the risks of heart diseases by reducing the levels of triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and blood pressure (9).
- The oil may also have positive effects on the development of cancer in the body. It may slow down the growth of carcinogenic cells in the colon, bladder, etc. significantly.
- The anti-inflammatory qualities of mustard oil may also help in soothing several conditions like muscle aches, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, folliculitis, and so on.
- Massaging the skin with pure mustard oil may enhance the strength of the skin barrier (10). It optimizes skin health by improving fine lines, wrinkles, cracked heels, etc.
Side Effects of Mustard Oil
Topical applications of mustard oil hardly lead to adverse effects. However, it may cause mild irritation of skin or scalp in some people due to the presence of naturally occurring compounds like allyl thiocyanate, erucic acid, capsaicin, etc. in it. It may also lead to clogged pores, eye irritation, and a condition called lichen planus. Hence, always start with a patch test and watch out for allergic reactions like rashes, redness, swelling, stinging, itching, etc. Also, do not use more than 1 tablespoon of mustard oil for hair care at the beginning.
Mustard oil is a spicy, edible oil with a strong aroma and sharp, pungent flavor. It has widely been used for culinary and therapeutic purposes due to its strong nutritional profile. Being rich in healthy fatty acids, it is also considered great for skin and hair care treatments. Regular massages of mustard oil may restore the health of your scalp and rejuvenate your tresses easily. It helps in growing hair by improving scalp circulation, providing nutrition to the hair, strengthening hair from the roots, conditioning it deeply, reducing dandruff, and keeping scalp infections away. Quick oiling, moderate oiling, and overnight oiling are the most effective ways to use mustard oil for hair growth. It can also be combined with yogurt and egg, black tea, coconut oil, olive oil, etc. to make the most of its hair-growing properties. Apart from hair, mustard oil is highly beneficial for our health and skin too. But make sure that you do a patch test before using mustard oil topically in order to avoid adverse effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Long Should You Leave Mustard Oil on Your Hair?
Unless you are doing a deep conditioning treatment with mustard oil, do not leave mustard oil for more than 30 minutes on your hair.
Which Oil is Better for Hair – Mustard or Coconut?
Both are good for enhancing the health and appearance of our hair. But mustard oil is not a product for daily use while coconut oil can be used every day on the hair.
Does Mustard Oil Thicken Hair?
Yes, it hydrates and conditions hair strands while thickening them from the roots by providing enough nutrients.
Can We Apply Mustard Oil on Hair Daily?
You can apply it to your scalp every day and wash it off in the morning. It is not recommended to coat all your scalp and hair with mustard oil daily.
- “Erucic Acid“, PubChem.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Vegetable Oil, Mustard Nutrition Facts & Calories“, NutritionData.self.com
- “Composition, Diffusion, and Antifungal Activity of Black Mustard (Brassica nigra) Essential Oil When Applied by Direct Addition or Vapor Phase Contact“, Meridian.AllenPress.com
- “Effect of White Mustard Essential Oil on the Growth of Foodborne Pathogens and Spoilage Microorganisms and the Effect of Food Components on Its Efficacy“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Synergistic Properties of Mustard and Cinnamon Essential Oils for the Inactivation of Foodborne Moulds In Vitro and on Spanish Bread“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Allyl Isothiocyanate“, PubChem.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Systemic Desensitization through TRPA1 Channels by Capsazepine and Mustard Oil – a Novel Strategy Against Inflammation and Pain“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: a Meta-Analysis“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Monounsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Synopsis of the Evidence Available from Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Acceptability of Massage with Skin Barrier-Enhancing Emollients in Young Neonates in Bangladesh“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov