May 5, 2023
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Grapeseed oil is a healthy replacement for cooking oils, but you can also benefit from using it on your skin or hair. It can help moisturize the scalp and hair and protect against damaging environmental factors like humidity, heat strain, or wear and tear. So, is grape seed oil for hair worth the hype?
Grapeseed oil is a highly useful lightweight product made from grape seeds that can benefit hair health and improve management and hair appearance. It contains linoleic acid, Vitamin E, and Omega-6, which help treat dandruff, heal wounds, and restore hair porosity.
The beauty industry has used various oils, popularly coconut oil, Moroccan argan oil, and shea butter, in products for years. Grapeseed oil has mostly been left in their shadows until now. Is grapeseed oil as excellent as everyone says? Let’s read on to find out.
Hair emollients are an integral part of hair conditioning formulations. Hair oils add shine and moisture, reduce frizzing, and protect hair from environmental stressors. Oils also help increase the hair shaft’s strength and can be used to treat dandruff and dry scalp conditions.
The primary goal of their addition to hair care products is to create a hydrophobic coating on the outermost hair surface. This coating improves hair lubricity, reduces fiber-to-fiber friction, and boosts shine.
While grapeseed oil is non-greasy, it can help to add moisture to the hair shaft and prevent breakage by forming a barrier around the follicle to preserve the moisture within it. It is also lightweight and won’t weigh down the hair or leave it feeling oily.
Many emollients are available to product formulators today, including artificial synthetic molecules, natural oils, and waxes.
Consumers today are more concerned about the environmental impact of the products they use and consume than ever before. They want green and sustainable ingredients as well as alternatives to synthetic ingredients.
The sustainability movement has opened a new window of opportunity for scientists to explore naturally derived ingredients for their potential application in personal care products.
In recent years, health specialists have recommended several natural emollients, including grapeseed oil, for their wide range of performance.
Grapeseed oil is a unique natural product and a rich source of organic fatty acids and lipids. Scientists have recently examined this special ingredient for its potential benefits in hair and skincare formulations.
Numerous studies have highlighted grapeseed oil and its biochemical impact on hair quality, new hair growth, and the antioxidant potential to combat skin and hair damage and improve hair surface quality.
We’ll review some of the essential advantages this oil may provide for hair and how to use it to get the best results.
But first, let’s go through its chemical composition and what grapeseed oil for hair can do.
The chemical composition of grapeseed oil indicates the presence of mono and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
Linoleic acid is the predominant fatty acid present along with oleic acid. The saturated fatty acids are only a tiny fraction of total fatty material.
The linoleic acid in grapeseed oil is beneficial as humans don’t produce it within their bodies. A lack of the fatty acid could lead to hair loss and a dry scalp.
High levels of poly-unsaturated fatty acid enhance its unique effects on skin and hair and its powerful antioxidant potential.
|Palmitic acid||7.0 – 10.0%|
|Stearic acid||4.0 – 6.0%|
|Oleic acid||18.0 – 22.0%|
|Linoleic acid||60.0 – 70.0%|
Besides fatty acids, grapeseed oil contains significant amounts of phenolic compounds, which include flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, tannins, stilbenes, and procyanidin.
Moreover, it contains an impressive amount of gallic acid (59-360mg /kg), a well-known natural antioxidant. Furthermore, the oil contains Vitamin E (tocopherol). Interestingly, it also contains small amounts of unsaturated tocopherol, known as tocotrienols.1
The combined tocopherol and tocotrienol content elevates the benefits of grapeseed oil so much that doctors recommend its use to delay aging and prevent some chronic diseases. After clinical tests on rats, scientists suggest grapeseed oil as a possible colon cancer deterrent.5
Grapeseed oil also contains a series of phytosterols. These organic molecules play a vital role in defining the biochemical properties of the oil.
These molecules resemble cholesterol and thus are crucial for the lipid profile of oil and its incorporation in hair and skin care formulations.
Of this, sitosterol makes up a significant portion of all sterols; however, the quantities and ratios vary among different grape varieties.
Grapeseed oil is a by-product of the winemaking industry. In pressing grapes for wine, by-products like grape seeds get left behind. Machines separate seeds from the grape’s flesh and juice during grape juice extractions, leaving behind the seed.
The grape seeds are dried under controlled conditions, and producers press these grape seeds to extract grapeseed oil for consumption. This grapeseed oil extraction dates back to the early 20th century. Since then, industrial processing has evolved, improving oil production.
Grapeseed oil has a light, nutty scent and is pale yellow-green. Note that color may vary depending on the grape variety. Grapeseed oil is also relatively inexpensive compared to other hair oils you can buy.
Depending upon the cultivated variety, extraction method used, and environmental conditions, seeds can contain different constituent levels and varying levels of oil content, 10-20% upon extraction. For example, Merlot grapes harvested in 2006 showed an impressive 14.7% oil content.5
Different grapeseed oils are available today, each with unique and beneficial properties. The type of oil you choose will depend on the desired result.
The most common types of grapeseed oils are:
The preferred method to extract oil from seeds is cold, dry extraction, wherein dried seeds are pressed mechanically to obtain the oil. However, this yields less oil than hot pressing or solvent methods. Cold-pressed oil is safer and more consumer friendly.
An alternative and more modern approach is solvent extraction, which involves using an organic solvent to extract water from dried seeds.
The downside is that some traces of the solvent might remain in the oil and other chemical impurities.
For superior results and high-quality hair care formulations, formulators and product users prefer cold-pressed oil.1
As it is mainly used for cooking, nutritionists view grapeseed oil as a healthier alternative to vegetable oils due to its chemical composition and inherent anti-microbial properties.
Like most cooking oils, you can buy grapeseed oil at grocery stores. Still, as a product not as well distributed due to the output per ton of grapes pressed (1 ton of grapes equals 8oz oil), it is most likely found in the health section or at health stores. You can apply grapeseed cooking oil to your body, hair, and face.
You can buy grapeseed oil supplements over the counter at pharmacies. You can also find topical grapeseed oil products such as hair or body-specific creams or oils at beauty shops.
Grapeseed oil offers superb conditioning to hair fibers, provides a unique sensory experience with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and can improve the overall quality of hair.
While the scalp naturally produces sebum to keep hair healthy, as a person ages, the production slows, and regular dyeing or application of hair products can leave hair feeling brittle or weak.
Using a product like grapeseed oil is a great way to supplement natural sebum on the scalp and hair follicles, leaving them moisturized and shiny.
The texture of grapeseed oil is lighter, producing a fine coating on the hair surface. It aligns cuticles, meaning your hair appears smooth, shiny, and glossy without appearing oily.
One principal advantage of grapeseed oil is its lighter texture, which will not make hair heavy or greasy.
The grapeseed oil’s lighter consistency is due to its higher poly-unsaturated fatty acids, known for its lighter feel, texture, and ease of application on hair.
The light texture of grapeseed oil provides a uniform coating on the hair shaft. While it may not be a moisturizer, the oil is a sealant. When used after a water-based moisturizer, it traps moisture within. It will ensure the hair stays hydrated and healthy for longer.
Applying grapeseed oil to hair can also assist in promoting hair porosity.
The coating also reduces fiber-to-fiber friction and controls the static charge build-up at the hair surface. Which helps combat frizz and fight split ends.
Incorporating grapeseed oil in deep conditioning treatments can restore the mechanical damage to hair due to chemicals or the environment.
Grapeseed oil works synergistically with cationic conditioning agents to restore hair strength alongside moisturizing, leave-in, and deep conditioning masks.
The grapeseed oil contains significant amounts of polyphenols and phytosterols, demonstrating its natural tendency to function as an antioxidant.
Solar radiation and oxidation chemical treatments (hair bleaching, permanent dyeing) can generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). These highly reactive oxygen species can damage scalp cells and hair protein.
Polyphenols can capture these reactive oxygen species and neutralize their potential threat to the hair and scalp.
A healthy scalp ensures healthy hair. Keeping the scalp clean and healthy is vital for a healthy hair cycle.
A grapeseed oil massage at the scalp’s surface improves blood circulation and boosts its natural cellular activity. It also improves cell regeneration.
The high polyphenolic content of grapeseed oil provides substantial anti-inflammatory action.
Due to its lighter texture, grapeseed oil is easy to work on the hair shaft and scalp surface. It helps to exfoliate the dead cells from the surface, thus controlling any dead cell build-up.
Grapeseed oil demonstrates strong anti-microbial activity against some pathogens.
Grapeseed oil had a suppressive effect on bacteria and fungi in the lab. Phenolic compounds that damage the bacterial cell membrane without affecting the scalp or skin cells demonstrate this anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activity.
While grapeseed oil cannot combat dandruff caused by skin conditions, it can inhibit the fungal growth responsible for some dandruff and dry skin.
Regular massaging of oil on the scalp can control dandruff and exfoliate the dandruff flakes from the scalp’s surface. This process will also stimulate healthier hair growth.
Grapeseed oil has shown remarkable wound-healing ability. Scientific studies have demonstrated its efficacy in improving skin burns and lowering the risk of scarring due to chronic inflammation.
The oil’s wound-healing ability is attributed to grapeseed oil’s anti-microbial properties that inhibit microbes’ growth, facilitating cellular regeneration to heal wounds.3
Alongside the vitamin E properties, grapeseed oil also contains omega-6 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and add to its wound healing properties.
Grapeseed oil affects hair follicles and actively promotes the hair cycle. The chemical composition of the oil can prevent DHT (dihydrotestosterone) production. This hormone can cause hair loss or thinning due to weakened hair follicles.
It helps the hair transition from the telogen phase to the anagen phase. This transition leads to the growth of new hair fibers, thus controlling hair loss.4
Hair Oil (2-3 times a week): Use grapeseed oil for regular scalp massages, especially for consumers with excessive scalp itchiness and dandruff. A grapeseed oil massage will relieve skin discomfort, assist with frizzing, and act as a hair moisturizer.
Deep Conditioning Treatment (once a week): adding a few drops of grapeseed oil to your regularly used conditioning treatment can boost its performance and give superb results.
Leave in: apply and thoroughly work the grapeseed oil throughout your hair. Ensuring the oil is applied to each hair section equally. For dehydrated hair, this method is a miracle. Leave the grapeseed oil in your hair overnight for maximum benefits, and shampoo it the next day.
If you’re looking for a natural oil to help improve the condition of your hair, grapeseed oil is an excellent option. You can use the oil with all hair types. Hair care professionals highly recommend the use of grapeseed oil for those with fine hair due to the grapeseed oil’s weight.
The hair shaft effortlessly absorbs this light oil. It can help to lock in moisture, provide nutrients, and protect against environmental damage. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to find.
When and who should use it:
There are a few different types of grapeseed oil that you can use on your hair, but the cold-pressed variety is the most beneficial. This type of oil has the most nutritional benefits, which can help improve the condition of your hair.
It is available in pure form, or you can find it in oil blends made explicitly for hair care.
Here are a few of our top grapeseed oil picks:
Yes, grapeseed oil is safe to use on color-treated hair. It can help maintain your color’s vibrancy and protect your hair from damage. It is the perfect product to help restore bleach-damaged hair.
Grapeseed oil is considered to be a light oil and is not a penetrating oil. The oil creates a lubricating barrier (seal) around the hair follicle and will keep in moisture.
The larger the carbon chain is, the bigger the molecular size; hence the more difficult to penetrate. Therefore, oil mainly composed of saturated long-chain fatty acids may not penetrate and can only form a coating on the hair shaft.
Grapeseed oil is not known to cause damage to the hair. It will not clog pores or cause hair loss. It can help to protect the hair from damage and improve its condition and growth.
Unlike other cooking oils, grapeseed oil is versatile, and you can use it on your body and hair. Its unique chemical composition makes it an effective moisture sealant, hair growth stimulant, and protector against breakages and frizzing.
Any hair type can use and reap the benefits of grapeseed oil. But it highly benefits people who suffer from dandruff, have very thin hair, or have frizz that needs taming.
1. Garavaglia, J.; Markoski, M. M.; Oliveira, A.; Marcadenti, A., Grape seed oil compounds: Biological and chemical actions for health. Nutrition and metabolic insights 2016, 9, NMI. S32910.
2. Dabetic, N. M.; Todorovic, V. M.; Djuricic, I. D.; Antic Stankovic, J. A.; Basic, Z. N.; Vujovic, D. S.; Sobajic, S. S., Grape seed oil characterization: A novel approach for oil quality assessment. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 2020, 122 (6), 1900447.
3. Nejati, H.; Farahpour, M. R., Effect of topical red grape seed hydroethanol extract on burn wound healing in rats. Indian Journal of Chemical Technology 2014, 6, 2340-2346.
4. Dhariwala, M. Y.; Ravikumar, P., An overview of herbal alternatives in androgenetic alopecia. Journal of cosmetic dermatology 2019, 18 (4), 966-975.
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