Sunflower oil is commonly found in hair-care formulations. In fact, it is the second most common base oil used in the hair oil industry, according to the Journal of Cosmetic Science, thanks to several properties of the oil. There also are nutritional benefits in sunflower oil that can enhance hair health when people consume it.
Sunflower oil acts as an emollient, according to Cosmeticscop.com. Emollients are thickening and lubricating agents that have a softening effect. Emollients also prevent water loss.
Conditioning Greasy Hair
Sunflower oil is a valuable ingredient for conditioning greasy hair, says Valerie Ann Worwood in her book, “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.” Sunflower oil helps to nourish the hair and prevent breakage, say Caroline Bunker Rosdahl and Mary T. Kowalski in “The Textbook of Basic Nursing.”
Sunflower oil is an inexpensive ingredient that people can use to make scented hair oil, according to Carl Deite’s “A Practical Treatise on the Manufacture of Perfumery.” Since it’s odorless at ambient temperature, it does not detract from perfumery formulations. For example, use 500 drams sunflower oil with 2 drams lemon oil, 3 drams rosemary oil, 5 drams lavender oil, 1 dram geranium oil, 1 dram thyme oil and ¼ dram musk tincture. A dram is about 1/8 oz.
Sunflower oil contains gamma linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid. Such fatty acids are essential to hair health, says Spencer David Kobren in his book, “The Truth About Women’s Hair Loss: What Really Works for Treating and Preventing Thinning Hair.” GLA also is effective in preventing hair loss from male and female pattern baldness as well as alopecia areata, which causes round patches of lost hair. Just 1 tsp. a day is all that’s needed, Kobren says.
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Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.