Neem or Indian lilac has been an important tree to many cultures since ancient times, thanks to its versatile properties and multiple benefits. Scientifically referred as Azadirachta Indica, neem is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and few other tropical and semi-tropical areas. Every component of the neem tree carries useful active compounds that are utilized widely in the manufacturing of organic and natural products and ayurvedic medicines.
Neem oil is the vegetable oil obtained from the seeds of the neem fruit. It has a distinctly bitter taste as it is primarily composed of triglycerides and gives out quite a strong odour, similar to that of peanut and garlic combined. The colour of neem oil can be golden yellow, dark brown, greenish brown, yellowish brown, reddish brown or bright red, depending on its method of extraction. Some common method of oil processing includes cold pressing of the seed kernel and solvent extraction of the neem seed, fruit, oil, cake or kernel. The average fatty acids present in neem oil consist of Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid and Palmitoleic acid.
- Is Neem Oil Safe to Use?
- Why Use Neem Oil for Hair?
- Benefits of Neem Oil for Hair
- Ways to Use Neem Oil for Hair
- How to use Neem Leaves to make Neem oil for Hair?
- Preventive Tips while Using Neem Oil on Hair
- How to Choose Good Quality Neem Oil?
Is Neem Oil Safe to Use?
People have been using neem oil for decades and have made the most of its benefits without any negative effects. Thus proving neem oil to be safe and non-toxic for both edible and external application in required amounts. Although, make sure to consult your doctor in case you have sensitive skin or are under medical care.
Why Use Neem Oil for Hair?
Is neem oil good for hair? This question is easy to answer. Neem oil is a natural solution for all your scalp and hair difficulties. Neem oil has a history of being one of the most sought-after natural antiseptic, disinfectant and an integral part of traditional Ayurvedic remedies. As neem oil has curing and healing properties, it acts as a fantastic natural alternative to hair treatments filled with harmful chemicals. Additionally, it is also rich in fatty acids and vitamin E that encourages hair growth and prevents hair loss. It is highly preferred to treat eczema and get rid of hair lice.
Benefits of Neem Oil for Hair
1. Neem Oil for Hair Growth
Neem has many numbers of healthy essential fatty acids and antioxidants which helps to look after and prevent hair damage that can be triggered due to pollution, stress, use of chemicals or hormonal imbalance. Regular use of neem oil strengthens hair from the roots, improves blood circulation and promotes rapid hair growth.
2. Neem Oil for Dandruff
Neem oil is your go-to natural remedy when it comes to dandruff. It is used in many anti-dandruff shampoos because of its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It effectively fights candida, a major reason for dandruff and takes care of red, irritated and dry scalp.
3. Neem oil for scalp
Ever wondered if excess oil production in your scalp can clog the pores, leading to hair loss and hair fall! Well, it’s true. Neem oil treats such conditions by not only thoroughly cleaning the scalp but also provides nourishment to your hair and roots. It regulates the PH balance of your scalp, stimulating blood flow to the skin.
4. Neem Oil for Hair Lice
Neem oil is perhaps one of the most practised conventional remedies to ward off head lice. Azadirachtin, an insecticidal ingredient, is found in neem that prohibits the growth and breeding of lice, that ultimately exterminates them. Additionally, lice detest the pungent scent of neem oil which again acts as a preventive measure.
5. Neem Oil for Premature Greying of Hair
Not only is neem oil an excellent option for restoring dry, undernourished and rough hair, it also reduces the overall greying of the hair due to medicines or hormones. It also heals skin infections that can sometimes trigger premature greying of hair. However, it won’t be of any help to alter the process of greying hair that occurs to age.
Ways to Use Neem Oil for Hair
1. Neem Oil in Shampoo
Neem oil can be easily mixed with your daily shampoo but make sure you use a gentle and natural shampoo. Use 1-5 ml of neem oil for every 100 ml of shampoo. Apply the mixture as soon as you prepare it as can’t be kept for a long time. In case you are using this on a regular basis, a lower concentration of neem oil should do the trick. Apply this mixture to your hair, from roots to ends while showering and wash off with clean water.
2. Neem Oil for Conditioning Treatment
For deep nourishing treatment, massage the neem oil directly onto your scalp and hair with your fingertips. This ensures that your scalp absorbs all the goodness of the neem oil. Drape your hair with a tolerably hot towel and let it rest for 20 mins or so. Once you are done, you can notice a significant change and your hair will appear more glossy, healthy, frizz-free and manageable.
3. Neem oil treatment
Unlike years back, people don’t get enough time to apply oil before washing their hair. Moreover, hair gets rough and dull due to environmental irritants, and it becomes necessary to pamper it using an assortment of oils. Neem oil is one such ingredient that can be blended with carrier oils like jojoba, coconut and olive oil to improve your hair texture. You can also add a few drops of your ideal essential oil to get rid of the bitter smell of neem oil. Combine 2 to 5 ml of neem oil with 100 ml of other oil and massage gently on your hair and scalp. For an intense treatment, leave the oil overnight and wash your hair with shampoo the next morning.
4. Neem paste
Neem leaves are used to make dry neem powder that can be applied in multiple forms and act as a powerful antiseptic. But it is difficult to find pure neem powder and one of the best ways to get it is to prepare it at home by blending clean, dry neem leaves. Adding water to the dry powder will create a thick paste that can be applied on the scalp. This grainy paste not only helps to exfoliate, purify and nourish the scalp but also effectively heals scalp irritation and calms down your body. Thoroughly wash your hair with shampoo after 30 minutes.
5. Neem oil in Hair Mask
Neem oil can be added to any hair mask to improve its effectiveness as it has moisturising properties and can treat itchy scalp without any side effects. To prepare a hair mask, you will need 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (at room temperature), 1 tablespoon of honey, 3 tablespoons neem of oil and 3 tablespoons of amla oil. Mix all the ingredients well and apply it to dry hair using your fingertips. Make sure you cover every strand of hair, from roots to ends and knot it on top of your head. Cover with a towel or use a shower cap and leave it while you sleep. Rinse your hair with shampoo in the morning and repeat it once a week for best results.
6. Neem Oil for Dandruff Treatment
Neem oil is ideal for treating infections and battling against skin disorders and dandruff. Combining neem oil and lemon peel is an inexpensive way to prevent dandruff and head lice. Massage this mixture onto your scalp for 10-15 minutes, focussing on the roots. Let it rest for 30 minutes and rinse it well with a mild herbal shampoo. If you are sensitive to neem oil, use another carrier oil such as olive, coconut or jojoba oil.
7. Neem Oil for Natural Hair
Neem oil provides deep nourishment to your hair and is often used as a natural pre-shampoo treatment. Simply massage your scalp with a mixture of neem oil (1 or 2 drops) and coconut oil. Leave it overnight and shampoo your hair in the morning. Follow this recipe once or twice a week to obtain healthy and strong tresses. You can also mix neem oil and shea butter in order to get rid of dry, itchy scalp or add moisture to dry ends. The proportion used should be 1 teaspoon of neem oil and 3 tablespoons of shea butter. This combination will leave your hair feeling soft, smooth and shiny.
How to use Neem Leaves to make Neem oil for Hair?
- Fresh neem leaves- 4 to 5 tablespoons of the paste
- Coconut oil- half cup
- Step 1: Clean the fresh neem leaves by carefully washing them with water to remove any dirt.
- Step 2: Smoothly blend the leaves in a paste-like consistency. In case, the leaves are a bit dry, add a few drops of water before blending.
- Step 3: Heat the coconut oil in a double boiler, so that melts properly.
- Step 4: Add the paste to the melted oil and mix well. Continuously stir it for about 10-15 minutes.
- Step 5: The coconut oil will turn dark green which means the oil is ready. Drain the leaves from the oil.
- Step 6: Apply the oil only after it has cooled down and experienced the miraculous effects.
Preventive Tips while Using Neem Oil on Hair
- It is advised to store neem oil away from sunlight, in a cool and dark place as it easily solidifies even at room temperature. In such cases, put the bottle in warm water to liquefy.
- Never place the neem oil near boiling water as it may damage its effectiveness.
- It is recommended to mix a few drops of your favourite essential oil so that it can mask the strong scent of neem oil.
- Diluting neem oil with one of your favourite carrier oils (jojoba, coconut, almond, olive) is advised as neem oil should consist of about 2-5% in any mixture.
- Neem oil can trigger eye irritation. Hence, while applying on hair, proceed carefully and avoid contact with eyes.
- Perform a patch test before adding neem oil to your hair care routine and check if it sparks an allergic reaction. Sometimes, depending on the extraction procedure of neem oil, it might contain traces of other ingredients that your skin might be sensitive to. Discontinue usage if it irritates your scalp.
How to Choose Good Quality Neem Oil?
There are infinite benefits of neem oil for hair and, hence, it acts as an extraordinary and effective ingredient in the treatment of various ailments associated with your hair and scalp. Therefore, it is necessary that you select a good quality pure neem oil rather than blindly following brands that sell a cocktail of cheap oils with a little portion of actual neem oil. The best options for it to prepare it at home but one might not always have access to the ingredients. Pure neem oil is 100% natural and requires an extensive manufacturing process, making it expensive and value for money. Always read the ingredient list before purchasing any oil labelled as neem oil. The Neem Oil can be found on various online websites as well as local stores those retail skincare products. Another expert way to identify the excellence of neem oil is by checking for its pungent odour.
Also read: 20 Amazing Neem Powder Benefits.