People hail avocado as a superfood, and it is no surprise why. Like olive oil, avocado oil has many incredible benefits just when used for cooking. And now, for good reason, we're also seeing people increasingly use it for hair care and skin care (hence the rising popularity of the avocado hair mask).
Avocados contain a unique line up of nutrients with numerous ways to tap into their benefits. To hone in on the benefits specific to hair, we need to become familiar with these nutrients and their effects. That will grant us the keys to understanding the unique way avocado butter protects hair.
What's Inside Avocados?
Avocado oil is filled with all kinds of anti-inflammatory nutrients. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fats, and antioxidants. All of these compounds work together to boost your health and strengthen your hair.
What is a Carotenoid? Why is it Important?
Carotenoids are the brightly colored pigments found in fruits and vegetables. They are often bright reds, yellows, and oranges. Carotenoids are important to consume because they are fat-soluble and act as antioxidants in the body.
Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein are carotenoids in avocado that each help with reducing cell damage. They fight cancer and combat cardiovascular diseases. The problem is we don't absorb these antioxidants as well as we should be.
Research shows that even a little bit of avocado oil helps your body absorb up to 15x more carotenoids! Most foods high in carotenoids are low in fat, but that is not true of avocados. They are one of the highest fat-content fruits in the world, making them uniquely effective help against cancer and aging.
Carotenoids protect against UV damage in the skin (such as aging or wrinkles), and it is the oil that makes these antioxidants more bioavailable. Practically, it means the fat content in avocado is the real key to many of the protective benefits we want for health and our hair.
How the Fat Boosts your Health
Avocado oil is a great source of monounsaturated fat. The type of monounsaturated fat in avocado oil is called oleic acid. Many studies show oleic acid can reduce inflammation and help fight cancer. These same fatty acids also protect hair and skin, feeding them extra moisture and great nutrients.
Inside the fat of an avocado is a high concentration of vitamin E. The polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols in vitamin E reduce skin damage, lessen wrinkles, and also tighten skin. That means though we primarily eat avocados to reap their protective benefits, another way to get them is through topical application.
The oil by itself has great moisturizing properties, penetrating the hair shaft to moisturize, which is a saving grace for those of us with frizzy hair and dandruff. It's not a common allergen and is increasingly used in many beauty products. Avocado oil can even be applied to ease the irritation of bug bites!
It is the vitamin E delivered by avocado oil that is responsible for soothing and reducing scalp damage. Vitamin B works in tandem by promoting hair growth. Together the vitamins and fatty acids restore your hair and protect it, halt hair loss and breakage, add hydration, and turn thinning into thickening.
Real Causes of Hair Loss
Stress more often leads to hair loss than we realize. But stress doesn't always come to us emotionally. Other stressors are culprits to hair loss, dry scalps, and split ends.
Most of us are familiar with mental and emotional stress. But physical stressors also have a dramatic impact on our bodies.
Physical stressors might look different than we think. In terms of hair, think chemicals. Unchecked hair products contain harmful toxins, drying out our scalp, and damaging hair over time.
Identifying Physical Stressors Leading to Hair Loss
Aerosol sprays are one of the main culprits of damaged hair. They can dry out your hair in as little as ten seconds if any heat is applied. That reduction in moisture can lead to damaged hair follicles.
Since aerosol sprays are often repeatedly used, this causes long term damage and eventually can lead to hair loss. Years of spraying chemicals onto our scalps at the very least contribute to dry, itchy skin. It might not be the only cause, but these chemicals are a physical stressor that upsets the balance of our scalp and hair health.
Too many hair care products (shampoos and conditioners) contain harmful chemicals. Toxins such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
Sulfates are responsible for dry skin, irritations, and even allergies. They cause a host of inflammatory responses (itchiness, eczema, etc.) and strip the natural oils your body produces to protect you. That's why it's important to double-check for ingredients that could be harmful to you. Otherwise, more severe diseases could develop with time.
But there is hope, even after years of frequent use!
Avoiding those toxins and replacing them with natural ingredients can help repair the damage done. Rather than stripping the hair with chemicals, the hair and scalp should be fed good nutrients and restored from their dried-out state.
Avocado butter (basically a concentrated avocado oil) is a nourishing ingredient that helps the body repair itself. Its unique set of nutrients helps hydrate and retain the moisture your hair and scalp should have, promote hair growth, and strengthen your hair. They benefit us both in consumption and topical application.
The mechanisms of those nutrients also give us insight into soothing and overcoming other sources of stress.
Hair Loss from Mental and Emotional Stress
Although nutrients are physical objects, they are tied to our mental and emotional states. Without proper nutrient intake, our mood is offset. Our emotions range in different ways than they're supposed to.
When there is a nutrient deficiency, there is often a hormone imbalance. When the body lacks certain nutrients, it can't make the hormones and neurotransmitters it wants to.
And external sources of mental and emotional stress only make things worse.
Without the neurotransmitters we typically produce in a positive state, our mood deflates and can even become bitter or depressive. Our emotions then associate with a replacement hormone. Which hormone replaces them? Cortisol.
Without the proper nutrients (and enough of them), and the proper mindset, the stress hormone (cortisol) overtakes our brains. When that happens, our sleep is affected for the worse. Without good quality sleep, we don't recover as well. It is a downward spiral.
Without good quality sleep and recovery, our bodies stay in a stressed state. It isn't long before that wears out your brain and body.
It contributes to a host of inflammatory responses (hair loss is one of them).
Restoring Healthy Hair and Boosting Overall Wellness
While there are other environmental contributors to mental and emotional stress, having a well-rounded intake of powerful nutrients can help combat stress in your life. We believe that along with meditation, prayer, and focusing on gratitude, food should certainly be considered.
Avocado oil is potent with many of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty alcohols that most people don't consume enough of for a balanced intake of nutrients.
Simply consuming avocado oil can help restore the internal balance of hormones and help reduce inflammation and stress. But applying avocado butter as a hair conditioner is another great way to boost our wellness, especially hair and skin. It aids our hair and scalp health by...
- reducing inflammation (through oleic acid)
- protect against UV damage (the antioxidants make it like sunscreen for hair)
- boost hair growth (due to vitamin B)
- moisturizing dry hair and soothing damage to the scalp (thank vitamin E's emollient properties)
- fighting frizz and restoring brittle hair (which also helps with styling)
Sure, many of us can pop over to the store (or even have our groceries delivered) to start consuming good quality avocado oil tonight. But since avocado butter also protects hair when used topically, we should get that too. Yet cleanly sourced avocado butter products for hair care are harder to find. We wanted to make finding them easy on everyone.
We source clean avocado butter for our products. In our Nourishing Conditioner for All Hair Types and our Enriching Conditioner for Wavy, Curly Hair, we skip the toxins, using avocado butter and other natural ingredients to revitalize hair and scalp health. Clean natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, argan, and avocado are the real expert moisturizers. Not only are they far more effective than chemical alternatives, they are actually good for your body and safe for our kids. Natural hair needs natural care products.
Eliminate the chemicals causing an imbalance in your body and ruining your hair. Instead, nourish your mane with natural ingredients, all while making your home a cleaner, healthier place with our hair care products at your side.
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1. Wells, Katie. (2012, May 14). The Importance of Balancing Stress Hormones. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/4925/balancing-stress-hormones/
2. Wells, Katie. (2020, January 24). Health Benefits of Avocado Oil: Is It Healthier Than Coconut Oil? Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/123677/avocado-oil/