With Argan Oil marketed as the hero ingredient in so many skin and hair care products now available, it’s easy to overlook some of the alternatives that too can leave you with luscious locks. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Baobab Seed Oil – a similar ingredient, but one which comes without the heaviness associated with argan.
THE ORIGIN OF BAOBAB SEED OIL
The Baobab tree, which is better known as The Tree of Life, is found in southern and eastern Africa, and Madagascar, and is the world’s largest and longest-living tree (the oldest being 2500 years old). An iconic shape, the Baobab tree is easily recognisable as it appears to be upside-down with entangled branches 30 metres up looking very much like the roots of a plant. The giant tree itself, its leaves, fruit and seeds all serve many purposes – from significant carbon capture (absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus helping to prevent climate change) to storing thousands of litres of water to providing food, shelter and traditional medicine.
Fruit, which hangs from the tree, is covered in a hard, woody shell with velvety hairs. Inside, it contains a dry, powdery pulp embedded by the numerous seeds – it is from the kernels of the seeds that our hero Baobab Seed Oil is obtained. The seeds are separated from the pulp and the oil is extracted by being cold-pressed. After this process has taken place, the Baobab Seed Oil is completely naturally raw, with a dense and rich consistency. Its tone ranges from pale yellow to gold in colour and has a slightly earthy, nutty aroma.
THE BENEFITS OF BAOBAB SEED OIL IN HAIR CARE
Used in our own Scalp Oil, Baobab Seed Oil absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue, intensively nourishes and penetrates the scalp and hair at the roots, all while improving the function of the skin barrier and contributing an abundance of vitamins – A, C, D, E and F which…
- stimulate collagen production, improve skin elasticity on the scalp and help the body to build keratin (the protein our hair follicles are made up of), subsequently strengthening hair, conditioning strands and reducing breakage.
- aid the secretion of sebum (the body’s natural oil) from the sebaceous glands, keeping the scalp moisturised and hair healthy, soft and glossy.
- promote cell turnover – exfoliating and removing dead skin cells from the epidermis, healing any inflammation or scarring to the scalp and stimulating new hair growth.
- rejuvenate skin cells by replacing any lost moisture and locking it in.
- help to increase blood flow and oxygen supply, encouraging hair growth by reducing oxidative stress in the scalp.
Baobab Seed Oil also offers a good balance of Linoleic Acid (Omega 3) and Linolenic Acid (Omega 6) and Oleic Acid (Omega 9). A good balance means better absorption and a reduced likelihood of Oleic Acid being comedogenic (blocking pores).
- Linoleic Acid is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent which helps skin cell regeneration and skin repair. It soothes skin and is used for treatment of scalp conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also a water-retention agent that seals in the moisture in hair follicles.
- Oleic Acid balances sebum production when necessary (preventing oily hair and build-up in the scalp), helps repair damaged cells, promotes the production of antioxidants and has been shown to improve some skin conditions.
- Both help protect the scalp and hair from environmental damage such as pollution and UV rays.
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HAVE YOU HEARD OF OR TRIED BAOBAB SEED OIL?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!
This post is part of our ‘Hero Oils’ series, with more coming soon; including Fenugreek Oil, Rosemary Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Lemon Seed Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Wild Carrot Seed Oil and Black Seed Oil.