Vegetable oils, what Nature gives us
Written by Arthur Kerr
In my first article I wrote about the Evolution of beard, but for some time, something has grind my gears: why is oil so beneficial for our hair? To answer this, I have done some investigation, and found out that the reason can be explained with chemistry, and as a chemical engineer student, it caught my attention.
The secret of oil lies in the Omega 3, it’s essential fatty acids are vital for almost every cell in our body and it’s advantages extend to brain, bone, heart, hair and skin health. These acids are:
– Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) which is the primary fatty acid in omega-3.
– Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
– Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
These two last ones are converted from ALA, but the problem is that our body cannot easily convert them itself, so we need them in our diet. The Omega 3 helps to reduce symptoms of rosacea, skin dryness, itchy scalp, which is the first step to hair health improvement. These acids lubricate the scalp and prevent the hair from dryness that leads to brittle hair and wrinkles.
So where can we find them? I’m sorry but the answer is not meat, but in fish instead. Basically any salmon, bluefish, tuna, lobster, oyster, and many others.
Yet another good source, the vegetables. The best ones are seed oils, flaxseeds, nuts, walnuts, argania, sweet almonds (which contains omega 6 instead), jojoba (which contains EPA and DHA), coconut, and above all, olives. Furthermore, these vegetables are also a great source of vitamin E, which has a leading role in hair growth.
The last seeds are familiar to you right? Mainly because they are used in beard oils. It would be much better to use fish oils, but it doesn’t smell so good, and seagulls would follow us everywhere around.
Since I bought my first beard oil, I have read that those seeds oils are beneficial for our beard. But the truth is that I didn’t know exactly the reason why, so I have done some research that is now going to be explained.
Argan oil: it comes from the the kernel of the tree Argania Spinosa L. which grows in Morocco. There are many methods to extract the oil, and as always, the best one is the traditional. The argan oil contains more fatty acids: oleic, linoleic, and palmitic. This oil is becoming more popular amongst the cosmetics, and its benefits for hair are: moisturizing, nourishing, fortify, enlighten, and also, in my opinion, it smells very good.
Sweet almond oil: almond is actually a drupe, not a nut. It is native to the Mediterranean, and Middle East, but nowadays USA is the largest producer. The most important properties for hair are anti dandruff, and emollient. But it’s benefits go even further: analgesic, immune booster, anti oxidant and healing.
Jojoba oil: is the liquid produced in the seed of the jojoba, which grows in Arizona, California and Mexico. For me this one is the best, it’s structure is so similar to the human skin oil that it tricks our cells and thus balance oil production, and our skin can absorb it perfectly. Furthermore, this oil is edible but non-caloric and non-digestible, which means it goes untouched through our body.
It provides all day moisturization because it doesn’t evaporate. So it’s the perfect one for the beard, lasting longer than any other oil. At its best, it also makes our skin shinier, and gives the hair a gentle touch.
Coconut oil: edible oil extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts harvested form the coconut palm. It contains saturated fatty acids, 52% is lauric acid, but it also has palmitic and oleic. It shouldn’t be used to much for consumption, it’s saturated fatty acids can rise our levels of cholesterol. But for the hair and skin it’s different! It is skin moisturizer, it prevents dry skin, and reduces protein loss. It acts as a conditioner as well as a toning and minimizes the split ends.
Surprisingly it prevents baldness and grey hair, great for the veteran beards among us!
Olive oil: extracted from the olives grown in Spain, the main distributor of this magnificent oil. It may be the best oil for culinary aspects, and in my opinion it is. Though it is not widely known that it has infinite benefits for hair also. This may come because we see it in the kitchen, and therefore rather not use it in the shower. For those who don’t know, it prevents DTH hormones production, promote scalp health, fights off fungi and bacteria, it’s a natural conditioner, and improves blood circulation. The reason it is not used outside of Spain may be its price. I have seen it in foreign countries, and it is quite expensive, so for those of you who are able to get it: take advantage of it!
In conclusion, vegetable oils are the best ones for our skin care, but we must know which one is the appropriate for our hair. Mixed with aromatic oils, makes an incredible combination, and if you use beard oils, you know the feeling! If we want our beard to look awesome, feel awesome, be awesome, we should definitely use beard oils, even home made ones. When talking about health care, the answer is always the same: take advantage of the products nature gives us!
Written by Arthur Kerr