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Baobab Oil For Hair: Why This Dermatologist Recommends It For All Hair Types

Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
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As far as natural beauty goes, finding your favorite oil is like finding the one—a good natural, multitasking oil that works for your unique needs? A true treasure. Now, everyone has their own preferences (I adore jojoba and squalane, personally), but when an expert shares their go-to recommendation, I am certainly tuned in. 

And recently, I was chatting with board-certified dermatologist Raechele Cochran Gathers, M.D., on an episode of Clean Beauty School, about hair loss and scalp health. In it, we discussed how exactly she advises people to care for their hair and scalp to avoid excess shedding or damage—and she even shared her favorite oil, too. 

Why this hair care expert loves baobab oil. 

Baobab oil comes from the fruit of the baobab tree, an enormous tree that grows in parts of Africa. The fruit itself contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants out there—making it something of a super, superfruit. Extracts from the tree have been used for its medicinal and beautifying properties for centuries—it's even been dubbed "the treat of life" and "the pharmacy tree" thanks to all that it is used for. 

"I love botanicals and oils that are anti-inflammatory and can reduce oxidative stress," says Cochran Gathers. "And baobab oil has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties."

So let's quickly break down the nutrient profile, yes? Baobab is high in vitamins E, C, and B and several fatty acids including linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. Vitamin E provides a host of hair-healthy benefits, including improving hair shaft health, balancing your scalp's natural sebum production, and (most notably for hair growth), stimulating your scalp circulation. The fatty acids provide ample hydration and conditioning. And the additional vitamins help protect it from free radicals and stress, both of which can lead to hair aging, graying, and loss

"It's really important that we look at the ingredients in our products—and that we are looking for things that will nurture the scalp," she says. "That's not to say that you can't use a hair gel or you can't use a hair spray, but at the same time also make sure that you're doing things that are nurturing or nourishing for your scalp too." Couldn't agree more. 

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The takeaway.

If you are looking for your most trusted oil—and can't seem to find one that suits your needs—take this option from Cochran Gathers. Or don't take her word for it; take the long-standing history of use! Regardless, consider it a glowing recommendation. 

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