Grapeseed Oil For Hair? 7 Benefits From High Shine To Growth
We love a natural beauty oil around here at mbg. Why? They are simple, effective, and don't come loaded with any additives you may not want on your hair and scalp. And there are certainly plenty of favorites to choose from (jojoba, argan, or marula oils come to mind). And there's one we often see formulated into both skin and hair care products: grapeseed oil.
So what do you need to know about grapeseed oil before making a purchase? The botanical oil—derived from, well, the seeds of grapes—comes packed with fatty acids and the antioxidant polyphenol, which give it its impressive properties when used on hair. However, just be sure you're purchasing a cold-pressed, unrefined high-quality option (more on why later).
Here, we dive into the oil's benefits and what to know:
Acts as an antioxidant.
"Grapeseed oil is believed by some to be an ideal aid in maintaining internal health and an improved beauty regimen due to its status as an antioxidant," says Matrix artistic director and celebrity stylist Nick Stenson. Just like your skin and body need antioxidants, so do your hair and scalp. Antioxidants neutralize and stop free radical damage, therefore protecting hair from various concerns ranging from brittleness and breakage to hair loss and graying. Grapeseed oil, especially cold-pressed, unrefined options, are thought to have impressive antioxidant properties1, studies show.
Seals in moisture.
Oils, we know, are loved as conditioning agents. While they don't contain water themselves, they can trap in that precious moisture post-shower or hydrating serum or mist. (It's why oils are Step 2 of the LOC method, so they can lock in the liquid that comes before it.) "Grapeseed oil can be used to keep in moisture as well as add strength and shine to the hair," says Stenson. "If you're looking for simplistic natural options for hair care, this could be ideal for you."
Hairstylist, texture specialist, and artistic director for Matrix Michelle O'Connor agrees: "It also helps to lock in moisture, therefore preventing split ends and dryness."
Won't weigh strands down.
No matter whether you have bouncy curls or stick-straight hair, weight is a common concern for many when using oils. Sure, many with thicker, fuller strands gravitate toward a dense oil, but if your hair can become weighted down easier with a heavy product, you'll likely want something featherlight. "Grapeseed oil is odorless and lighter than olive oil and coconut oil, so it's ideal for fine hair as it won't leave the hair feeling greasy," notes O'Connor.
As for a temporary aesthetic benefit, grapeseed oil adds loads of shine. Oils coat the strand, and their reflective nature allows light to bounce off the hair, making strands appear more lustrous. Add a few drops as a last step before setting your style.
Loosens buildup and dandruff at the scalp.
"It's also used as an aid in helping to loosen and remove dandruff from the scalp," says Stenson. Dandruff, of course, is a tricky condition—and flakes can be triggered from a few reasons ranging from dry skin to fungal overgrowth. Oils help the former by conditioning the skin cells as well as loosening up any dead skin cell flakes already present.
However, it's not a surefire dandruff cure, we should note. "Although it's a natural remedy and offers some relief, some conditions will require a prescription-strength skin treatment. Grapeseed oil may be used to complement the treatment, and if it's merely dry or itchy scalp, it can be a perfect natural solution alone," says O'Connor.
Great for a scalp massage and hair growth.
When using any product on the scalp, it's very important that said product is easy to wash out and doesn't cause buildup. Not only is buildup annoying to style around, but it can clog the hair follicle, which hurts growth. "Grapeseed oil is easily absorbed, which makes a great scalp-massaging oil," says O'Connor.
Another bonus of scalp massage is that it promotes blood circulation to the area. This, studies have shown, can aid in hair growth in some2 (because the blood is carrying oxygen and nutrients to the area, which are then used to make healthy hair cells).
Great for textured hair.
Perhaps for its role as an antioxidant protector or for its role as a superpowered conditioner (hint: it's probably a mix of all the things we've mentioned here), this is a popular oil for those with textured hair. "This oil is favored by many in the natural hair community," says O'Connor. As kinks, curls, and coils tend to be more delicate and breakage-prone, finding an oil that helps strands grow strong (without pulling down curls) is vital.
What else should you know before making a purchase?
Unless you have an allergy, this is a well-tolerated oil for most hair and scalp types. And because it's a lighter, fast-absorbing oil, you run less risk of causing buildup and clogged pores at the scalp—an issue that can lead to acne or even hair loss.
The only thing to keep in mind is the quality of the oil you are buying. "If you want to try grapeseed oil, just be sure that you're purchasing an expeller of unrefined, cold-pressed oil as others are produced using chemical solvents," Stenson says.
When oils are produced using chemical solvents, they lose all the things we love about the oil. As family physician and New York Times bestselling author Cate Shanahan, M.D., previously explained to mbg, they are stripped of their antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. What's the point of using the oil if you can't reap any of the benefits, no?
There are plenty of hair-healthy reasons to use grapeseed oil for your strands—from helping keep in moisture to being a scalp-friendly option. Just be mindful to purchase a cold-pressed, unrefined oil, as otherwise it's stripped of all its fatty acid and antioxidant properties.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.