Oils are often a key component in a hair care regimen. Olive oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, argan oil–the list goes on and on. Every time you turn around, a new oil is being introduced that is said to do amazing things for our hair. Neem oil, however, has been used for centuries in ancient Ayurvedic medicine and the Indian culture. Its supporters claim it has many healing properties, and will improve the health of your skin and hair. But before you head to eBay or your local Indian market, here is a little more information about neem oil, its benefits, and some precautions to keep in mind. Neem oil comes from the fruit and seeds of the neem tree. In India, neem oil is used in cosmetic products like soaps and lotions. In Ayurvedic and traditional medicine, it is used to treat ailments like acne and eczema, and as an antiseptic and pesticide. Common ways to use neem oil in your hair care routine are adding it to your shampoo, adding it to another carrier oil like jojoba oil or olive oil, or using it alone as a hot oil treatment for the hair and scalp. Because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, neem oil can improve the condition of the scalp. It is said to clear up itchy scalp, dandruff, and scalp psoriasis. As a result of effectively treating those scalp conditions, users may experience improvement in the condition of their hair and stimulation of healthy hair growth. Neem oil also has a high content of fatty acids, which contributes to its ability to condition the scalp and hair. It can be used to get rid of head lice as well, just in case you ever have that problem. On the negative side, pregnant women, women trying to conceive, and children should avoid using neem oil. Studies have shown that neem oil may cause infertility and miscarriages, as well as liver damage in children. Only use neem oil externally. While this may seem superficial, the odor is a downside as well. I suggest diluting it with another carrier oil, since the odor can be overwhelming. In my personal experience, it was not effective in any way, shape, or form against my severe scalp eczema/psoriasis. I purchased neem oil from my local Indian grocery store. It was $4.99 for a 6oz bottle. It was one of THE worst smelling things I’ve EVER smelled–I’m just being honest. For me, the smell was very overwhelming and as someone who is sensitive to scents, it gave me a headache. I used the oil as a hot oil treatment once a week and I also added it to my shampoo in an effort to treat my scalp eczema for about 4 weeks. I saw no noticeable difference, so I stopped using it.
Would you consider adding neem oil to your hair care regimen?