Hemp oil can be used to beautify your hair from within, as well as from without. The oil is rich in essential fatty acids, along with vitamins and protein. Hemp oil is good for people with all hair and skin types, though its nutty scent can take some getting used to, authors Lauren Cox and Janice Cox advise in their book "Ecobeauty." While some folks confuse it with marijuana, hemp oil is legal and does not contain the compound THC that gives people a "high." Though the plants are both classified Cannabis sativa L., they are scientifically different. Industrial hemp is cultivated for its oil, fiber and seed content, whereas marijuana is grown for its THC content. You can purchase hemp oil at health food stores and online.
Use hemp oil to condition your hair and your scalp, recommend the Coxes. Hemp oil has vitamin E, along with a high essential fatty acid content, naturopathic author Linda Page notes in her book, "Linda Page's Healthy Healing." Fatty acids provide emollient action, meaning they prevent water loss and have a softening effect, says Paula Begoun, author of "The Original Beauty Bible." The oil is also a natural moisturizer that boosts scalp health, shoring up the intercellular matrix, which protects against moisture loss, according to Begoun. Keeping the scalp healthy can help prevent dry scalp and minimize irritation. Hemp oil is especially good to use in the winter, when the outdoor air is cold and indoor heating systems are cranked up, say the Coxes, because both of these factors dry out your hair and skin.
Hemp oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids and omega-9 fatty acids, Page writes in "Cooking for Healthy Healing." Consuming such polyunsaturated fatty acids stimulates hair and skin growth, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. Hemp oil also has gamma linolenic acid, which is good for combating hair dryness, Page notes. Hemp oil can be used as you would use olive oil or flaxseed oil in dips and salad dressings.
The quality protein in hemp oil improves the feel and appearance of your hair. Your hair is 97 percent protein, Page says. Hemp oil is 25 percent protein. Protein improves the condition of your hair, especially when it has been damaged. In addition to strengthening the hair, protein has emollient and water-binding properties that boost hair health, says Begoun.