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Black seed oil benefits: Everything you need to know

You’ve probably come across aromatic black cumin seeds sprinkled on top of your naan bread before.

But did you know the oil extracted from these seeds could also work wonders on your skin and hair?

Here we delve into black seed oil benefits to reveal why this under the radar ingredient could be a great natural addition to your beauty routine.

What is black seed oil?

Black seed oil comes from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.

This small flowering shrub produces fruits containing tiny black seeds that are widely used as a spice and a condiment.

However, the lightweight oil extracted from the seeds is also used in various natural treatments.

You can buy black seed oil and apply it to your hair and skin directly, or you can dilute it with a carrier oil.

Other common names for black seed oil:

  • Black caraway
  • Kalonji
  • Black cumin seed oil
  • Black onion seed 1

What is black seed oil good for?

Black seed oil contains numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some of these will sound familiar – for example, vitamins A (retinoids), B (niacinamide), and C (ascorbic acid). 2

But one of its unique active components is thymoquinone, a powerful natural soothing agent. 3

With such a rich variety of components, this oil offers a whole host of skin-friendly superpowers.

Given these impressive credentials, it’s no surprise that there are many reported skin-health benefits of black seed oil.

Advocates believe it helps with many different ailments, although there isn’t (yet) sufficient research to support all of the healing accolades, it’s definitely an oil with lots of promise.

Here we focus on two black seed oil benefits. Firstly, the revitalising effect it has on skin and secondly the benefits to hair.

Benefits of black seed oil for skin

There are a number of reasons why consistently applying the oil topically can help to leave skin looking fresh and revitalised. 4,5

Unclogging pores

The soothing properties of black seed oil can help to reduce clogged pores and control oil.

For this reason, some people suffering with breakouts use black seed oil for problem skin.

Revitalising effect

With vitamins A, B, and C aplenty, this oil helps the skin retain moisture.

This can support healthy elasticity and an abundance of fatty acids can also help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Evening out skin tone

Together vitamin A, amino acids, and fatty acids work together to regenerate skin cells.

Over time, this can reduce the prominence of any discolouration, encouraging a more even skin tone.

Reducing redness

Due to its soothing properties, black seed oil can reduce the appearance of spots and any redness. 6

Benefits of black seed oil for hair

If you’re looking for a natural plant oil to nourish your tresses, black seed oil is a great alternative.

While there aren’t many studies dedicated to the benefits of black seed oil for hair, there are plenty of anecdotal recommendations.

This oil has a loyal army of advocates praising its potential to help support a healthy scalp and add extra vitality to frazzled locks. 7,8,9

Supports hair growth

Black seed oil is packed with vitamins that can have benefits for hair regrowth.

Manages hair loss

A study in 2017 found that a hair treatment containing black seed oil resulted in a reduction in hair fallout of up to 76%. Using black seed oil for hair loss is common.

Soothes scalp dryness

Black seed oil can help soothe the scalp, flakiness, and sensitivity on the scalp.

Hydrates, conditions and prevents damage

By regulating oil production, it helps your hair stay moisturised and nourished. In addition, antioxidants in the oil neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals on your hair.

Summary: Black seed oil benefits

As well as providing a powerful hit of hydration, black seed oil has a number of soothing and antioxidant qualities that could offer a number of benefits to your skin and hair.

What’s the Deal with Black Seed Oil for Hair Growth? We Investigate

Essential oils. Face oils. Cleansing oils. There are a whole lot of oils in our beauty routine, but there’s one in particular that we were unfamiliar with until now (and had no idea how much we needed). Meet black seed oil for hair growth, the OG of scalp treatments.

Why should you use black seed oil in your hair?

Also referred to as black cumin or nigella sativa, black seed oil is thought to naturally restore hair growth in thinning areas thanks to its high concentration of thymoquinone, a powerful antihistamine. Yep, antihistamines are often prescribed to alopecia patients to help regrow hair, and get this, it’s actually an essential oil. That means it’s not thick like olive or coconut oil, and it has added therapeutic benefits. It also means that 100 percent pure, unrefined and cold-pressed black seed oil has to be diluted in another carrier oil (such as coconut or olive), because it’s too potent on its own. And when diluted, it can be used directly on the scalp to reduce inflammation, stimulate hair growth and reduce flakiness and sensitivity. However, even if you don’t have any scalp conditions, it helps to make hair healthy, soft, hydrated and shiny with consistent use.

How do you use black seed oil?

There are two types of DIY concoctions that can easily be made at home. Take the easy route with this one:

Ingredients:
1 tbsp black seed oil
1 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions:
Mix equal parts black seed oil and coconut oil in a bowl (you can sub in olive oil if you wish). Before showering, work the oil into your scalp in circular motions, concentrating on any thinning areas. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then wash your hair like you normally would. Your locks will be softer, shinier and hydrated instantly.

If you want to create the whole solution from scratch, follow this recipe instead:

Ingredients:
2 handfuls black cumin seeds
5 cups water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
Fill a pot with five cups of water and add two handfuls of black cumin seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil for ten minutes, then take it off the heat and let cool for five minutes. Strain the seeds from the mixture and pour one cup of the infused water into a jar (the remainder can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks). Add one tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and mix. Then pour it over your scalp, massaging it in to stimulate blood flow. Once working in, let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour before washing your hair. Repeat twice a week for optimal results.

Don’t want to go the DIY route? Here are five products that use black seed oil for hair growth and overall health.