Hair loss, dandruff, stray gray strands … many obstacles can come between you and a glossy mane. And if you’re tired of exploring harsh chemical treatments that eventually end up doing more harm than good, the exotic kalonji oil may just be what you need.
Kalonji, black seeds, or Nigella sativa seeds are triangular in shape and charcoal black in color. The oil extracted from these seeds is rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and C as well as magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium. It also contains essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and oleic acid that work a treat for your hair.1 2 Here’s how it could help your hair-care regimen.
1. Stimulates Hair Growth And Fights Hair Loss
Kalonji oil has traditionally been used to treat hair loss. And research now backs this up. One study found that when people with telogen effluvium (a condition which causes hair loss due to stress) were treated with a lotion containing kalonji oil for 3 months, their hair density and thickness increased. Additionally, inflammation associated with the condition decreased.3
Massage kalonji oil into the scalp and wash after half an hour to treat hair loss and boost hair growth. Do this 2–3 times a week. You can also combine it with coconut or olive oil for added effect.4
These benefits could be attributed to thymoquinone, a major constituent of kalonji oil which is believed to have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect.5 Other research shows that applying kalonji oil can provide significant protection against hair loss induced by chemotherapy.6
2. Controls Dandruff
The itchy scalp and flaking skin that dandruff brings along can be downright bothersome. Dandruff is considered to be a mild form of a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which causes scaly patches and red skin on the scalp. While we don’t know what exactly causes dandruff, it is linked to the growth of a fungus called malassezia.7 And here’s where kalonji oil can help. Studies have found that extracts from kalonji seeds have antifungal activity and work against malassezia.8 So apply this fungus-clearing oil on your scalp and say good-bye to dandruff!
3. Helps Prevent Premature Graying Of Hair
As we grow older, our hair loses pigment due to the loss of melanin and becomes gray. And while this is a normal part of aging, many of us go gray before our time. While it’s important to probe and find out the root cause for this (it could be stress or even a deficiency), kalonji oil may also be able to help. Traditionally, regularly massaging your scalp and hair with this beneficial oil has been recommended for preventing premature graying. Research today states that the linoleic acid in Kalonji seeds prevents premature graying.9 10
While there are no studies to back this up yet, kalonji oil may help treat vitiligo, another condition related to the loss of melanin. If you have vitiligo, your skin, rather than your hair, loses pigmentation and develops white spots and patches.11 Sometimes, vitiligo can itself be the reason behind premature graying.
4. Strengthens Hair From The Inside
As we had stated earlier, kalonji is a good source of 8 of the 9 essential amino acids as well as vitamins and vital minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium.12 Thanks to its nutrient content and antioxidant power, kalonji oil can help strengthen your hair from the inside. Take a teaspoon of the oil a day, as part of a balanced, nutritious diet, to fortify your body and keep your hair healthy.13
5. Conditions Hair
Kalonji oil, as mentioned before, is rich in fatty acids like linoleic acid and oleic acid. These fatty acids can lubricate and condition your hair strands and tame flyaways. Simply massage a few drops of kalonji oil into your hair strands after a wash. You can even mix some into a dollop of shampoo while cleansing your hair.14
|↑1||Bailey, Diane, and Diane Da Costa. Milady Standard Natural Hair Care & Braiding. Cengage Learning,2013.|
|↑2||Iyer, Raghavan. Six Hundred and Sixty Curries. Workman Publishing, 2008.|
|↑3, ↑5||Rossi, Alfredo, Lara Priolo, Alessandra Iorio, Enrica Vescarelli, Martina Gerardi, Daniele Campo, Donato Di Nunno et al. “Evaluation of a therapeutic alternative for telogen effluvium: a pilot Study.” Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications 3, no. 03 (2013): 9.|
|↑4||Luetjohann, Sylvia. Healing Power of Black Cumin. Lotus Press, 1998.|
|↑6||Saleem, Uzma, Shakila Sabir, and Bashir Ahmad. “Protective role of Nigella sativa in chemotherapy-induced alopecia.” Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology 12, no. 4 (2017): 455-462,|
|↑7||Seborrheic dermatitis. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑8||Mahmoud, Y., M. Metwally, H. Mubarak, and N. El-Zawawy. “Treatment of tinea versicolor caused by Malassezia furfur with dill seed extract: an experimental study.” Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2 (2015): 1-7.|
|↑9||Jaafar, Ruhana. “The effectiveness of coconut oil mixed with herbs to promote hair growth.”|
|↑10||Sharrif, M. “Nigella sativa Traditional Usages (BlackSeed).” Adv Environ Biol 5 (2011): 5-16.|
|↑11||Ghorbanibirgani, Alireza, Ali Khalili, and Darioush Rokhafrooz. “Comparing Nigella sativa oil and fish oil in the treatment of vitiligo.” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 16, no. 6 (2014).|
|↑12||Forouzanfar, Fatemeh, Bibi Sedigheh Fazly Bazzaz, and Hossein Hosseinzadeh. “Black cumin (Nigella sativa) and its constituent (thymoquinone): a review on antimicrobial effects.” Iranian journal of basic medical sciences 17, no. 12 (2014): 929.|
|↑13, ↑14||Schleicher, Peter, and Mohamed Saleh. Black cumin: the magical Egyptian herb for allergies, asthma, and immune disorders. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 2000.|