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

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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:

1 tbsp black seed oil
1 tbsp coconut oil

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:

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

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.

10 Clean Beauty Products on Our Fall Wish List

chi black seed dry oil

1. Chi Luxury Black Seed Dry Oil

CHI has an entire line dedicated to black seed oil, but this dry oil is one of our favorites. When used as a finisher, it helps to tame frizz in mere seconds, while leaving an insane shine behind. Beyond aesthetics, it also helps to remove impurities, protect against environmental aggressors and strengthen the hair cuticle over time.


2. Dabur Vatika Naturals Black Seed Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

When you need to bring in the big guns, opt for this nourishing hair mask. Made with black seed oil, it contains fatty acids to restore shine and softness while promoting hair growth at the root.

revlon hair mask

3. Revlon Realistic Black Seed Oil Strengthening Butter Créme Leave-in Conditioner

No time to work a DIY treatment into your scalp before your shower? Just slather on this leave-in conditioner when you get out to reap all of the shiny, hydrating benefits in a fraction of the time.

Buy It ($15)

onion black seed hair oil

4. Wow Onion Black Seed Hair Oil

Don’t let the name scare you—this product smells nothing like onions (we wouldn’t do that to you). It goes on without a greasy feeling and absorbs quickly thanks to a blend of almond, castor, jojoba, olive and coconut oils that battle hair issues like excessive fallout, thinning, dryness and dandruff.

chi luxury hair hot oil treatment

5. Chi Luxury Black Seed Intense Repair Hot Oil Treatment

Yet another favorite CHI product, this highly concentrated hot oil treatment reverses the signs of damage and strengthens the hair cuticle, thus helping it grow long and strong. One Amazon reviewer raved, “[It] makes my dry, color-treated, over processed hair feel like silk. It's AMAZING.”

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Brianna Lapolla


Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...
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