Carrots! These orange-hued, succulent roots are the storehouse of beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is converted to retinol or Vitamin A, the active form of the vitamin which is utilized by the body for performing various functions. Vitamins A and E are the main nutrients supplied by carrots which have shown a significant rate of hair growth in research studies.
Carrot oil for hair is commercially prepared and available by infusing carrots in a carrier oil and then heating and filtering them. They can be used directly on the skin and scalp. They have been extensively used in cosmetic products for their known benefits in improving hair and skin health. They are also used in many countries such as Africa, West Asia and Europe as a food product along with consuming meals.
Benefits of Carrot Oil
Carrot oil for hair loss has shown a lot of beneficial results with its use for improving hair health. Following are the main ones :
Faster Hair Growth
Carrot oil makes the hair follicles stronger by improving the blood circulation to the scalp and making more nutrients available for hair growth.
Protection Against Photodamage From UV Rays
Vitamins A and E in carrot oil are potent antioxidants which protect the hair cells and shafts against damage through sun exposure.
Prevents Hair loss
Carrot oil for hair loss strengthens the hair roots at the scalp thus reducing the extent of hair shedding.
Protection against scalp infections
Carrot oil is a good antibacterial and antimicrobial agent and it can protect the scalp from infections by dandruff causing fungi and other pathogens.
Prevents The Occurrence Of Split Ends And Hair Breakage
With its regenerative properties, carrot oil strengthens the hair fibres and seals the hair cuticle preventing split ends and hair breakage.
Procedure For Preparing Carrot Oil
The procedure for preparing carrot oil for hair at the household level is very simple. It requires just 2 ingredients i.e. carrots and carrier oil of choice. There are 2 ways of preparing carrot oil: it can be through the cold pressed method and the other is by heating the carrots with the carrier oils for faster infusion.
The cold pressed method helps to retain the maximum nutrients from the carrot & the oils since there is no heat treatment involved whereas the other method has infusion through heat treatment, where some heat-labile nutrients may be lost due to the heat processing.
For Making Carrot Oil Through The Cold Pressed Method:
Step 1: Use 2 medium-sized carrots and 540 ml of carrier oil. Carrier oils such as olive, sesame, coconut, jojoba, avocado, and almond oils can be used. Wash and peel the carrots.
Step 2: Grate the carrots through a grater and add them to a jar. Add the carrier oil and they should be just enough to cover the grated carrots completely. Cover the lid of the jar and store it in a cool and dark place for 1-2 weeks for proper infusion of carrots’ nutrients into the carrier oil.
Step 3: Every 2 days mix the jar well for better infusion. The carrots shall fade in colour as days pass and the oil shall turn yellow/orange in colour. After 2 weeks, pass the oil through a cheesecloth or fine strainer and collect the carrot-infused oil in a glass jar with tight lid. Store this glass jar in refrigerator which shall last for 6-8 months and use twice a week.
Alternatively, the carrot oil can be prepared by infusing the carrier oil with grated carrots through heat treatment where a sturdy pan containing the grated carrots and carrier oil can be used. It can be placed within the vat of boiling water and the water can be set to a simmering temperature for ½ hour and then removed from the heat source and set aside for 24 hrs to ensure better infusion.
Ways of Using Carrot Oil
Carrot oil can be used as a massage oil along with carrier oil. Take 2 tbsps of any carrier oil and add 3-5 drops of carrot essence oil (found in market) to it. And how to apply carrot oil on hair? Warm the oil and gently massage it on the scalp for few minutes. You can also use 2 tbsps of homemade carrot oil made with a carrier oil. Wash the hair after 30 minutes of applying the oil. This oil can be used for hair massage twice a week for best hair growth results.
This hair rinse made of carrot oil can be used after shampooing. Take 2 cups of water, add 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and then add 3-4 drops of carrot oil. Massage hair with this rinse, keep for 5 minutes and then wash off with cool water. Use a conditioner after the wash as is done usually.
Hair masks are hydrating and they help the hair against sun damage and their protective properties help to retain the moisture of the hair strands. Take ½ an avocado and mash it well. Add 10 drops of carrot oil and 1 tsp of honey to it. Mix them well and apply it well all over the scalp while massaging well. Leave the mask on the hair for 30 minutes then rinse it off well.
Hair Creams and Gels
A few drops of carrot oil can be mixed with hair creams and gels for boosting hair growth.
Caution to be Maintained While Using Carrot Oil
It's necessary to check for skin allergy or sensitivity before beginning to use carrot oil. A small portion can be applied to the skin and checked for allergy. Carrot oil can cause discolouring of light tinted hair (such as blonde or silver hair, but not for dark pigmented hair), also it can turn the scalp orange-hued on continued usage. Hence, it's necessary to dilute the oil with other carrier oils while using and daily usage need to be avoided.
Consuming large amounts of carrot oil poses a risk of nausea, vomiting and stomach ailments. Hence, pregnant and nursing women should never consume carrot oil. Even those with asthma and epilepsy should avoid taking carrot oil orally.
Carrot oil being rich in antioxidants and a strong hair growth enhancer can be made a part of a healthy haircare routine. But due caution need to be exercised for its usage to avoid adverse skin reactions.