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The Benefits of Jojoba Oil for Curly Hair: How To Use It

African American female with dry hair created a curly pineapple updo with a carrier oil and vitamin E cream.

The jojoba plant is a shrub native to Southern California, Southern Arizona, and Northwestern Mexico.

The liquid extracted from the jojoba plant (specifically its Simmondsia Chinensis Seed) is the raw material used in the production of jojoba oil.

The oil accounts for 50% of the jojoba seed in terms of weight.

References such as jojoba wax and oil are regularly interchanged since the wax has an oily visual appearance. It also has a long shelf life due to the fact that it can resist high temperatures, unlike many other vegetable oils.

Jojoba oil is commonly used as a hair conditioner and scalp treatment because it closely resembles sebum, the natural oils produced by our scalps.

The History of Jojoba Usage

Jojoba (pronounced hoh-hoh-buh) is commonly referred to as goat-nut (goht-nuht). For years, jojoba has been used for its unique healing properties. Native Americans have long used the oil from jojoba seeds to treat sores and wounds.

In the early 1970s, interest in the jojoba plant began to grow, leading to the domestication of this valuable plant. In 1943, jojoba oil was used during World War II as an additive in motor oil, differential gear oil, and transmission oil.

The oil was also used to lubricate machine guns and other weapons. Today, jojoba oil is commonly used in hair care products.

The oil helps to fortify and protect hair, making it a popular choice for those with dry or damaged hair. When used regularly, a few drops of jojoba oil can help relieve an itchy scalp, stimulate hair growth with scalp massages and much more.

Black girl with 3B curls styled with leave-in conditioner and wax ester to stimulate hair growth.

The Appearance of Jojoba Oil

Unrefined jojoba oil in liquid form has a clear golden appearance at room temperature with a hint of nutty odor. In the case of refined jojoba oil, it has no color or odor.

Unlike many other vegetable oils, like grape oil or coconut oil, jojoba oil has a longer shelf life since it contains fewer triglycerides.

It also has an oxidative stability index of 60, which makes it more shelf-stable than canola oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, or squalene oil.

The fatty acids of jojoba oil tend to vary substantially based on the soil and climatic conditions in which the plant is grown.

Other factors like harvesting and processing methods can also have an effect on its fatty acid composition.

A lady with light brown skin and curly hair styled with jojoba hair oil as a natural moisturizer to combat an itchy scalp.

Should You Use Jojoba Oil for Hair Care?

Jojoba oil is used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives like cetyl alcohol.

A ban placed on the importation of whale oil to the United States in 1971, played an essential role in the discovery of jojoba oil. It was found to be effective in the cosmetic industry and other relevant industries.

Many cosmetic products marked as being all-natural tend to contain jojoba oil. Items such as lotions, moisturizers, conditioners, and shampoos are a few examples.

In its pure form, jojoba oil can be applied on hair, skin, or cuticles. It is also a fungicide that can be used for controlling mildew.

Just like olestra oil, which is a synthetic cooking oil used as a non-calorie fat substitute in different foods, jojoba oil is fit for human consumption, but it is non-digestible.

This means that it will pass out of the intestines in its original form. This can lead to a stool condition referred to as steatorrhea. It also has erucic acid, which can have an effect on the heart if taken in high doses.

African American girl wearing casual clothes with natural curls treated with essential oil.

Can Jojoba Oil Be Used as a Moisturizer?

It’s important to understand that certain hair oils will allow you to seal moisture into the hair shaft.

When the hair shaft is coated with a film of oil or if there is a hair oil that has penetrated the hair shaft, the release of water from the hair shaft is slowed compared to hair shafts that aren’t treated with oil.

As you might imagine, water will ultimately evaporate, and the speed at which the water evaporates will depend on several things.

Key factors include the amount of water that needs to evaporate, the ambient temperature, and the humidity where you live.

There is some recent research on skin hydration that concludes that moisture has the potential to be retained for up to 24 hours at room temperature with jojoba oil and glycerin oil.

So, if you’re struggling to retain moisture, this is an important study.

Also, glycerin attracts water, but it should be noted that your skin and hair will attract a certain degree of water depending on their condition.

That said, for ladies looking to better retain hair moisture, combining glycerin and jojoba oil would be an interesting natural hair recipe.

This would create a recipe that is designed to attract water with glycerin and seal it with jojoba oil.

Black lady researching the anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties of applying jojoba oil to your hair.

Should I Avoid Sealing in Moisture If I Plan to Stretch My Hair and Reduce Shrinkage?

Yes, this is also why when you flat iron your hair or blow dry your hair, it “reverts back” after getting wet. Of course, this assumes that you didn’t experience heat damage.

Although, if your goal is to grow longer hair, moisture is very important. Moisture will mitigate breakage by encouraging your hair to be more pliable.

Also, if you’re experiencing shrinkage, there are a number of hairstyles that are “shrinkage proof”. Two of our favorites are bantu knots and braids (box braids, crochet braids, and goddess braids).

How Hair Gurus Use Jojoba Oil for Hair Maintenance

Jojoba does not penetrate the hair strand. This means it doesn’t moisturize like coconut oil, but rather stays on the outside of the cuticle, making it a good sealant.

So, many natural hair gurus use the oil to seal in moisture during their natural hair regimen.

Black lady with natural curls that keeps her hair soft with massaging her scalp with natural sebum.

Our Favorite Jojoba Brands

Products that contain jojoba oil tend to give the hair and skin a softer feeling (source). This is because its formula makeup mimics human sebum, which is a complex mixture of lipids.

This can be attributed to the fact that it is actually a liquid wax. For those who are still using creamy crack, adding jojoba oil to a hair relaxer can help to mitigate hair breakage.

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African American woman researching whether jojoba oil works for fine or thin hair for 3C curls.

Can Men Use Jojoba Oil for Facial Hair Growth?

Yes, men can use jojoba oil for facial hair growth and as a “go-to” beard oil. You can use the oil in its pure form or blend it with other natural oils to make a custom mix.

You can mix just a few drops of jojoba oil with coconut and olive oil (for example), however, you can use many other oils too.

As any beard enthusiast knows, beard oil is an essential product for keeping facial hair healthy and soft. Commerical beard oil is often made from a variety of natural oils, such as jojoba oil, which help to moisturize and condition the hair.

In addition, beard oil can also help to prevent flaky skin and itchiness around the beard area. As a result, using beard oil on a regular basis can help to keep your facial hair looking its best.

Whether you use it in its pure form or mix it with other natural oils, beard oil is an essential part of maintaining healthy facial hair.

If you have dry facial hair, or you suffer from flaky, itchy skin around and under your beard, you will benefit a great deal from a beard conditioning oil.

Jojoba oil has a combination of properties that make it the perfect oil for your beard. For starters, it feels great on your facial hair and skin.

Pure, organic jojoba oil is hypo-allergen and non-comedogenic, although there isn’t evidence to suggest that it can aid hair growth (only anecdotal evidence).