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 vegetables oils.
The History of Jojoba Usage
Jojoba (pronounced hoh-hoh-buh) is commonly referred to as goat-nut (goht-nuht). For years, Native Americans have extracted goat nuts for the treatment of sores and wounds. In the early 1970s, harvesting and processing the jojoba seed started to gain popularity, leading to the domestication of jojoba.
In 1943, during the course of World War II, jojoba and other natural resources in the U.S were used as additives in motor oil, differential gear oil, and transmission oil. In addition, jojoba was also used in the lubrication of machine guns and other weapons.
The Appearance of the 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 is makes it more shelf-stable than canola oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, or squalene oil.
The fatty acid composition of jojoba oil tends 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.
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 cosmetics products marked as being all natural tend to contain jojoba oil. Items such 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.
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.
Our Favorite Jojoba Brands
- NOW Solutions Certified Organic Jojoba Oil
- Vie Naturelle 100% Pure Jojoba Oil
- Radha Jojoba: Organic, 100% Pure & Natural
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 liquid wax. For those who are still using creamy crack, adding jojoba oil to a hair relaxer can help to mitigate hair breakages.