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.
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 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 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.
Can I Use Jojoba Oil to Seal in Moisture?
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 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 interesting natural hair recipe. This would create a recipe that is designed to attract water with glycerin and seal it with jojoba oil.
Should I Avoid Sealing in Moisture If I Plan to Stretch My Hair and Reduce Shrinkage?
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.
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 a liquid wax. For those who are still using creamy crack, adding jojoba oil to a hair relaxer can help to mitigate hair breakage.
Can Men Use Jojoba Oil for Facial Hair Growth?
I’m sure nearly every beard enthusiast has heard about beard oil. It’s one of those things you cannot avoid if you love your beard.
Beard oil is a product specifically made to soften your beard and the same time it moisturizes your skin leaving you looking dapper.
As such, 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.
I’m a proponent of using jojoba oil as a “go-to” beard oil. You can use the oil in its pure form or blend it with other essential oils to make a custom mix.
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 a non-comedogenic, although there isn’t evidence to suggest that it increases hair growth.