Sunflower Oil for Hair


If you remember, as part of my GOC regimen, I indicated that I would start oiling my scalp with sunflower oil. This was because I went to a salon where the stylist recommended sunflower oil to reduce shedding. After some research, I found information that indicated that sunflower oil is a nice light oil for those with oily hair or fine hair that is easily weighed down (see articles here and here). However, I didn’t find anything to support that the topical application of this oil to the scalp reduces shedding or thickens hair. I did find that taking a teaspoon a day orally might provide these benefits though.



Sunflower oil contains gamma linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid. Such fatty acids are essential to hair health, says Spencer David Kobren in his book, “The Truth About Women’s Hair Loss: What Really Works for Treating and Preventing Thinning Hair.” GLA also is effective in preventing hair loss from male and female pattern baldness as well as alopecia areata, which causes round patches of lost hair. Just 1 tsp. a day is all that’s needed, Kobren says.

In regard to topical hair application, I located a study that compared the protein retaining and hair strengthening properties of coconut oil to sunflower and mineral oils.


The findings clearly indicate the strong impact that coconut oil application has to hair as compared to application of both sunflower and mineral oils. Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product. Both sunflower and mineral oils do not help at all in reducing the protein loss from hair. This difference in results could arise from the composition of each of these oils. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft. Mineral oil, being a hydrocarbon, has no affinity for proteins and therefore is not able to penetrate and yield better results. In the case of sunflower oil, although it is a triglyceride of linoleic acid, because of its bulky structure due to the presence of double bonds, it does not penetrate the fiber, consequently resulting in no favorable impact on protein loss.

After reading this information, I have decided that:

  • I will not use sunflower oil on my scalp.
  • May occasionally use it on my hair post-wash.
  • I will continue to use Vatika oil, which is primarily coconut oil, for pre-pooing.
  • I may start incorporating a teaspoon of sunflower oil a day into my diet (i.e. on salad).

So, what will I use on my scalp? I have decided to use Wild Growth Hair Oil (WHGO). Stay tuned for more on my research on that ;))!!


Do you use sunflower oil for your hair and/or scalp? If so, how and what has been your experience with it?

4 responses »

  1. I wonder about omega 6 because most Americans do consume a disproportionate amount of it. I will have to do some research into it to see if its even beneficial to consume more…

    I do have sunflower oil and I love to put it in my oil blends.


    • Hey Carla. Seems that it’s important to have a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6. An “American” diet (meaning beef and processed food heavy) can be unbalanced towards the Omega 6 side. But, for those who eat a Mediterranean type diet (or your type of diet, I presume), there is more of a balance. You had me put on my research cap, so thanks;)! Here are two good articles that I found on the topic.

      So, it does seem to be a good idea to evaluate your diet prior to incorporating sunflower oil into it. I tend to fluctuate between a very health diet with lots of Omega 3 (salmon, flax seed, walnuts, etc.) and falling off the horse and eating too much junk. I had a great week last week, but had a very stressful week that had me off the wagon. But, back on next week!


  2. Pingback: Sunflower Oil for Hair

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