The Ayurveda and Unami medical systems have revered the neem tree as a cure-all since 2000 B.C. Sarva roga nivarini, “the healer of all illnesses” in Hindi, refers to neem.
A tree that originated in India has extended its healing abilities over the world, with over 50 countries.
Putting neem oil on your hair offers a number of benefits, but if you don’t apply it properly, it might cause more damage than good.
We examined numerous study articles and consulted dermatologists and hair care professionals to determine the optimal method for applying neem oil to the hair.
In the following parts, we will discuss the technique and related studies in detail.
What does Science say of Neem Oil’s Benefits on Hair?
In a study done in 2011, researchers found that neem seed extract killed head lice larvae after 5 minutes and adult head lice after 10 minutes.
This could be because of the azadirachtin in the oil. By messing with the hormones of insects, azadirachtin can make it hard for them to grow and lay eggs.
The active ingredient in neem oil is nimbidin. Some older research suggests that nimbidin can help stop inflammation, which could make it useful for treating dermatitis, psoriasis, and other scalp irritations.
Neem is extremely antifungal. When yeast grows on the scalp, it can sometimes cause dandruff and irritation. Neem has been found highly effective against this.
Neem oil has a lot of fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids, which help hair keep its moisture. The hair follicle stays moist because the fatty acids in neem oil help smooth out frizz.
Because it has antioxidants, neem oil helps hair follicles grow in a healthy way. A healthy scalp is necessary for hair growth, so when you treat the scalp, you are also treating the hair.
Broken hair is one of the things that can cause hair loss. Neem oil can moisturize and strengthen the hair, which can help keep it from breaking.
How to Apply Neem Oil to Hair in 6 Steps: As per Science
According to the experts, applying Neem oil to the hair’s surface would have no effect and will result in a greasy scalp. To obtain the maximum benefits from oiling your hair, you must understand how to do so effectively.
In the following parts, we will discuss the technique and the science behind it in detail.
Step 1: Prepare your Hair
Using a wide-toothed comb, we will first detangle and remove any knots from the hair. This reduces the likelihood of hair breakage when neem oil is applied to it. This also ensures that the oil is applied and distributed evenly throughout the scalp and hair.
You can straighten your hair from top to bottom by splitting it into two sections (or four sections if it is thick or wavy) and straightening each area from roots to ends.
Step 2: Prepare the Neem Oil
Neem oil can be used on any type of hair, but it must be diluted before it is applied to the hair or scalp because of its potency. Adding a carrier oil, such as coconut, olive, or jojoba oil to pure neem oil can dilute it.
Because of the method by which neem oil is produced, its molecules are quite large in comparison to the size of hair follicles on the scalp. As a result, neem oil at room temperature will not be able to penetrate the hair follicle and perform the desired effect.
Warming the neem oil can help with this problem since it breaks up the oil molecules and allows the oil to penetrate the scalp and hair more easily. Warming neem oil enhances its therapeutic properties. This is very beneficial for damaged or colored hair. One benefit of heated neem oil treatments that many people are unaware of is that they seal the cuticle of the hair, allowing it to retain moisture.
Because hot oil treatments are not suitable for everyone, it is best to see your doctor or a dermatologist before attempting one.
In a microwave-safe dish, warm 3 to 4 tablespoons of neem oil and your chosen carrier oil (a glass bowl is recommended). After you’ve prepared everything, perform a patch test on your hand to ensure that the neem oil isn’t too hot and that you won’t have an allergic reaction.
Step 3: Apply the Neem Oil
First, we’ll apply neem oil to the scalp, then to the crown, and finally to the rest of the hair. To promote hair growth, massage neem oil into your scalp in a circular manner with your fingertips. Before applying oil to your hair, massage and cover the entire scalp with your fingertips.
Neem oil should only be used sparingly. When there is too much oil, you have to wash your hair more, negating all of the benefits of oiling. Shampooing your hair too frequently causes it to lose its natural oils and nutrients, leaving it damaged, lifeless, and dry.
Step 4: Get Rid of Knots
The wide-toothed comb will be used once more to carefully untangle any knots that may have formed while the oil was applied. This will reduce the likelihood of your hair breaking when washed, and it will also assist oil in getting to sections of your head that don’t get much attention.
When combing your hair after a massage, be cautious because the massage has loosened the cortex and roots of your hair, leaving them more sensitive to injury.
Step 5: Cover your Head
We must cover our heads with a shower cap or a cotton t-shirt for the next 15 to 20 minutes. This will give you the sensation of steaming and will cause the pores on your scalp and cuticles to open. This will allow the neem oil to penetrate deeper into your scalp and hair follicles than it would otherwise.
Because towels are coarse, you should avoid wrapping your head in them because the friction could harm your hair.
Step 6: Wash Off the Neem Oil
The oiling process is completed by rinsing the hair with a gentle shampoo and warm water. Washing with lukewarm water will help open the pores and remove excess oil and grime.
We must now wash our hair with cold water to shut the opening pores and maintain the moisture.
How to Choose the Best Neem Oil?
All of the studies and research we’ve discussed so far indicate that neem oil may be beneficial to the health of your hair. However, if the neem oil isn’t good, you won’t be able to reap any of these benefits. When looking for the best neem oil for your hair, keep the following in mind:
- Check to see if the neem oil is intended for cosmetic purposes. It is frequently inscribed on the container’s back.
- Always use a neem oil bottle that is darkish and made of glass. The dark tint of the container prevents neem oil from spoiling by blocking light.
- Neem oil should always be 100 percent pure organic oil that has not been processed. The term “virgin” refers to neem oil that has not been refined.
- If possible, use a well-known brand.
How to Use Neem Oil to Promote Hair Growth, Increase Density, and Prevent Hair Loss
Hair follicles are stimulated by neem oil’s ability to improve blood flow. And while it promotes hair development, it also counteracts environmental factors like pollution, stress, or even medicine, which can cause hair thinning and hair loss.
Vitamin E, calcium, and fatty acids abound in neem oil. You can prevent split ends by applying these nutrients to the hair.
If you’re using neem oil primarily for the purpose of increasing the thickness and length of your hair, apply it directly to your scalp. The growth factor is controlled by each hair shaft under the scalp, so you don’t need to apply oil to your hair in this situation.
- Microwave 2 to 3 tablespoons neem oil.
- With your fingers, gently massage the neem oil into the scalp in a circular manner.
- Leave it covered with a shower hat or t-shirt for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it gently with lukewarm water and a gentle shampoo.
- Rewash with cold water to seal the pores.
What to mix with Neem oil for hair growth?
According to a study, castor oil is the finest oil to mix with neem oil to promote hair growth. This is due to the high concentration of ricinoleic acid in castor oil. Hair grows between 0.5 and 1.7 cm every month on average.
Castor oil has been demonstrated to promote faster hair growth. Warm the neem and castor oil mixture, as usual, to allow it to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft.
How to use Neem oil as a conditioner?
Neem oil can be used in a variety of ways, including as a hair conditioner. When used as a hair conditioner, neem oil makes your hair smooth, soft, and free of knots.
- Warm the neem oil, then apply it to your hair and scalp.
- Using your fingertips, massage your head and hair until they are completely covered.
- For 15 to 20 minutes, wrap your hair in a shower hat or t-shirt.
- Wash your hair with ordinary water to preserve some of the neem oil on it.
Risks of using Neem Oil for Hair
Neem oil is a carrier oil that is used to dilute other essential oils. However, unlike other carrier oils, this one is highly powerful and there is a risk of allergic reactions and irritation. Neem oil should be tested on the skin before being applied to the hair for the first time.
If using neem oil causes your skin to become red or irritated, you should stop using it and try a different oil.
Neem oil can be added to your other carrier oils if you don’t notice any negative side effects. Note that azadirachtin, the primary element in neem oil, can produce a condition known as “neem oil poisoning,” which can lead to toxic encephalopathy. If the oil is eaten, neem oil toxicity can result. In healthy adults, this syndrome is extremely unusual, but it can develop in the elderly as well as in youngsters. As a result, neem oil should be kept out of the reach of children and in a tightly sealed container.
When should we apply neem oil on hair? Wet or dry hair?
Neem oil should be used to dry hair at all times. Before you begin, make sure you have at least one hour free. This is because neem oil molecules are larger than your scalp pores and require at least an hour to penetrate.
Neem oil should not be applied to damp hair because the water in the hair shaft and the pores on the scalp make it difficult for the oil molecules to penetrate.
Can we apply neem oil directly to hair?
Yes, neem oil can be used straight to the scalp and hair. It’s all-natural, and applying it won’t irritate your scalp or skin. However, you may make it stronger by mixing neem oil with other powerful hair oils.
How long should you leave neem oil in your hair?
According to experts and studies, you should leave neem oil on your hair for at least an hour before washing it. However, the exact time will depend on what you want to achieve and your hair type.
Because neem oil is so potent, it should not be used for more than 10 hours at a time. If you keep neem oil on your scalp for an extended period of time, it might irritate it, dry it out, and clog your pores.
Can you put neem oil in your hair every day? How often should you apply neem oil to your hair?
Only if you have dry hair should you apply neem oil on a daily basis. According to experts, Neem oil should not be applied more than once a week on oily hair. On normal hair, the product can be used up to twice a week.
Is too much neem oil bad for hair?
Yes, too much neem oil can harm your hair because it necessitates more frequent shampooing. Overwashing your hair, as you probably know, strips it of its natural oils and dries out your scalp and hair. This defeats the purpose of oiling your hair and may result in further damage.
Applying too much neem oil to your scalp might block your pores, causing hair loss.
Can you sleep with neem oil in your hair? Can I leave neem oil overnight?
You can sleep with neem oil in your hair for eight hours, but only that. Wash it out as soon as you wake up. When applied to the scalp for more than eight hours, neem oil can clog hair follicles and cause irritation and inflammation. If you keep neem oil on your hair for too long, it might collect dust and inhibit the growth of new hair.
Creative, versatile, and passionate about her craft, Rupa Das is a well-recognized name in the world of fashion and makeup! This is a woman who has been in the fashion and makeup industry for 24 years and is still one of the leading international makeup artist in the circuit! She has worked in big brands like Lakme, Green Trends, Colors and transitioned to become a Beauty (Hair & Skin) Trainer.