What Is Abyssinian Oil and Can It Really Promote Hair Growth?
The hunt for strong, healthy hair is never-ending, and we're lucky to have so many ingredients, like CBD and rosemary oil, to help us get there. But there is yet another ingredient that has the same—if not more—benefits for our strands: Say hello to abyssinian oil. Extracted from a small white flower native to Ethiopia called Brassica Abyssinica, abyssinian oil has been integrated into hair care products for some time, and is just now rising in popularity.
To examine whether or not this oil offers true hair benefits, we asked board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, M.D. and board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D. a few questions. Below, determine whether or not abyssinian oil is really imperative for your hair's health.
What are the benefits of abyssinian oil?
According to Dr. King, abyssinian oil is packed with omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which are known to improve texture and hydration and reduce inflammation. It also boasts vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E—all of which help protect the skin from environmental aggressors. Lightweight and non-comedogenic, it can absorb easily in both hair and skin. When used on hair specifically, abyssinian oil can moisturize, add shine, decrease frizz, and protect strands from heat and pollution, Dr. King explains. And because of its lightweight consistency, it won't feel greasy upon application.
Dr. Graf adds that abyssinian oil can also encourage hair growth, thanks to its abundance of omega oils (some studies have shown that this aids hair growth, though more research is needed) and vitamins A, C, and E. In addition, this oil repairs damaged strands and regulates oily scalps to reduce excess oil production; it also softens hair, which she says will prevent future breakage and strand loss. All these aforementioned benefits foster the perfect environment for healthy hair growth—so it's definitely an ingredient to keep in mind as you're shopping for products.
Are there any negative effects of using abyssinian oil?
According to Dr. Graf, there aren't any downsides to using abyssinian oil unless you are sensitive to it. Dr. King agrees, noting that an allergic reaction is possible. So, if you have sensitive skin, perform a patch test on your forearm to make sure you do not react negatively to this ingredient before you fully incorporate it into your routine.
How do you use abyssinian oil in your hair?
Abyssinian oil can be found in several different types of hair products—and used in a myriad of ways. It's suitable for all hair types, but Dr. King notes that it is particularly beneficial for hair that is dry and damaged. If you tend to use hot tools often or are looking for effective anti-frizz products, she says formulas with abyssinian oil will also protect and smooth out strands. She recommends using an abyssinian oil-containing product once daily or after you shower for the best results. Dr. Graf adds that this oil works well as a hair mask and offers strands a reset if they are in need of some extra care.
Looking for some abyssinian oil products to try? Dr. King recommends the Grown Alchemist Anti-Frizz Conditioner ($28, grownalchemist.com), which she says is lightweight and absorbs easily into strands, making them look silky and shiny. She also like the IT 12-in-one Amazing Serum ($19.97, ithairproducts.com) on wet or dry hair. Dr. Graf prefers the Abyssian Supergloss Hair Serum ($10, abyssian.com). The light formula reduces frizz and strengthens strands. Conscious Skincare Natural Abyssinian Oil-Cold Pressed ($18, conscious-skincare.com) is another one of Dr. Graf's favorites, and works across face and hair.