Natural oils make a great addition to every guy’s grooming stash as they contain rich nutrients that can help maintain a healthy and beautiful beard. Among all these natural oils, one which stands out, particularly for beard care is Black seed oil. In this article, you will discover all the benefits of this natural oil and learn how it can be used for beard grooming.
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What is black seed oil?
Black seed oil is made from the cold press of the seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant a flowering shrub that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and parts of Africa.
For so many years black seed oil has been used as a traditional remedy for ailments like headaches, back pains, and infections thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also commonly used as cooking oil or ingested in the form of supplements to help reduce cholesterol and treat high blood pressure.
However, in recent years it has become a popular ingredient in skincare as well as hair care products. Black seed oil is also commonly known as Kalonji Oil, black cumin seed oil, black caraway oil, nigella or black onion seed oil.
Benefits of using black seed oil for your beard
Below are listed the benefits of using black seed oil on the beard:
It is a good emollient
Black seed oil is made of various fatty acids that give great emollient properties. The main fatty acids present in this oil are linoleic and oleic acids. Both of these fatty acids help nourish the beard and the skin as well as prevent water loss. This results in a more hydrated beard.
It has anti-bacterial properties
It is common for men to get bumps and ingrown hair after shaving or trimming their beards. Using black seed oil helps prevent this from happening, reducing the risk of getting an infection when grooming your beard, and allowing for a healthy environment that favours healthy hair growth.
It is a powerful antioxidant
The hair as well as the skin in which it grows is prone to damage when exposed to sunlight. Black seed oil is loaded with antioxidant compounds like flavonoids and other polyphenols that help reduce oxidative stress on the hair strands.
Continued exposure to sunlight damages the protective layers of all present on hair leading to a dry and itchy beard. By regularly applying black cumin oil to your beard, this can be prevented.
Helps deal with dandruff
Dandruff is a condition that affects parts of the skin where hair grows and causes the skin to become inflamed, flaky, and itchy.
This condition also referred to as seborrheic dermatitis can be caused by the excess growth of a yeast called Malassezia, naturally present in the skin’s microbiome. This organism grows on areas of the skin that produce a lot of sebum like the scalp and the face. It breaks the sebum leaving behind only oleic acid which causes the skin to itch and sometimes may lead to inflammations.
Thanks to its strong antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, black seed oil can help keep dandruff at bay. Black seed oil also helps keep the hair properly moisturized.
It is a potent anti-inflammatory
Black seed oil contains a compound known as thymoquinone, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that is believed to stimulate hair growth.
Thymoquinone helps soothe inflammations and irritations present on the skin thus creating a suitable environment for a healthy beard to develop. Remember healthy hair cannot grow on inflamed or irritated skin.
Does black seed oil actually make beard hair grow?
Although many recommend this oil for beard and hair growth in general, the scientific evidence to back this up is limited. So far only 3 studies have analyzed the effectiveness of black seed oil in hair growth in general.
Although their results are not conclusive due to the conditions under which they were carried out, they do indicate that black seed oil is a potential treatment for beard growth.
A 2017 study showed that an oil mixture containing black seeds, coconut, henna, and other actives reduced hair fall up to 76% after 90 days of application. However, this study is not conclusive as it was unable to determine which of the numerous active present in the mixture was actually responsible for hair growth
Another study showed that a mixture of coconut oil and black seed oil increased hair growth rate. However, this study is not conclusive as it was carried out only on 3 people and again could not account for black seed oil’s effect on hair growth alone. Also, the study makes no mention of important factors to consider such as the participants’ sex, age, or the possibility of the existence of any medical conditions that may affect their rate of hair growth.
This last study evaluated the effect of black seed oil on telogen effluvium, a condition that causes hair thinning and hair loss on the scalp and facial hair. This study showed that the topical application of a black seed oil cream was effective to reduce hair loss. However, this study was carried out only on a total of 20 women. Therefore not accounting for the hair loss pattern in men.
Most of the hair growth claims associated with black seed oil are anecdotal. The scientific evidence to back this claim is still too small although it opens an avenue for more inquiries.
What is sure is that black seed oil will not cause your beard to fall off so there really isn’t any harm in trying it for yourself.
Black seed oil for patchy beard
A patchy beard can be caused by various things like alopecia, ringworm infection, or chemotherapy. Although there is no strong scientific evidence, in the case of alopecia, applying black seed oil may help as this oil was shown to be effective against telogen effluvium another hair loss-inducing condition.
In case of a ringworm infection, black seed oil has anti-fungal properties that help get rid of the yeast causing patchy hair growth.
Is Black seed oil effective for grey hair?
The older men get, the more their beard hair falls and the less melanin it produces resulting in greybeards. Oils like Black seed oil that are rich in fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acids can help reduce this greying process.
By strengthening the hair follicles, this oil may help with hair growth and may prevent the beard from premature greying although the scientific evidence of this is still lacking.
How to use black seed oil for beard growth
Black seed oil can be used on its own or mixed with other natural oils on the beard.
As a beard mask, it can be mixed with coconut or olive oil. Mix a couple of teaspoons of each oil, heat it up slightly then apply on your beard and let it sit for at least 30 minutes then rinse off with the beard shampoo of your choice. Beard oils also contain various blends of natural oils including black seed oil.