Ingredient Deep Dive: Flaxseed for Hair

Every now and then there’s an “it” superfood that gets a lot of buzz. At one point, you could only find it in your local health food store, then suddenly it’s everywhere, showing up in foods and snacks in your mainstream markets. It even finds its way into personal care items, appearing on labels of skincare and haircare products. One superfood that’s been having a moment lately (and rightfully so) is flaxseed for hair.

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    In recent years, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about flaxseeds. These small but mighty seeds come from the flax plant and are packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. For that reason, they’re touted as a healthy food that protects against everything from heart disease to certain cancers. It turns out, flaxseed (and the oil it makes) is not only good for your internal health, but because of its moisturizing and antioxidant properties, it’s great when used topically for skin and hair, too. Here, the straight facts about flaxseed oil and why flaxseed for hair may become a staple in your routine.

    The history of flaxseed

    Flaxseed is far from a new ingredient. In fact, it’s been used in food and medicine for thousands of years. It’s thought to have originated in the Mediterranean area of western Asia, but today it’s grown in temperate and subtropical regions of Europe and the Americas. (Prose gets its flaxseed oil from France.) Fun fact: The benefits of flaxseed are so convincing that it’s rumored that in the year 700 A.C., Charlemagne, the emperor of Rome, passed a law mandating that his people eat flaxseeds. Charlemagne wasn’t the only celebrity fan of the seed. Apparently, Hippocrates also recommended it as a skin moisturizer in the year 400 B.C. It may seem like he was ahead of the trend, but it’s long been used topically to hydrate skin and also soothe burns and other skin irritations.

    While its many benefits may be easy to swallow, the flaxseed is actually pretty tough to digest, so it’s often ground into a fine powder (maybe you’ve sprinkled some over your oatmeal) or cold pressed into an oil.

    Flaxseed for hair

    So, what does this super seed do for hair? A lot. In addition to omega fatty acids, which hydrate your hair and the skin on your scalp, flaxseed extract also contains some other hair-friendly ingredients. For one, it’s rich in vitamin B, which plays an important role in healthy hair growth (you’ve no doubt heard some buzz about biotin, a B vitamin). It’s also rich in vitamin E, which plays a protective role against free radical damage, promoting a healthy scalp and follicles to maximize hair growth. Research has suggested that flaxseed oil can help strengthen strands, and that the vitamins and minerals in flaxseed oil can improve hair’s elasticity (which means your hair will be less brittle and breakage-prone). 

    So, do you have to eat it to reap the benefits of flaxseeds? While a good diet is key for healthy hair, you can use flaxseed extract topically on hair too. When applied directly to hair, the ingredient helps to moisturize dry hair, smooth unwanted frizz, and boost shine on dull strands. The oil is especially good for curly hair, which tends to be dry and coarse. It helps give curls some control and definition without weighing them down.

    How to use curl cream for a wash n’ go

    How to use flaxseed for hair

    One way to use flaxseed for hair hydration and definition is to go the DIY route and make a hair mask using  food-grade flaxseed oil: Coat dry, clean strands in the oil from midway down the hair shaft to your ends, avoiding your roots, cover your hair  with a shower cap, and let the flaxseed oil  sit. Then, rinse clean after fifteen minutes. If too much of the oil remains on your strands, go ahead and wash with a shampoo and conditioner then rinse again. You can also use a dab (think the size of a pea for short strands, a dime-size for longer, thicker hair) of the oil to smooth dry ends or flyaways. 

    If you’re looking for a less messy and more convenient way to get your flax fix, take the easier route and use a product that contains the extract. Flaxseed extract is one of the key ingredients that can be used in the customizable Prose curl cream. Combined with other potent plant-based ingredients including argan oil, shea oil, and jojoba oil, the flaxseed oil extract in custom curl cream helps to soften, smooth, and moisturize dry curls, leaving them more defined e and full of shine. Even better: You won’t get any flaking or drying from the mega-moisturizing formula.

    The flax finish

    Flaxseed oil went from superfood to super-hair ingredient—and it’s easy to see why. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants, the plant-based oil has everything dry hair needs to shine. Get your flaxseed oil in the Prose curl cream for softer, smoother, more defined coils—no mess or extra work required.

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