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It’s strange how we managed to use products full of chemicals before we get back to basics.
And it took us quite some time before we understood that natural products have been always way better than their chemical counterparts.
Products like coconut oil, argan oil, olive oil and lastly, jojoba have been praised for their great benefits when it comes to hair and skin care.
These products were always there and the time has come to give them back the attention they deserve.
Even though jojoba oil has some great divers uses, today we’re going to focus on the benefits of jojoba oil for beard and hair.
I’m sure you’ve heard of many products containing jojoba oil. Most of them are part of the skin and hair care industry.
And there’s a good reason for it.
When it comes to hair care, it’s one of the few all natural ingredients that are able to soften, speed up growth and make it healthier and stronger.
No wonder why so many hair care and now, beard care products, proudly claim that they contain jojoba oil.
Without any further delays, let’s see what we’re going to be discussing today.
- What is jojoba oil and how did we come to know all these things
- What are the benefits of jojoba oil for beard and hair
- How can you use jojoba oil and what for
- Beard care and shaving products containing jojoba oil
- Concluding remarks
What is jojoba oil and where did it come from?
There’s some interesting story behind jojoba oil.
It wasn’t until the 18th century, before Jesuit missionaries travelling through the Baja California Peninsula noticed that the indigenous tribes were collecting a peculiar sort of seed in the area.
The process was fairly simple. They heated the seeds up up and softened them, and then crush them with a pestle and mortar.
The buttery substance made from this process was used as a primitive sort of hair conditioner. As you might have guessed, this is the earliest known application of Jojoba oil for hair.
Over the years, jojoba oil has been increasingly used in cosmetics, soaps and hair conditioners. And since you wonder, one of the most recent uses of jojoba oil is for beard care, either as a part of a beard care oil mix or even as a standalone product.
Besides cosmetics, it is also used in biodiesel and a number of pharmaceuticals. But perhaps its application as a hair conditioner has traditionally been a lot more popular.
You’ve probably heard of it in commercials for hair oil, hair conditioners or even hair shampoo. And if you’re a proud beardsman, you’ve certainly heard about the benefits of jojoba oil for beard conditioning.
That should tell you that millions of people consider this oil to be the best thing you could probably put on your hair.
Not sure why?
Here’s a look at where the oil comes from, what it does for hair and whether or not you should use it to take care of your precious tresses.
So what is jojoba oil?
In case the name didn’t make it clear enough, jojoba oil comes from the jojoba plant, which, of course, has a scientific name – Simmondsia chinensis.
More fun names for this rather ordinary looking shrub include coffeeberry, goat nut, deer nut, pig nut, wild hazel or gray box bush.
Want some more facts?
It’s actually pronounced as “hohoba”. Even though I know the pronunciation, I simply can’t save this information in my brain and I continuously say it wrong.
The major producers are Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Australia. Jojoba oil also grows in other parts of North America, mostly in the southwestern parts of United States. This means that you are likely to come across these shrubs if you ever find yourself in the woods or deserts of Utah, Arizona and California.
Jojoba nuts were used as laxatives for a very long time, before someone decided to heat the nut up, soften it, then crush it and use the buttery substance that oozed out as a conditioner.
But when you think about jojoba oil today, that liquid is most likely extracted from the seeds rather than the nuts. More than half of the jojoba seed is made up of oil.
Light and coarsely textured soil are ideal for cultivating the jojoba shrub. Farmers also need water penetration and great drainage systems to keep the land fertile and favorable for this shrub.
Although jojoba plants can withstand poor-nutrient soil as well as high salinity, the Ph level must be maintained between 8 and 5.
The jojoba plant can also withstand very high temperatures but will die instantly in case of frost, which is why it is mostly found in arid regions.
Altogether, the cultivation process isn’t very intensive which makes this a great resource for those regions with access to the right conditions.
The jojoba seeds, which are essential for the oil we need, need to be picked by hand as they grow at different rates and mature at different times of the year. Depending on the age of the plantation, the yield is close to 3.5 tons per hectare.
Over the years, selective breeding has changed the way the plant is cultivated. Now the beans have a higher wax concentration and are easily harvested. They’ve even been used to prevent desertification near the Thar Desert in India.
Interesting facts about jojoba oil to convince you applying it on your beard and hair
photo credit: Jojoba : buxus chinensis via photopin (license)
What makes jojoba oil unique is the fact that it isn’t a triglyceride. In case you didn’t know already, triglyceride is the sort of fatty oil found in vegetable oils.
Jojoba on the other hand is a very long chain of wax ester which makes it a lot more similar to whale oil or human sebum. This means it has a longer, more stable shelf life than coconut oil, grapeseed, almond oil or even sunflower oil.
It is clear and golden at room temperature and it most likely smells like nuts in its raw form. The liquid has a viscosity that is independent of the ambient temperature and it is completely odorless when purified.
As a quick recap, the absence of odor and high shelf life combined with the beard softening capability, are the properties that you need from a carrier oil when you want to use jojoba oil for beard oil mix. This is essentially important when you want to make your own beard oil recipe or even when you want to make a choice among beard oils to buy.
The jojoba seed is where the oil is extracted from. It looks a bit like a coffee bean, but is much larger and the shapes are hard to predict.
Interesting fact is that unlike wheat, and other staple grains, the jojoba has not been cultivated for thousands of years of human history.
The United States started to notice the plant being cultivated by local Native American tribes toward the start of the twentieth century. The Department of Agriculture investigated it further to see if the plant had any commercial applications in late 1930’s.
And this date is no coincidence.
If it seems like the 1930’s was a special time to be looking around for commercial applications of new things, that’s because the country was on the brink of the Great Depression.
Fuel was getting more expensive and whale oil was harder to find, which led many to hail jojoba oil as a viable alternative at the time.
There were calls for the Native Americans to cultivate the new crop and soon excitement over jojoba started to grow. No wonder why people claimed it was a ‘miracle plant’ that could help prevent baldness and even cancer.
If that’s not an overstatement, I don’t know what is.
These claims were, of course, untrue, but they encouraged people to invest heavily in jojoba oil extraction at the time.
Many farmers went out into the deserts to find the plants but were unaware that the oil must be extracted only from mature seeds that have fallen to the ground.
Serious investments in the area encouraged serious research at the universities in Arizona and California at the time.
Now farmers buy up land and invest in good quality soil. They divide the ratio of plants 50:50 between male and female so that they don’t have to cut the male plants after a while and their yields are improved.
The temperature is ideal in many parts of the world, which is why places like Israel, India, China and Egypt have even tried to cultivate these plants in recent years.
Farmers now know how to wait for the ideal time to let the seeds mature and pick them when the ratio of oil in the seeds is more than half.
Which jojoba oil to go for?
Jojoba oil doesn’t really come in different varieties, but the way it is manufactured can affect the results of the end product.
This is why you need to pay attention before you buy any bottle of jojoba oil for hair, beard or skin care.
Many industrialized farms use a method of farming that involves heavy use of pesticides and chemicals. This improves yields for farmers but makes the oil unusable for skin and hair applications.
People prefer organic varieties of jojoba oil for beard and hair. This oil is expeller-pressed or cold-pressed to get unrefined and 100% organic jojoba oil.
Both varieties are widely available in supermarkets.
What are the benefits of jojoba oil for beard and hair?
More than 350,000 different species of plants have been discovered through research over the years, but the jojoba plant and its extracted oil is the only one that comes close to resembling the oils our body excretes naturally.
And we’re talking about the sebum oil.
The jojoba oil is basically liquid wax esters that are very close in structure to the natural esters our sebaceous glands produce.
At a molecular level the oil is heavy and is made of long chains of acids and alcohols. There are small hints of oleic and palmitoleic acids (monosaturated acids that can usually be found in nuts and are considered “healthy fats”), and much larger quantities of docosanoic and eicosanoic (saturated acids that have smoothing properties).
Basically, the oil is just like human sebum and that is what makes it so perfect for use on skin and hair.
The fact that it is so close to human sebum means the scalp on our head will not react badly with the oil. The natural balance is maintained on the top of our head and that’s why jojoba oil is so good for hair as well as for your beard.
Add to this the oil’s antibacterial properties and you can see why it is used to soothe scalps that suffer from dryness or dandruff.
The oil is only 2% saturated fats and is made almost entirely of unsaturated fats. This is good because it means the oil can penetrate hair fibres from the inside and strengthen them.
There is another advantage to this – hair tends to get weak over time due to hygral fatigue, which is the shrinking and swelling of hair when it goes from dry to moist.
Because jojoba oil can go into the hair shaft itself, it helps to retain moisture longer and prevent this sort of damage over the long term.
If you think the moisture retention that comes with using jojoba oil could help you improve hair volume, you’d be right!
The oil sits within the shaft and adds a certain level of volume while making the hair shine and look fuller. This means jojoba oil is perfect for those with very thin hair who want to add a bit of thickness.
And you know what does this also mean?
Just like your hair, you can also use jojoba oil for beard volume, in case you’re looking to grow a denser beard.
Bear in mind that the jojoba oil will only add the appearance of thickness and not actual thickness to hair that is naturally thin.
Nevertheless, a light massage with the oil on hair can encourage better blood flow and improve the health of the hair. The fact that the oil is very light and non-greasy means you can probably do it every day.
How to use jojoba oil for beard and hair maintenance?
So, how do you go about using this incredible oil to improve your hair?
It is really simple.
Start by using a little bit of the oil in a bowl. You may need to adjust the quantity you use depending on the length of your hair.
Place the bowl of oil in a microwave to heat it up and get it to the right temperature.
Gently dip your hands in the heated bowl (be careful with this, make sure the oil is not too hot) and rub your hands together before you slowly work the oil through your hair strands.
You don’t want to apply the oil directly onto the scalp or the roots of your beard but mostly on the hair itself.
If you’re applying the oil on your hair, it might be a good idea to wear a plastic bath cap right after you finished. This will prevent the oil from oozing out of your hair and onto your shoulders.
Now, when you want to apply jojoba oil on your beard, three to nine drops are more than enough to cover your beard, depending always on the length.
Leave the oil in to settle for about 15 minutes or more. After this, you can easily wash your hair out and cleanse it thoroughly.
As previously stated, the oil is light and isn’t really greasy, you can use it more frequently than other forms of hair oil.
You can apply jojoba oil everyday if you like or every other day. This really just boils down to your preference.
There are three different sorts of treatments you can apply jojoba oil for:
Jojoba oil uses for hair
The leave in:
Leave it in for 15 mins as instructed above and then wash it all off after you feel the oil has sunk in deep enough to the roots of your hair.
Mix with shampoo:
This seems to be a very popular way to use jojoba oil for hair care.
You take a couple of teaspoons of the oil and infuse it with the shampoo you are about to use while you are in the shower.
This is a great way to get a conditioned look for your hair right after you get in the shower.
It’s basically a two in one.
Basically, diluted jojoba oil works best as a conditioner and applying it to freshly cleaned hair is always a great idea.
Try it out before you apply anything else and right after you come out of the shower to get super shiny effect.
This is a great way to avoid that crunchy, dry feeling and protect your hair long term.
For beard care
The hair on your head could surely use some nourishment with this oil, but why forget the hair on your face? Men around the world use jojoba oil for beard care for that noble, healthy look.
It’s a natural beard softener that a beardsman can use right out of the box, as opposed to other oils that you need to blend them with other ingredients.
There is a long list of reasons you should be using this oil on your beard. To start with, what’s good for your hair on the head is surely good for hair on your face.
All the benefits discussed above can help you grow a healthy-looking beard in no time. But there are other advantages to using jojoba as beard oil.
The oil is packed with nutrients your skin really needs. It has Vitamins E and B as well as silicon, copper and zinc. All these nutrients are found in trace amounts and are adequate to moisturize your skin, prevent it from drying out and prevent skin discoloration too.
The best part – jojoba oil is antibacterial and can help keep your beard hair nice and clean for longer.
Massaging the oil into the skin on your face will do more than simply help it glow, it will boost blood circulation and your immune system.
Few jojoba oil brands that offer organic jojoba oil are the below. As a quick note, I’ve used the first two brands and they were both great.
- Leven Rose Organic Cold Pressed Unrefined Natural Jojoba Oil
- NOW Foods Organic Jojoba Oil
- Jojoba Oil for Hair and Skin Pure Cold Pressed Oil
Jojoba oil in beard oils and balms
If you’re a beardsman who respects the time and effort put in growing and maintaining your beard, I’m sure you’ve checked the ingredients in beard oils at least once.
Did you notice some sort of a pattern?
A very common way to use jojoba oil in beard oils is as a carrier oil. Together with argan and coconut oil, it’s one of these few oils that have the highest percentage of a beard oil mix.
Do you want a few examples of the best beard oils that contain jojoba?
And it’s not only the commercial beard oils that contain it.
Due to the benefits of jojoba oil for beard and hair, it’s the number one ingredient that many beard oil recipes contain.
Personally, I’ve used it in several beard oil experiments either as the only carrier oil in the mix of a beard oil or as a mix with other carrier oils.
Last but not least, in the same way that you would use jojoba oil for beard oil, you can include it in your homemade beard balm recipe. And as you might have already guessed, many beard care brands do include jojoba oil in their beard balm mix.
The oil can also help you heal faster if applied to a cut on your face or skin, which makes it perfect for use as an aftershave blended with additional oils such as coconut oil or argan oil.
The copper present in jojoba oil in trace amounts is what helps your skin boost its self-healing process.
Nothing beats the soft, smooth feeling of having a mix of oils with warm jojoba oil rubbed into your facial pores after you get a close shave and a warm shower.
Few shaving products -mostly pre-shave oils, that contain jojoba oil are as follows:
Jojoba is a widely available oil that is incredibly well suited for human skin and hair. It has a ton of nutrients and the way the oil is structured allows it to get the nutrients to the hair and skin with ease.
You can mix it up with other oils if you prefer or simply use it by itself after a shower or shave to get the best results.
Jojoba is really versatile and if you find that it suits your hair or skin well, it may just be the only oil you will ever need.
photo credit: Seeds on a Female Jojoba Bush via photopin (license)