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Sunflower Oil for Hair: What It’s All About and How to Use It

BY Jana Russick

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended as medical advice. For any medical concerns, always contact your doctor.

At first thought, using sunflower oil for hair might seem a little outlandish. Sunflower seeds can be a pleasant afternoon snack, but lathering your beloved locks with sunflower oil? Hmm … that one might have you scratching your head.

But before counting it out entirely, it’s worth noting that sunflower oil has the potential to reduce the look of damaged hair and frizz, tame flakiness, and add moisture to your mane.

If any of these sound appealing to you, then join us on a journey to discover how adding sunflower oil for hair to your beauty routine might be a good idea. Let’s start by exploring how sunflowers go from seed to bottle.

The Origins of Sunflower Oil

Sunflower seeds are popular throughout the world thanks to their highly nutritious content. These seeds offer an abundance of essential nutrients, including:

  • Iron
  • Protein
  • Oleic acid 
  • Linoleic acid
  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty acids
  • Vitamin E

While consuming sunflower seeds or sunflower oil will give you a dose of these nutrients, it’s important to keep in mind that applying sunflower seed oil to your hair is a different thing altogether. (More on this later.)

Sunflower seed oil is made from extracting the seeds of the sunflower, either cold-pressed or warm-pressed. 

The process of creating cold-pressed sunflower oil involves removing the seed’s outer shell, breaking the seed into small pieces, and pressing the seeds with a seed roller to extract oil. Cold-pressed sunflower oils are labeled as “extra virgin.” Warm-pressed sunflower oils are similarly prepared. However, the seeds are lightly heated prior to extraction, which reduces the stickiness of the seeds and makes it easier for oil to be released. 

Between cold-pressed and warm-pressed, which one makes for a better hair oil? The process of extracting cold-pressed sunflower oil allows it to maintain its purest, most unrefined properties without using heat. Though marginal, the warm pressing method may remove some of the beneficial properties of consuming sunflower oil. That said, this likely would not make a significant difference when using sunflower oil for hair, although some people still prefer to use the cold-pressed version.

Potential Benefits of Sunflower Oil for Hair

Now that you know a bit more about sunflower oil, you’re likely wondering how it might improve your haircare routine. Let’s start out with one of the peskiest hair challenges that sunflower oil may be able to address: breakage.

Enhances Smoothness and Shine

Nobody wants their day to be ruined by hair breakage or messy tangles. However, habitual heat styling, color processing, and poor hair health habits will inevitably damage your hair shafts. While there are many damage control methods for hair, sunflower oil may serve as a quick fix for reducing the look of less-than-stellar locks. 

Along with other natural hair treatments like mineral and coconut oil, sunflower oil has been shown to help diminish frizz and friction. Hair friction is brought on by a number of things, including overwashing or aggressively brushing your hair. 

Fortunately, sunflower oil is able to combat friction by forming a film around the hair cuticles. As such, it can act as a moisturizer to improve the appearance of your hair to give you shinier, smoother, and more hydrated-looking locks. 

Pro Tip: See how coconut oil can also help detangle hair. 

May Help Tame Flakiness

When dry flakes find their way onto your scalp, they can really get in the way of achieving that coveted look of healthy hair. If you often experience scalp flakiness, investing in sunflower oil-infused products may be beneficial to you.

Though not a replacement for flakiness caused by medical conditions, haircare products with sunflower oil as an ingredient may have flake-reducing capabilities. In a study where sunflower oil was used in a leave-on-lotion scalp treatment along with other known skin benefit agents like glycerol and saturated fatty acid the combination of ingredients was shown to help reduce flakiness. The treatment was also observed to improve scalp hydration when applied over the two-month period of testing. 

Pro Tip: Use these healthy scalp tips to keep your head in tip-top shape.

How to Add Sunflower Oil to Your Haircare Routine

After all this, it’s easy to see why sunflower oil is one of the most popular carrier oils used in hair care products. This versatile hair oil can enhance shine, fight flakes, tame flyaways, and smooth away frizzy hair. With all the benefits of sunflower oil, why wouldn’t you want to incorporate it into your haircare routine? Here are some easy ways for you to do just that. 

Use a Smoothing Serum

Because of its lightweight structure and smoothing abilities, sunflower oil is often infused into hair serums designed to give your hair a beautiful glossy look. If you struggle with frizz, tangles, dryness, or just want your hair to have a smoother look, consider using a hair serum with sunflower oil as an ingredient. Function of Beauty’s hair serum can help with:

  • Humidity and pollution protection
  • Thermal and styling damage prevention
  • Increased shine and luster

Formulated with other naturally derived and synthetic ingredients like argan oil and jojoba oil, this hair serum can be applied to wet or dry hair to give you that smooth, sleek, glass-like look you’ve been dreaming about.

Try a DIY Sunflower Hair Mask

Want a quick fix for achieving the enriching effects of sunflower oil? Create a DIY sunflower hair treatment at home. To make this one-ingredient hair mask, all you have to do is warm up two tablespoons of the oil, massage it into your scalp, and comb it through to the end of your hair strands. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, then wash out. 

This mask acts as a deep conditioning agent that can leave hair looking shiny, smooth, and moisturized. Keep in mind that while this sunflower treatment can be very helpful for those with a dry scalp, folks with an oily scalp will want to avoid this treatment or only apply it only to the ends of hair. 

Important note: Different skin types may have different reactions to sunflower oil, so make sure to test the oil on your arm before applying to your hair or scalp.

Use a Custom Shampoo and Conditioner

The easiest way to use sunflower oil for hair is to use a shampoo and conditioner that has it as an ingredient. The hair coating properties of sunflower oil allow it to form a film around your locks. This may make it easier to tame and style unruly locks—even in humid environments. And who provides a shampoo and conditioner set like this? Function of Beauty, of course!

When you include a straightening boost in your custom shampoo and conditioner, you can enjoy the benefits of sunflower oil for hair as well as other ingredients formulated to maximize the potential of your natural hair type and help you achieve your hair goals. 

Enjoy the Benefits of Sunflower Oil for Hair

We hope you’re as convinced as we are that sunflower oil has a lot to offer your hair. Not only can it impart shine and provide a moisturizing effect, but it can also help you prevent hair breakage and tame scalp flakiness.If you’re looking for even more ways to make your hair feel and look better, take our hair quiz to see how you can achieve your personal hair goals.