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Hemp seed oil, which comes from hemp plant seeds, may have some benefits for hair care. Hemp seed oil is a dark green oil that manufacturers make by cold-pressing the seeds or using solvents to extract their oil.

A quick look at hemp seed oil products for hair

Hemp seeds are the fruit of the hemp plant. They consist of about 25–30% oil.

Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant. It does not contain as much delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as other varieties. THC is the compound that causes the “high” feeling that people often associate with cannabis use.

People sometimes refer to hemp as “industrial hemp” because this is its primary use.

The use of hemp seed oil for hair care is not new, but its popularity has increased in recent years. Keep reading to learn more about hemp seed oil and how it may benefit the hair.

Scientists have not yet identified specifically how using hemp seed oil for hair might produce benefits. However, there are data to show that hair absorbs hemp seed oil.

For example, researchers found that after 10 study participants applied hemp oil directly to their hair for 6 weeks, 89% of hair samples tested positive for one or more cannabis constituents.

Although scientific testing has not yet backed up these claims, hemp seed oil could benefit the hair by:

  • promoting hair growth
  • moisturizing the hair
  • thickening the hair
  • preventing water loss to protect the hair
  • reviving damaged hair
  • adding shine

Hemp seeds are rich in polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are present in what some experts call the perfect ratio. This may contribute to the many potential health benefits that people attribute to hemp and hemp seed oil.

Research suggests that hemp seed oil can help relieve pain in itchy skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis. A 2018 study found that hemp seed oil could help in treating acne.

Some of the alleged benefits of hemp seed oil for hair may be due to its positive effects on the skin, including the scalp.

Additional benefits

Researchers state that hemp seed oil may help protect people from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Although scientists should complete further research for confirmation, the same anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seed oil that may help protect against chronic conditions could also contribute to hair health.

The composition of hemp seeds provides some clues as to the source of their benefits, as they contain many important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These include:

  • gamma-linolenic acid
  • phytosterols
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • carotene
  • chlorophyll
  • calcium
  • magnesium

Learn about more hemp seed oil products.

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Some products that use hemp seed oil as an ingredient include shampoos and conditioners with low oil concentrations. However, pure hemp seed oil is available, which individuals can apply directly to the hair and scalp.

The following sections will look at some of these products for a person to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

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Best for added relaxation: Love Beauty and Planet Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo

This shampoo contains hemp seed oil, coconut oil, nana leaf, and plant-based cleansers.

The manufacturer claims that the fresh, woody scent of nana leaf promotes relaxation and a sense of balance.

A 13.5-fluid ounce (fl oz) bottle is available to purchase online for about $7.

Best strengthening: Maui Moisture Fortifying + Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner

The manufacturer designed this conditioner to prevent breakage in dry hair.

The formula includes aloe vera, hemp seed oil, and cacao butter to improve the strength of the hair while keeping it soft.

A 13-fl oz bottle is available to purchase online for about $7.

Best leave-in conditioner: OKAY Hemp Seed and Shea Leave-In Conditioner

The manufacturer claims that this leave-in conditioner promotes hair growth and prevents future hair breakage.

It does this by moisturizing and strengthening each strand.

An 8-fl oz of this product is available to purchase online for about $12.

Best for hydration: Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Whipped Creme Conditioner & Hair Mask

The manufacturer states that this hair mask revives dry hair using a mix of hemp seed oil, shea butter, pomegranate extract, and cogon grass extract.

This lightweight conditioner, which is scented with grapefruit and peach, aims to hydrate the hair and leave it soft and lustrous.

A 33.8-fl oz bottle is available to purchase online for about $33.

Best detangling: Herbal Essences Hair Oil Mist Hemp Seed Oil and Aloe

This product may help minimize frizz and tangles in the hair while hydrating and moisturizing it.

It contains hemp seed oil, aloe vera, and botanicals that the United Kingdom’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew endorses.

A 4-fl oz bottle of this hair mist is available to purchase online for about $12.

Best THC-free: Shea Moisture Lush Length Conditioner

This conditioner supports thicker and healthier hair with a combination of C. sativa (hemp) seed oil, horsetail extract, and ginseng root.

The manufacturer claims that the hemp seed oil contains no THC or cannabidiol (CBD).

A 13-fl oz bottle of this product is available to purchase online for about $12.

Best restorative: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Restorative Hemp Bundle

The manufacturer of this shampoo and conditioner set claims that it suits all hair and skin types and that a person can use it daily. These products do not contain CBD or THC — only hemp seed oil.

The company advises that hemp oil provides essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, which may protect and hydrate the hair and skin. Alongside these, it includes proteins that can restore the hair.

The website describes the product as vegan-friendly, paraben- and gluten-free, and safe to use on color-treated hair.

Individuals can purchase a bundle pack containing one 33.8-fl oz bottle of shampoo and one 33.8-fl oz bottle of conditioner for about $60.

Best follicle enrichment: Luseta Castor & Hemp Oil Bundle

Luseta Beauty offers this shampoo and conditioner bundle to suit all hair types. It contains C. sativa seed oil and Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil.

The company claims that the formula is beneficial for the skin and that it encourages healthy hair growth through follicle enrichment while preventing irritation and dandruff. It is free from sulfates, parabens, and gluten, and a person can safely use the shampoo and conditioner on color-treated hair.

A bundle of one 33.8-fl oz bottle of shampoo and one 33.8-fl oz bottle of conditioner is available to purchase for about $64.

Best for preventing damage: Urban Hydration Rose & Hemp Bundle

This shampoo and conditioner apparently prevent damage and frizz. Their intensive moisturizing capability also allows them to repair damaged hair.

The manufacturer claims that the rosehip oil in the products hydrates the scalp while the hemp oil conditions the hair, helping prevent thinning and further damage.

Urban Hydration also advises that the product may best suit those with more porous hair. It should be safe for use on relaxed, natural, or color-treated hair.

This 33.8-fl oz shampoo and conditioner bundle is available to purchase online for about $22.

People seeking hair care alternatives containing hemp seed oil can choose from several different products.

Shampoos, for example, can prevent damage to the hair while cleansing and treating the scalp. Manufacturers can formulate them to address everything from dandruff and greasy hair to frizz.

However, people looking to minimize frizz should avoid using harsh shampoos that may, in fact, cause extra frizz.

Conditioners protect the hair by mimicking its natural outer layer. They can also make the hair easier to comb, which reduces the risk of damage, minimizes frizz, and makes it easier to manage.

People can also use other oils for hair care, such as:

  • olive
  • mineral
  • sunflower
  • coconut

Researchers have found that coconut oil might prevent protein loss for both healthy and damaged hair.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends that people let their hair type determine their hair care practices. For example, a person might only use products designed specifically for their hair type, wash oily hair more often, or use conditioner regularly on dry hair.

Here we look at some common questions relating to hemp seed oil and hair.

How often can you use hemp oil for hair?

Some shampoos and conditioners that contain hemp seed oil are mild enough for daily use. Serums and masks may only be suitable for occasional or less frequent use.

Individuals should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and perform a patch test if they have sensitivities.

Can you leave hemp oil in overnight?

A person should always follow the manufacturer’s guidance on how to use a product. Hemp and CBD oil seem to be fairly well-tolerated, but 2020 research advises that scientists conduct further safety studies to back this up.

Is hemp seed oil good for thinning hair?

Scientific studies have not yet confirmed that hemp oil has an effect on thinning hair specifically, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it may help thicken the hair. Further research will help validate these claims.

Several studies suggest that hemp seed oil shows promise as a treatment for atopic dermatitis and acne, indicating that it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Hemp seed oil can also reportedly help protect, heal, thicken, and repair the hair. However, scientific testing has not verified all of these claims.