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

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Hemp seeds are the fruit of the hemp plant. They consist of 30–35% 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.

Hemp is sometimes referred to as “industrial hemp,” because this is its primary use.

The use of hemp seed oil for hair care is not new, but it has seen increasing popularity 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 incorporates hemp seed oil.

For example, researchers found that after 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, 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.

Some studies suggest that hemp seed oil can help relieve the symptoms of dry skin and itchiness in atopic dermatitis. Another 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 impact 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.

Hemp seed composition provides some clues as to the source of their benefits as they contain many important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including:

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

Learn about more hemp seed oil products here.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price. Products are available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients. Products list all ingredients clearly.
  • Skin concerns. Products target a specific skin concern, such as dryness or oiliness.
  • Safety. Products contain ingredients that are safe for topical use.
  • Reputable. Products are from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.

Some products that incorporate hemp seed oil include shampoos and conditioners with low oil concentrations, and other products are pure hemp seed oil that individuals 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.

Best for shine: Organic Pure Oil Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

The formulation of these products aims to strengthen, moisturize, and restore all hair types.

The manufacturer states that the products feature a blend of hemp seed oil, hemp proteins, and hemp extracts to promote shine, reduce frizz, and support dry ends.

16-ounce (oz) bottles are available to purchase online for around $25.

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 around $7.

Best strengthening: Maui Moisture Fortifying + Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner

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

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

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

Best heat protection: Wellness Premium Organic Hemp Seed Oil Intensive Hair Serum

The manufacturer formulated this hair serum to provide all hair types with the strength and protection necessary to handle the heat from styling products.

The cold-pressed hemp seed oil in this hair serum provides important vitamins and minerals.

The company website does not state the exact quantity, but a small bottle of this serum is available to purchase online for around $50.

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 around $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, scented with grapefruit and peach, may help hydrate hair and leave it soft and lustrous.

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

Best repairing: Wellness Premium: Organic Hemp Seed Oil Intensive Hair Mask

The manufacturer recommends this hair mask for thin to wavy hair.

It uses cold-pressed hemp seed oil, vitamins, and keratin to repair damage from the sun and chemical processes.

People should apply it after washing their hair, leave it on for 5–60 minutes, then wash it out to reveal softer, healthier hair.

The company website does not state the exact quantity, but a tub of this mask is available to purchase online for around $67.

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

This product may help fight frizz and tangles while hydrating and moisturizing.

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

A 4-fl oz bottle of this hair mist is available to purchase online for around $5.

Best THC-free: Shea Moisture Lush Length Conditioner

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

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

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

People seeking hair care alternatives that contain hemp seed oil can choose from a number of 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 with frizzy hair 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 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 could prevent protein loss for both healthy and damaged hair.

The American Academy of Dermatology (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.

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 gentle enough for daily use. Serums and masks may only suit 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 cannabidiol (CBD) oil show to be fairly well tolerated, but 2020 research advises that scientists should conduct further safety studies to back this up.

Is hemp seed oil good for thinning hair?

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

Several studies suggest that hemp seed oil shows promise as a treatment for atopic dermatitis and acne. It may also have anti-inflammatory properties.

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