Jojoba oil is an extract of the seeds of jojoba plant, also known as Simmondsia chinensis, which is native to some regions of Arizona, Mexico and California. Though often referred as jojoba oil, it is actually a liquid wax, which is golden in color in its pure organic form.
A perennial woody shrub native to the semiarid Sonoran Desert region of northwestern Mexico and the neighboring southwestern United States, jojoba grows in dense stands in the wild. It is presently also commercially cultivated in plantations all around the world in countries including Argentina, Australia, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Peru, and the USA.
Refined jojoba oil is almost a clear, colorless and odorless liquid. Being widely recognized for its amazing moisturizing properties, jojoba oil is one of the important natural products in the cosmetic industry.
The amazing moisturizing properties of this unique seed oil have been known through the ages. Early Native Americans and the Indians who inhabited northwestern Mexico used the seeds and their oil for many applications. While they found it useful in the making of a coffee-like beverage, medicines for cancer and kidney disorders, and chewing as a dietary supplement and an appetite suppressant when food was scarce, probably the most lasting use has been for treating skin and scalp.
First officially documented in 1822 by German botanist Johann Link and eventually renamed Simmondsia chinensis by Austrian botanist, Camillo Karl Schneider, in 1912, the unique properties of jojoba had been discovered by chemists in the 1930’s.
Nowadays, this oil is an indispensable part of many shampoos, conditioners and a range of skin care products, formulated for sun protection, as well as for fighting the signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines. The oil can be especially beneficial for hair and scalp.
Today, hair and scalp problems like dandruff, hair loss, and dryness of hair and split ends are quite common, due to excessive exposure of hair to harsh chemicals, pollutants, and hair styling products.
Jojoba oil with some of its amazing properties can prove extremely useful for most of hair problems. This oil is usually regarded as quite a unique oil, due to its structural resemblance to ‘sebum’– oil produced by the sebaceous glands, present in human scalp and skin.
So, let’s take a brief look at the benefits of jojoba oil for hair and scalp health and growth potential:
- Jojoba oil can regulate the level of sebum production. Excess production of sebum can clog the hair follicles which retards hair growth
- Good for hair loss and keeping the scalp clean
- Improves blood circulation
- Antibacterial and fungicidal properties
- Moisturizing properties—it seals in moisture in the hair shaft and add a natural glow and luster to your hair
- Excellent hair conditioner which can be used to get rid of dry and frizzy hair
- Hot oil treatment—and is non-greasy
According to the International Jojoba Export Council, jojoba is odorless, natural, non-greasy, and extremely stable. It doesn’t break down when exposed to water or oxygen and, a natural carrier of Vitamin E and a natural antioxidant it is an extremely efficient non-comedogenic moisture regulator, penetrating the skin to moisturize without blocking the pores.
Extracting “Liquid Gold”
The seeds of the jojoba plant are crushed using various methods to extract the golden-yellow oil. It can be further processed with filtration to remove the color and odor. The forms most used by the cosmetics industry are “golden or refined (lite) jojoba, hydrogenated jojoba, jojoba esters, hydrolyzed jojoba, ethoxylated jojoba and other value added jojoba derivatives.” (International Jojoba Export Council, www.ijec.net, Manufacturing with Jojoba)
Other Uses for the “Golden Oil”
Jojoba oil is readily available through many sources. While found in any number of commercial skin and hair care products, many suppliers provide various bottled quantities direct to the consumer at a reasonable price either through retail outlets or for purchase online.
The oil can be used topically, applied directly to the skin and scalp to remove makeup and product buildup, moisturize and soften rough, dry skin, even to relieve sunburn and condition and soothe skin during and after shaving.
Added to other products like shampoos and liquid soaps, it aids in deep cleansing and conditioning. Mixing jojoba oil with your favorite essential oils makes for a relaxing, aromatic conditioning treatment for skin during massage.
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What is your opinion: Have you ever used Jojoba oil? How has using this terrific oil improved your hair and scalp health?