Safflower Oil Benefits For Hair And Skin (How To Use It)

Want to add nutrients to your hair and skin with Safflower oil?

You will discover the omega rich GOOD acids that Safflower offers along with an easy step by step process for applying the oil.

What Is A Safflower Plant? 

A bushy thistle-like plant, the safflower plant has the scientific name Carthamus tinctorius and is related to the sunflower.

The plant has a thistle-like flower with deep yellow petals which eventually fall off and expose the seeds which are the source of the safflower oil.

The safflower plant is considered to be one of the world’s first crops and is known to have been used as far back as 4000 years ago in ancient Egypt and Greece.

Textiles from Egypt from the 12 dynasties have been tested revealing dyes made from safflower. The plant grows in over 60 countries in the world and does best in arid climates with small amounts of seasonal rain.

The US is the second largest grower of safflower in the world behind India (1) (2).

What Is Safflower Oil?

Safflower oil comes from the seeds of the plant, and while the plant has been used for thousands of years around the world for its leaves, flowers, and oil, the commercial production of the oil did not begin until early in the 20th century.

Traditionally the plant has been used as a dye, flavoring, and medicine, but now is primarily grown commercially for its oil. The oil is flavorless and colorless and is used for cooking, as a base for salad dressings, the production of margarine, a base for oil paints, and in cosmetics (3).

More recently use of safflower oil in the beauty industry has borrowed from Chinese tradition and is once again used as a skin and hair care treatment due to its protective qualities and high levels of nutrients.

Safflower oil is loaded with healthy Omega 6 in the form of linoleic acid and can benefit your skin when used both internally and externally (4).

Rich in vitamin E, the oil is a great moisturizer for both skin and hair.

Beneficial Nutrients for Skin and Hair

Whether you consume safflower oil or put it directly on your hair and skin, it has plenty of nutrients to give them the healthy glow you are after.

It is of course pure fat, so healthy fat or not, if you are trying to lose weight you are probably better off applying it directly to your hair and skin and use it sparingly in your diet.

Per one tablespoon of Safflower Oil:

Calories: 119

Fat: 13.5 grams

Saturated Fat: 0.8 grams
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.9 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat: 10.1 grams

Total Omega 6 fatty acids – 10073 grams

Vitamin E: 23% DV (5)

Benefits of Safflower Oil for Your Hair

The Chinese have been applying the oil of the safflower seeds to their hair for centuries.

While they may not have known why it was good for their hair, they certainly knew long before the western world that applying this oil made their hair shinier and easier to manage.

Today, thanks to science, we know that safflower oil is very high in polyunsaturated fat. In fact, at 77% linoleic acid (omega 6 fatty acids) it has one of the highest percentages available in oil.

It also contains 13% oleic acid (omega 9) and 10% saturated fat. Safflower oil is also rich in vitamin E and alpha-tocopherol and phytosterols which are known for their skin and hair benefits (6).

Oleic acid gives Safflower oil a light text which absorbs easily and leaves only a small amount of oily residue on the scalp.

Because the oil can penetrate to the hair follicles, it gives the hair a firm, shiny texture while at the same time nourishing, hydrating, and protecting the hair from damage.

For those who color or treat their hair, safflower oil makes a good treatment to repair dry and damaged hair. Massaging a bit of oil into the scalp can also dilate blood vessels, allowing more nutrients to reach the hair follicles.

This provides a healthy environment for damaged hair and encourages new growth (7).

Does Safflower Oil Stimulate Hair Growth?

Did you know, your hair is made up of mostly protein?


If you are not getting sufficient protein because of a poor diet or other reasons, your hair will be one of the first places to suffer. Hair can become dry and brittle and eventually will start falling out (8).

Safflower oil is ideal for hydration of the hair, and the increased blood supply that is the result of the essential fatty acids can help to ensure that the hair follicles get enough protein.

Vitamin E also works as an antioxidant, killing free radicals that can damage hair cells and slow down hair growth(9).

Repairing Damaged Hair

As hair grows, the longer it gets, the less access to the natural oils on the scalp the ends below the nape of the neck have. This means that the ends of your hair are unprotected and subject to damage.

Dry hair can be repaired using an oil such as Safflower oil that is rich in essential fatty acids. Not only is this approach affordable but it is very simple.

To replace essential fatty acids using safflower oil:

  1. Warm a bit of safflower oil in the microwave or by rubbing it in the palms of your hands.
  2. Working from the ends of your hair, work the oil all the way through your hair and into the scalp.
  3. Add a plastic bag to your hair to keep the oil warm; this helps it to absorb into your hair.
  4. Leave it on your hair for at least an hour and then rinse your hair with warm (not hot) water.
  5. Repeat as needed to keep your hair moisturized and healthy looking.

Benefits of Safflower Oil for Skin

Vitamin E and essential fatty acids are also great for the skin, but safflower oil has a unique makeup making it especially good for normal and dry skin types.

Safflower oil creates a barrier that seals water into the skin and is considered an emollient which means it softens the skin. For those who suffer from dry skin, this is good news because it can treat the driest patches of your skin by softening them and then creating a barrier to keep water in (10).

Safflower oil has one of the highest percentages of linoleic acid of any oil on the market. This is part of what makes safflower oil unique.

Linoleic acid has the unique property of combining with sebum in your pores to unclog pores and reduce the size and appearance of blackheads and acne. It can also help to soften scars and is known to improve the texture and tone of your skin (11).

Many of the moisturizers and acne products on the market are known to be harsh and irritate the skin; safflower is very mild, has no odor and is known to be better tolerated than other natural and over the counter remedies.

Safflower Oil Can Help Diet

While safflower oil applied externally does absorb into the skin and hair quite efficiently, taking safflower oil orally can also enhance the moisturizing effects for your skin and hair.

A 2007 study referenced by Dr. Kristie Leong showed that linoleic acid combined with vitamin C taken internally would improve fine lines in wrinkles in middle age women (12). Some sources also say that you can use safflower oil is taken internally to help with acne as well (13).

You will also notice that your skin and hair are softer, less dry, and your hair will have a nice shine when you supplement your diet with safflower oil.

Keep in mind that safflower oil can be inexpensive, and it is tempting to buy the cheapest bottle you can find. However, if you plan to use it internally, you will get more for your money by purchasing raw cold press safflower oil.

Cold press ensures that nutrients have not been stripped by processing the oil chemically. Safflower oil is also heat sensitive, so if you are taking it as a supplement, you should not heat the oil but instead ingest it in its raw form.

You can add it to salad dressings or add it to a smoothie to hide the flavor(14). You can also purchase Safflower in pill form. It is slightly more expensive, but it eliminates the issue of how to ingest the oil in a form you can tolerate.

Top Safflower Oil Products

It can be tricky to decide which safflower oil products are best, so we have added a few products we believe are among the best.

BodyBio Organic Safflower Oil

Benefit: Rich in essential omega six oils

This company offers the best of the best with their safflower oil. This oil is unrefined; cold pressed, has no additives, and is organic. This means that you will get the highest number of nutrients possible.

It comes in an opaque 16-ounce bottle, which protects the oils from oxidative degradation from sunlight.

It is also certified kosher and Halal and can be used both internally and externally.

It is a wonderful light texture for topical use, ensuring that it absorbs rapidly and does not leave a greasy residue(15).

Life-Flo Organic Pure Safflower Oil

Benefit: Cold press and organically grown

This safflower oil is sold as a health and beauty product but is listed as food grade so you can also take it as a supplement. It is also cold pressed which is important to ensure maximum nutrients.

The manufacturer lists the product for use on hair and to hydrate skin as well as to add to lotions, conditioners, and massage oils. This bottle of oil is more affordable than other brands despite being organic and cold pressed, so it is a good choice if cost is an issue.

The bottle is 16 fluid ounces which should last for a long time if you are using it as a moisturizer and hair treatment (16)

Hollywood Safflower Oil

Benefit: Best deal on cold press safflower oil

This product looks much the same as any bottle of cooking oil you might find in the grocery store. It is a great value for those who are money conscious.

The best thing about this oil is that because it is packaged for cooking it is a larger quantity, but it is still expeller pressed meaning that it is safflower oil with none of the chemicals that comes from processing.

The oil is low smoke point, so you will not want to cook with it, but it works find as a treatment for skin and hair and can be used in salad dressings or smoothies. The oil is not pure safflower oil but has also been enriched with more vitamin E which makes it an even better choice for those using it for their skin and hair (17).

Final Thoughts

With the price of beauty products these days, going up into the hundreds of dollars and promising far more than they deliver, it is nice to find products such as safflower oil that are as affordable as they are effective.

Nothing could be simpler than adding a bit of oil right out of the bottle to your hair and skin and then waiting for the benefits in a few weeks. You do need to be patient; it can take up to 4 weeks to notice a significant change.

You also want to use care when choosing a product, at minimum opt for pure safflower oil that has not been chemically extracted. To do otherwise could risk the addition of chemicals which could be harmful to your hair.

Dee is a health conscious mom, and wife who loves to write when she isn't at the gym.
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