We’ve known about jojoba oil for decades-at least since the early 1970s after the United States outlawed whale oils being imported and we had to find another source of wax esters to use in cosmetics. So formulators turned to the natural plant extract produced in the seed of the jojoba tree native to the southwestern United States. Jojoba oil turned out to be far superior to whale oils, and in a lot of ways-brace yourself-it’s even superior to coconut oil for hair and skin.
More of a liquid wax than an oil, jojoba has a natural moisturizing factor (NMF), ingredients that mimic the structure and function of healthy skin. What it mimics is sebum, the skin’s natural oil, and the resemblance makes jojoba hard to surpass when it comes to skin and hair health. This is where it transcends even the revered coconut oil. While both are great on dry skin and hair, coconut oil is not classified as an NMF and isn’t assimilated by the skin or hair in quite the same way.
You might be thinking, Well, that’s fine for my skin, but I’m not putting straight oil on my hair.
And you have a point; oil is what we wash out and depend on dry shampoo to soak up. But read on. You do not want to miss out on what jojoba oil can do for your hair.
It can actually cleanse.
Since the body produces natural sebum to keep skin and hair moisturized and healthy, this is where jojoba really shines. Use jojoba oil by massaging it onto the scalp for a light cleansing action and to temper your body’s own production of sebum.
It won’t mess with your scalp.
Because jojoba has a molecular structure similar to your natural sebum, it’s readily accepted by the scalp and won’t upset its natural balance. Use jojoba oil to keep skin irritations to a minimum and support immune function in the skin-including your scalp.
It’ll make your hair shiny.
On dry ends, jojoba will lightly coat the hair and give it extra shine, softness, body, and protection. It’s a godsend for already damaged hair and for hair that needs protection from damage alike.
It can strengthen your hair.
The fats in jojoba oil (98% monounsaturated fats; 2% saturated) can penetrate the hair follicle and strengthen hair fibers from the inside. Because it can get into the hair shaft, jojoba can help reduce the hair fiber weakening that happens when hair shrinks and swells as it gets wet and then dries.
It adds volume.
Even if your hair is thinning, jojoba gives volume and body to existing hair strands, making your hair appear thicker. This is not to say it will make thin hair thick; it won’t, but it can make it look better.
It has a long shelf life.
Jojoba is a reasonably stable liquid that will keep for long periods of time. Because it does not contain the triglycerides found in vegetable oils, it won’t oxidize or turn rancid as quickly as other oils. But you might not even notice this perk because you’re likely to go through your jojoba at a consistent pace.