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What Are the Benefits of Neem Oil for Hair?

By Sonal Panse
Updated May 21, 2024
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Neem oil is a yellowish vegetable oil that is derived from the fruit and flowers of the neem. Known botanically as Azadirachta Indica, the neem tree is native to India and other parts of Asia, and is widely known for its many medicinal properties. All parts of the tree can be used medicinally as they contain azadirachtin, a powerful compound that gives the neem its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. Neem oil contains azadirachtin in concentrated amounts, and there are many health benefits to using neem oil for hair care.

Using hair oil on a regular basis can be helpful for maintaining healthy hair, and there are different types of hair oil for different hair types and hair conditions. According to many beauty experts, it is vital to consider the overall hair care goal when choosing hair oil. Neem oil, for instance, can be used for multiple purposes such as conditioning the hair, treating the scalp, soothing infections, and getting rid of lice and nits.

A bi-weekly application of neem oil can result in a healthier scalp, and the health of the scalp, of course, affects the overall health of the hair. The oil should be massaged well into the scalp and left overnight or for about an hour before washing. When using neem oil for hair, it is advisable to dilute it in a carrier oil like coconut, olive or almond oil.

By itself, neem hair oil has a very strong and bitter odor that many people may find difficult to tolerate. It is possible to mitigate the odor to some extent by combining the neem oil with aromatic essential oils like lavender or tea tree. Apart from the issue of odor, the concentrated nature of neem oil may also cause reactions in people with sensitive skin. This can be prevented by diluting the neem oil in a carrier oil.

Neem oil for hair can help treat excessive dryness of the scalp, and both prevent dandruff and get rid of any existing dandruff. Regular application of the oil may also resolve thinning hair issues as the oil is known to promote hair growth and to strengthen the hair quality. Neem oil for hair can also be used as a conditioner with shampoo. A few oil drops can be added to the shampoo before application and then a nice lather can be worked up and left for a minute or two before washing away. The hair will retain a nice shine once it has dried.

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Discussion Comments

By anon967247 — On Aug 26, 2014

I am using Neem with other herbal combination for my bad case of eczema for almost 2.5 months now. I was on steroids for the first two months and antifungal medications, plus antibiotics prior to using Neem, plus other herbal combinations. And I am glad to be off steroids and antibiotics. It's because of the Neem combination, which I have concocted as a pharmacist after researching on what Neem and other herbal combinations can do for eczema. I have been using this Neem combination for three weeks now and it has worked wonders. I strongly recommend using Neem plus herbal combinations if one can stand the smell of Neem.

By anon962263 — On Jul 22, 2014

Could you please tell me how to use neem oil, like weekly or daily?

By ysmina — On Feb 10, 2013

I've been using neem oil for scalp eczema. I used to have an extremely dry, flaky and painful scalp. My scalp is completely better now. It's the only treatment that has worked for me.

I've noticed that my hair is a bit softer too, although I'm not sure if it's the neem.

I agree that neem oil has an odd smell, but the benefits are worth it. Mine is already diluted, so I don't. But I know some people put lavender oil or tea tree oil in it to mask the scent.

By burcidi — On Feb 09, 2013

@anamur-- Neem will definitely help with the excess oil and any scalp infection you may have.

However, if you buy pure neem oil, make sure to dilute it with another oil such as coconut. Neem oil is a very strong oil and it has a pungent scent. Diluting it will help you avoid the potential side effects and also make the scent bearable.

You can massage it into your scalp before going to sleep or several hours before washing your hair.

By serenesurface — On Feb 09, 2013

I just moved to the coast where it is warm and moisture levels are very high. My scalp has been excessively oily since I came here. I have dandruff, itching and I'm forced to wash my hair every day. I think that my scalp might have developed a fungal infection due to moisture.

Will neem oil help?

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