Cactus boasts many supposed health benefits, including helping out with digestive health and the treatment of burns. But did you know cactus also has incredible benefits for your hair? Both the flesh and the pulp of cactus plants have been used as folk remedies for centuries in many different cultures around the world.
Written by Nicola Sloan
What Can Cactus Do For Your Hair?
Cactus oil has many potential benefits for hair, due to its high nutrient content. Benefits include the promotion of soft, strong, healthy hair and scalp, faster hair growth, and less hair loss. It can even help reverse heat damage as well as protect your hair from the sun.
What Are The Key Nutrients In Cactus?
Where to begin? Cactuses are a source of vitamins C, E, and A. They also contain iron, calcium, potassium, and Omega 3.
Cactus oil is high in fatty acids, which are great for hair growth and development.
Vitamin E works as an antioxidant that fights free radicals. The oil also contains amino acids which stimulate collagen production. Sounds pretty good, right?
7 Benefits Of Using Cactus For Hair
It Makes Your Hair Soft
Cactus plants are great at storing moisture.
It kind of follows then that cactus oil is one of the best moisturizing agents you can find for your hair, due to its high vitamin content.
Cactus coats hair follicles with a layer of protection, making hair soft, strong, and shiny.
It Helps Prevent Hair Falling Out
The high content of fatty acids in cactus oil helps the growth and maintenance of healthy hair.
These omega fatty acids are vital for the growth and renewal of hair and help stop hair falling out.
It’s Great For Your Scalp
A big reason cactus is good for preventing hair fall is the fact that cactus oil is great for your scalp, due to its high content of fatty acids and vitamin E.
It will protect and moisturize your scalp, banish itchiness and fortify your follicles.
It Can Help Make Your Hair Grow Faster
A healthy scalp equals healthy hair.
And since cactus oil is great for the scalp, and since the omega fatty acids in cactus oil are so important for hair growth and development, cactus may also encourage your hair to grow faster.
It Helps Protect Your Hair From The Sun
The amino acids contained within cactus oil stimulate collagen and promote faster cell turnover.
Collagen doesn’t just keep skin firm and young-looking; it also helps to protect it from environmental stressors including the sun.
The same goes for your scalp and hair too.
It’s Great For Treating Heat Damage
Just like aloe vera, cactus oil is a natural moisturizer: perfect for restoring hydration to dried, sun-parched hair.
Jamaican women use cactus oil for this very purpose, using it as a hair mask to restore moisture and softness.
It’s 100% Natural
One of the major benefits of cactus oil, of course, is it’s totally natural.
This is what sets it apart from many hair care products on the market, which contain harsh chemicals which strip the hair of moisture.
Cactus oil is 100% natural and gentle on the scalp and hair.
How To Use Cactus For Your Hair
There are a number of ways you can reap the benefits of cactus for your hair. It can be used as either a mild shampoo or co-wash, a conditioner, or as a hair mask.
Hair Products Containing Cactus
If you don’t fancy making a DIY hair mask or don’t have the time, here are our picks of great products containing the goodness of cactus oil.
Helps to strengthen hair and prevent breakage. Leave on overnight for best results.
Deep moisture for dry, damaged and brittle hair.
Deep hair repair and recovery. Protects and revives pigments in both colored and natural hair.
DIY Cactus Mask
Here is a basic cactus hair mask recipe you can make yourself, which can be adapted accordingly as a mild shampoo or leave-in conditioner.
The leaves of a cactus (also known as ‘pads’) can be picked up at a Mexican or specialty grocery store. In some cases, you may find them pre-packaged with the spikes already removed.
If your chosen cactus pad does have spikes, wear gloves to avoid getting pricked! One regular-sized cactus pad should be more than enough for this recipe.
Cut the bumpy areas with spikes off. If it’s a fatter pad you could just peel the skin off altogether and use the pulp.
Chop up the cactus pad into small squares and put into a blender with a little water to thin the consistency.
Don’t go overboard with water if you want to use it as a mask, but you could make it thinner if you’d prefer to use the mixture as a leave-in conditioner or shampoo.
Blend up the cactus pieces and water. Then strain to get rid of pulpy bits.
A very fine strainer or a nut milk bag will produce the best results. After straining, you should be left with a frothy, creamy green liquid.
To use as a hair mask, add one tablespoon of almond oil. This amazing oil has extra hydrating properties and is great for your scalp.
You can also add a tablespoon of coconut oil if you wish, to really help lock in the moisture.
Blend these ingredients together and it’s ready to go on your hair!
Apply to hair and place a shower cap over the head to help seal in the moisture. You can also use a deep conditioner cap for even better results.
Leave for 20-30 minutes for best results. Then rinse out to reveal smooth, shiny, and hydrated hair.
Any remaining mixture can be left in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Also Read: Growing Out Curly Hair FAST (7 Easy Hacks)
DIY Cactus Co-wash
You can also use the cactus hair mask as a gentle shampoo or co-wash.
Just follow the guidelines for the cactus hair mask above but use as a shampoo. Adding the extra oils is optional.
DIY Cactus Leave-in Conditioner
To make a leave-in conditioner, follow the instructions for the cactus hair mask above.
You may want to water the mixture down a bit more. Add the oils as an optional extra and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
Then spray onto the hair and leave in for glossy, hydrated locks.
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