Spotlight on Apricot Oil

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When it comes to natural hair, oils are all the buzz. We are always on the prowl to seek out the latest and greatest, most cost effective, and amazing oils to take our coils and curls to the next level. Sometimes we seek out the standard — like coconut or olive oil. Other times, we want the exotic and expensive.

On a recent excursion to Vitamin Shoppe, I spent some time poring over their available spread of oils. I usually spend my time checking out supplements, or keeping a narrow focus on certain oils like Castor or Sweet Almond. Checking out what else they keep in stock was definitely a new experience for me. While trying to decide how to spend my $10 rewards certificate, I came across a huge bottle of Apricot Oil for $12.99. Although it’s not super exotic, expensive or rare, it’s not one that gets a lot of shine (no pun intended). After some in-store research and at-home use, I think I have a new favorite. Let me share why.

Apricot Oil (Prunus armeniaca) is pressed from the kernels of the Apricot fruit, and is light yellow in color. It is slightly nutty, and similar in viscosity to sweet almond oil. Apricot oil is high in oleic and linoleic fatty acids, which have all sorts of wonderful benefits for hair, scalp, and body.

Oleic acid is commonly known as an omega-9 fatty acid with wonderful emollient properties. Emollients are ingredients that when applied, make hair and skin softer and more pliable. While emollients do not truly moisturize (meaning they do not penetrate the hair), they do increase the hydration level of hair and skin by preventing evaporation. Lineoleic acid is the fun stuff, and definitely the star of the show. Lineolic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid with a laundry list of benefits internally and externally. According to a study at the University of Maryland Medical Center, omega-6 fatty acids can stimulate hair growth. Also an emollient, lineolic acid helps control hair hydration by controlling water loss.

Altogether, the fatty acids in Apricot Oil come together to serve three wonderful functions at the molecular level:

  1. –Cement: They shape the substance that seal scales of the hair cuticle, in the same way that cement keeps together the bricks in a wall. Because the scales are “cemented” together, they make for a smooth surface, which enables the hair to protect itself against external aggressions, and to reflect light (shiny hair).
  2. –Barrier: Also known as sealing. They prevent the water that was absorbed by the hair from evaporating.
  3. –Sponge: Fatty acids are also mild humectants. They are able to absorb small amounts of water from the air’s humidity in order to help maintain hair hydration.

Apricot Oil is also rich in Vitamins A & E. Vitamin A supports skin health and repair, a wonderful property for those suffering from dry scalp, psoriasis, dandruff, or eczema. Additionally, it can help soothe irritated scalp, and soften fine lines in the skin. Vitamin E supports healthy hair growth, and is believed to prevent hair loss. When combined with fatty acids, Vitamin E acts as a preservative preventing free radicals from eliminating their effectiveness. It also prevents UV damage, which is just in time for Spring and Summer!

To sum this thing up, Apricot Oil will make for a great pre-poo, as well as a mix-in for your conditioner, shampoo, deep conditioner, and leave in. It helps promote hair growth, as well as length retention. You can even use it on your skin to help soften and retain moisture. If you are suffering from dry or flaky scalp, or dull and dry hair, Apricot Oil may be just the thing you need to restore moisture and balance.

As with all oils you intend to use on your hair, scalp, or skin, you will reap the most benefit from those that are:

  • –Virgin or Pure: Meaning that the oil was obtained by mechanical processes, without industrial refinement or chemical additives.
  • –Cold Pressed: Meaning that the seeds, nuts, or kernels are pressed to release their oils without heat. Cold pressed oils best retain the nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids that provide the benefits you seek. Heat diminishes their presence and effectiveness.
  • –Organic: Which guarantees that there is has been no fertilizer, no herbicides or chemical pesticides in the environment where the product source is cultivated. Because those elements are soluble in greasy substances, they end up in the raw product (unrefined/cold pressed). Only industrial refinement can then eliminate the impurities…then the oil itself loses its effectiveness. Talk about a vicious cycle.

Happy Apricot Oiling!

For more from Christina check out her blog, The Mane Objective. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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Christina Patrice

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and living in Los Angeles, Christina is BGLH's resident transitioning expert and product junkie. In addition to loving all things hair, she is a fitness novice and advocate of wearing sandals year-round. For more information on transitioning, natural hair, and her own hair journey, visit maneobjective.com. Or, if you like pictures follow Christina on Instagram @maneobjective.

 

16 thoughts on “Spotlight on Apricot Oil

    • Does Apricot Oil smell really good? I’ve been looking for a sweet smelling oil to make my hair smell nice since I’m no longer able to use Coconut Oil.

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      • Miro, apricots have no taste aoslmt in any country we tried some this holidays in Slovakia and Switzerland and all of them have nothing in common with the ones I remember from my childhood: size of kids fist, beautiful orange-red colour and sweet smell of sunny days in a garden one of the farmers I met in Switzerland told me, that there is a slight chance to win some taste and sweet smell by letting them for 2-3 days on a sunny place same with tomatoes and never keep them in the fridge as they loose the taste completely have tried and it did work a bit, better for tomatoes

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  1. This article came right on time! I was just in gnc this morning looking @ apricot oil. I was going to do some research about it later and this article came about. I am looking for an oil to replace my beloved cold pressed castor oil for spring/summer months cause its too heavy for the warmer weather. I usually use evoo in the warmer weather but figured this would be a good time to try something new. I guess apricot oil it is lol. Great article!
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/IMG_20130404_074437-1.jpg[/img]
    Celebrated my 1 yr nappiversary yesterday….. yayyyy! 4/4/13

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  2. How would you compare it to grape seed oil especially on dry corse hair? im thinking of trying something new besides coconut oil

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  3. This article was perfect timing. I went to GNC earlier this week for Avocado & Jojoba Oil and found Apricot Oil instead. Since it was a BOGO (Buy 1 Get 1 50% off) it was literally the only oil (last one on top of that) other than Grapeseed Oil which I already have. So I drove to another GNC and got Apricot & Avocado Oil and I’ve been doing research ever since especially since I don’t hear much about it! Thx.

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  4. I’ve been using apricot oil for a while now. I ordered the NOW brand from Amazon (because of the great price) and gave it a try. I love it.

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  5. Pingback: How Omegas 3, 6 & 9 Promote Hair Growth + 15 Oils that Contain Omegas | Black Girl with Long Hair

  6. Many apricots are also cultivated in Australia, particularly South Australia, where they are commonly grown in the region known as the Riverland and in a small town called Mypolonga in the Lower Murray region of the state. In states other than South Australia, apricots are still grown, particularly in Tasmania and western Victoria and southwest New South Wales, but they are less common than in South Australia.-

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  7. I am glad I found this site someone gave me some apricot oil I new it was great for skin but I wonder about hair

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  8. More recently, English settlers brought the apricot to the English colonies in the New World. Most of modern American production of apricots comes from the seedlings carried to the west coast by Spanish missionaries. Almost all U.S. commercial production is in California, with some in Washington and Utah.”;.-

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  9. Pingback: Apricot Oil Good for the Hair and Skin | Dog Feelings | Blogs

  10. Don’t have to tell me twice! I recently used Kinky Curly’s Perfectly Polished to refresh a twistout that I wasn’t ready to cowash or add a ton of water to. I simply sectioned and applied my LIC – Kera Care Natural Textures, sealed each section with Perfectly polished and then difused by hair. My curls were so shiny and soft and moisturised, later that night all I did was retwist without adding anything else and I was able to go another day. I just happend to notice the #1 ingrediant in Perfectly Polished is Apricot oil. I will be adding it to the applicator bottle of oils I use to seal my hair (Olive, Sweet Almond, Avacado, Castor, Grapeseed & jojoba).

    LIC: Kera Care Natural Textures
    Kinky Curly Perfectly Polished:

    Perfectly Polished: Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Crambe Abyssinica (Abyssinian) Seed Oil, Tritcum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil and natural fragrance

    I’m also looking to add Wheat Germ oil and Abyssinian oil to my collection. Does anyone know where I can find Abyssinian oil?

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  11. Thank you for this extremely brilliant blog. This is the right place where there is something for everyone! I was looking for this kind of information for such a long time and I am more than happy to see such a great blog with plenty of useful information. Thanks again for sharing

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