Why You Should Be Using Jojoba Oil for Hair Growth

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Hair oils are extremely popular for helping hydrate, repair, and level up shine. However, knowing exactly which oil is best for your hair’s specific concerns and goals can be difficult. While most hair oils are truly beneficial, it does matter how you apply them, for how long, and whether you opt for a DIY at-home treatment or products that contain them.

Regarding jojoba oil in particular, experts agree that this naturally derived oil can have amazing benefits for hair (as well as skin, FYI). “Jojoba oil has been used for centuries for its various skin-care and hair-care benefits due to its similarity to the natural oils produced by the skin and scalp,” says Camille Friend, celebrity hairstylist for Prose.

We spoke to a panel of hair pros to find out jojoba oil's benefits, when you should apply it, how long to leave it on and learn their top picks for jojoba oil-infused products. “Jojoba oil offers numerous benefits for hair health because it’s able to penetrate deeply into the hair follicles to moisturize and nourish the strands from within,” says Philip B, founder of Philip B hair care. The results, he says, are that jojoba oil helps to hydrate dry hair, improve elasticity, reduce frizz, and promote overall hair health.

Consider this the ultimate guide to jojoba oil for your hair. Jojoba oil is not new to hair care; however, understanding what it is and how it works is important.

What Is Jojoba Oil?

“Jojoba oil is a natural oil derived from the seeds of the jojoba plant also known as Simmondsia Chinensis,” says Philip B.  “Unlike traditional oils, jojoba oil closely resembles the natural oils produced by the scalp, making it an excellent moisturizer for both the hair and skin.” What distinguishes jojoba oil from other oils is that it is actually a liquid wax not an oil. “Even though we call it jojoba oil, jojoba oil is actually a wax ester obtained from the crushed seeds of the jojoba plant,” explains Angela Onuoha, a trichologist and an advisor for Rhyme & Reason hair care. “Due to its wax ester nature, it forms a moisture protective barrier on the skin to reduce trans-epidermal water loss and has intensive hydration properties keeping the skin nice and supple and making it ideal for both hair and scalp.”

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Benefits of Jojoba Oil for Hair

“Jojoba oil is a highly moisturizing oil that closely resembles the natural oils produced by the scalp,” explains Friend. “It can penetrate the hair shaft effortlessly, providing hydration without leaving a greasy residue, plus it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and B-complex, which nourish and strengthen the hair, promoting overall health.”


The pros of using jojoba oil in a haircare as well as skincare routine are plentiful, mainly because of its intense moisturizing effects.

“Jojoba oil helps to moisturize the scalp, prevent moisture loss, and condition the hair, as well as help to protect it from damage,” says Onuoha. Lisa Vann, a hairstylist and owner of Vann Studio Salon Spa in Seattle, Washington explains that it’s jojoba oil’s oily composition in particular that allows it to highly hydrate hair (as well as skin). “Because of this, it can be added to hair conditioners to provide added protection against dryness, breakage, and split ends,” she explains.

What also makes it a standout ingredient in the beauty arena is that it mimics the natural oils produced by the scalp as well as the skin. “Jojoba oil has the same pH as hair and skin, which makes it compatible with the scalp,” says Christian Brown, celebrity hairstylist for DevaCurl and co-founder of Full Spiral Salon in Santa Barbara, California. “Also, jojoba isn’t overwhelming to the hair, so most hair types can use it.”

How to Use Jojoba Oil for Hair

Although you can apply a DIY jojoba oil treatment to your scalp and hair at home, experts agree that many great products and treatments contain it as an ingredient. Onouoha explains that jojoba oil is actually the hero ingredient in all of the Rhyme & Reason Wave Revival hair care products. However, she explains that if you do opt to apply straight-up jojoba oil on its own, be sure to apply it to your hair from ear down before bed. “This allows it to not only nourish the hair but also protect it from all the friction that occurs due to you turning around on your pillowcase while you’re sleeping,” she explains. “Jojoba oil is also great to apply before washing your hair if you feel like the shampoo you’re using, which is mainly meant for the scalp, feels quite stripping on your hair.”

Vann shares the following DIY recipe with clients needing a moisture-packed treatment at home between styling sessions. “In a small container, combine one teaspoon of jojoba oil with two tablespoons of castor oil and five drops of peppermint oil, then gently shake to mix,” she says. “Next, massage the mixture onto your scalp, then wrap your head in a towel or cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on for at least one hour before rinsing it and washing your hair with shampoo.” According to Brown, customizing your hair-care products with an extra dose of jojoba oil is an easy way to incorporate it into your routine. “I like to mix a few drops into styling cream so that it doesn’t oversaturate the hair,” she says.

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When to Avoid Jojoba Oil for Hair

“If you suffer from scalp conditions like dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, then I would not recommend applying pure jojoba oil to the scalp as a scalp oiling treatment,” advises Onuoha. “Both conditions have an overgrowth of a yeast that's present on our scalp, which is oil-loving, meaning that it feeds off the oils on the scalp, so applying more oils to the scalp can result in the scalp conditions getting worse.”

She also says that if your hair is on the finer side, apply pure jojoba oil with caution.  “Use it sparingly since too much oil can easily make the hair look greasy and weigh it down,” she explains. Vann notes that for some people, such as those with sensitive skin in general, jojoba oil can cause a negative reaction. “Especially for those with skin conditions, jojoba oil can cause an allergic reaction, which may appear as an itchy rash, red skin, hives, eye irritation, or more.” Of course, if you have these symptoms, stop using jojoba oil and consult a dermatologist or doctor as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to put jojoba oil on wet or dry hair?

According to Onuoha, applying jojoba oil on a wet scalp is more beneficial due to its moisture protective barrier abilities to reduce transepidermal water loss. When applying to hair only, she adds that doing so to wet or dry strands is totally fine and based on preference. “Applying it to damp hair may help seal moisture more effectively while using it on dry hair can provide added shine and smoothness,” adds Friend.

Can you leave jojoba oil in your hair overnight?

Brown says there are no issues with leaving jojoba oil on hair overnight. “However, I recommend being mindful that you’re not using so much oil to where it’s not allowing you to get a good cleanse on your wash day,” he adds. Friend prefers an overnight treatment for deep conditioning purposes and advises clients to concentrate on applying jojoba oil near the middle to end of the hair. Plus, covering strands with a towel or shower cap and using a specific pillowcase to avoid staining. “Wash it out in the morning and enjoy soft, healthy-looking hair,” she notes.

Which is better: Coconut oil or jojoba oil for hair?

Onuoha explains that they both have their own specific qualities. “Due to its low molecular weight, coconut oil is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft, making it able to literally fill in the gaps in the cuticles, so in my opinion, jojoba oil and coconut oil are actually great when combined instead of picking just one,” she says.

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