1. Condition Hair
Remember, jojoba oil molecules are similar to sebum, which naturally coats your hair with oil. “Applying it to your scalp and hair can hydrate individual hair strands and help lock in moisture, leaving your hair feeling soft and healthy,” says Dr. Husain. And because it’s super-lightweight, people with thin or fine hair can use it to hydrate their strands sans the heaviness of regular conditioners.
You can add a few drops of jojoba oil to your go-to conditioner, apply the oil directly to strands post-shampoo and pre-styling—and if your hair’s Sahara-dry, you can also slather it on for a few hours (or overnight) for a deep-conditioning effect.
2. Ditch Dandruff
Jojoba oil naturally contains palmitic acid and stearic acid, both of which are known for conditioning and protecting the hair, says Dr. Green. When massaged onto the scalp, the added hydration can help prevent dandruff or an itchy scalp—and because jojoba oil is skilled at balancing out the skin, ongoing use may also keep those pesky flakes from returning.
Depending on the severity of your dandruff, you could use jojoba oil as a pre-treatment before shampooing (say, letting it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing), or as a leave-in scalp conditioner post-shampoo.
3. Protect Against Damage
The fatty acids in jojoba oil not only condition the hair, but protect it from styling tool-induced heat damage. And remember those potent antioxidants? They defend your hair against free radicals the same way they do your skin. For those with color treated hair, adding jojoba oil to your repertoire can help extend the length of your color too. To score these protective benefits, run a drop of two of jojoba oil through your hair before and after styling.
4. Promote Hair Thickness and Growth
The vitamins and minerals found in jojoba oil (vitamins B and C, zinc, copper) provide nourishment to the hair and help keep it thick and growing. “The zinc that’s found in jojoba oil, for example, is vital for the tissue in the hair to grow,” It helps the follicles grow and maintains the functionality of the surrounding oil glands.
It’s also excellent for strengthening the hair, he adds, and advises that anyone suffering from hair loss apply a few drops to their scalp as a regular leave-in treatment. “This will help moisturize the follicles to prevent dryness, which can lead to hair falling out.”
5. Delay Grays
Copper deficiency can lead to loss of pigment and premature gray hair, and copper itself is currently being studied as a potential topical anti-aging compound. Because jojoba oil contains copper, along with protective antioxidants like vitamins C and E, applying it could help slow down this process and restore some of the lost copper.
Until the jury’s back on how effective jojoba oil is in this department, give it as much time to (potentially) combat grays as possible by using it as a leave-in conditioner. Massage a few drops onto your scalp and hair, after showering and before styling—then cross your fingers.