Did you know that Almond is a seed found inside the fruits of the Almond tree? These fruits look very similar to peaches, only green in color. So, this fact about Almond makes it a fruit, and not a nut! Interesting, right?
Almonds are the oldest and most widely grown of all the world's nut crops. They were first produced in the Middle East, and very soon, people discovered that the oil extracted from its seeds was extremely beneficial. Nearly half of dry Almond’s weight was found to be oil and ripe Almonds were pressed to extract the oil with minimal heat.
Today, Almonds and Almond Oil are popular as rich sources of nutrients. You might have come across nutritionists advising people to add Almonds to their daily diet and Ayurveda beauty experts recommending Abhyanga (self-massage) with the oil to nourish the skin. Either way, Almonds provide us with what our body requires and form an important part of our life.
The Almond oil obtained simply by pressing the nuts is unrefined Almond oil and retains most of these nutrients and the original flavor of the oil. Refined Almond oil, on the other hand, is obtained by heating and chemically treating unrefined Almond oil. This oil is more resistant to heat but contains fewer nutrients.
So, which Almond oil should you choose for yourself? Well, to understand that, let’s talk about one more derivative of Almond, Cold-Pressed Sweet Almond Oil.
What is Sweet Almond Oil?
There are two types of Almond oil: sweet and bitter. Sweet Almond oil is the kind that’s better suited to your skin as it’s obtained from an Almond tree (Prunus amygdalus var. Dulcis) whose seeds do not contain poisonous chemicals. Bitter Almond oil can be toxic and derived from a different kind of Almond tree (Prunus amygdalus var. Amara). Bitter Almond oil is only used for medicinal purposes.
The four most important nutrients found in Sweet Almond oil are Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and zinc. Each nutrient has a specific function.
Almond oil is an emollient, meaning it can fill in gaps in your hair at a cellular level. That makes your hair feel smoother to the touch. Using almond oil on your hair gives it a softer texture over time. Once almond oil is incorporated into your hair care routine, you may also notice that your hair is easier to comb through and style.
Using certain oils to treat hair can make it less prone to breakage and diminish split ends. The lubricating properties of nut oils, like almond oil, diminish friction during hair styling. A study on Brazilian nut oils (many of which contain oleic acid and linoleic acid, just likeTrusted Source sweet almond oil) showed improvement in hair’s resilience when it was treated with small amounts of oil ingredients.
There aren’t clinical trials that prove that almond oil is effective in making hair grow. But here’s what we do know: almond oil can make hair stronger and less prone to split ends, which means your hair growth won’t be slowed by losing hair that becomes damaged. Almond oil contains high amounts of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidantTrusted Source. When antioxidants combat the environmental stress around your hair, your hair looks younger and healthier.
Almond oil can also be used as a treatment for flaky scalp (seborrheic dermatitis) and scalp psoriasis. While we don’t have studies that show how almond oil treats these conditions, almond oil has been used to treat dry scalp conditions in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuriesTrusted Source. Rubbing a small amount of almond oil directly on your scalp increases blood flow to the area and introduces powerful antioxidants to the skin on your head.