If you are looking for an effective natural remedy, look for nothing other than neem leaves. Neem tree is commonly found in every household. Neem leaves has been used for ages to treat many skin ailments and hair loss. The anti-microbial and blood purifying properties of neem leaves address the root causes of the hair loss. It stimulates the growth of healthy strong hair. Neem is a versatile herb and can be used in many ways.
Health benefits of Neem Oil
Neem leaves used in any form not just treats hair loss, but also heals your body internally. It adds a natural glow to your skin; treats boils, blemishes and acne; addresses all skin allergies; treats viral and bacterial infection.
The name neem comes from the Sanskrit word ‘nimba’, which means sprinkler of nectar. An important part of traditional Indian medicine, neem has been used to treat various skin and scalp conditions, reduce swelling and inflammation, get rid of parasites, and help with many other illness. Neem contains more than 35 biologically active ingredients and has many medicinal properties.
From hair growth to dandruff, neem oil is the nature’s cure for your scalp and hair problems. Neem oil is extracted from the seeds and fruits of the neem tree, a large-sized evergreen tree, which is known in the Indian sub-continent since antiquities.
Here’s how neem can help you get a healthy scalp and hair.
6 Wonderful Benefits of Neem Oil for Hair and Scalp
1. Promotes Hair Growth
With extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants – a lot more than those found in blueberries or spinach – neem oil protects the scalp skin from ongoing damage that is caused by the free radicals. Neem also has regenerative properties that support healthy cell division and stimulate hair follicle growth and function.
Regular application of the neem oil will promote thicker, stronger, and more luxurious hair growth.
2. Conditions dry, under-nourished hair
Neem oil contains several fatty acids – such as linoleic, oleic, stearic acids – that nourish and condition the scalp and hair. It’s moisturizing effects revitalizes and restores dry, under-nourished or rough hair to a smooth, silky texture.
For deep conditioning, massage through the scalp and hair with fingertips. Cover hair with hot towel (not too hot that it hurts, but tolerable) and allow to penetrate the hair for 20 minutes or so. Wash as usual. Your hair will become shiny, healthy and more manageable.
3. Helps with dandruff and itching
Neem oil is effective against several human fungi including candida, which is one of the major cause of dandruff. Also when you have dandruff there is some underlying inflammation going on that makes the scalp red and irritated. Inevitably, neem oil will take care of everything as along with anti-fungal properties, it also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects that help with redness and scalp irritation.
Use this potent oil to get rid of dandruff or even as preventive measure, in case you are prone to getting it.
4. Relieves Eczema symptoms
Eczema or dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by itchy, dry, red, flaking and crusting skin. Nimbidin, an anti-inflammatory substances in the neem acts similar to non-steroidal drug (phenylbutazone) and helps reduce the redness and irritation. In addition, neem oil is rich in fatty acids and glycerides that easily penetrates the outer layers of the skin, and restores the protective barrier, thus preventing the moisture loss.
Neem is also a strong analgesic (pain-killer). So, it will bring relief from the excruciating discomfort caused by dry itchy eczema skin. And its strong antiseptic and antibacterial will help to keep bacteria and secondary skin infections at bay.
5. Keeps your scalp healthy
Also touted as scalp savior, its immense healing properties – anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral – help to keep the scalp skin in good health. Plus, neem oil is also considered as cooling, soothing and astringent in nature. Using neem oil on a regular basis on your scalp will regulate the secretion of sebum (scalp’s natural oil) and also work to normalize oily or dry scalp conditions. Due to its high medicinal value and emollient qualities, neem oil is often used in skin and scalp care products.
6. Get Rids of Head Lice
Neem oil is one of the best home remedy to treat head lice and nits. Neem contains azadirachtin, an insecticidal ingredient, which disrupts the growth and reproduction of lice, and so it will eventually kill them. Plus, the other ingredients in neem inhibit the swallowing system of lice, thus reducing their appetite to the point of starvation. In addition, the pungent odor of neem oil is strongly disliked by lice, thus keep them away from crawling into your head. Thus, you can also use this oil as a preventive treatment.
Neem oil smell
Neem has a pungent, somewhat bitter and antiseptic-y odor. There have been efforts to mask the smell of neem oil by using various chemical (harsh & not so good); and do you think that will keep the qualities of neem oil intact? Perhaps, its time that we grow our senses and understand the difference between good pungent and synthetic sweet.
Although it is possible to lighten the odor to some extent by combining the neem oil with aromatic essential oils like lavender, tea tree, or orange.
How to Use?
When using neem oil, dilute it with base oils like olive, avocado, sesame oil, or jojoba oil. You can use between 10 to 20% neem oil in a blend. You can also add 4 to 5 of drops of lavender or ylang ylang essential oil to mask the smell, as well as enhance its effects.
Here’s a blend that you can use: Take 1 tsp of neem oil, 3 tbs of avocado oil, and 4 to 5 drop of lavender oil. Mix all the ingredients well. Apply this on your scalp and hair and massage gently. Leave it for about an hour or so and wash as usual. You can also leave it overnight for more effectiveness.
Have you used neem oil? Would love to hear your experience…
Koriem, K. M., (2013), Review on pharmacological and toxicologyical effects of oleum azadirachti oil. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine,3(10), 834–840.
Kumar, S. P., Mishra, D., Ghosh.G., Panda. C. S., (2010) Annals of Biological Research, 1 (3), 24-34.
Image source of neem tree leaves: Wikimedia Commons/ Prabhupuducherry
*Sanskrit is the primary liturgical language of India. More info click here –>> Sanskrit
Image source: “Neem tree leaves” by Prabhupuducherry – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons