When you think of carrots, chances are you’re adding it to a salad or pairing it with hummus as a snack. But the entire vegetable—from the roots to the seeds—has tons of health and beauty benefits. In fact, have you ever thought about using carrots in your hair routine? Aside from improving eye health and lowering cholesterol, carrots are also key to producing carrot oil, which is known to help strengthen, moisturize, and stimulate hair follicles.
So is carrot oil the secret to hair growth? We spoke to two trichologists—Bridgette Hill, a certified trichologist and founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis, and Gretchen Friese, a BosleyMD-certified trichologist—for their advice on whether or not carrot oil for hair is worth trying out.
What Is Carrot Oil for Hair?
Carrot oil comes from crushing the roots or seeds of the carrot and immersing them into a carrier oil (like olive or coconut). For the most part, the essential oil is used mostly in Africa, West Asia, and Europe as food or medicinal oil. But don’t fret: “It has biological properties that are antimicrobial and hypotensive, all of which are great for the scalp,” explains Hill. In other words, carrot oil will eliminate any gross bacteria (that can cause dandruff or hinder hair growth) and help keep your hair stronger.
This is because when it’s applied, carrot oil also has regenerative properties that help boost blood circulation, which seals the hair cuticle and strengthens the hair fiber, explains Hill. According to Friese, those same blood-circulating properties can help prevent hair loss, keep hair healthier, as well as encourage hair growth. “Its vitamins (A, B, C, and E, as well as phosphorus and magnesium) may have a protective effect from outdoor damage, like UV rays and environmental pollution, too.”
Benefits of Carrot Oil for Hair
Carrot oil provides tons of great benefits for both your hair *and* scalp. It encourages hair growth, prevents hair loss and the creation of split ends, and eliminates dandruff and dry scalp. Better yet, it also maintains moisture levels on the hair and scalp, too.
- Encourages hair growth: Carrot oil can help hair grow faster and thicker by stimulating the hair follicle system, says Friese. With less breakage and split ends, hair will grow stronger and begin to grow back.
- Prevents hair loss and split ends: By boosting blood circulation, carrot oil seals the hair cuticle and strengthens the hair fiber, which prevents hair loss and split ends.
- Maintains moisture levels on the hair and scalp: Conditioning the hair with carrot oil can improve it’s texture, making it shinier, smoother, and softer to the touch, explains Friese.
- Eliminates dandruff and dry scalp: Since carrot oil has a lot of antibacterial properties, it can help protect against a variety of bacteria and fungus (like the ones that cause dandruff). Using naturally occurring oils on your scalp can stimulate the production of your own body’s oil or sebum, says Friese.
Hair Type Considerations
Carrot oil is great for anyone looking to strengthen, soften, and protect their hair. However, it’s important to keep in mind that carrot oil should not be used on all hair types. “Although evidence is anecdotal, it can stain light hair colors (like silver and blonde) and come in formulations that are sticky and tacky, which may not gel well with certain hair types/textures,” says Hill. In addition, Friese advises that it can also discolor the skin of the scalp.
Anyone managing chronic medical scalp conditions should also tread lightly when using any type of natural herbal oils or products. “We are still unclear on the long-term impact to control unwanted bacterias, fungi, and yeast that contribute to medical scalp conditions,” advises Hill. On this same note, anyone who has an allergy to carrot oil should not use it. “To make sure you aren’t allergic, do a patch test to see if any allergy is present,” says Friese.
How to Use Carrot Oil for Hair
If you’re looking to promote hair growth, strengthen your hair from heat damage, or help reduce dandruff or a dry scalp, you’ll want to add carrot oil to your arsenal. The good news? It can be found in oils, creams, conditioners, and hair masks as a moisturizing agent. But you’ll only want to use them once or twice a week at most, advises Friese. In addition, many of the store-bought carrot oil products are made to be left in the hair between washes or as a rinse.
Hill recommends using the oils overnight as a pre-shampoo scalp and hair treatment before using a detergent-based cleansing shampoo. “Apply from scalp to ends, using your dedicated scalp and hair treatment for best results,” she says.
In addition, according to Friese, there are a lot of DIY ways to use carrot oil. If your local store doesn’t sell any products with it, you can use it to make your own hair mask, rinse, or deep conditioner. “Just dilute 3–4 drops of carrot essential oil in 2–4 tablespoons of coconut oil (or other carrier oil like grapeseed),” she says.
Ready to incorporate carrot oil into your routine? Below are a few options with carrot oil so you can receive all the benefits.
Benton’s Let’s Carrot Multi Oil is a top pick from Hill: “I love the diversity of this product as an overnight pre-shampoo scalp treatment.” It can also be customized with other leave-in creams and treatment masks for sealing in hydration and moisture.
According to Hill, this pick is certified organic, lightweight, and great as a daily moisturizer for tightly coiled, curly, or dehydrated hair. Just a little goes a long way, so it’ll last you a while, too.
Raw Sugar’s The Bounce Back Shampoo is favored by Friese. It has mango butter, agave, and carrot oil to help repair hair from any breakage, damage, or spilt ends.