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Emu oil comes from the melted, refined fat of an emu. Many farms in Australia raise emu birds for meat. During the butchering process, the fat is separated from the meat and refined. It is important that consumers use refined emu oil for hair, not rendered oil. Rendered oil is simply melted, while refined oil has been purified so it won’t spoil or have an unpleasant smell. A few benefits of emu oil for hair include hydrating the scalp, helping to prevent or slow hair loss, and stimulating hair follicles to help hair grow thicker and faster. Using emu oil for hair can be a precise process, so it is important to do it properly.
Proponents of emu oil for hair say that it is the omega fatty acids in the oil that carry many of the benefits. These fatty acids help hydrate and nourish the scalp, reportedly widening hair follicles and stimulating growth. Wider hair follicles may mean that the hair grows in thicker. The oil may also help the hair to grow faster by allowing more oxygen into the follicles. More oxygen usually means faster cell reproduction, which can lead to a faster turnover inside the follicles. The new hairs growing from these follicles are well-nourished, meaning emu oil users may see better quality hair growing over time.
Many people also use emu oil for hair loss. The same fatty acids that promote thicker hair growth may help keep hair from falling out. The fatty acids penetrate the cells on the skin of the scalp, keeping them healthy and well-nourished. While many people who use emu oil for hair loss usually simply notice fewer falling strands, some may also observe their hair follicles regenerating. Therefore, emu oil may help stimulate dormant hair follicles, encouraging hair to grow all over the head.
Users should note that emu oil for hair may not prevent all kinds of hair loss. Those with a vitamin deficiency, skin problems, or without enough linoleic acid in their diets may reap the most benefits from emu oil. Others, whose hair loss is genetic, due to a medical procedure, or as a result of deadened nerves, may not see so much success with emu oil.
Anyone using emu oil for hair should test it first. A single drop covers about 4 square inches (about 8 square cm), so users don’t need much at all. The test drop should be rubbed into the inside of the arm and, if an allergic reaction occurs, the user should not use emu oil. If the skin appears healthy and has no reaction, the user may drip up to four drops of emu oil into his or her hand and massage them into the entire scalp. This should be done once a day after the hair has been washed.
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