Black seed oil comes from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant that grows in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East. This small flowering shrub produces fruits containing tiny black seeds that are widely used as a spice and a condiment. However, the lightweight oil extracted from the seeds is also used in various natural treatments. You can buy black seed oil and apply it to your hair and skin directly, or you can dilute it with a carrier oil.
Other common names for black seed oil:1
- Black caraway
- Black cumin seed oil
- Black onion seed
What is black seed oil good for?
Black seed oil contains numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some of these will sound familiar – for example, vitamins A (retinoids), B (niacinamide), and C (ascorbic acid).2 But one of its unique active components is thymoquinone, a powerful natural soothing agent.3 With such a rich variety of components, this oil offers a whole host of skin-friendly superpowers.
Given these impressive credentials, it’s no surprise that there are many reported skin-health benefits of black seed oil. Advocates believe it helps with many different ailments, although there isn’t (yet) sufficient research to support all of the healing accolades, it’s definitely an oil with lots of promise.
Here we focus on two black seed oil benefits. Firstly, the revitalising effect it has on skin and secondly the benefits to hair.
Benefits of black seed oil for skin
There are a number of reasons why consistently applying the oil topically can help to leave skin looking fresh and revitalised.4,5
- Unclogging pores
The soothing properties of black seed oil can help to reduce clogged pores and control oil. For this reason, some people suffering with breakouts use black seed oil for problem skin.
- Revitalising effect
With vitamins A, B, and C aplenty, this oil helps the skin retain moisture. This can support healthy elasticity and an abundance of fatty acids can also help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Evening out skin tone
Together vitamin A, amino acids, and fatty acids work together to regenerate skin cells. Over time, this can reduce the prominence of any discoloration, encouraging a more even skin tone.
- Reducing redness
Due to its soothing properties, black seed oil can reduce the appearance of spots and any redness.6
Benefits of black seed oil for hair
If you’re looking for a natural plant oil to nourish your tresses, black seed oil is a great alternative.
While there aren’t many studies dedicated to the benefits of black seed oil for hair, there are plenty of anecdotal recommendations. This oil has a loyal army of advocates praising its potential to help support a healthy scalp and add extra vitality to frazzled locks.7,8,9
- Supports hair growth
Black seed oil is packed with vitamins that can have benefits for hair regrowth.
- Manages hair loss
A study in 2017 found that a hair treatment containing black seed oil resulted in a reduction in hair fallout of up to 76%. Using black seed oil for hair loss is common.
- Soothes scalp dryness
Black seed oil can help soothe the scalp, flakiness, and sensitivity on the scalp.
- Hydrates, conditions and prevents damage
By regulating oil production, it helps your hair stay moisturised and nourished. In addition, antioxidants in the oil neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals on your hair.
Summary: Black seed oil benefits
As well as providing a powerful hit of hydration, black seed oil has a number of soothing and antioxidant qualities that could offer a number of benefits to your skin and hair.