The use of almond oil for hair growth has been popular since ancient Egypt when it was commonly mixed with castor oil and applied to the hair to create a smooth, shiny appearance and lock moisture in the hot climate. It is considered a preferred all-natural tool for hair re-growth by many, as several chemical options may in fact cause adverse side effects. There is no research to support the theory that almond oil actually makes hair grow, but it is believed that it may help promote healthy hair growth.
Both bitter and sweet almond oil have components that are believed to be beneficial for hair growth, namely vitamins E, D, A and B as well as copper, zinc, and protein. It is uncommon to use bitter almond oil for hair growth, however, as it also contains other substances that may be harmful. Young children and the elderly are recommended to avoid bitter almond oil completely. Instead, sweet almond oil is the most commonly used almond oil for hair and is frequently used in hair growth products.
One theory behind the effectiveness of almond oil for hair growth is the high amounts of protein. As hair is made primarily of protein, several people believe that the protein in the oil binds to the hair follicles and is absorbed and added in with the protein within the follicle. This theory has yet to be tested as of 2011, but many healthcare professionals highly doubt the validity of this.
Generally, as of 2011, people believe that using almond oil for hair growth does not necessarily make the hair grow more rapidly, but instead promotes healthier hair that may in turn help to speed growth. The use of almond oil on the scalp may also help make hair growth more noticeable. This is all because the almond oil benefits also include locking in moisture and strengthening the hair, making it less brittle. All of this is believed to benefit the promotion of hair growth and make it more obvious. The process of massaging the oil into the hair also brings more blood to the scalp, which may also promote more growth.
Until research with concrete results become available, many people recommend that almond oil should be used knowing that there is no evidence it does in fact help hair growth. People who have nut allergies should also avoid using almond oil as it may cause an allergic reaction. Plain sweet almond oil or almond oil mixed with essential oils may be applied to the hair as often as deemed necessary by the user with little to no side effects otherwise.