Marula Oil For Hair: Everything You Need To Know

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Whether you're a hair care enthusiast or simply looking for a new addition to your beauty regimen, you must have heard of Marula oil.

Originating from the majestic Marula tree in Africa, this nutrient-rich oil has gained popularity worldwide for its remarkable benefits and versatility in hair care routines.

In this comprehensive blog post, we'll explore the origins, benefits, and uses of this remarkable oil, revealing how it can transform your tresses into the healthy, radiant mane you've always desired.

So, let’s get started and unlock the secrets of this liquid gold!

What is Marula oil?

coarse hair, marula oil good hair

Marula oil is a lightweight, nutrient-rich oil derived from the kernels of the Marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea), which is native to southern Africa.

This oil has been traditionally used for various purposes, including skincare, hair care, and even cooking. In recent years, it has gained worldwide popularity for its impressive cosmetic benefits.

Marula oil is rich in essential fatty acids, such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid, which are known to nourish, moisturize, and protect the skin and hair.

Additionally, it is packed with antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, which help fight free radicals, promote cell regeneration, and protect against environmental damage.

Due to its lightweight, non-greasy texture and fast-absorbing properties, Marula oil is highly versatile and suitable for various hair types, including fine and oily hair.

It can be used to moisturize, strengthen, and protect hair, as well as to combat frizz, promote hair growth, and improve overall hair health.

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What are the benefits of Marula oil for hair?

1. Contains a lot of nutrients  

Numerous nutrients found in marula oil support the health of the scalp and hair. Here are a few of the nutrients: 

  • Tocotrienols: Strong antioxidant capabilities in vitamin E which moisturize and shield hair from harm. 
  • Oleic acid: Monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid which relieves itchy, peeling scalps and moisturizes hair while preventing moisture loss.
  • Linoleic acid: A polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that enhances the flexibility of hair, enhances scalp health and encourages the growth of healthy hair.

2. Treats itchy and dry scalps

Marula oil is wonderful if you frequently have dry, brittle hair. This oil is a practical remedy for itchy, dry scalp. It is a natural moisturizer that hydrates the skin for a long time by penetrating deep within.

Antioxidants and vitamins included in marula oil nurture your hair and scalp. It does not leave a lingering feeling because it is also non-greasy.

It's a fantastic substitute for harmful and synthetic moisturizers that can make your hair feel oily and flat. Furthermore, it works well on both moist and dry hair, and the bottle holds a lot of product. 

3. Safeguards against environmental harm

Hair and scalp health may suffer as a result of free radical damage brought on by UV ray contact, heat hairstyles, and environmental toxins. It may be a factor in hair that ages quickly and exhibits hair loss or thinning.

Antioxidants found in marula oil, like vitamins C and E, aid in shielding your hair from this kind of harm and enabling you to have a full, luxurious head of hair.

4. Shine enhancement

The high concentration of nutrients, antioxidants, and fatty acids in Marula oil help to smooth the hair cuticle, creating a protective layer that imparts a healthy, glossy shine.

Vitamin C, which is also present in marula oil, provides hair with the extra nutrients it requires in order to remain robust and healthy.

Marula oil can be used as a leave-in conditioner for smooth, bouncy hair as well as a warm oil therapy for deep conditioning.

5. Reduction of hair frizz

Marula oil helps in reducing hair frizz by addressing some of the primary causes of frizzy hair. One of the main factors contributing to frizz is a lack of moisture in the hair shaft.

Marula oil, being rich in oleic acid, penetrates deep into the hair, providing long-lasting hydration and sealing in moisture. This prevents hair from becoming dry and more prone to frizz. 

Additionally, Marula oil smooths the hair cuticle by forming a protective layer, which helps to lock in moisture and prevent frizz caused by humidity.

The high concentration of antioxidants, nutrients, and fatty acids in Marula oil nourishes and strengthens the hair, making it more resistant to damage and breakage.

As a result, hair is left smoother, more manageable, and less susceptible to frizz.

6. Detangling 

Marula oil aids in detangling hair by improving the hair's texture and providing lubrication, which makes it easier to separate individual strands. Its high content of oleic acid and other fatty acids nourishes and moisturizes the hair, making it more pliable and less prone to tangles. 

The smooth texture and high slip of Marula oil create a protective barrier on the hair shaft, reducing friction between strands and making it easier to comb or brush through the hair without causing breakage or damage

Furthermore, the nutrients and antioxidants in Marula oil help to repair and smooth the hair cuticle, which can further reduce tangling by minimizing roughness and unevenness on the hair surface. 

Read this: 17 Easiest Ways How To Repair Damaged Hair Naturally

How to use Marula oil for hair?

Marula oil for hair

There are several ways to use marula oil for hair. A variety of beauty products are available to assist you to include this oil in every step of your hair routine now that the ingredient has gained popularity.

Or, if you're a creative DIYer, you may include it into your present hair care items or create something altogether different.

You must take your hair's texture and thickness into account if you wish to use marula oil in your hair care regimen. To locate the proper products for your hair consistency, double-check the contents list because marula oil is frequently blended with other essential oils.

Here are a few ways by which you can use this beneficial oil for hair: 

Pre-shampoo treatment

Apply a few drops of Marula oil to your hands and gently massage it into your scalp and hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. Leave the oil in for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for a more intensive treatment. Shampoo and condition as usual to remove the oil.

Post-wash leave-in conditioner

After washing and towel-drying your hair, apply a few drops of Marula oil to your hands and distribute it evenly through the lengths and ends of your hair. Comb or brush your hair to ensure even distribution, and style as usual.

Use as a heat protectant

Before using heat styling tools like hairdryers, straighteners, or curling irons, apply a few drops of Marula oil to your hair to create a protective barrier against heat damage. Ensure that you distribute the oil evenly and focus on the areas that are most exposed to heat.

Massage onto the scalp 

Massage a few drops of Marula oil into your scalp to soothe irritation, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy environment for hair growth. Leave the oil on your scalp for at least 30 minutes or overnight, then wash your hair as usual.

Use as a hair mask

Mix Marula oil with other beneficial oils or hair mask ingredients, such as coconut oil, honey, or aloe vera. Apply the mixture to your hair, cover with a shower cap, and leave it on for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Shampoo and condition your hair to remove the mask.

Mix with hair products

Add a few drops of Marula oil to your favourite shampoo, conditioner, or hairstyling products to enhance their nourishing and moisturizing properties.

It's especially beneficial for individuals who want to keep using their present products while also making use of marula oil's nourishing and calming properties.

Safety precautions

While Marula oil is generally considered safe for hair application, it is essential to follow some safety precautions to ensure the best results and minimize potential risks:

  1. Patch test: Before using Marula oil on your hair or scalp, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin, like the inside of your elbow, to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivities. If you experience redness, itching, or irritation, discontinue use.
  2. Use pure, cold-pressed Marula oil: Ensure that you are using high-quality, 100% pure, and cold-pressed Marula oil to avoid additives, fillers, or synthetic ingredients that could cause irritation or damage your hair.
  3. Use the right amount: Start with a small amount of Marula oil and adjust as needed based on your hair type, length, and thickness. Using too much oil can weigh your hair down or make it look greasy.
  4. Avoid direct contact with eyes: Be careful when applying Marula oil near your eyes, as it can cause irritation if it comes into direct contact with them. If the oil does get into your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with water.
  5. Dilute if necessary: If you have sensitive skin or are prone to irritation, consider diluting Marula oil with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or sweet almond oil, before applying it to your scalp.
  6. Store properly: Keep your Marula oil stored in a cool, dark place, away from heat and sunlight to maintain its effectiveness and prevent it from going rancid.
  7. Check the expiration date: Always check the expiration date on your Marula oil before using it. Expired or rancid oil can cause irritation or have reduced benefits.
  8. Be cautious with heat styling: While Marula oil can provide some heat protection, it's essential to avoid using excessive heat when styling your hair to prevent damage. Always use heat styling tools on the lowest setting necessary to achieve your desired style.

By following these safety precautions, you can minimize any potential risks and ensure that you are using Marula oil effectively and safely to enhance your hair's health and appearance.

5 best marula oil products for hair

1. InstaNatural Organic Marula Oil

marula oil for hair

This organic pure marula oil can be used as a leave-in treatment to leave hair moisturized and vibrant by applying it from the ends of the hair up to the scalp.

Apply a few moisturizing drops to rejuvenate a lifeless, dry scalp to get the most out of this multipurpose beauty product.

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2. OGX Hydrate and Marula Oil Serum Elixir

hair curly

With a special combination of hair-loving ingredients and marula oil, this serum offers great moisturization without dragging down your locks.

Additionally, it doesn't contain any dangerous substances like sulfates, parabens, or other things that can harm the shaft of hair.

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3. Paul Mitchell Marula Oil Rare Oil Replenishing Shampoo

marula oil for hair

This oil shampoo removes grime, perspiration, and the buildup of products without dehydrating your hair completely. 

And if that weren't enough, it also leaves your newly washed hair with a delicious, sweet, floral aroma. Use a strengthening conditioner after your shampoo on hair that is extremely dry and fragile.

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4. The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

marula oil for hair benefits

The Ordinary Marula Oil is composed of cold-pressed, entirely natural marula seed oil, which has countless advantages for your skin and hair. 

Whether you have frizzy hair or dull, parched skin, this oil can restore moisture depleted and undo harm from stress and other outside factors.

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L’Ange Managé Marula Oil Hydrating Mist

marula oil for hair loss

This portable mist nourishes revitalizes and moisturizes dry, damaged locks. A built-in UV filter is included to protect your priceless locks from damaging rays.

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Conclusion

Marula oil is a versatile and highly beneficial natural oil that can work wonders for various hair types and concerns.

Extracted from the nuts of the Marula tree, this nourishing oil is packed with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and fatty acids, making it an ideal addition to any hair care routine. 

Whether you have dry, damaged, curly, or frizzy hair, Marula oil can help you achieve healthier, more manageable, and lustrous locks.

Give it a try and discover the transformative benefits of this potent natural oil for your hair.

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FAQs

Why is Marula oil considered a "miracle oil" for hair?

Marula oil is often referred to as a "miracle oil" due to its numerous benefits for hair health, such as hydration, frizz reduction, damage repair, shine enhancement, scalp health improvement, and detangling assistance.

Can I use Marula oil on my hair type?

Marula oil is suitable for various hair types, including dry, damaged, curly, and frizzy hair. Its moisturizing and nourishing properties can help improve hair health, manageability, and appearance. 

How often should I use Marula oil on my hair?

The frequency of Marula oil application depends on your hair type and needs. For dry or damaged hair, you can use it more frequently, such as once or twice a week. For normal or oily hair, you may only need to use it once every two weeks or as needed.

Can I use Marula oil with other hair products or oils?

Yes, Marula oil can be combined with other hair products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, to enhance their nourishing and moisturizing properties. Additionally, you can mix Marula oil with other beneficial oils, like coconut oil, argan oil, or jojoba oil, to create a customized hair treatment.

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26528587/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/marula-oil
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874115301963
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5804067/

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.