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Before you start slathering flaxseed oil onto your scalp every day, consider this: the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus warns that there simply hasn't been enough research into the effects of regular flaxseed oil use on the skin to guarantee that it's safe. That doesn't mean that flaxseed oil is going to kill you or that it will make your hair fall out. On the contrary, supplementing with flaxseed oil may help treat the symptoms of some skin diseases and improve your hair. There's no evidence to say that using flaxseed oil on your scalp daily is a good idea, however. If you're interested in doing so, talk to your doctor first.
It's not uncommon to hear from beauty experts that natural oils provide a great way to moisturize and cleanse your scalp and improve the strength, shine and overall health of your hair. The oils recommended the most for DIY scalp and hair treatments tend to be sweet almond, avocado, coconut and extra virgin olive oils. Flaxseed oil is seldom mentioned except as a side note on using it to soften or soothe reddened skin. The ladies behind the 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet website say that flaxseed oil can be gently rubbed onto your scalp to deal with skin flaking and itching, but give no instructions on how often this should be done. They also make it clear that the real benefit of flaxseed oil doesn't seem to be from using it externally, but by adding it to your diet.
Benefits for Your Scalp
According to BBC Health and Herbs2000.com, flaxseed oil could be just the thing if you're struggling with skin conditions on your scalp. The kicker is that its conclusions are based on scientific research that looked into the effect of supplementing orally with flaxseed oil, not applying it directly to the skin. Making a liquid or capsule flaxseed oil supplement a daily part of your diet might help prevent dandruff and decrease the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. While there's no set recommended dosage, 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil -- equivalent to the amount in 1 to 2 flaxseed oil capsules -- is considered safe for most people, though don't start taking them before you see your physician.
Benefits for Your Hair
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid. If your diet is low in foods that contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, your hair can suffer, appearing limp, dull and dry. That's why taking supplemental flaxseed oil may help transform your hair from pitiful to sleek, shiny and soft. Again, there's little evidence to support the idea that putting the oil on your hair or scalp daily can yield these same benefits.
Just because a product is all-natural doesn't mean it can't have dire consequences on your health if you use it excessively, and flaxseed oil is no exception. Health professionals warn that flaxseed oil can interfere with the proper function of medications such as diabetes drugs, blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering drugs and cyclosporine, and may not be safe for women when they're nursing or pregnant. No one knows just how much of the flaxseed oil you put on your skin will be absorbed into your bloodstream -- especially if you're using it every day -- so exercise some caution here, ladies.