9 Amazing Benefits of Neem Oil For Hair

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Using neem oil for hair health is a popular practice in many parts of the world due to this oil’s impressive nutrient profile.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is the oil that is extracted from the seed kernels of the neem tree, which is native to India and is an important part of the cultural and medicinal practices of that country. It is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and has an impressive array of active ingredients, including azadirachtin, picrin, nimbin, and sialin. In addition to other antioxidants and nutrients, this oil is highly praised for its effects on the skin and hair but is also used in diluted levels for internal purposes. [1]

Neem Oil Benefits for Hair

The major benefits of neem oil for hair include its ability to do the following:

A woman model with long shiny, lustrous brown hair

It may seem counterintuitive, but if you want healthy, long hair, you need to get regular trims. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

  • Prevent dandruff
  • Eliminate head lice
  • Promote a healthy scalp
  • Stop hair loss
  • Eliminate split ends
  • Improve hair texture
  • Stimulate hair growth
  • Slow the graying of your hair

Benefits of Neem Oil

Neem oil is effective for a lot of hair, scalp, and skin related issues. Let us look at some of the major hair health benefits in detail.


Dandruff in hair is a result of dry scalp and sometimes due to naturally occurring fungus, Malassezia globosa. Neem oil due to the presence of azadirachtin has anti-fungal properties and helps to prevent dandruff. The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil also help eliminate many of the conditions that can cause dandruff, including the dry skin on the scalp. [2] [3]

Healthy Scalp

Not only does this oil help to exfoliate the scalp and eliminate dirt and grime, but it also stimulates the circulation in the scalp, which can improve overall health and oxygenation of those cells. [4]

Optimal pH levels

Regular use of neem oil not only helps to eliminate dandruff but also helps to maintain optimal pH levels and scalp health. Therefore, it is used in a wide range of shampoos and hair oils. [5] [6]

Frizzy Hair

When you blend this oil into your shampoo and conditioner, it can help to settle the volume of your hair and eliminate split ends, making your locks easier to manipulate and style. [7]

Hair Texture

It is easier to bid goodbye to frizzy hair with neem oil on your side. Neem is used in various hair conditioners to improve texture and treat damaged hair. Apply neem oil to get improved hair quality and smooth texture. [8]

Head Lice

The antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties of this oil make it an excellent and rapid remedy for hair lice that may infect your scalp and hair. Studies have shown the effect of neem oil on the treatment of hair lice. When the neem shampoo was compared to a permethrin-based product to check which treats head lice better, the former won the battle. Various companies use neem as a key ingredient in their shampoos due to this particular property. [9] [10]

Hair Growth

The age-old problem of hair loss can be naturally cured using neem oil. It strengthens the hair follicles and accelerates hair growth. It is also known to fight the problems of hair thinning and hair damage. [11]

Split Ends

Split ends are one of the important reasons for stunted hair growth. They also spoil hair texture. Applying neem oil to hair will ensure nourishment to hair strands from root to tip and prevent the occurrence of split ends. Regular trimming and applying neem oil is a simple secret to healthy long hair. [12]

Graying Hair

Studies have found that regular application of neem oil on the hair can slow the process of graying and aging, keeping you looking and feeling younger, regardless of your age! [13]

How to Use Neem Oil for Hair

There are many ways to use neem oil for hair, including as a hair mask, conditioner and oil treatment, among others.

  • Hair Strengthening: By mixing neem oil into your shampoo or conditioner (20-25 drops per bottle), you can greatly enhance its ability to cleanse the scalp and strengthen your hair follicles. [14]
  • Dandruff: As a dandruff treatment, you can rub this oil directly into the scalp and let it sit for 30-60 minutes; this can eliminate inflammation and infections that can cause dry skin on the scalp.
  • Hair mask: When you use neem oil in a hair mask, paste or oil treatment, you will want a higher concentration of the oil, and may not require a carrier oil.

Note: Moderation is key in all these applications, or else you risk inflammation on the scalp.

Tips for Using Neem Oil for Hair

Before applying neem oil for hair, be sure to consider the following guidelines:

  • Take 1 tbsp of neem oil, and add oils such as 2-3 tbsp of jojoba oil, and 5 drops of lavender oil. Mix them well.
  • Leave the oil in place for 1-2 hours.
  • Apply this mixture to your hair and scalp. Massage your scalp for 10 minutes.
  • Cover your hair with a hot towel for 30 minutes.
  • Wash it as usual. Use in conjunction with mild shampoos and conditioners.

Neem Oil for Hair Side Effects

There are some potential side effects of using neem oil in your hair, such as acne, warts and dry scalp. These side effects are primarily seen in people who use an excessive amount of the oil, as well as those who have an allergy to this plant. Infertility can be a concern when neem oil is used internally, but not when used topically.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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