Growing healthy hair is a common goal for many curlies. We take the time to research products that work best for our hair types. We practice different methods of styling until we can do it with our eyes closed. But sometimes, those practices are not enough. It starts with what we put inside of our bodies. We have to give our bodies healthy nutrients on the inside so it can reflect on the outside. Fatty acids can help promote healthy hair and improve our body’s health.
Read more: You Need These Fatty Acids for Healthy Hair
According to Oregon State University’s Micronutrient Information Center’s Glossary, a fatty acid is “an organic acid molecule consisting of a chain of carbon molecules and a carboxylic acid (-COOH) group. Fatty acids are found in fats, oils, and as components of a number of essential lipids, such as phospholipids and triglycerides. Fatty acids can be burned by the body for energy.” The three types of fatty acids are saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Commonly known fatty acids include Omega-3s, which are polyunsaturated. Consuming fatty acids can help promote hair growth, add shine, and relieve a dry scalp.
1. Know what they're called
Fatty acids are used as emulsifying agents and emulsion stabilizers that can be found in many hair care products. What is an emulsifier? It is an ingredient that helps blend two or more ingredients that usually do not mix together. You may not always find them labeled as "fatty acids" on your ingredients, so there is a chance you have been benefiting from them without realizing it. Here is a list of common fatty acids as they may appear on your ingredient lists.
- Arichidonic acid
- Capric acid
- Coconut fatty acid
- Lauric acid
- Linoleic acid
- Linolenic acid
- Myristic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Pantothenic acid
- Stearic acid
- Caproic acid
- Capryleth-(4,6,9) carboxylic acid
- Isostearic acid
Read more: 4 Acids that are Great for Your Hair
2. Know where to find them
Interested in adding fatty acids to your regimen? There are a few ways that you can add fatty acids to your everyday life. Below are products that contain fatty acids:
- Darcy's Botanicals Organic Coconut & Cupuacu Natural Hair Butter Pomade
- Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Flaxseed Recipes Purify Me Moisturizing Co-Wash Cleanser
- Ouidad Curl Recovery Melt-Down Extreme Repair Mask
- ORS Shealicious Moisture Mist Leave-In Conditioning Spray
- Carol's Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie
- Alikay Naturals Caribbean Coconut Milk Conditioner
3. Know how to DIY with them
Not interested in products? You can also include fatty acids in your hair regimen by using coconut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil. You can use these oils to create a pre-poo, a conditioner, a hot oil treatment and more.
4. Know how to eat them
In addition, you can always include fatty acids in your diet. You can use these oils while cooking some of your favorite meals. Fish is another source of fatty acids and can be consumed. If you are a vegetarian or prefer not to consume fatty acids from meats, flaxseeds are another great option. You can add flaxseeds to a smoothie or even oatmeal. Need more alternatives? You can also take a fish oil supplement. Before consuming a supplement, please consult with your doctor. You can also combine the use of products with fatty acids and consuming fatty acids through your diet.
How do you consume fatty acids in your everyday routine? Please share with the curly community.