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It is that time of year again when pumpkins rule the universe. Pumpkin spiced coffees, cakes, cookies, and scents fill the stores and ultimately our homes. If you are not a pumpkin fan, then you feel overwhelmed and wonder why all the hoopla, but as a natural hair loving woman, I can find a way to appreciate the food and turn into a curly girl favorite. Pumpkins are not just for flavorings, fall, or even Halloween. The word pumpkin originated from the Greek word pepõn , which means large melon. Pumpkins are native to Central America and Mexico over 7,500 years ago but are now grown on six continents. 

Benefits of pumpkins

First off, the seeds of this mostly seasonal fruit offer an impressive cocktail of health enhancing and disease fighting compounds, vitamins, and minerals that can be consumed year-round. According to dietician Megan Ware, “Consuming one cup of cooked, canned pumpkin would provide well over 100% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 20% of the daily value for vitamin C, 10% or more for vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese at least 5% for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.” Pumpkin is great for your heart as the fiber, potassium, and vitamin C can help lower blood pressure. It has vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene, which have been shown to support eye health, prevent degenerative damage, and offer an immunity boost for the body from the powerful combination of nutrients.

Why your hair will love pumpkin seed oil

This oil contains not only massive amounts of fatty acids, but it is loaded with vitamins, proteins, dietary fibers, and minerals. The amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants allow this oil to help maintain normal cell structure and retain moisture in skin as well as the scalp and even hair. The high amounts of zinc and vitamin E help with skin renewal, which include helping wounds heal quicker. Dr. Kevin Berman says that zinc also prevents and treats flaking, irritation, and itching associated with seborrheic dermatitis. Pumpkin seed oil inhibits Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production, testosterone, and androgen levels so it assists in controlling hair loss. DHT blocks the hair follicles from absorbing proteins. Pumpkin seed oil is best used as an ingredient in beauty products or even a supplement rather than simply on its own like the much-coveted coconut oil. They are great side by side and even in some recipes. Here are a couple of recipes for enjoying the benefits of pumpkin.

Pumpkin seed oil deep conditioner

Recipe via Bustle

  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seed oil
  • 1/2 apple puree
  • 1 tbsp. shea butter
  • 1 egg

Blend or puree ½ apple then add shea butter and pumpkin seed oil. Whisk egg separately and stir into the mixture. Apply to freshly washed hair and leave in for 20 min. before rinsing out and styling as usual.

Pumpkin hair mask

  • 1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. jojoba oil
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Blender

Add all ingredients into the blender and mix for 4 to 5 min. or until you have a creamy consistency like a hair conditioner. Apply to dry hair either by brushing or massaging and make sure to coat every strand. Cover with a plastic cap for ½ hour. Rinse and cleanse as normal.

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