yangu oil for hair
Photo Courtesy of Blue Heron Blast
Yangu oil, or cape chestnut oil, is not related to chestnuts or horse chestnuts. This enchanting oil comes from the cape chestnut tree and a member of the citrus family, Rutaceae. It looks nothing like its relatives with reaching a height of 25 ft., naturally round growth habit with oval, dark green leaves with tiny spots on the surface. The spots are actually glands that release its citrus-like oil. It begins blooming at 5 years old, producing showy lavender flower clusters that can reach 1 foot in length. Its botanical name is Calodendrum capense . Native to South Africa and other tropical regions, this tree is grows slowly with a dense rounded canopy.  

The cape chestnut tree does quite well in deep fertile, well-composed soil that is exposed to plenty of moisture. With oil glands present on the leaves, there is a strong scent especially when crushed. The flowers aid in giving this tree its magnificent beauty with pink and mauve flowers that often cover the entire canopy of the tree. The fruits of the cape chestnut open when completely ripe and are round, wary capsules that split into five sections to release ten black, angular seeds. The leaves may have the lemony-pine scent, but the seeds are the bearers of the yangu oil.

Benefits of Yangu oil

Yangu oil is extracted from the seeds by cold pressing. This remarkable and very stable oil is high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Its most prized component is how well it provides inherent protestation against ultraviolet radiation. The most common uses of yangu oil are for soaps, face creams, lotions, hair conditioners, sun care products, massage oils, and balms. It is a non-drying, non-toxic oil that is used by local women of Africa to protect the skin, scalp, and hair from UV rays. The oil has a bland aroma (quite different from the leaves) with a clear to pale yellow color.  Because of its non-toxic and non-drying nature, it is quite often used in facial soaps and shampoos, and when added to cleansing agents it has the ability to add softness and even lessen the drying effects of most soaps.

Read more: 4 Acids that are Great for Your Hair

Yangu oil has an impressive essential fatty acid content including palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid, all bringing this oil to the table with big boys of natural oils for hair. It is an emollient with antioxidants that are great  for your skin and scalp, especially for those with psoriasis, eczema, scaling, and other scalp conditions. With its non-drying nature, this oil is ideal for combatting the drying effects of shampoos by simply adding a few drops to your shampoo application.  There is a buzz surrounding this beautiful oil in how well it works and may even replace the ever-beloved coconut oil for preventing hair and moisture loss.

This oil is a great option for hot oil massages and pre-poos. It is perfect for preventing dandruff, scalp flaking, and restoring your hair and scalp’s natural moisture. Yangu oil is being used in spas for skin and hair treatments from massages to hair applications. The added bonus of having sunscreen capabilities makes this oil a keeper for all seasons and extra special for the cooler months to fight off dry scalp and hair.

Read more: Protect Your Hair from the Sun

Products with Yangu oil