Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a plant belonging to family Compositae, and is native to countries like Iran, northwestern India, North America and the Far East. Safflower oil is oil extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant, which has been used to treat baldness, cholesterol, essential fatty acid deficiency and hair loss. Safflower seed oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. It is used mainly in cosmetics and as cooking oil. It may also be taken as a nutritional supplement.
Safflower oil is highly rich in polyunsaturated fats, containing 77% linoleic acid (omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)), 10% saturated fats, and 13% oleic acid (omega-9s – monosaturates). It also comprises high levels of vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol and phytosterols, and so helps in preventing and treating EFA deficiencies in the body. Safflower oil contains high amounts of oleic acid, which is light in texture and penetrates the skin easily. This protects, nourishes, hydrates and firms the hair. Being extremely rich in essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, it is highly beneficial for dry, color treated or perm hair. When applied to the scalp, it acts as a vasodilator which can dilate the blood vessels, resulting in more nutrients supply to the hair follicles through blood circulation, and a healthy environment for hair regrowth.
Therefore, safflower oil can be considered as the best oil around for hair growth, as it is not only easily absorbed by the hair which helps in retaining moisture, but it also prevents protein loss that damages hair and eventually leads to hair loss.