Mend Split Ends, Kick-Start Hair Growth… Is There Anything This Underrated Hair Oil Can't Do?

Mobina Peiman touching her long hair

(Image credit: @mobinapeiman)

Oh, the mighty avocado. It's not only the star ingredient in some of our favorite recipes (Guac! Avo toast! Smoothies!) but also an impressive haircare hero. Yep, stay with me here. The oil, which is compressed from the pulp of the fruit, is supercharged with nutrients that can literally transform the look and feel of your locks. It might not be as popular as scalp-stimulating rosemary or shine-inducing argan, but trust me, I wouldn't sleep on avocado—it's a universal crowd pleaser brimming with hair benefits.

To learn more about these perks, I consulted a certified trichologist and a professional hairstylist on all things avocado oil, including their expert recommendations for the best avocado-spiked products. Keep scrolling—your strands will thank you!

The Benefits of Avocado Oil for Hair

Nutrient-rich: "Avocado oil contains monounsaturated fats, which help to nourish and improve the elasticity of the hair strand when applied topically," says celebrity hairstylist and trichologist Jay Small, co-founder of Arey.

Moisturizes hair: Given avocado oil's rich antioxidant and fatty acid content, it's "ideal for moisturizing and smoothing the hair," notes pro hairstylist Rogério Cavalcante, owner of The Second Floor Salon.

Soothes the scalp: It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce scalp stress and irritation, explains Cavalcante.

Smooths frizz: "This oil will help seal the cuticle, leaving hair looking smooth and healthy," says Small. (Rough, dry cuticles are open to humidity, which then leads to frizz.)

Mends split ends: Because avocado oil can smooth down the cuticles, it can also disguise the look of split ends. If you're in a pinch, just massage some avocado oil on your dry ends and watch those frays magically disappear.

Ana with lush, curly hair

(Image credit: @anaasmood)

How to Use It

The easiest way to use avocado oil, according to Cavalcante, is to find haircare products you love that feature it as the main ingredient. (Don't worry; we'll list some below!) However, straight-up avocado oil makes a standout haircare treatment all on its own. Ahead, find some expert-approved ideas to consider.

As a pre-shampoo treatment: "In the short term, if your hair is feeling dry, brittle, or overprocessed, using topical avocado oil can be helpful as a pre-shampoo treatment," says Small. Simply coat your lengths in the liquid gold and leave on for at least 20 minutes before hopping in the shower.

As an overnight mask: You could also leave it on overnight for a deeper treatment, notes Cavalcante. "Apply on dry hair, wrap in a towel to create some body heat, and leave on [for] a minimum of 15 minutes and as long as overnight," he suggests. "Wash and shampoo to remove any oily residue and style as usual."

Cocktailed with other oils: "I am a fan of mixing avocado oil with fractionated coconut oil, rosemary, and lavender," Small says. (Specifically, he suggests blending two tablespoons avocado oil, two tablespoons coconut oil, plus a few drops of rosemary and lavender oils to enhance the scent.) "I like to run the mixture throughout the hair and scalp and massage with either my fingertips or the Wildling Gua Sha scalp tool," he adds. "I would recommend putting this mixture on dry hair. Once you are done massaging I would clip your hair up and let it sit for up to 60 minutes. I then recommend using Arey Scalp Scrub to get all the excess oil off the scalp and follow with Arey Wash and Smooth."

To rehydrate dry ends: Dry, split ends are no match for avocado oil. Simply rub a bit of oil in between your palms before smoothing it over your lengths. You'll wind up with instantly smooth tresses for the day, not a frayed end in sight.

Who Should Use It?

Generally, anyone with dehydrated, brittle, or damaged hair can benefit from avocado oil. That said, it is a bit denser in consistency (at least compared to lightweight jojoba oil), which might make it better suited for coarser hair types.

"In terms of hair density and texture, I would suggest that those with fine hair avoid these treatments," Small adds. "These types of oils are better received by medium, coarse, wavy, curly, or extra curly hair."

Jeannine Roxas sitting on the porch with long hair

(Image credit: @jeannine.roxas)


Does avocado help with hair growth?

It sure can! "Avocado oil can help create a healthy environment for hair to grow by improving conditions on the scalp," says Small. After all, a parched scalp means unhappy hair follicles, which is literally the source of hair growth. By keeping the hair you already have healthy and thriving, you can spur faster growth as a result.

Avocado does naturally contain some biotin, which can strengthen strands. "Avocados also contain folate (vitamin B), which is essential for hair growth," Cavalcante adds.

What are the side effects of avocado oil for hair?

There aren't many, unless you have an avocado allergy (then, of course, you should avoid it at all costs). The only warning to note is that avocado oil can be a bit heavy for finer-haired folks. "This can lead to lead pores being clogged on the scalp, breakouts, and disrupt the natural environment of the scalp," says Small. "When using any oil, portion and absorption are key." So you might want to use it sparingly on your mid-lengths to ends in that case.

Which is better for hair: coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil?

The thing is, all three oils have their own advantages to consider. "Olive oil is great for deeply moisturizing and adding shine to dry, thick hair," notes Cavalcante. Coconut oil is also super moisturizing, but it's best for thicker hair types as it's quite dense. (It's also best for those with high-porosity hair.) "Avocado oil penetrates deeply to nourish and repair dry, damaged hair," Cavalcante adds.

Essentially, choose your own adventure here based on what your scalp and hair specifically need. Also, don't forget: "When using any oil, portion and absorption are key," Small reminds us.

The Best Avocado Oil Hair Products

Jamie Schneider
Senior Beauty Editor

Jamie Schneider is Who What Wear’s senior beauty editor based in New York City. She has a penchant for trend forecasting, covering everything from innovative skincare launches to celebrity profiles, and her work has appeared in mindbodygreen, Coveteur, and more. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English before moving to NYC, and she's been there ever since. When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty finds, Jamie loves exploring vintage boutiques, reading mystery books (bonus points for an unexpected twist), and she’s always down for a park picnic in Brooklyn.