Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Borage Oil for Hair Growth

aka Star Flower

Yesterday, an FB friend Andrea Smith shared that she watched an episode of  Dr. Oz were he talked about a vitamin supplement called Borage Oil that helps to retain moisture in the hair by coating it.  I'd never heard of it and it struck my interest after reading some the benefits listed below:

1. Especially good for improving inflammatory problems in the body.
2. Reduces pain and stiffness to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
3. Helps ease symptoms of PMS like tender breasts, mood swings, and cramping.
4. Promotes healthy circulation.
5. Reduces impotence in Men.
6. Improves health of hair, skin, and nails. *
7. Relieves symptoms of eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
8. May help reduce symptoms associated with ADHD.

What I learned about Borage Oil...
Borage, (pronounced Bor-raj) Borage oil is oil from the seed of the borago officinalis plant. Borage oil contains very high amounts of  *gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid or  EFA. EFA's are found found mostly in plant based oils such as borrage seed oil, evening primrose oil which is known for treating PMS and  various other female related issues, and black currant oil.  Some may know omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are essential in promoting healthy hair, skin and in nail growth. The GLA content in Borage Oil is in the range of 16%-27% which is the highest level of GLA found in any specialty oil.

In terms of hair health and growth, Borage oil has been noted to treat inflamed hair follicles known as  folliculitis.   This is a disease caused from unsanitary conditions like sitting in or wetting your hair in bacteria infected hot tubs.  Borage oil can be taken daily to treat this problem by ingesting one  500mg capsule.

The GLA in Borage oil also is noted for treating dry scalp and dandruff issues.  Apparently, the oil has great water retaining properties which of course means that the hair is able to stay moisturized for longer periods of time.  Studies showed by ingesting 500mg two times a day for two months dry scalp and dandruff issues were improved, however encouraged to continue to take one capsule a day to maintain its benefits.

One hair issue I stay mindful of in my own healthy hair journey is thinning.  I'm always interested in natural ways to keep hair fall in check. I was happy to learn by ingesting 500 mg per day, it will increase the chances of new and healthier hair growth in addition to stopping any further hair loss. It is commonly used to treat female/male pattern baldness.

Borage oil may be used internally and externally on the hair.  To use topically borage oil can be mixed with other herbs such as rosemary oil, one of my favorites, and used as a conditioning treatment.  For best results, apply the oil treatment to the scalp for at least an hour before rinsing.

As with most natural treatments there are precautions that need to be taken into consideration.  From the articles I read about Borage oil most of them were written within the last year pertaining to hair growth, although the primary factor for its benefits stem from the high GLA content (omega 6 fatty acids) which have been known to be beneficial to hair skin and nails for decades.  Nevertheless there were some alarming warnings I felt compelled to share. 

 Side Effects: Stomach upset, stomach pain, yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine. If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor before using this product: liver conditions. Borage oil may contain chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These chemicals may cause organ (e.g., liver) damage.  Read more [medicinenet.com]

 Borage should not be taken blindly, because the herb hasn't been approved by the FDA for treating any medical condition. Talk with your doctor if you're pregnant or nursing. There are no common side effects to borage, but seek medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction of any sort (including a tight chest, breathing difficulties, swelling, itching or a rash).  Read more: [e-how.com]

Borage seed oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults and children as long as it is free of dangerous chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Borage plant parts including the leaf, flower, and seed can contain PAs. PAs can damage the liver or cause CANCER, especially when used in high doses or for a long time. Only use products that are certified and labeled PA-free. It’s important to avoid borage products that might contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). PAs are a risk to the mother because they can cause serious liver disease and might cause cancer. PAs are also a risk to the infant because they might cause birth defects and they can pass into breast milk. Researchers aren’t even sure if borage products that are certified PA-free are safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It’s best to stay safe and avoid using borage.

Bleeding disorders: There is some concern that borage seed oil might prolong bleeding time and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. If you have a bleeding disorder, use borage with caution.

Surgery: Borage might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking borage at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Read more [webMD.com]

In conclusion , after reading the above cautions I will not be taking this supplement internally and would opt for the topical usage to see if I noticed a difference first before ingesting.  I'm not breastfeeding nor do I have liver problems however, better safe than sorry. Borage oil for hair growth is more for treating female/male patterned baldness, dry scalp/dandruff issues, a to stop thinning issues. It will  not grow hair any faster than its normal rate.  Due to it's moisture retaining benefits, with afro textured hair being dry by nature, the hair would gain length automatically from the added moisture if proper hair handling is practiced as well as consistent caring for the hair.  I think it's worth a try.

Below are a  couple of links on where Borage Seed Oil can be purchased online:



  1. OMG Thank you so much for this! I watched Dr. Oz yesterday and heard about it too. I quickly jotted the name down and planned to price it in the stores. I never once thought to research it because "Dr. OZ" said it was ok lol... Shame on me. I know better now... Bleeding and yellow eyes?!!... No mama lol I will not be ingesting this either.

  2. :0)Thank you Miss Leah. I'm glad you found it helpful. ~Kynxx

  3. Great info Am!Where have you been my bbm buddy?It's trenice!Hollaaaaaaa.lol

  4. Hey Tre I miss you lil Sis!!! Call me I dont have a blackberry anymore and I dont have your number and your not on FB so I didnt know how to connect with you..get at me asap so we can catch up! xo. ~Amber

  5. How cool! There are so many fascinating things to do with borage. It is incredible! I have been reading so much about the general health benefits such as relieving boredom or taking care of headaches but this just increases my love for this herb. Thanks for sharing. I will be sure to write my own results of this experiment on my borage blog. Thanks.

  6. I too got my info from Dr. Oz, I am going to try 500 mg daily of the BORAGE OIL supplement, and give it 6-8 weeks for hopefully great results. As far as the side effects, people need to realize that during drug trials, if one person has a side effect, it has to be listed. I think I trust my own body to let me know if I shouldn't continue.

  7. Can borage oil be used on your hair? For thinning and balding areas

  8. Saw it in Dr. Oz also. I bought it but have only been using it as a moisturizer on my face. One capsule lasts me 5 days. I should probably check to make sure it really IS safe!

  9. I've been taking borage oil pills for a month now - lately I've had a rash appear on my chest and a feeling of tightening in my chest which had me wondering. Now after researching Borage Oil, I'm stopping taking it. It's not for everybody I guess. If my symptoms go away soon, I'll know it was the Borage Oil pills I was taking.