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Fish Oil for Hair: How It Works, Different Forms and Benefits

Fish oil is a highly nutritious fatty oil commonly found in seafood, especially oily fish like tuna, mackerel, herring, salmon, and anchovies. It can also be extracted from fish tissue and consumed in the form of a dietary supplement.

But it offers much more than its delicious taste! Fish oil is also known to do some pretty amazing things for your hair.

We have heard about the many hair benefits of fish oil. Let’s take a closer look at what these benefits are and explore how fish oil can be used to promote healthy hair and skin

Does Fish Oil Improve Hair Growth?

fish oil for healthy hair and skin

Yes, fish oil can improve hair growth and this claim is supported by some preliminary scientific evidence.

A study was conducted in 2012 to see the effects of fish oil on thinning hair. The participants were given two doses of fish oil supplements daily for 6 months.

After three months, they reported improved hair growth. At the end of six months, they observed their hair had become shinier. So, fish oil is good for hair.

How Fish Oil Promotes Healthy Hair?

For centuries, fish oil has been used as a main source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies don’t produce on their own.

Fish oil also contains high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are super beneficial for your health.

In addition to these polyunsaturated fatty acids, it’s also rich in minerals, such as selenium and retinol, as well as vitamins A and D.

You can take fish oil as omega-3 supplements in capsule form or liquid oil, such as cod liver oil.

Benefits of Fish Oil for Hair

Fish oil, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, is widely recognized for its beauty benefits, particularly for hair.

Fish oil has been proven to promote hair growth and improve thickness. It works by nourishing hair follicles and adds shine to your hair, as well as making it soft and smooth.

It also boosts blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the scalp, which means less flaking and dryness. When the scalp is healthy, this helps reduce the risk of dandruff, hair loss, and breakage.

Makes Hair Shiny

A significant benefit of fish oil for hair is the enhancement of shine. The oil helps in adding a natural sheen to the hair, making it look more vibrant and healthy.

This is especially noticeable in individuals with dull or lifeless hair. One way to apply fish oil is directly on your scalp. This way, it can help manage oil production at the roots.

As a result, your hair will be naturally conditioned, making each strand appear stronger and thicker.

Promotes Growth

Fish oil is known for its ability to promote blood flow. So, when your scalp enjoys better blood circulation, this helps open up hair follicles, allowing them to receive more nutrients.

As a result, the composition of each hair shaft gets a nice boost, which helps improve its overall growth rate. It also helps optimize the hair growth cycle and reduces the rate of hair loss over time.

Fights Flakes

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil helps manage dry skin on your scalp. By inhibiting inflammatory molecules, known as cytokines, fish oil can help prevent inflammatory scalp conditions, including dandruff, and flaking.

Balance Oil Production

fish oil helps in balancing the oil production in the scalp. An overproduction of oil can lead to a greasy scalp and hair, while too little can result in dryness.

Fish oil can help regulate this balance, ensuring that the scalp remains healthy and does not produce excess oil.

Different Forms of Fish Oil and How to Take Them

You can take fish oil orally or use it topically on your skin and hair. However oral supplementation is likely to be more effective at boosting hair and skin health than applying it directly.

Plus, fish oil has a strong odor that’s hard to get rid of even after several washes. So, you may want to take all the benefits of fish oil via dietary capsules

Here’s a quick rundown of the various types of fish oil and how to best use each one for maximum benefit.

Dietary Supplements

fish oil supplements for healthy hair and skin

Taken as a dietary supplement, various health organizations recommend a minimum daily intake of DHA and EPA of between 250mg and 500mg.

It’s generally advised to take them after meals. This can help increase absorption, ensure their effectiveness, and reduce the risk of fishy aftertaste or reflux.

Liquid Fish Oil

using liquid fish oil for healthy hair

This form of fish oil can be taken orally or used topically. To take it orally, you can mix it into your food or beverages.

If you wish to use it topically on your hair, pour a teaspoon of fish oil into your palm, rub your hands together, and then massage the oil right into your scalp.

Once your scalp is covered, smooth any leftover oil down the length of your hair, coating each strand. Twist your hair into a bun and clip it up.

Let the fish oil soak in for at least 30 minutes. Pop on a shower cap if you don’t want to smell like the sea! When time’s up, shampoo and condition as normal to wash out the oil.

Do this hair treatment once a week for a month to see the best results. The omega-3s and nutrients in the fish oil will promote shine, strength, and growth with regular use.

Make sure you follow up with a thorough rinse and wash with a mildly scented shampoo or facial cleanser else you may smell like fish!

If you want to avoid the risk of having fishy-smelling hair, you can get the same results via fish oil supplements.

We should note that it’ll take about three months before you can start to see the benefits when consuming supplements. Alternatively, topical applications usually show results in a couple of weeks.

Food Sources

You can also incorporate foods rich in omega-3 in your diet. Some of these include:

  • Nuts like walnuts, pistachio, and Macadamia
  • Seeds like flax, hemp, and chia
  • Legumes like navy beans, kidney beans, and soybeans
  • Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna


Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is found in seafood or as a supplement. Studies have shown it improves hair growth, shine, and skin moisture.

Available as dietary supplements or liquid, it can be consumed or applied topically. Whichever method you choose, the results will amaze you!

Fish oil promotes hair thickness, scalp health, and skin hydration, but supplements are preferred to avoid a fishy smell.

Results from supplements take about three months, while topical application shows quicker benefits.

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