Native to tropical and semi-tropical Asian regions, the neem tree, botanically known as Azadirachta indica is a member of the Meliaceae family. A fast growing evergreen tree, it has been extensively mentioned in old medicinal Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine text. In some Asian countries, it also has a religious significance. This tree is bestowed with antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties, hence neem oil is highly recommended for those who have persistent hair problems of head lice, dandruff, or a slow hair growth rate.
Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and kernel (seeds) of neem, either through pressing or solvent extraction. Although a vegetable oil, it is not used for cooking because of its high levels of bitterness and a strong odor. But, this light to dark brown bitter oil is used in medicines, cosmetics, toiletries, household products, and farming products such as fertilizers, pesticides, germicides, and organic compost.
For Hair Growth
Neem oil promotes blood circulation in the scalp, leading to a scalp that is well lubricated and not dry. A dry scalp is one of the main reasons why hair becomes brittle, weak, and looks damaged, ultimately falling off or resulting in split ends. Weak hair also grays prematurely. A regular neem oil scalp treatment will discourage hair loss and thinning, and encourage strong, healthy, and new growth. For best results, leave the oil overnight, and rinse with shampoo the next morning.
For Head Lice
Head lice is a common and extremely persistent nuisance for most school going children. This problem can easily spread to the rest of the family, too. Head lice are parasitic, that thrive close to the scalp for warmth and food. If left unattended, they have the capacity to cause extensive damage. Neem is a non-toxic, and very child-friendly alternative to strong chemical treatments. Its oil contains certain substances that work in a similar way as the insect hormones called ecdysones do. Its application disrupts breeding and metamorphosis process of the head lice. Continuous use of neem oil and its derivatives weakens the lice and reduces their breeding capacity. Once applied, wash and comb it out with a wide toothed comb, the lice will fall out.
Dandruff is essentially the shedding of dead skin cells found in the scalp. It can be easily treated with appropriate hair treatment which includes oil massages, shampoo, and conditioner. Although neem oil odor is too strong and unbearable, it is worth a try, considering its safety, effectiveness, and long-lasting nature. Neem oil is a natural antiseptic, fungicide, and insecticide. Besides this, it is also a powerful moisturizer for dry and itchy scalp. Apply neem oil mixed with any other mild oil, and leave it overnight. Rinse next morning with a shampoo mixed with a few drops of neem oil, and watch the dandruff get washed away.
Use this oil at least once a month, not only to get rid of head lice and dandruff, but to promote hair growth as well and ensure that it stays healthy.