How Wheat Germ Oil Saved My Hair This Winter

Keeping the oil production of our skin and hair balanced is one of the main ways to combat skin common skin conditions like acne, wrinkles, and dry skin. For some of us, this isn't always easy. Freezing temperatures, genetics, and diet play a huge part and because those factors differ from one person to another, it's also what makes our beauty routines differ from one another. DIY beauty has afforded me the luxury to add, remove, and adjust ingredients based on my own needs and preferences. Of course, there are some ingredients that are universal for providing moisture. Wheat germ oil seems to be one of them.

I wasn't surprised that my best friend with fine, straight hair had tried my favorite store-brand conditioner and ended up with a matted mess of greasy hair. My daily conditioner is actually marketed as a deep conditioner, but these coarse curls need all the moisture they can get... and then some. Loving the brand and in need of moisture herself, my friend played around with the many different types of conditioners that Aubrey Organics had to offer and finally settled on one that hydrated her scalp and locks without having to fear that greasy build-up that was only cute during our grunge phase.

Try: Now Foods Wheat Germ Oil, $13, Amazon

Even though we weren't using the same conditioner, we had one common ingredient: wheat germ oil. Wheat germ oil is growing in popularity in skin and hair care products because of its universal benefits. Extracted from the center of the wheat, the oil has over 23 different nutrients that are vital in keeping our external bods looking and feeling healthy. According to Livestrong, wheat germ oil has age-defying properties that help soften and moisturize skin. The oil's natural ability to be easily absorbed into the skin makes it incredibly versatile — dry skin will drink it up, but it won't leave oilier faces looking slick.

Wheat germ oil is also rich in vitamins A, B, D, and E, and high in antioxidants — these are all very good things for anyone looking to fight the cruel signs of aging, like myself. According to Natural Skincare Recipes, wheat germ is one of the best oils to support collagen production. Wheat germ oil isn't just for repairing and healing skin conditions either, according to anecdotal evidence from beauty bloggers and sources at Livestrong, wheat germ oil can prevent scarring... and that's kind of my dream come true.

Now, back to my hair: Wheat germ oil is an emollient which is the key to keeping my afro moisturized — but all hair types can benefit from retaining moisture that is easily stripped upon exiting the shower and protection from free radicals. Yes, that means this germ can protect you from germs, which is pretty awesome.

Before you dive in head first into a field of wheat, check yourself. If you are gluten-intolerant or have an allergy to wheat, do not attempt to use wheat germ oil in your quest for beauty. Trust me, allergic reactions are not beautiful. If you aren't sure, make sure you do a test patch on the inside of your arm and discontinue use if you have any redness, itchiness, or discomfort. Once your skin has given you the green light, you'll be able to indulge in these easy DIY wheat germ recipes.

The Ultimate Leave-In Conditioner

Beauty Aura 100% Pure Sunflower Oil, $11, AmazonNow Foods Wheat Germ Oil, $13, Amazon Essential Oil Depot Shea Butter, $13, Amazon

I love this home-made leave-in conditioner particularly for when I'm styling my hair into a braid to protect my ends from freezing temperatures. Fair warning: This conditioner is incredibly heavy and rich in emollients, so it's definitely not for my fine haired friends. I use 1/3 cup of sunflower oil, 1/3 cup of wheat germ oil, and a little less than a 1/4 cup of shea butter (though you can use more shea if you want an even thicker consistency). Apply on soaking wet hair.

Age-Defying Moisturizer

NOW Solutions Sweet Almond Oil, $13, Now Foods Wheat Germ Oil, $13, Amazon

If you are trying to address crow's feet, fine lines, uneven skin tones or cracked skin, this recipe will give you some piece of mind. Just use equal parts wheat germ oil and almond oil (almond oil can easily be substituted by jojoba oil if you have a nut allergy) and add four to five drops of geranium essential oil. Apply directly on your face after cleansing and pat dry.

Image: Yamanaka Tamaki/Flickr; Kristin Collins Jackson; Giphy

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