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Surprising Benefits of Cashew Oil for Hair & Simple Recipes

While the primary use of cashew oil is on the skin, it can also be an excellent oil to include in your hair care regimen. Specifically, for a healthier scalp. 

If you’ve been searching for a new carrier oil to try out in your hair care regimen, then cashew oil might just be the one your hair is looking for. 

Cashew oil is an uncommon carrier oil that’s surprisingly rich in vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the hair and skin. 


What is Cashew Oil?

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) oil is derived from the nuts of the cashew tree which grows in tropical regions of the world – Brazil, Venezuela, and parts of Asia and Africa. Cashew is aka caju, acaju, and cashew apple.

As a child, I remember climbing the cashew tree behind our house and plucking the different colored cashews. They were extremely delicious and tangy.

It never occurred to me that the shells we threw away after eating could be used to produce oil as well. 

The nuts are shelled and then dried followed by cold-pressing the oil from the nuts after removing the skin. Removing the skin is important as the external layers are toxic to humans. 

Cashew oil is a high-quality edible oil that’s considered one of the healthy oils for cooking. Cashew oil is a pale to golden yellow with a nutty aroma and taste.

Cashew nuts can be consumed as a snack and can also be used in curries, jams, sauces, and other dishes that call for nuts. 

The nuts can also be processed into cashew cheese, cashew milk, and cashew nut butter. 

Fun fact – Ivory Coast, India, and Vietnam are the leading producers of cashew nuts.

Cashew Oil Benefits 

1. High Dietary Minerals Content

Cashew oil is rich in several dietary minerals – protein, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins B1, B6, K, iron, selenium, and zinc.

2. Improves Skin Texture

Due to the high selenium content in cashew oil, consistent use on skin leads to smoother texture and moisture for dry and stressed skin. 

Cashew oil may also be useful in preventing acne and eliminating eczema. A healthy diet also plays an important role here.

3. Vitamin E Boosts Skin Health

Another crucial antioxidant in cashew oil, vitamin E provides additional benefits to the skin texture and ridding the skin of free radicals and premature aging. 

There have been various studies that show vitamin E oil has great antioxidant benefits on the hair and skin.

4. Prevents Premature Greying

The high copper content in cashew oil encourages the production of melanin on the scalp, which in turn discourages premature greying of hair.

Melanin is the pigment in humans responsible for skin, eyes, and hair color. Copper also enhances natural hair color.

5. De-stresses & Relaxes The Senses

Cashew oil can be used in a body massage oil to help relax the senses and revive the suppleness, glow, and smoothness of the skin. 


How To Use Cashew Oil

  • Cashew oil makes a great base for skincare formulations for dry and mature skin. 
  • Cashew oil can be used for frying and in dishes where nut oil is required such as nut butter, curries, soups, and sauces. Cashew oil can also be used in salad dressing. 
  • In haircare, cashew oil can help prevent premature greying and optimize scalp health (scalp massage oil recipe below).
  • Traditionally, cashew oil is used to lower bad cholesterol, treat eye problems, wounds, and skincare issues such as eczema and psoriasis. 

Related Hair Care & Growth Resources

Can You Cook With Cashew Oil?

Yes, you can cook with cashew oil. It is considered one of the healthiest oils and is ideal for frying food and replacing other types of oils in your recipes. 

Keep in mind, that the smoking point for cashew oil is 400°C. Heating beyond this point will degrade the oil. 

Cashew Oil Scalp Massage Oil 

You need cashew oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, sesame seed oil, and rosemary essential oil for this scalp oil (exact measurements in the how to card below). 

Open an applicator bottle and add all the carrier oils and essential oil. Close and shake thoroughly.

To use, the day before shampoo and deep conditioning, apply the oil generously to your scalp and massage until absorbed. 

Twist and pin up your hair. Cover with a disposable cap and leave in overnight. Shampoo and deep condition the next morning. Use once a week for best results. 

Where To Buy Cashew Oil?

Below are my top recommendations for pure and natural cashew oil you use for oil and skin.


Deve Herbes Pure Cashew Nut Oil


Sheer Essence Cashew Nut Oil 

What Can Cashew Nuts Be Used For?

You can also get the benefits of cashew by adding cashew nuts to your diet in moderation.

Cashew nuts can be used to make a variety of delicacies. Most common cashew nut dishes include:-

  • Cashew nut chicken stir fry
  • Cashew nut cheese
  • Cashew nut butter
  • Cashew nut milk
  • Salad topping
  • Sauces that call for nuts such as peanut sauce, etc
  • Cashew nut cookies
  • Candied cashew nuts

Basically, any dish that calls for nuts, you can use cashew nuts. Or you can get adventurous and try to include it in different ways in your diet. 

You can also get really creative with southeast Asian soups and curries here too!


Does Cashew Oil Help With Hair Growth?

Cashew oil is great for treating scalp issues like dandruff and dryness. It also contains potent anti-inflammatory properties.

What does this mean? Cashew oil will optimize your scalp health.

And with a healthy scalp, you can be sure maximum hair growth potential will be achieved. Cashew oil also gives hair a smooth and shiny texture. 

Is Cashew Oil Poisonous?

Cashew oil is not poisonous. However, there is another type of oil derived from cashew known as cashew shell nut oil (CSNO).

Cashew shell nut oil is produced from the double shell surrounding the cashew nut. 

This oil contains a potent skin irritant, anacardic acid, which is used in industrial applications. Cashew nut shell oil is toxic. 

Do not ingest this oil and ensure you’re purchasing the right kind of cashew oil for hair and skin.

What Are the Side Effects of Cashew Oil?

Though cashews are a less frequent allergen than tree nuts and peanuts, it is still possible to have allergic reactions.

If you are allergic to any type of nut, it’s best to avoid cashew oil altogether. You can find alternative carriers oil in the Carrier Oils Archives.

Is Cashew Oil Good for Hair

DIY Cashew Oil Scalp Massage Oil

Yield: 1 4oz bottle
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Simple

This cashew oil scalp massage oil is excellent for treating scalp issues like dandruff and eczema but it is especially effective for preventing premature greying and enhancing hair color.


  1. Measure all the oils and essential oil into an applicator bottle.
  2. Close and shake thoroughly.
  3. To use, the day before shampoo and deep conditioning, section dry hair and apply the oil mix generously to your scalp.
  4. Massage each section of hair until the oil is absorbed. 
  5. Twist and pin up each section then cover with a disposable cap and secure with a scarf.
  6. Leave overnight. Shampoo and deep condition the next morning. 

Is Cashew Oil Good for Hair


  • Use once a week for best results. 
  • You can also use peppermint essential oil and tea tree essential oil as a replacement for rosemary essential oil in this recipe.

Abi is a curly hair expert who delved into the world of natural oils after severe hair loss issues. Through her research, study, and testing, she was able to regrow her bald spots & a healthy head of hair. She is the founder of Healthy Natural Hair Products & Ade Ori Hair Care, and the author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She continues to study hair science, Ayurveda, and natural and healthy solutions for hair and skin. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines


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