Roucou Oil. (ˈruˌku, rookoo)
What is Roucou oil?
Roucou oil comes from the annatto plant, which is native to the Amazon rainforest, Africa, and even Asia. This evergreen shrub is also known as bixa and achiote and is sometimes called the lipstick tree because of the pink flowers and spiny red fruit. The oil comes from the fruit attached to heart-shaped leaves.
Roucou oil is rich in beta-carotene along with ellagic acid, which helps to neutralize free radicals. Roucou seeds contain alpha and beta-carotenoids, proteins, saccharose, cellulose, bixaghanene, bixeine, bixol, crocetin, ishwarane, isobixiine, phenylanine, salicylic acid, threonine, acid tomentosa, and tryptophan. The seeds have been used to make teas, astringents, and anti-inflammatory products to treat dysentery, fevers, and skin problems. It was even used as an antivenin against snake bites.
Benefits of Roucou oil for hair
Roucou oil is being called the hair whisperer because of its amazing sunscreen, antioxidants, and even photo protective properties. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which is great for the scalp. The biggest contributor to hair would be the protection it gives against UV rays and sunburn that the scalp can easily suffer.
Roucou helps with hair coloring because it is 100 times richer in beta-carotene than carrots and the oil stimulates the production of melanin, which is responsible for hair’s natural color. The melanin keeps grays and frizz at bay and roucou oil lower cellular damage from sun exposure. That just means it helps with hair aging! The emollients in the oil help with hair hydration, detangling and help to add sheen to hair.
Roucou oil vs. Argan oil for hair
Now, many would assume that this would be an unfair fight. Argan oil is a curly girl’s darling asset but roucou oil is the winner as it can do everything argan oil can do but with the hugely added bonus of having built-in SPF.