When you think of papaya, you might remember your favorite Thai papaya salad, or that exotic papaya soap in one of your grocery store’s aisles that promise to whiten your complexion.
Or maybe it’s your favorite fruit because of the sweet and juicy flesh that reminds you of summer days.
But something that’s a bit overshadowed and underappreciated is the potent, nutrient-rich seeds of the papaya fruit.
If you’ve ever eaten papaya before, I’m willing to bet you simply threw the seeds in the trash.
After reading through this article, you’ll probably never do so again.
Papaya has tons of health benefits for the gut and skin, but you likely did not know that its seeds are amazing for the hair, too.
It has numerous advantages when incorporated into a hair mask or your wash routine.
Papaya seeds’ benefits for hair include promoting growth and strengthening your roots.
Wondering what else papaya seeds have to offer your tresses? Stick around to find out more.
What Are Papaya Seeds?
Papaya seeds are the rough, tiny, black seeds you’ll find what you slice papaya open.
They usually look slimy and shiny thanks to the moist, serum-like coating around them.
They sit right at the heart of the fruit, and are extremely easy to scoop up with a spoon and throw away.
Because of their hardness and peppery taste, it’s easy to simply disregard what these seeds have to offer.
They’re certainly not delicious enough to just snack on when you want to munch on something, that’s for sure.
But papaya seeds are actually rich in so many nutrients and minerals.
Papaya seeds contain a high level of fatty acids, such as oleic acids.
They also have a lot of antioxidants (like flavonoids and polyphenols) that help fight free radicals in your body.
The seeds also have a high concentration of plenty of vitamins and minerals, from vitamin A to zinc.
All these nutrients are incredible in your diet and are even more fabulous on the skin if it needs protection and repair.
But all these are also essential for properly taking care of hair.
Papaya Seeds: Benefits For Hair And How To Use Them
Papaya seeds have numerous benefits on tired tresses.
Here are some you probably don’t know:
Aids In Healthy Hair Growth
The first thing papaya seeds help out with tremendously is encouraging healthy hair growth.
This is mostly thanks to papain, an enzyme found in papayas that strengthen the hair follicles, resulting in better, faster hair growth.
Because of that, papaya seeds are terrific for the prevention of baldness and hair thinning.
Papaya seeds are also rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium – all incredibly helpful for boosting hair growth.
Papaya seeds also contain folic acid, yet another substance known to stimulate the hair follicles to grow more hair.
Using papaya seeds for hair growth is fairly simple.
How To Use The Papaya Seeds
All you have to do is get a ripe papaya, perhaps from your local grocery store or market.
You don’t need too many – ripe papayas tend to have a lot of seeds in them anyway.
One is more than enough.
Slice your papaya open and take out all the seeds (you can save your papaya fruit for later or eat it as a snack as you work on the next steps!).
Rinse them in lukewarm water and put them through a strainer.
Make sure none of the pulp remains.
Dry out the seeds by placing them on a kitchen towel.
Place them by the window, where they can be under sunlight.
Once they’re all dried up, place them in your mortar and pestle and grind until they turn into a fine powder.
Place this powder in a jar and use it whenever you please.
My favorite way to use papaya seed powder is by adding a teaspoon or so into my shampoo whenever I shower.
It’s a great way to rub the seeds into my hair and scalp, and it’s way easier than infusing its nutrients into an oil.
By using this technique during your daily showers, you’ll notice that your hair will feel stronger.
It might even start growing at a faster pace than before.
Conditions And Moisturizes The Hair
Papaya seeds are also very useful for moisturizing and hydrating hair.
That’s because they have a high level of unsaturated fatty acids, including palmitic and oleic acids.
They also have essential papaya extracts found inside them.
These oils and fats can help condition and add shine to your hair.
How To Use The Seeds
If you want to use papaya seeds for this benefit, you’ll need to extract all that nourishing goodness from the seeds and into a hair treatment.
This time, you shouldn’t rinse the seeds of the slimy coating – that has hydrating juices in it too, so don’t dehydrate the seeds and keep them as is.
Put the papaya seeds in a bowl and add a tablespoon or two of your favorite vegetable oil.
This should be a nourishing oil that’s good for the hair, like coconut oil or avocado oil.
Steam this bowl with the seeds and oil in a double boiler (aka a pan filled with water over a stove).
Let it simmer in medium heat for about 10 minutes to give it time to extract all the vitamins, fats, and proteins from the seeds and into the oil.
Then, take it off the heat and allow it to cool down.
When it’s cool to the touch, add other hydrating ingredients you like, such as aloe vera or honey.
Mix everything together with an applicator brush and apply it to your hair right before you’re planning to wash your hair.
Leave it in as a mask for half an hour before jumping into the shower.
The longer you keep it in, the softer and more moisturized your locks will be afterward.
Thoroughly shampoo the treatment out, making sure to rinse everything out (you don’t want papaya seeds stuck in your roots later!).
And that’s it – super smooth and conditioned hair, all thanks to papaya seeds and some kitchen essentials.
Prevents Dandruff And Itching On The Scalp
If you’ve been suffering from dandruff for a while now, papaya seeds might be your saving grace.
It has antifungal properties that can beat fungal infections like yeasts and Malassezia, which is the main cause of dandruff.
Another reason your scalp can be flaking and itching could also be an imbalance in its natural sebum production.
Fortunately, papaya seeds can help out with that too.
If your scalp is extremely dry, a quick deep conditioning treatment with papaya seeds can improve it.
And if your scalp is too oily, papaya seeds can manage an overproduction of sebum thanks to its vitamin A content.
Feeds The Hair Some Protein For Extra Strength
Your hair strands are made of proteins that give your mane that bounce and structure you love.
But when you damage your hair because of too much heat-styling or too many chemical processes at the salon, these proteins can be broken down, weakening your hair.
When that happens, your hair might crave more protein to repair and restore it.
Enter papaya seeds.
These seeds are rich in proteins; in fact, their protein content hovers just shy of 30%.
This high level of protein can help strengthen and fortify the hair.
Treating your hair to papaya seeds can help make it more resilient against damage, and bouncier than before thanks to the extra structure.
Cleanses And Refreshes The Hair Of Toxins
As with all DIY hair masks using superfoods, a papaya seed mask helps wash away all the oil, dirt, and sweat that have built up in your hair over time.
But instead of stripping your hair of the moisture it needs (like shampoo often does), a papaya seed hair mask can keep it hydrated, healthy, and glossy.
A papaya seed treatment can also eliminate chemicals in your styling products that have been sitting in your hair for far too long.
It helps flush out all the toxins stuck in your locks, giving your hair a quick refresh.
Can Prevent Premature Graying
Worried about developing gray hairs too early in life?
Papaya seeds have got you covered.
They have lots of antioxidants that protect your locks from free radicals and pollution that can stress out your hair and speed up the aging process.
Aside from that, papaya seeds can also help protect your hair from premature graying in another way: by keeping your hair darker.
Papaya seeds contain glucoside carcirindan – a molecule that helps keep your hair looking black and sleek.
So if you want to maintain your raven-haired locks for as long as possible, papaya seeds will be your new BFF.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Before you slip those papaya seeds into the garbage bin, think twice.
You could use all those vitamins, minerals, and proteins to strengthen your hair, nourish your dry and thirsty ends, and even eradicate dandruff from your scalp once and for all.
Papaya seeds may not be as popular as other natural hair care ingredients like coconut oil or shea butter.
However, papaya seeds benefits for hair should never be overlooked, especially because of how versatile it is.
Give your hair a unique treat the next time you have papaya as a snack.
Grind those seeds or extract them into an oil to give your scalp and hair the moisture, strength, and antioxidant protection it so deserves.