By Hadassah Agbaps - March 27, 2014


Hi people, what's been on?

I've always wanted to talk about an oil that has been instrumental in my length retention regimen and has really been overlooked.
I was going through a lovely Nigerian blog Naijagirlnextdoor and she talked about how she loved the oil and I was like exactly my thoughts!!!I had thought initially that the wonderful results I noticed when using the oil was a fluke since I wasn't using it alone but when I swap the coconut oil for the palm kernel oil, I do notice a difference.

So what's this Nigerian Black Palm Kernel Oil (I love the moniker coined by Sandra)?

Palm oil comes from palm fruit, that is, it is extracted from the pulp of the oil palm.
Palm kernel oil, on the other hand, comes from the stuff inside the pulp, called palm kernel.
 There are several methods of extracting palm kernel oil, but the traditional method is to heat the kernel in a dry pot till the oil shows up. The oil extracted in this way is blackish-brown and is not normally used in cooking but for traditional medicine and lubrication. Palm kernel oil is also extracted by the cold press method to give a light yellow to clear oil.

Note: Palm oil and palm kernel oil are two different oils. Palm oil is the traditional cooking ingredient, the "red" one commonly sold in markets all over Nigeria.
Black palm kernel oil is known locally as 'ude oji' and was traditionally used as a pomade for moisturising the hair and skin. For babies with little or no hair growth on their head  it is believed that regular application on the spot should stimulate the growth of healthy shiny hair. It is believed also to be a cure for epilepsy and constipation.

Source: thenaturallifestyle

Palm kernel oil has a strong perfumy nutty smell which brings out mixed reactions in people, some love it, some don't.
I don't mind it at all ...sometimes it smells chocolatey but because the aromatic smell is a bit strong if used a lot, I use it a little at a time or add a bit of orange / lavender essential oils to it.....which doesn't really mask it my opinion.

Chemically, palm kernel oil is similar to coconut oil by having high concentrations of antibiotic lauric acid and myristic acids which enhances its absorbtion through skin and hair. Thus it penetrate the hair shaft strengthening and lubricating it from within making palm kernel oil a really good substitute for coconut oil.

When I used Nigerian Black Palm Kernel Oil on my dry ends (I rotate between coconut and PKO) I notice that it doesn't take a lot of time for it to be fully absorbed and there is an improvement in suppleness of my ends. I know that oils aren't moisturisers so I always follow up with a fine mist of water for moisture and my hair is happy.

I don't know if it's just me trying to see this but I noticed that my strands were harder to break when I pulled a shed strand between my fingers. I'll probably have to completely exclude all other oils from my regimen to really guage it's effect on hair growth and length retention. It is however a staple part of my Indian Oiling regimen with a Nigerian twist!
I've also been using it on my edges mixed with castor oil because I believe the extra ash contents will keep my fine edges in good condition.

But so far it,
- is really an affordable alternative to JBCO and coconut oil.....yes!
- does strengthen my fine strands
- does give my hair a nice luster that isn't greasy.
- does reduce hair shed (I used only this oil for my scalp because I had run out of coconut oil)
- does keep moisture within my strands as a light sealant
- does make a wonderful pre poo oil and I really love how it masks the smell of some of my strange!

About the other promises to
- accelerate hair growth
- darken hair
- treat constipation
- treat epilepsy
- smoothen the skin
- be a good heat protectant

I can't really prove or disprove those claims because
- I already have dark hair
- I'm not bothered about my growth rate which I observed  to be less than an inch per month...but no hurry.
- I rarely get constipated nor have epilepsy...Thank God.
- I'm wary of any oil going near my skin. I'm a walking oil factory already.
- I rarely use heat.

The only downside so far is I have to be really careful not to let it anywhere near my face or back because those areas are prone to acne and have really low tolerance for oily concotions.

Has anyone used Nigerian Black Palm Kernel Oil?
 Did you like it, dislike it or was 'meh' about it?

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