Did you know they make oil out of the kernel (pit) of the apricot fruit? Apricot kernel oil has a long history in Asia and the Middle East, having been used as a treatment for brittle hair and dry skin for centuries. The apricot fruit is closely related to the peach and nectarine, and a ripe apricot has a flavor similar to a plum. It is full of vitamins A, E and C, rich in carotenes, and minerals including potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese. It is a rich source of both linoleic and oleic acid (essential fatty acids).
Like avocado oil, apricot kernel oil is a gently and delicate oil, often used in baby products and needs to be kept from air, light and heat sources or it will degrade and spoil, so either store in a dark cupboard or seal in a dark-glass container. It is not always an oil that is easy to find, so you may have to do some hunting in Asian or Middle Eastern food stores or health food outlets to source the best oil.
Apricot kernel oil is not as effective as grapeseed oil when it comes to hot oil treatments on very damaged and brittle hair, but I have found it can be used more regularly than grapeseed oil for daily scalp and hair massages. It does not seem to build up or coat as much as grapeseed or castor oil with daily use but it is just as conditioning.
Apricot kernel oil mixes well with other oils and blends easily into creams and lotions. That makes it a very valuable addition to your pomades. It is light enough to use in a whip.
Apricot kernel oil is a wonderful massage oil base. Try a few drops of an EO in a tablespoon of apricot kernel oil. Put some in the palm of your hand and rub together until it warms. Now place your hands wherever it hurts. It is so quickly absorbed through the skin that pain relief and relaxation is almost instant.
I love this oil – it is one of my favourites, and a staple in my hair regimen.