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Charlize Theron can't live without emu oil

Reviewed by Marta October 27, 2009 7 Comments

The October edition of InStyle tells us that Charlize Theron's top must haves include emu oil. Yes, she regularly rubs the fat from a large flightless bird into her hair. I am known to do the same and I need a replacement for my near finished bottle from Skin Biology. I have already decided that I am not going to buy the Skin Biology oil again. It really does look like melted fat and it smells like a farmyard.

Happily, my research for a better class of emu oil took me to Uniquely Emu, which sells a triple refined, odorless and completely clear oil called Clearly Emu ($26 in TIA store). An oil worthy of Charlize's coif. But what's with emu oil anyway?

Emu oil is actually very close to human sebum and, hence, our skins will easily absorb and process its goodness. It contains essential fatty acids: linolenic, linoleic, oleic, and palmitic. Linolenic (omega-3 EFA) and linoleic (omega-6 EFA).  Oleic is a known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Specifically, topical applications of emu oil may result in the growth of thicker hair….. both a thickening of existing hair shafts (which shrink in diameter with age) and a “re-awakening” of the dormant (sleeping) hair shafts (which increase as a percentage of total hair shafts with age).

In fact, a Dr. Michael Holick at Boston University School of Medicine conducted a study on mice which was designed to quantify the effect of emu oil on hair growth and hair regrowth. The Holick team saw 20% increase in DNA synthesis, which means that there was a 20% increase in the proliferation activity, or the growth activity of the skin in the animals that received emu oil, compared to the animals that received corn oil.

Also amazing 80% of hair follicles that had been asleep were woken up and began growing hair. Overly simplified, normal hair follicles alternate between a resting phase and a growth phase, and topical applications of Emu oil were a wake up call for these snoozing hair follicles….in mice.

Balding men take note: emu oil may inhibit 5 alpha reductase – a body chemical that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone into DHT. It is known that DHT is strongly implicated in the onset and progression of male-pattern baldness. When Emu oil is applied onto balding parts of the scalp, it works to de sterilize the DHT-producing components of hair follicles.

Emu oil can be used on its own, or with a hair growth treatment such as Folligen. Experiment with a daily rub into the scalp and a once a week all-over hair mask.

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  • August 5, 2015

    by Nicole

    Emu Oil is amazing and can be used instead of many synthetic products that you are already purchasing. It is great for all skin conditions as well as muscles and joints. I love the uses of Emu Oil so much that I have set up a business to distribute it in Australia. Natural Body Basics. Please find more information that is clear and concise at naturalbodybasics.com.au

  • December 31, 2014

    by Effie

    I read about emu oil on your site and was getting ready to purchase it but I am not sure I will because although there are a million websites sitting Dr. Holick the actually study is no where to be found. Even at the University of Boston site there is no reference to this study. Dr. Holick is very popular in research on vitamin D3 but other than references by 3rd parties to his research nothing can be found to substantiate this.

  • October 21, 2013

    by Samantha

    I have used Emu oil as my cure all! I had a sty (forgive my spelling) in my eye and dropped some emu oil in my eye. Was a bit blury at first but cleared up fast and the sty was gone in a day with no pain. Had used it on bruises that were softball sized and within 2 days they were pretty much gone. I use the face cream with emu oil daily. I love it. I use the brand Uniquely Emu as well. I felt their customer service was amazing. Answering my million questions that I had. The price I felt was a decent price since it was AEA certified and they have been in bussiness for a while.

  • November 10, 2010

    by Naja

    Hi Ellena,

    My apologies for not noticing your question earlier. In recent months, I have not been online as much. Too much going on and just out of it.

    To answer your question, I have used emu oil on my face and neck, both as a moisturizer during the winter and after chemical peels. It is hydrating, non-irritating and has anti-inflammatory properties. I love it.

    I don't use emu anywhere else on my body, including scalp.

    The one I purchase from platinumskincare.com is very high quality, unbelievably inexpensive and has no "chicken fat" or other bad smell. The consistency is fine. During the winter months, the product does thicken a bit. It's the opposite for warmer weather.

    Hope this helps.

  • July 12, 2010

    by Ellena

    Hey Naja,

    Have you seen results using this brand of emu oil? What about smell and consistency? I read Marta's article and she mentions that the previous brand she used, smelled like chicken fat. The new one is refined three times (although too expensive) and l have no idea what it means... Please help!

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