Difference Between Cooking Oil and Hair Oil

Oils are an essential part of our daily lives. For cooking as well as our hair we need oil as our basic necessity. We naturally produce oils which are called sebum, from glands around each follicle.


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Skin and hair are the two major parts that produce sebum to maintain moisture. The fats present in the oil helps the body to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K.

Oils are also vital for the functioning of the brain and nervous system. Both Cooking Oil and Hair Oil play equal importance. There are so many differences between these two oils.

Cooking Oil vs Hair Oil 

The difference between Cooking Oil and Hair Oil is that Cooking oils are refined and use dried and old oilseeds. Furthermore, Hair oils are mostly unrefined and use fresh oilseeds. After a certain temperature on heating, oil characteristics change. This mostly happens in Cooking oil while Hair oil doesn’t change its characteristics because it doesn’t go through much heat. 

Cooking Oil vs Hair Oil

Cooking oils are highly nutritious for health and are also easy to digest, Hair oils are not much nutritious on digesting level as they are applied externally.

Cooking oil extraction is done with proper hygiene, any variation can cause changes and make it unsafe for human consumption. On the other hand, Hair oils are extracted directly from fruits, seeds, nuts as they don’t need any specific digesting material. 

Most Cooking oil includes mustard oil, olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, and other vegetable oils while, Hair oil includes coconut oil, argan oil, avocado oil and other oils. Few Cooking oils can be used as hair oil but Hair oil can’t be used for cooking.   

 Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCooking OilHair Oil
DefinitionCooking oil is made up of animal, plant or synthetic liquid fatHair oil is made up of vegetable oils. 
UsesCooking oil is mainly used for frying, baking, dressing and other types of cooking.Hair oil cannot be consumed, it is used as cosmetic products for hair and scalp.
ExtractionCooking oil is extracted from old dried seeds and nuts. They do not require any chemical processing.Hair oil is extracted from fresh oilseeds and nuts. They require chemical processing for applications.
CompositionCooking oils are composed of triacylglycerols (92- 98%), polar lipids(phospholipids and galactolipids), monoacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, and a few amounts of free fatty acids and polyisoprenoids. Hair oil consists of Capric Caprylic Triglycerides(CCGT), mineral oil, di propylene glycol, and butylated hydroxytoluene.
Nutrition contentCooking oil is rich in nutrition because they are digestible, calories rich and unrestricted from unsaturated fat.Hair oil is not very nutritious because it is for external use only.

What is Cooking Oil?

Cooking oil is an important source of our diet. Without oil, we would lack lots of nutrients like fat. There are a variety of cooking oils available for our use such as olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, mustard oil etc.

Different types of oil have different nutrients, so you should keep changing oils in your diet. 

In a Cooking oil processing plant oil is extracted from the seeds first using mechanical extraction (expeller press) heeded by chemical extraction(hexane extraction).

Larger seeds are broken down into small pieces, then they are given heat before the final pressing of the oil. The raw oil is then mixed with hexane for the production of slurry. Again heating the oil, to evaporate hexane and is collected for further use. 

All the edible oils that are purchased from shops are known as RBD oils, i.e., Refined, Bleached and Deodorized. These add colour, taste and odour to the oil.

For deep heat tolerance, these RBD oils are very ideal. Refining of oils includes neutralization of fatty acids, removal of phospholipids and filtering of the oil.

Removing hydratable (dissolve in water)  and non- hydratable (not dissolve in water) phospholipids is one of the major steps.

What is Hair Oil?

Hair oil is intended to protect, repair and lock moisture in our scalp and hair. Oiling hair is a very influential part of our lives. Our hair needs oil to grow, and function properly.

Without the application of hair oil, hair can become dull, follicles will get dry, eventually promoting hair fall and building up dandruff. Oiling hair also prevents premature greying of hair.  

It is also recommended to oil your hair twice a week, a night before washing your hair. For total absorption and working of oil needs at least 2-4 hours but keeping it overnight may make it result better.

It gives proper nutrition to make the hair healthier. Many hair products like shampoo, soaps, conditioners include some amount of oils in them.

Hair oils popular in use are argan oil, avocado oil, onion oil, almond oil, and others. In which coconut oil is the common ingredient. Hair oils don’t need much hygiene, few preservatives are added for smell and some to increase their quality.

Herbal hair oils are also used for medicinal purposes. Oiling your hair may make you look all sticky but it has lots of benefits. 

Main Differences Between Cooking Oil and Hair Oil

  1. Cooking oil is extremely hygienic and healtheir than Hair oil.
  2. Cooking oil can be used on hair like mustard oil, virgin coconut oil, sesame seed oils but Hair oil can’t be used for cooking. 
  3. Cooking oils are much costlier than Hair oils because of their quality and purification. 
  4.  Cooking oils don’t have many varieties as compared to Hair oils as they have so many virtues including mint oils, virgin- non-virgin oils, organic and inorganic oils. 
  5. Cooking oil and Hair oils differ in taste and smell because of consumption and external application purposes. 
Difference Between Cooking Oil and Hair Oil


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814614001897
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