Trademarked as Ojon™ oil and used in all sorts of hair products with the same name, Caiaué oil or Caiajon or OjonNat oil, as it is now known, has increasingly become one of the most sought-after ingredients for hair treatment.
The Caiaué Palm (Elais oleifera), also called the American Oil Palm, belongs to the same species as the African Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis). It grows from Central America to northern South America. In Brazil, the tree predominates in the Amazon Region and is found naturally in small groups in open areas near the riverbanks and lakes.
The Caiaué fruit grows in bunches like the fruit of the African Oil Palm, and the fruits have similar characteristics. The fruit has been used for generations, often by isolated communities, as a food source as well as for treatment and protection of skin and hair.
The rudimentary method for extraction of the oil, still used today by remote indigenous communities, begins by cooking the fruits in boiling water up to 2 hours. The cooked fruits are smashed using large pestles and mortars in order to to separate the pulp (which contains the oil) from the kernels and then sieved. They are then cooked again with a small quantity of water. The liquid fraction (oil and water) is cooled and decanted, after which the oil is separated from the aqueous fraction by density differences.
In industrial production, the whole fresh Caiaué fruits are mechanically smashed/pressed at 60C and yield an orange oil with a fresh scent. The oil is a liquid at 71F and a paste at lower temperatures.
Rich in lauric oil, with antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it is an excellent herbal remedy for treating scalp problems, including itchy scalp, dandruff, and hair loss, due to its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Because Caiaué Oil stimulates and regenerates follicle cells, it is useful for controlling scalp disorders caused by bacterial infections, increasing circulation and capillary strength, and reconditioning the hair’s fiber.
Unrefined Caiaué Oil is also rich in beta-carotene, mainly vitamin A acting as an antioxidant, making it an extraordinary ingredient for use in formulations intended to fight skin aging.
Caiaué Oil is generally used in concentrations that range from 3% to 5%, with concentrations of 7-8% considered premium.
Caiaué Oil is much more effective when applied directly to the scalp and/or the hair fiber.
Due to its high content of antioxidants, unrefined Caiaué Oil can be used as a skin moisturizer as well as a concentrated nighttime oil treatment for lines and wrinkles.