Carrots, the vegetable that goes with everything—soup, roast dinner, curry, you name it. But what if we told you that they might have another benefit most of us have been sleeping on? You heard it here first, we’re talking about the part the orange root plays in increasing hair growth. Here’s why you might want to start adding carrot oil to your hair care routine as it could be the key to all your hair problems.
Aside from the timeless saying that eating carrots will help improve your eyesight—something that, although true to a certain degree, I took way too seriously during my teens—they are also known to improve overall eye health as well as helping lower cholesterol.
One of their other big benefits however, is that they are the necessary ingredient in carrot oil, duh. This specific type of oil is known to help strengthen and moisturise hair follicles, in turn aiding hair growth.
You know what they say, ‘health is wealth’, and this goldmine of orange goodness might be the perfect puzzle piece to kickstarting your hair health journey.
Carrot oil is an essential oil—concentrated plant extracts—whose primary characteristics are to provide nutrients and protect. It is made by crushing up the roots and seeds of carrots (yes, they have seeds) and placing them within what is known as a carrier oil, which is used to dilute other types of oils, making it easier for them to be absorbed by your skin or hair.
Speaking to trichologists—hair health experts—Byrdie writer Rachel Dube went over the many uses and benefits of carrot oil. In places like Africa, West Asia, and Europe, the oil is mostly used for food or medicinal purposes. But these same benefits are actually what makes it all the more coveted for hair growth. “It has biological properties that are antimicrobial and hypotensive, all of which are great for the scalp,” certified trichologist and founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis, Bridgette Hill, told Dube.
Furthermore, there are currently no known ingredients that carrot oil interferes with. This means that it can be paired with pretty much anything, and works very well with coconut oil, another ingredient already renowned for its moisturising and sealing attributes.
With the help of carrot oil, you may be able to say bye-bye to dandruff, since it is also known to kick bacteria’s butt. The oil can easily eliminate them, which maintains your hair’s health and strength. The other reason it’s so great for the scalp is because of its regenerative qualities. By boosting blood circulation, carrot oil can help seal the hair cuticle and strengthen hair fibres.
Carrot oil’s other pros include stimulating hair follicles and preventing those pesky split ends from ruining your hair growth process as well as maintaining the moisture balance within your hair, giving it that oh-so-yummy goodness it needs to thrive.
Dube also spoke to Bosley MD-certified trichologist Gretchen Friese, who further explained, “Its vitamins (A, B, C, and E, as well as phosphorus and magnesium) may have a protective effect from outdoor damage, like UV rays and environmental pollution, too.”
Incorporating carrot oil into your hair routine is simple, but you must do so according to the outcome you want. What’s great about the oil is that it’s so versatile, you can find it in a lot of products, from its original oil form to an additive in creams, conditioners, and hair masks for extra moisture, all of which can be raked through your hair as part of your normal routine. If it’s hair growth you’re mostly looking to achieve, then your best bet is a direct application to the scalp for stimulation. It’s advised that you only use it once or twice a week though.
There’s also the DIY route of making carrot oil yourself. You can make your own concoction to your liking by diluting three to four drops of the essential oil in your favourite carrier oil of choice.
As with anything, no two people are the same and there are some considerations that need to be taken into account when thinking of using something like carrot oil. Caution should be taken as it can discolour the skin of those with sensitive scalps and people dealing with chronic medical scalp conditions. In fact, caution is advised when using any herbal product as there are still many unanswered questions regarding most of those.
Last but not least, and although it might seem obvious to some of you, anyone who has an allergy to carrots should not use carrot oil. “To make sure you aren’t allergic, do a patch test,” Friese advised.
All in all, as long as you take precautions and don’t go overboard, it looks like carrot oil could be the next best ingredient to revive your mane after a long year of messy buns, cancelled hairdresser appointments and DIY attempts at wolf cuts or bubble braids.
At 2:35 am on 13 July 2019, I was busy shifting clothes from my bed back to the forlorn ‘laundry chair’ in my room when I spotted a pair of craft scissors. For your information, I had spent the past four hours rabbit hole-hopping on YouTube, so you know where I’m going with this. “Brad Mondo, you’re just a rando,” was the last anyone heard from me that night. The morning after, I was a new person with surprisingly decent shoulder-length hair and not-so-see-through bangs.
“Pfft, Lord Farquaad with split ends,” a comment immediately greeted my pompous face reveal. On a quick scroll through the internet—a never-ending source for all guilt-induced relief—I realised I wasn’t alone.
Voiced by John Lithgow, Lord Maximus Farquaad is the cape-wearing villain of DreamWorks’ 2001 blockbuster animated film Shrek. He’s the ruthless ruler of DuLoc who spends his free time interrogating gingerbread men on cookie sheets and chugging martinis in bed. Flirting with the magic mirror is also on his itinerary at times. To become the king of DuLoc and overcompensate for his… erm, vertical challenges, he has to marry Princess Fiona. But alas, she only has heart eyes for Shrek. The xenophobic tyrant, hence, does everything in his power for the validation to place a crown on his head. If you still have trouble remembering him, here’s another visual aid from a questionable source:
Shortly after the movie broke charts and won an Oscar (Photoshopped, unfortunately), Shrek—we’re talking about the golden-hearted ogre here—became a symbol of nostalgia, rivalling SpongeBob SquarePants and Popeye on the pedestal. But the snobbish noble was not far behind. In fact, data from Google Trends reveal that Lord Farquaad is actually the internet’s favourite Shrek character. “While interest in our green hero has flatlined over time, Farquaad searches have actually been on a steady incline, peaking in April 2018 due to ‘internet meme’ related content,” The Cut wrote at the time. Three years later, the character continues to be on a rollercoaster ride which only goes up—hitting an all-time high just last month, in November 2021.
Be it for his chiseled jaw or stormy eyes, the internet is evidently obsessed with Lord Farquaad. Maybe this stems from the fact that we’re still ruled by vain villains with the wildest haircuts? Nevertheless, the antagonist has been infiltrating meme pages and aesthetics since the early aughts—down to a point where he’s even hailed as an incidental style icon.
So, what happens when Lord Farquaad walks into a salon? According to the internet, one should visualise the pageboy haircuts of Amélie Poulain and Natalie Portman from the 90s. When Beyoncé debuted “short bangs” in 2014, several publications described her bold choice as “alarming.” As soon as Emma Watson jumped on the look, the term “short bangs” was replaced with “baby bangs” and “micro-fringe.” Heck, even “TERF bangs” were doing the rounds as one of the beauty industry’s most puzzling terms. By 2018, news outlets were citing Lord Farquaad as a reference and suggesting therapy to those who preferred the style.
Then came Selena Gomez’ triumphant return to the American Music Awards (AMAs) in 2019. Decked in a Versace dress, the artist sported the classic “Farquaad flip.” You know, the one where short, pine-needle-straight hair hits the jawline and curls inward at the bottom? It frames your face but also gives off big Farquaad energy. In Gomez’ case, her dress incidentally seemed to be Shrek-green. How convenient for the internet, indeed.
A 2019 article by Elle also noted how Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez channelled their inner Farquaads for the premier of Hustlers—with Wu even opting for baby bangs. Halle Berry was yet another artist who resurrected the Farquaad-ian debates in 2021, when Berry’s stylist chopped off her hair the night before attending the Oscars. And before you ask, yes, ‘it’ girls Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian also couldn’t resist the allure of Lord Farquaad’s tresses.
“To create this hairstyle, brushing with a small round brush is key,” Jesus Guerrero, the stylist behind the Jenner-Kardashian flips, told Elle. “It helps create that full flipped-in look.” According to Guerrero, the hairstyle is “an easy chic look” that is simple yet exudes power. Since it’s literally being compared to a xenophobic ruler, I don’t see why not. In the interview, the stylist also added how round brushes might take some practice. “If you’re not good with a round brush you can also use a curling iron to help give you that bumped-in effect,” Guerrero noted.
On TikTok, however, users are posting tutorials to evade the label—and its association with the lad from Berries and Cream—altogether. “Short hair hairstyles so ppl stop calling u lord farquaad,” a popular video by @iconicakes reads. A bunch of others cooped under #LordFarquaad are also raising awareness on how the term is used to refer to the awkward, in-between phase of growing short hair out. Trust me, that phase is anything but fun. Choosing to cut your hair short is a hard decision to make in the first place. Plus, I bet nobody asks for a Lord Farquaad at a hair salon… right?
That being said, if you are at the receiving end of the term, remember that the royalcore aesthetic is doing its rounds on the internet as we speak. So you might as well grab a pair of evening gloves and set out on a manhunt for internet-trolled criticism. And if someone goes too far, stand up on a chair and announce: “Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.” Applause is guaranteed to follow.