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After years of repetitive sewn-ins and blowouts at my local salon, to say my hairline has seen its fair share of damage would be an understatement. It took two big chops, swearing off my go-to gel and sacrificing tight topknots to get them back in shape.
I fear they’ll never be quite the same, but without the help of many, many products, it would be nonexistent by now. Jamaican black castor oil has always been my go-to, not only because it has good word of mouth, but because it actually works too. My only complaint is that its consistency is pretty heavy for my fragile hairline, even when I allow it to sit and absorb overnight.
So you can imagine my sweet, sweet relief upon discovering Tropic Isle Living‘s latest collection for hair growth, all of which includes red pimento oil. It’s actually been around for some time, but only now is it getting the recognition it deserves as a prime all-natural growth stimulator. Now that I’ve had the chance to use it a handful of times, it’s time to spread the good news and info anyone should know before incorporating it into their own routine.
From Food to Hair Health
In foodie circles, red pimento, also known as allspice, is a popular ingredient for adding flavor to dishes, as well as enhancing liqueurs and perfume. As the name suggests, it’s a heart-shaped berry that falls on the small side and is native to the Carribean and South America. Though its appearance may remind you of a bell pepper, it actually smells similar to clove or cinnamon.
According to Tropic Isle Living’s cofounder and CEO Lois Hines, the part of red pimento that’s utilized for hair care is the leaf, typically through steam distilling. Tropic Isle specifically sources from the highest-grade leaves in Jamaica.
“The oil has a sweet-spicy scent and is slightly green when first extracted, but gradually turns reddish brown thereafter,” she says. “The reddish-brown color is a symbol of its unadulterated purity. Nothing added. Nothing taken away.”
The main benefit of red pimento oil is its ability to promote blood circulation within the scalp, which usually translates as a warm tingly sensation once applied. A byproduct of increased circulation, according to Hines, is healthy, more robust hair growth, in addition to protection from parasites and infection, stronger strands from root to tip and hair loss prevention.
That makes it particularly helpful to our edges, which tend to lose hair the quickest because of tight ponytails, protective styling and other forms of harsh hair manipulation.
By now, you may be thinking that these benefits are very similar to those associated with Jamaican black castor oil. You’re right: They are. However, there are a couple key differences. While JBCO is very thick, heavy and sometimes sticky, red pimento is much lighter and absorbs more easily into the hair and scalp. So if your hair is more fine than kinky, this is a genius alternative.
Hines also adds that JBCO is a top-notch carrier oil, which means compared with other oils, it pairs best with other essential oils. At the same time, you should never use red pimento on its own. Always be sure to use it in conjunction with other similar ingredients.
Ready to slather your scalp and spoil your strands? Here’s my starting lineup:
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1. Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Red Pimento Hair Growth Oil
In addition to red pimento oil, this growth stimulator also contains Jamaican black castor oil, coconut oil, wheat germ oil, lemon oil and lavender oil. Use it for a daily scalp massage, as a hot oil treatment or pre-poo before cleansing.
2. Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Red Pimento Edge Primer
With the help of other oils as well as beeswax for hold, this pre-edge control pomade ensures that your edges are coated in nutrients before you apply gel.
3. Tropic Isle Living Strong Roots Red Pimento Shampoo
In addition to pimento oil for stimulating growth, a slew of essential oils (lemon, lavender, jojoba and more) as well as aloe vera and glycerin remove buildup and replenish moisture.