When it comes to natural care for hair, essential oils for hair can become an important part of your natural hair care routine. Whether you are looking for ways to strengthen or thicken your hair, boost hair growth, treat dandruff & dry scalp or provide shine to your hair, essential oils can play a big role in your hair care regime – and they are safer too. Read on here for the list of most beneficial essential oils for hair and the easy and effective ways to use essential oils on your hair.
They are also cost effective, considering the fact, you just need a couple of drops and one bottle of your chosen essential oil will last ages. Moreover, see the benefits – they not only nourish your hair, but can be used also in your natural skin care routine. The bonus point is, they are all natural – meaning free of harsh chemicals and they smell great too!
Over the years, I have experimented with various essential oils on my hair – and here is the list of my favorite essential oils along with what benefits they provide to hair, which oil to be used for which hair type and how to use and apply essential oil on hair.
Note: Before I divulge to you my secret list of best essential oils for hair, here I give you first some tips:
(i) Always use essential oils safely for topical application only. Never take them orally. I use them on my hair and skin only.
(ii) Never use them undiluted. Make sure you dilute them in the ratio (as recommended in the recipe that you are using) by mixing with a carrier oil or a beauty product because essential oils do not dilute in water.
A word of caution: Always keep in mind – never put any essential oil directly onto your hair, scalp or skin; ever. You only need to use a couple of drops of an essential oil. Mix well one or more of the chosen essential oils with a shampoo or conditioner. Another option is to mix a few drops with 2 ounces of a “carrier” oil, like olive or jojoba. I will tell you about some of the combos that are recommended by the experts in the later part of this article below.
First let us go through some of the best essential oils for hair:
Lavender Essential Oil
It has antimicrobial properties – meaning it helps prevent bacterial and fungal disorders.
According to a 2016 study on animals, it was found that topical application of lavender oil considerably increased the number of hair follicles – meaning a thicker head of hair and faster hair growth than normal. The hair follicles were also found to be deeper in the lavender group, leading to stronger roots for reduced hair falling out.
Also, when topically applied to hair or scalp, it can treat many hair or scalp issues – especially, itchy scalp or dandruff and even infections. Other lavender oil benefits are: It soothes the scalp and treat dry hair.
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This is one of the best essential oils for hair growth and thickness. Rosemary essential oil stimulates circulation and cellular metabolism, thereby prevents hair follicles from getting starved of blood supply, dying off, and resulting into hair loss.
A research study has even found that rosemary oil seems to be as effective as the famous minoxidil, a conventional topical hair loss treatment (Source 1). In another study, it was found to work as good as the conventional balding treatment when it was used for a minimum six months.
It also helps to prevent premature baldness (Source 2).
It’s other benefits are: Can be used to (i) treat dry, dull hair, itchy scalp and overly oily hair (ii) prevent dandruff and (iii) avert premature graying of hair.
Here is an easy way to apply rosemary oil onto your hair. Simply take 3 to 4 drops and mix it well with equal parts of extra virgin unrefined olive oil. Massage the mixture gently into your scalp for about 2 minutes, then leaving it in your hair for about 3 to 4 hours. Wash your hair as usual with a good quality shampoo.
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Cedarwood Essential Oil
It helps stimulate the hair follicles and improves circulation to the scalp to fight hair thinning, slow down hair loss and even promote hair growth.
A study was conducted in Scotland in which 86 persons participated. They were randomized into 2 groups – one group massaged their scalps everyday using a concoction of cedarwood, thyme, rosemary and lavender oils blended with jojoba and grapeseed carrier oils. The other group massaged with only carrier oils everyday. After 7 months, 44% of the participants in the essential oil group revealed decline in alopecia (hair loss) symptoms, while only 15% of the other group indicated improvements. (Source 3)
Cedarwood has also been found to be useful in reducing dandruff symptoms.
The cedarwood essential combines well with gentle essential oil like lavender and carrier oil such as coconut oil. You can also mix 2 to 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil with this homemade conditioner.
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Peppermint Essential Oil
This essential oil has potent antiseptic properties, which makes it a good remedy for dandruff. It helps stimulate the scalp. In a 2014 animal study, it was shown that topical application of a blend of 3 percent peppermint essential oil mixed with jojoba oil as a carrier remarkably increased hair growth (thickness and length) and deepened hair follicles to strengthen hair roots as well (Souce 4).
Mix 2 to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to your favorite shampoo or conditioner for a lively wake-me-up during your morning shower.
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Lemongrass Essential Oil
It has powerful healing, antiviral and antifungal properties that make it beneficial for a number of scalp issues.
In a 2015 research study, it was seen that topical application of lemongrass oil decreased dandruff notably after 7 days and it’s effectiveness increased even more after 14 days of topical application. (Source 5)
In another study, different hair tonics were compared, and the one mixed with a 10 percent dilution of lemongrass essential oil gave the best results for treating dandruff caused by yeast (Source 6).
Other benefits of this oil are that it helps strengthen hair follicles and soothes itchy and irritated scalp. Bonus point is that it also works as an effective cleanser and deodorizer.
You can mix 8 to 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil to your bottle of favorite shampoo or conditioner.
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Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
This floral essential oil is an effective ingredient for hair care. Its use dates back to the Victorian age in England, when the people used it as a natural hair growth remedy. It is beneficial for hair in several ways and helps in preventing hair loss, treating scalp dryness, strengthening the hair. This oil stimulates secretion of natural sebum by your scalp, resulting into a healthier scalp – thereby promotes hair growth, prevents hair thinning and nourishes dry, damaged hair.
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How To Use Essential Oils For Hair?
Always make sure that you buy only 100 percent pure grade essential oils. It’s also suggested that you do a patch test before applying any essential oil that you’re going to use first time.
As already said above that since essential oils are very strong, you should dilute them with a carrier oil before topical application. Here are my favorite carrier oils that work great for hair:
Coconut Oil: It contains medium-chain fatty acids that have potent antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These properties make it effective in thoroughly cleansing your hair and scalp, which help in preventing and treating issues like dandruff. Moreover it has natural deep moisturizing properties, so leaves a moisturizing feeling to your hair.
Jojoba Oil: This oil is almost similar to the natural oil secretions by human skin! It has high rate of non-greasy absorption quality, acts as an emollient and moisturizes scalp. Bonus points are it unclogs hair follicles and promotes hair growth.
Check here current price for Cold Pressed Organic Jojoba Oil
Olive Oil: Olive oil contains vitamin E and other antioxidants. It is great for fighting dandruff, frizzy hair and getting rid of dry scalp. Olive oil is a light oil and works well for mixing with most essential oils. Being non-greasy it does not leave hair locks looking greasy.
Sweet Almond Oil: High in vitamins A, D, E and mono- & polyunsaturated fatty acids, almond oil is a very light oil and can be absorbed easily. It’s very nourishing and moisturizing.
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How To Apply Essential Oils On Hair?
(i) Mix With Shampoo Or Conditioner: While washing your hair, just add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil of your choice to your shampoo or conditioner and lather as usual.
(ii) Scalp Massage with Essential Oils: Another option is to massage your scalp with essential oils to help fight the symptoms of dandruff, psoriasis, or to stimulate your scalp for faster hair growth. Simply combine your chosen essential oil(s) for hair with a carrier oil of your choice and massage the mixture into your scalp as follows:
(a) Part your hair in sections. While gently massaging with your clean fingers, apply the oil-mixture onto your entire scalp.
(b) Let the leave-in deep oil conditioning treatment stay on for a minimum of one hour. After one hour or prefrably overnight, wash off the oil mixture.
Coconut oil and sweet almond both work great for a leave-in deep hair conditioning treatment.
(c) All the studies say results can be seen after consistent use for a minimum of 6 months. Most of the treatments were applied daily until results were attained.
Have you ever used an essential for your hair and which one is your favorite essential oil?