Using essential oils as part of your daily hair care routine offers many benefits, not only to the health and appearance of your hair and scalp, but it’s a less expensive and safer alternative to conventional hair products which can be costly and contain harmful chemicals. By using essential oils on your hair, you gain the additional health benefits which certain oils offer, and that can include stress reduction, pain relief, and better quality of sleep, to name a few.
There are many essential oils, all of which are widely available, that can effectively treat thinning hair, dandruff, dry scalp, or strengthen, moisturize and lighten hair. The benefits are endless, and there are several types of essential oils to choose from, depending on your individual hair care needs.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely
Essential oils are highly potent and concentrated; therefore, you should never apply it directly to your hair or scalp. Instead, dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it topically. The best topical oils to use for hair and scalp treatment include coconut oil, jojoba oil or olive oil. You can also mix essential oils with your regular shampoo or conditioner to gain all its excellent benefits.
7 Best Essential Oils for Healthy Hair & Scalp
- Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender is known to have soothing properties, but it’s also ideal to use on all hair types to treat dry scalp and dandruff and add moisture to hair. Studies have shown that lavender also promotes hair growth and can thicken hair. Additionally, as stress can lead to thinning hair and lavender provides feelings of tranquility, it can be used as a preventative measure to combat hair loss and thinning hair.
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil. Ylang ylang has been used as a hair growth remedy dating back to Victorian England. It helps to relax the tight scalp muscles which can lead to hair loss. Ylang ylang helps to treat both dry, dull hair as well as oily hair by balancing the scalp’s natural sebum. This fragrant oil has natural antiseptic and tonic properties which keep the scalp clean and healthy. When a mixture with ylang ylang oil is massaged into the scalp, it can help ease tension, headaches and treat anxiety and insomnia.
- Rosemary Essential Oil. Rosemary oil is an excellent choice to thicken hair and stimulate hair growth. In fact, it has been shown to be as effective as minoxidil, which is the top ingredient used in over-the-counter hair loss treatments for preventing premature baldness and stimulating hair follicles. Rosemary also works well for dandruff, as it reduces scalp itchiness and flaking.
- Cedarwood Essential Oil. Cedarwood has a woody, masculine scent which appeals to men. Therefore, guys may prefer using cedarwood oil instead of some of the more feminine smelling oils such as lavender and ylang ylang, to stimulate hair follicles and increase circulation in the scalp to prevent thinning hair. Cedarwood oil has also been shown to improve symptoms of alopecia, which is an autoimmune disease resulting in unpredictable hair loss. Cedarwood oil is also helpful in treating dandruff.
- Peppermint Essential Oil. Peppermint oil is cooling, calming and refreshing. It helps soothes an itchy scalp, while its antiseptic properties help remove dandruff and even lice. It nourishes and thickens hair while improving blood flow to the scalp, which promotes strong and healthy hair growth. Peppermint oil also energizes your mind, is a mood booster and can help relieve tension and headaches. To get rid of greasy hair, add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil to your conditioner.
- Chamomile Essential Oil. Chamomile oil brings shine, softness, and luster to your hair while soothing your scalp. It’s the ideal oil to use for lightening hair color naturally, instead of using conventional hair dyes which contain dangerous chemicals that are harmful to your health. To create a homemade lightener, mix 5 drops of chamomile essential oil with 1 tablespoon of sea salt and 1/3 cup of baking soda. Combine with warm water to create a paste and massage into your scalp and hair. Let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing out.
- Lemongrass Oil. Lemongrass oil has many healing properties which have been shown to significantly reduce dandruff, and soothe an itchy and irritated scalp. It also adds strength to hair follicles. As it has antifungal and antiviral benefits, it acts as an effective cleanser and deodorizer. Some added benefits of using lemongrass essential oil include its ability to repel bugs, relieve stress, and treat headaches naturally.
Essential oils are easy to find online or at your local health food store. Always buy essential oils that are 100% pure grade and stored in a glass bottle. When making your own essential oil blends, always save the mixtures in a glass bottle, and never a plastic container, which may have an adverse reaction with the oils and can cause unwanted side effects.
If you are pregnant, lactating, are prone to seizures, high blood pressure, or any have any other medical condition, check with your doctor before using any type of essential oil. When using essential oils on children, use a half or quarter of the recommended amount, as they have more delicate skin than adults. For those who have sensitive skin, it’s best to test a small area then wait 30 minutes before applying to your scalp or other areas.