Everyone wants locks that are healthy, strong, and shiny. Men and women alike seek ways to infuse new life into their otherwise dull, brittle, and damaged hair. Some people suffering from hair fall and hair loss also look for ways to bring back their beautiful crowning glory.
People often flock to conventional hair care products or hair growth treatments to nurse their locks back to life. However, others find the chemical-laden products too harsh on their head and scalp.
This fact prompts them to turn to alternative natural remedies for hair loss. And what better way to naturally obtain strong and healthy tresses than by using essential oils?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the best natural essential oils you can use for healthier and stronger hair. You’ll also find an overview of essential oils and some tips to safely use them on your head, scalp, and hair.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted from a variety of herbal and medicinal plants. Methods such as evaporation and distillation are utilized to extract the potent oils from plant leaves, barks, flowers, or roots.
These oils are often used in aromatherapy and are popular for their lovely scents. However, essential oils are also used in alternative medicine to treat ill conditions and improve overall health.
Hair loss is among the conditions that essential oils can cater to. Oils can carry anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties that help fight existing hair infections that lead to hair loss. The oils are also often used on tresses due to its cleansing, moisturizing, and aromatic properties.
Essential Oils for Healthy and Strong Hair
Oils that come from certain plants are known to help hair grow healthy, strong, and shiny. Here are five of these oils and how to use them to unlock healthy and strong tresses:
1. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary is an aromatic herb with needle-like leaves and blue, pink, white, or purple flowers. It has long been used in alternative medicine as a potent all-around remedy that can alleviate muscle pain, boost memory, and improve your immune and circulatory systems.
Rosemary is also a wonder oil that benefits your tresses in a multitude of ways:
- Encourages hair growth from the follicular level
- Boosts scalp circulation with its antioxidants
- Calms down inflammation on the scalp and eases dandruff
- Decreases stress and curbs stress-related hair loss with its relaxing scent
A study even concluded that rosemary oil use is at par with Minoxidil treatments in hair growth for androgenetic alopecia patients. Rosemary oil caused less itchiness on the scalp compared to Minoxidil.
Add drops of rosemary oil to some coconut or olive oil. Apply to your scalp and head, massage, and leave on for 10 minutes. Wash it off using a mild shampoo. Repeat this treatment twice a week.
2. Lavender Oil
Lavender is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family. Its most common species is the Lavandula angustifolia, that lovely ornamental plant with clumped lavender flowers and a relaxing sweet fragrance.
Lavender essential oil is extracted from the entire plant and is used for migraine and pain relief, cleaning, and air freshening. But it’s also an amazing oil for hair with the following benefits:
- Stimulates and hastens hair growth, as evidenced by a 2016 animal study on mice
- Helps stop and prevent head lice infestation
- Solves dandruff due to its antimicrobial properties
- Moisturizes scalp and prevents skin inflammation, as seen in this study
- Lessened stress-related hair fall due to its calming aroma that can soothe your entire body
Use lavender oil on your scalp by mixing some drops onto 3 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Massage it on the scalp and leave for 10 minutes before washing off with a gentle shampoo. Do this treatment several times a week, as much as you like.
3. Cedarwood Oil
Cedarwood essential oil comes from the cedar tree’s woods. Oil is extracted by steam distillation of the woods.
This essential oil carries a plethora of uses including insect repelling, concentration enhancer, indoor deodorizing, and prevention of mildew formation. It is also widely used in alternative hair loss treatments as it potently promotes hair growth.
Give your hair a boost with the following cedarwood oil benefits:
- Reduces hair fall in people with alopecia areata when used with rosemary and lavender
- Tightens hair follicles to reduce hair thinning
- Enhances blood circulation to the scalp
- Effectively cleanses the scalp and hair
Simply mix some cedarwood oil drops onto 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Good oil choices include rosemary, lavender, coconut, or olive oil. Massage on the scalp, leave for 10 minutes, then wash off with a gentle shampoo and lukewarm water.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree essential oil is widely known for its cleansing and antibacterial properties. It is used as a remedy for countless skin conditions including acne, fungal infections, insect bites, scabies, cuts, and abrasions.
This potent oil coming from the leaves of the small tea tree plant can also transform your tresses, making them stronger and healthier. Specifically, tea tree essential oil has the following benefits for hair:
- Loosens up plugged hair follicles to help stimulate healthier hair regrowth
- Stops bacterial growth on the scalp
- Relieves dandruff with its antifungal properties
- Soothes inflamed skin on the scalp
- Helps kill head lice
There was a study that concluded the use of tea tree oil in conjunction with Minoxidil treatments greatly improved hair growth.
Be careful about using tea tree oil as it is highly potent. Always follow the recommended strengths and never go beyond it.
With this in mind, tea tree oil can safely be used on hair by mixing 3 drops with 2 tablespoons of any carrier oil you want. Leave the mixture on the scalp for 15 minutes, then rinse off with a shampoo and lukewarm water.
Alternatively, you can also add tea tree oil to your favorite shampoo and conditioner. Add 10 drops to 8 ounces of shampoo/conditioner, then mix thoroughly. Apply your shampoo/conditioner to the head and scalp and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse your hair as usual.
5. Peppermint oil
Peppermint essential oil is taken from the leaves of the peppermint plant. This plant is an aromatic herb belonging to the mint family. The oil gives off a cool tingling sensation when used on the skin or scalp. It’s that familiar fresh coolness you get when eating or using products flavored with peppermint.
Peppermint oil has a host of beneficial health uses, including relief from gastric symptoms, nausea, vomiting, pain, and skin itching.
Your tresses will also thank peppermint oil for the following benefits:
- Increases follicle depth and promotes hair growth at the anagen phase, as evidenced by this 2014 animal study
- Increases blood circulation in the scalp
- Soothes the scalp and leaves it feeling cool and refreshed
Dilute 2 drops of the oil to any carrier oil of your choice. Massage it onto your scalp and leave for 5 minutes. Rinse as usual with your shampoo and conditioner.
Important Reminders on Essential Oil Use
Before jumping right into using essential oils, heed the following precautionary measures:
- Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil. Never use a pure essential oil directly on your scalp and hair, as you run the risk of skin and scalp irritation. Pure essential oils are potent and should never be used alone. Read and follow the instructions on your essential oil bottle.
- Follow the recommended strengths for using a particular essential oil and never go over it. You can ask a registered clinical aromatherapist for expert advice on this.
- Ask your doctor for advice if you want to use essential oils along with conventional medical treatments for hair loss such as Minoxidil use, Keratin preparations, and Biotin treatments.
- Take a skin patch test to check for any allergic reactions before using an essential oil or its blends for the first time. To do this:
* Clean your forearm with an unscented soap first, then dry it well.
* Apply the oils or its mixtures on your forearm, just enough to moisten it (do not saturate your skin too much).
* Cover the area with a sterile gauze pad and leave untouched for 24 hours.
If burning, irritation, inflammation, or redness occurs, wash the oils off and apply a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil on the area. Do not use the oils or mixture when you get an allergic reaction to it.
- You may notice that the oils we discussed earlier should be left on the scalp for 5-15 minutes in general. Check your individual oil bottle for suggestions as to how long you can use the oils on your head, just to be sure.
- Some people find that letting the oils stand for 30 minutes on their head produces better results. This will vary greatly depending on hair texture and thickness. Thinning hair should leave the oils on the head for a shorter time period to avoid possible scalp irritation.
- Steer clear from essential oil use if you are pregnant or suffering from illnesses such as epilepsy, low blood pressure, and hypertension. Some oils are safe for these conditions, but most are not. Talk to your doctor and registered clinical aromatherapist for guidance.
Armed with all these essential oils information, you’re now ready to take your hair’s health and strength to a whole new level.
Lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, tea tree, and peppermint are all wonderful essential oils that can stimulate healthy hair growth, moisturize your scalp and strands, fight off bacteria and fungi, and clear your follicles of any blockages. An added bonus: They smell heavenly and will leave your tresses smelling refreshingly clean!
Have you tried using these 5 essential oils on your hair? Did you see a marked increase in hair growth? Do tell us in the comments section below!
Stay tuned for more essential oil news and updates in the coming weeks!