8 Essential Oils for Healthy Hair and Scalp
Your hair is your crowning glory. It is the first thing that people notice, and it also reflects your personality. Having gorgeous hair does not actually need a lot of work. No matter the cut and style, what is basically needed is a mass of healthy hair; and what better way to achieve that than using essential oils.
You may think that your scalp already produces enough oil to keep it hydrated and protected. However, that’s not always the case. Exposure to the elements and dust, frequent hair washing, over-brushing, braiding, or putting wet hair in a ponytail – all these cause your hair to be damaged.
To take good care of your hair, here’s a selection of essential oils you might want to use:
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is good for promoting scalp health and treating damaged skin. Its anti-fungal properties make it effective in treating dandruff without causing itching or inflammation. Its antiseptic properties also make it an effective treatment for lice. It has powerful cleansing properties and can easily unplug hair follicles, thereby promoting hair growth
It is important to first apply coconut or almond oil to the scalp as this is a very strong essential oil. In another container, add a few drops of tea tree oil to coconut or almond oil and mix well. Massage this mixture deeply into your scalp, making sure to avoid the eyes. Rinse after 20 minutes.
For promoting hair growth: use 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to 1-2 tablespoons of coconut or almond oil
For dandruff: add 4-5 drops to 1 tablespoon of shampoo
2. Chamomile Essential Oil
This essential oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It relieves a scaly and itchy scalp and can be safely used by people with dandruff, psoriasis, and dermatitis. The chamomile essential oil effectively conditions hair, thereby improving its appearance, feel, and manageability. It also gives your hair a non-greasy protective coating to shield it from environmental pollutants.
Using chamomile essential oil as a conditioning rinse lightens your hair color naturally and gives it a golden sheen and softness. Its sweet apple-like scent is perfectly relaxing, helping decrease anxiety and relieving stress.
For lightening hair color naturally: combine 5 drops of chamomile essential oil, one tablespoon of sea salt and one-third cup baking soda. Create a paste by adding in warm water. Massage this mixture into the scalp and the base of your hair. Let it sit for half an hour before rinsing. For a bolder effect, keep it on while sitting in the sun.
For hair conditioning and protection: add a few drops to 2 tablespoons of your base oil.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil stimulates the scalp and promotes hair growth. It increases the length, thickness, and hair follicle depth for stronger hair. It causes a cold, tingling sensation as it increases the circulation in the area applied to.
This promotes growth during the active growth phase of your hair follicles. Its cooling effect reduces inflammation while boosting your mood and energizing your mind. It is also effective in relieving headaches and tension.
For scalp massage: use 2-3 drops to the base oil, massage deeply, leave on for 5 minutes, and wash thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner. Repeat daily for at least 4 weeks
With shampoo or conditioner: add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner for a quick wake-me-up and to get rid of greasy hair.
4. Lemon Oil
Lemon oil is best used for overly greasy hair as it helps dry up and clarify some of the excess oil on your hair. This helps you avoid a limp, stringy, and flat hair. Additionally, it has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which help resolve secondary infections that can aggravate acne and dandruff.
To remove excess oil from hair, use in warm water as a rinse after washing your hair.
Shampoo: add a few drops to your shampoo and use per your routine.
For moisturizing: add a few drops to the carrier oil, leave on for 30 minutes, and wash with a gentle shampoo. Do it weekly.
5. Lavender Oil
This sweet-smelling essential oil can be used for any hair type, be it oily, normal, flaky, or dry. Lavender oil is mild and soothing and is well-known for helping with stress and anxiety. It improves circulation, prevents hair loss, and promotes hair growth, making it effective for alopecia. It is also ideal for the treatment and management of scalp acne and dandruff.
For scalp massage: use 8-10 drops of lavender oil to 2 tablespoons of base oil. Massage into your scalp. Leave for 10 minutes before shampooing as usual.
For a restful sleep, leave it on overnight. Cover your head with a bandana, towel, or scarf then wash off in the morning.
For hair regrowth: for an extra powerful treatment, mix with lemon and peppermint then rinse after an hour.
6. Oil of Rosemary
If you want to improve hair thickness and growth, rosemary oil is one of the best essential oils to use. It prevents baldness while slowing down the graying process. It also effectively treats dry scalp and dandruff and helps prevent split ends.
For massage: add 3-5 drops to 3-5 parts olive oil. Massage directly into the scalp for 2 minutes. Leave in your hair for 3-4 hours, then wash as you normally would.
For hot oil treatment: lightly heat 3 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil. After it has cooled down a bit, add 10 drops of rosemary oil. Apply to scalp then cover with a towel that has been dipped in hot water. Wash off and shampoo after half an hour. This de-clogs the pores and helps the essential oil mixture to seep into the hair follicles.
7. Lemongrass Oil
Lemongrass oil has powerful antiviral and antifungal properties. This makes it useful for a variety of scalp issues. It has been found to inhibit the development of dandruff caused by yeast. It is so effective that significant reduction has been observed after seven days of daily application.
It also soothes scalp itchiness and irritation as well as strengthens hair follicles. Other than its effective healing properties, it works as a good deodorizer and cleanser.
Shampoo: add 10 drops of lemongrass oil into your bottle of shampoo or conditioner.
Conditioner: add 2-3 drops into base oil and massage into scalp and hair for a leave-in conditioning treatment.
Ylang-ylang essential oil is ideal for those with dry scalp. It stimulates the sebaceous glands which increase sebum production. This makes it effective in combatting dryness and breakage. It helps you produce thick and flexible hair that looks smooth and shiny.
Ylang-ylang oil has a strong floral scent. Some even say that it has aphrodisiac properties as well. However, what is certain is that its aromatherapy benefits work well in relieving your body of stress, making it doubly effective in preventing hair loss.
This oil is also effective in repelling head lice, providing a safer and natural remedy for the little ones. It also combines well with other essential oils like lavender and lemon, making for a more effective hair treatment and management mixture.
For hot oil treatment: warm 2 tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Add 5 drops of ylang-ylang essential oil. Massage into scalp. Wrap hair with a warm towel (dipped in warm water) and leave on for an hour. Wash and shampoo hair as usual.
For rinsing: add a few drops to the final rinse.
A Word of Caution
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. They should be diluted with other oils that will serve as base or carrier oils. To avoid allergic reactions and other irritations, it is advised that you should first apply a very small amount of essential oil or mixture on your skin (ideally the wrist or inner elbow) and observe for reactions.
Some possible reactions are as follows:
Burning or tingling sensation
Swelling of tongue
Narrowing of throat
It is best not to use essential oils on small children. Pregnant or lactating women and the elderly should also seek the guidance of qualified practitioners before using.
Find the best one that works for you. Or, you can alternate the use of different oil combinations for that confidence-boosting and lustrous gorgeous hair. With essential oils, you can never have a bad hair day anymore.