Essential Oils for Hair Benefits

Is your hair damaged?  Or maybe you’re not seeing an improvement from the same old lathering suds?  Then it might be time to consider essential oils for hair rejuvenation.  Essential Oils, or EO’s, are about as natural as you can get, and they offer unmatched hair and scalp benefits.

What are Essential Oils

Essential oils, or EO’s, are the leaves, stem, root, bark, and other parts of plants distilled to their purest liquid form.  We call essential oils as such because they carry the “essence” of their derivative plant.  That being said, essential oils are not oils.  As YouOrganic Skin Care founder Ursula Elmes points out on MNN, “Despite their name, essential oils are not oils but are aromatic, volatile substances or essences extracted from a plant, herb or flower by distillation or expression. It is a labor-intensive process resulting in a potent oil that is not cheap…”.

How to Use Essential Oils

There are a lot of EO conditioner recipes out there, and selecting and mixing the right one for your hair type can be a little confusing.  Usually you can’t go wrong combining a few drops of your favorite EO’s with a carrier oil, like coconut oil or palm oil.  An important note: never use essential oils directly on your scalp (they’re too potent for that).

Here’s how most EO recipes work, and with these basic instructions you can create your own EO-based conditioner in no time.  Different carrier oils and EO’s are good for certain hair and scalp conditions, which we’ve covered further within this article.

  1. Select and place ~1/2 oz. carrier oil in a bowl.
  2. Add 2-3 drops each from 2-4 appropriate EO’s.
  3. Mix the EO’s and carrier oil thoroughly.
  4. Make sure your hair is slightly damp, and massage the mixture into your hair and scalp.
  5. Wrap your head in a towel or plastic hair cover.
  6. Leave in for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Wash out with water and/or your favorite natural shampoo.

The Benefits

Put simply, EO’s make your hair healthy and shiny.  They’re known to do a much better job than petroleum-based conditioners and other store-bought cleansers.  The chemical-heavy stuff, at best, fails to keep in moisture, and at worst, damages your hair.  EO’s, on the other hand, are usually completely natural.  Being organic, EO’s won’t strip your hair of nutrients and nourishing oils.  Unlike many conditioners and cleansers that work by the gallon, a little EO goes a long way.   Best of all, EO’s can be added to enhance the benefits, or simply the aroma, of your shampoo.

Curing Dandruff

Essential oils work wonders on inflamed scalp conditions, and they’re great for alleviating dry and itchy skin.  Chamomile, rosemary, patchouli, and peppermint all have specific properties to cure dandruff and other scalp issues.  Rosemary, for example, increases circulation in the scalp.  Peppermint alleviates itching and cools your skin.  Patchouli is an effective anti-fungal oil.  All of these oils can be combined with jojoba oil to offer a host of great scalp benefits.  Most say it takes about a week of use to see an improvement.  Here’s a list of EO’s and carrier oils that work together as effective dandruff cures.

EO’s for Dandruff:

  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint

Carrier Oils for Dandruff:

  • Jojoba oil

Curing Frizzy Hair

We all have to deal with dry and frizzy hair at some point or another.  Humid climates and dry winter conditions alike do their damage.  There are many EO’s and other natural oils that restore moisture and shine to frizzy hair.  It’s best too choose the ingredients that act as natural humectants, which are substances that find and attract moisture.  Make sure not to use products with chemical humectants, as they will worsen humidity-induced frizziness.

Here are a few great natural humectants and EO’s that generally help cure frizziness:

EO’s for Fighting Frizziness:

  • Rose oil
  • Sandalwood
  • Neroli
  • Geranium
  • Clary Sage
  • Chamomile

Humectant Carrier Oils:

  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Shea butter

Hair Thickening and Growth

As we all know, aging makes our hair weaker and thinner.  Stress is another factor that contributes to shedding and scalp inflammation.  Often, hair loss products do little to stop deterioration, or they make things worse.  Essential oils, on the other hand, improve scalp conditions and invigorate your follicles, creating the right conditions for increased hair growth and overall follicle health.

Here are the best EO’s and carrier oils for promoting hair growth:

EO’s for Hair Growth

  • Thyme
  • Cedar
  • Lavender
  • West Indian Bay
  • Rosemary
  • Chamomile
  • Basil
  • Yarrow

Carrier Oils for Hair Growth

  • Jojoba oil
  • Coconut oil

Finding the Essential Oil that’s Right for You

There’s no shortage of essential oils to choose from.  Picking the one that’s right for your hair type, fragrance preferences, and scalp conditions is not always simple.  First, you need to understand your hair conditions.  From there you can begin to select and experiment with the EO’s and carrier oils that are best for you.  While it may take some guessing and checking to see the improvement you’re looking for, you can relax knowing that you’re not damaging your hair in the process of the finding the essential and carrier oils that are best for you.

If you’re having trouble finding the right EO’s for you, it might be a good idea to go with a few of the more common and potent oils:

  • Peppermint: normalizes your hair’s oil production, fights dandruff, and promotes hair growth.
  • Lavender: a great anti-inflammatory,  lavender increase blood circulation in your scalp.
  • Lemon: an effective treatment of those with oily hair, lemon has a drying effect.  Thus it’s not recommended for those with dry hair.

Types of Essential Oils

  • Almond : helps moisturize the scalp.
  • Geranium: supports follicle stability and balance.
  • Lavender: adds shine and moisture.  Great for dandruff relief.
  • Chamomile: softens, shines, and alleviates scalp inflammation.
  • Sandalwood: adds moisture and fragrance.  Also, it’s a key component of Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Cedar wood: releases toxins and promotes circulation.
  • Moroccan argan oil:  has unmatched hair and scalp benefits.  It calms frizzy ends and adds moisture to your hair and scalp.
  • Tea Tree Oil: help keeps the scalp free of bacteria, and it’s great for clearing away dead skin cells.

Essential Oils for Curing Dandruff: combine a few drops of each of these EO's with about a palm full of jojoba oil (the carrier oil). -

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