Taking care of your hair can be quite a challenge, especially for those who are not blessed with the strongest, shiniest, and most bountiful of manes. Hair is constantly at the mercy of the state of our internal terrain – allergies, heredity, hormonal imbalances, stress, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies – and the external elements, such as humidity, wind, dry weather, and so on. But there may be a way to help: essential oils.
Essential oils provide a clean (and fragrant) solution to many everyday hair woes. The following five essential oils are simple and pure elixirs whose inherent qualities make them great for boosting hair appearance and health.
How to Use Essential Oils for Beautiful Hair
One of the biggest critiques of essential oils for skin health (and by extension, scalp/hair health) is that they can be reactive. That is, when they are exposed to the sun or heat, they may cause an unsavory experience for the user, resulting in a rash or burning sensation. This is particularly true for citrus essential oils. It always helps to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil like jojoba, almond, or argan, or add it into your regular shampoo. Let the mixture sit in your hair for five to 10 minutes before rinsing clean.
If you are known to have sensitive skin, test a patch of skin with whatever essential oil you plan to add to your hair care regimen. Wait a few hours to see how your skin reacts.
5 Essential Oils for Beautiful Hair
1. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is best for improving hair thickness and inducing hair growth. In one study, participants were randomly assigned either rosemary oil or 2% minoxidil, the first FDA-approved hair loss treatment that has been proven to work. Subjects applied either treatment twice daily. After six months, both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count, with no difference in growth between the groups; that is, rosemary was just as effective as a clinical treatment. The difference, however, was that those using rosemary oil experienced significantly less itching.
2. Peppermint Oil
Commonly used to stimulate the digestive system and act as the primary aroma in toothpaste, peppermint’s use extends to promoting beautiful hair as well. In fact, peppermint oil’s hair growth effects are nothing less than remarkable. In one study, researchers found peppermint oil to easily penetrate the skin and both induce rapid hair growth as well as very thick hair after just four weeks of topical application. The researchers concluded that peppermint oil is able to conserve the vascularization of hair dermal papilla (where all hair follicles are nourished and supplied with oxygen).
3. Lemongrass Oil
If dandruff is a concern, lemongrass oil is your best bet! Lemongrass oil has shown to significantly reduce dandruff in one to two weeks of topical treatment.
4. Lavender Oil
Speed up hair growth with lavender oil. The essential oil is commonly known and proven to be effective in treating fatigue, reducing stress, the promoting cell growth, reproducing skin, and treated alopecia. In one study, lavender oil demonstrated the ability to promote hair growth. Researchers tested lavender oil on the hair of mice, and they observed a significant growth in hair.
5. Clary Sage Oil
Clary sage oil hastens hair growth and improves hair strength. It contains linalyl acetate, a compound that is also found in lavender oil, giving clary sage much of lavender oil’s hair-growing properties.