Everyone wants lush and thick hair, but unfortunately some of us just aren’t luck enough to be born with a head full of perfect locks.
Aging, genetics, hormonal changes, stress, illness and diet are all factors that can cause hair problems ranging from hair loss (also known as alopecia), thinning, dandruff and itchy scalps. Luckily for you, essential oils are plant based, all natural solutions to help improve your hair condition.
Let’s start with setting realistic expectations, you aren’t going to put oils on your head and instantly cure baldness.
Despite the ludicrous infomercials constantly streaming on the television that promise rapid and instantaneous hair growth, it’s just not the reality (as many of you may have tried and sadly found out from experience).
The good news is that essential oils have been shown in scientific studies to improve the speed of hair growth, increase hair follicle thickness, reduce dandruff, soothe itchy scalps and provide other benefits.
What are the best essential oils to support hair growth?
- Peppermint oil
- Lavender oil
- Rosemary oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Lemongrass oil
Let’s take a deeper look at these hair growth boosting essential oils:
We have good news for you, peppermint doesn’t have to be limited to the holidays…the oil derived from the peppermint plant (Mentha piperita) is also great for hair growth and should be used year round for luscious locks.
Peppermint essential oil has been shown to substantially help with stimulating the hair follicles, increasing follicle growth and thickening the hair. The oil increases circulation and has anti-inflammatory properties so it can also help soothe an itchy and dry scalp.
Another big benefit of this oil, is its ability to reduce that pesky dandruff that so many people suffer from.
It’s important to remember that peppermint essential oil really should be diluted (like most essential oils) because it can cause a skin reaction if directly applied without dilution.
Lavender essential oil is highly versatile and can be used for so many purposes, one being hair growth!
In a recent study, lavender oil “significantly increased the number of hair follicles, deepened hair follicle depth, and thickened dermal layer.” Much like peppermint oil, lavender oil can also help with scalp itchiness and dandruff.
The sweet floral scent of lavender has a calming effect that helps reduce anxiety and stress so you can soothe your scalp and mind at the same time. Using this oil will make you feel like you’re in a picture perfect lavender field in France looking at the rolling hills of purple as far as the eye can see.
Rosemary is part of the mint family, so it’s no surprise that this essential oil provides similar hair care benefits as peppermint essential oil.
The woody and refreshing smell of rosemary makes it easy to pair with other oils for incredible herbal blend scents.
Rosemary essential oil helps increase blood circulation to the hair follicles which enhances healthy hair growth. If you have extra oily hair, rosemary should help with balancing out your oiliness and eliminate that frustrating dirty and greasy hair appearance.
The oil is also claimed by some people to help slow hair greying and improve memory. In fact, rosemary has been used as a symbol of remembrance for many years dating back to Shakespeare’s time.
Cedar trees grow in the Himalayan mountains and the Mediterranean region and are the source for cedarwood essential oil. The oil is extracted from cedar wood through steam distillation and has a warm and rustic scent (just close your eyes and smell this oil if you want to feel like you’ve been transported to a serene forest).
Cedarwood oil is great for you hair for a number of reasons! It will not only help stimulate your hair growth, but it can also help protect your hair from all of that heat abuse it constantly takes from your curling iron, straightener and hair dryer.
Lemongrass is a popular plant used for culinary, medicinal and many other purposes and is grown in Asia, Africa and Australia. The citrus scent of this plant makes it a common ingredient in asian dishes and is used to make teas enjoyed around the world.
Lemongrass essential oil has many uses such as insect repellent, helping with digestive issues, reducing fever, calming inflammation and increasing hair growth.
4 Ways to Apply Essential Oils for Hair Growth
So now that you know the top oils to use to grow out those locks, you’re probably wondering how to apply them! There are many different options you can choose from depending on the oil you want to use and what your growth goals are. Here’s our top 5 DIY recommendations for applying essential oils to your hair:
- Scalp Massage
- Hair Spritz
- Homemade Shampoo
- Hair Mask
The key point you need to remember is that just simply applying the oils to the ends of your hair won’t help your hair growth (this hair is actually dead already), it must go on the scalp to stimulate the follicles.
A rule of thumb to go by for any of the methods above, is to leave the essential oils on your hair for at least 20 minutes to maximize effectiveness. If you leave the oils in overnight, you might want to wear a shower cap so you don’t leave any stains or residue on your pillow case.
Now without further ado, here are the top ways to work essential oil into your beauty regimen to enhance hair growth.
1) Dilute and Massage the oil onto your scalp
Make sure you really pay attention to labels whenever you put oils on your skin because some essential oils are absolutely NOT SAFE to directly put on your skin. Certain oils have potent chemistry and must be diluted before making contact with your skin.
It’s generally recommended that you dilute all essential oils to play it safe but it depends on the brand you are using and if it’s a pre-made blend or pure essential oil. Make sure you read the brand’s instructions on the bottle before using.
For hair growth, you can use a DIY scalp massage oil blend with carrier oils that dilute the essential oils. Coconut oil is one of our favorites because it helps make hair really soft and shiny.
2) Create a hair spritz
Using a hair spritz can make it really easy to get into a routine of spraying your hair daily with essential oils. Just make the spritz in a 12 oz spray bottle and keep it in your bathroom for everyday use. To apply it, spray your scalp and work in sections. Lift each section of hair to spray your roots underneath and really cover your whole head. Here is a recipes for hair spritzes:
- 1 cup distilled water
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 8 drops ylang ylang essential oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerine (for an emulsifier)
The first step is to put the essential oils and vegetable glycerine in the spray bottle and shake. To be safe, you should wait a couple of hours to see if they separate or not. If they are separated then you’ll have to add a bit more vegetable glycerine and shake.
Once the oils are emulsified, you’ll be able to add the water, shake and start using!
3) Make your own shampoo with essential oils
You can throw out the toxic and synthetic store bought shampoos and save money by making your own shampoo at home.
One of the most common ingredients for an all natural shampoo is liquid castile soap. The term “castile” became famous because Castile, Spain is a region known for its olive oil that was used with animal fat to make all natural soap.
In this day and age, the term castile soap typically means that the soap is made from vegetable oils like coconut, hemp, etc. Another great element of liquid castile soap is that it acts as an emulsifier to blend the water and essential oil together instead of staying separated.
Just use equal parts water and liquid castile soap as the basis for your shampoo and add your own combination of essential oils for your favorite scents and hair growth.
It’s a good idea to give the shampoo bottle a good shake before using it each time in the shower.
Here is an example shampoo recipe to use that has three great oils specifically for helping with hair thickening and reducing dandruff.
- 1/2 cup pure liquid castile soap (unscented)
- 1/2 cup distilled water
- 15 drops of lavender essential oil
- 10 drops of peppermint oil
- 10 drops of tea tree oil
- 4 tablespoons sweet almond oil
4) Make a DIY hair mask
Deep conditioning hair masks are wonderful for restoring damaged hair and making your hair silky smooth. We absolutely love making hair masks with coconut oil for incredible smelling and soft hair (seriously this mask will make your hair super soft for days… you won’t be able to stop touching it).
Here is our favorite recipe for adding essential oils to a hair mask that will help with enhancing growth and provide a bunch of other benefits.
- 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons local honey
Directions for Making the Hair Mask
- Melt the coconut oil (30 seconds in the microwave should do).
- Stir in the honey with the coconut oil.
- Add the essential oils and mix together.
- Thoroughly and generously apply the mask to your scalp and hair (it can be easier to apply to already wet hair).
- Put a shower cap on just to keep everything in place and prevent it from getting messy.
- Leave the deep conditioning mask on for at least 30 to 60 minutes
- Rinse your hair in the shower and wash with shampoo to fully rinse off the mask.
- Enjoy the silky smooth and delightfully scented hair.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Essential Oils and Hair Growth:
Will essential oil make my hair too oily?
Many of the essential oils listed in this article actually help with reducing excess scalp oil and balance it out. Just remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and very potent so you should not overdo it and put too much on your scalp. Follow the guidelines on the product labels and you should be good to go.
How often should I apply essential oils to my hair?
It’s always best to start with one hair treatment on a small area of your head first to see if you have any reactions. Once you try it without any issues, then you can scale it up and use them more frequently. Many of the companies that make essential oils list their products as safe for daily use if the application method recommendations are followed properly.