Essential oils have long been used in alternative, Eastern, and homeopathic medicines thanks to their effectiveness and low risk of side effects. They are natural and hence have either no or very less side effects.
One benefit some essential oils have is improving hair health. Different oils can do everything from helping hair grow to adding strength and shine. Let’s have a look:
1. Lavender essential oil
Lavender oil can speed up hair growth. Knowing that lavender oil has properties that can generate the growth of cells and reduce stress, researchers have found that this oil is able to generate faster hair growth.
It also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can improve scalp health.
Mix about 5 drops of lavender oil into 3 tablespoons of carrier oil, like olive oil or melted coconut oil, and apply it directly to your scalp. Leave it in for at least 1 hour before washing it out with your usual shampoo. You can do this several times per week.
2. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint oil can cause a cold, tingling feeling when it increases circulation to the area it’s applied to. This can help promote hair growth during the anagen (or growing) phase.
Peppermint oil is known to increase the number of follicles, follicle depth, and overall hair growth.
Mix 2 drops of peppermint essential oil with the carrier oil of your choice. Massage it into your scalp, and leave on for atleast 30 minutes before washing out thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner.
3. Rosemary essential oil
If you want to improve both hair thickness and hair growth, rosemary oil is a great choice thanks to its ability to improve cellular generation.
Rosemary oil performed as well as minoxidil, a common hair growth treatment, but with less scalp itching as a side effect.
Mix 7-8 drops of Rosemary oil with olive or coconut oil, and apply it to your scalp. Leave it in for at least 1 hour before washing it out with shampoo. Do this twice per week for best results.
4. Clary sage essential oil
Clary sage oil contains the same linalyl acetate that helps make lavender oil so effective in increasing hair growth. It can improve hair strength, in addition to increasing hair growth, making hair more difficult to break.
Mix 3 drops of clary sage oil with your favourite conditioner, or with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. If using it daily, rinse out after 2 minutes. If using it once or twice per week, leave it on for 10 minutes.
5. Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree oil has powerful cleansing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. When used topically, it can help unplug hair follicles and increase hair growth.
Tea tree oils come in many concentrations, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Some are highly concentrated essential oils, and other products are mixed in a cream or oil.
A study found that a mixture containing tea tree oil and minoxidil was more effective than just the minoxidil alone in improving hair growth, though more studies are needed on using tea tree oil only.
Tea tree oil is commonly used in anti-dandruff treatment products.
You can mix 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into your shampoo or conditioner and use it daily. Or, you can mix 3 drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it out.
6. Ylang-ylang essential oil
While those with oily hair and skin would want to skip this one, ylang-ylang oil is ideal for those with dry scalps, as it can stimulate sebum production.
As lack of enough oil and sebum causes hair to become dry and brittle, ylang-ylang can improve hair texture and reduce hair breakage.
Mix 5 drops of ylang-ylang essential oil with 2 tablespoons of warm oil. Massage it into your scalp, and wrap your head with a warm towel. Leave it in for 30 minutes before washing it out. Ylang-ylang can also be found in preparations such as shampoo or creams.
The biggest risk of essential oils is skin irritation or allergic reactions. This is especially common when an essential oil is applied directly to the skin, so it’s vital to always use a carrier oil to dilute it.
Allergic reactions are also more common in those with sensitive skin or those who have allergies to the essential oil.
Symptoms of skin irritation include:
burning, discomfort, or painful tingling
redness in the affected area
Signs of an allergic reaction include:
swelling of the tongue or narrowing of the throat
Only older teenagers and adults should use essential oils topically for hair health. If you think essential oils could benefit your child, ask their pediatrician first to make sure it’s safe.
To evaluate for irritation, remember to test a small amount of the mixture on a small patch of skin before full use.
Essential oils can help you improve the health of your hair with very little risk of side effects at an affordable price point. They’re also easy to use.
For many, mixing some with a carrier oil or your shampoo and applying that to your scalp regularly can increase hair growth, strength, or shine.
Disclaimer: Any or all the benefits outlined here are not medical advice. The information provided above is based on research done through various websites on the internet and do not constitute the opinion of the author. If you have any specific medical conditions, please consult your doctor before consuming this. This is in no way a substitute to any medication prescribed by your doctor.
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