7 Best Essential Oils That Promote Hair Growth (Recipes Included)
In the quest for natural, healthy hair care, essential oils are … well, essential! Seriously, what isn’t to love about them? Just a few drops go a long way, which means their cost is incredibly low. They’re 100% natural, and so long as you know what you’re doing, they’re completely safe. There is a reason you will frequently find them listed among the ingredients for your shampoo or conditioner.
You can shop for shampoo or conditioner based on the oils you’re interested in, but you don’t have to rely on commercial product manufacturers to provide you with the essential oils you need. If you prefer, you can add them to an apple cider vinegar rinse or aloe gel treatment.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are liquids derived from various plants. The substances contain the pure, undiluted compounds which give the plants their distinctive scents. For this reason, essential oils are often used in manufacturing perfumes and perfume oils.
They are also very popular in alternative medical circles, and are used around the home in a broad array of applications. You’ll find them not only in perfumes, but also in a range of cosmetics including soaps and hair care products. Sometimes essential oils are used in manufacturing incense, and you may even find them included in household cleaning agents.
How Are Essential Oils Made?
Essential oils are made using a distillation process. Raw matter from the plant is placed in an apparatus called an alembic. Any parts of the plants may be used: bark, roots, leaves, seeds, flowers, or peel. Water is heated, producing steam. The steam passes through the plant matter. This results in the volatile compounds inside the plant matter vaporizing. The vapors are condensed back into a liquid form, and you end up with essential oil.
Where Can You Buy Essential Oils?
Shopping for essential oils is easy. You will find them for sale online, and you will also find them in health food stores and in the health food aisles of larger supermarkets. Some of them are expensive, but you can buy many of them in 5 ml bottles for around $5 each. This is especially true of the more common oils which have a broad range of applications (including in your hair). Stock up on just one or two and you’ll soon enthusiastically collect them all.
A Note on Safety When Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are really potent, and can irritate your skin if you use them undiluted. They can cause allergic reactions, and may also make your skin photosensitive, which can result in burns and ultraviolet damage. Furthermore, they can irritate your mucous membranes and dry out your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Long story short, don’t use them undiluted. If you do your research on this, you will find many a cautionary tale.
So how do you dilute them? You need some sort of carrier product. Usually this is another type of oil such as grapeseed oil, olive oil, or avocado oil. As mentioned previously, you can also try blending them into a shampoo or hair mask.
Regardless, you want to use a very small concentration. You will hear a range on this, but I think it is best to stick close to two percent. Yes, that means you are only going to end up using a few drops of any one oil for any one application!
You may even want to take the time to conduct a skin patch test before you start using an essential oil, especially if you are going to add it to a shampoo (it would hardly do to have to replace your shampoo because you have discovered that you are allergic to an oil you just mixed in).
How Can You Use Essential Oils in Your Hair?
There are many different ways that you can use essential oils in your hair. Always make sure that you are diluting them as discussed so that you will not cause any skin irritation on your scalp.
Here are just a few ways that you can apply essential oils to your hair:
- Try mixing a couple drops of essential oil into your regular shampoo or conditioner. You will need to make sure that the oil is well blended well and distributed evenly so that you will get the benefits every time you use your shampoo or conditioner.
- You can also mix essential oil into apple cider vinegar hair rinse. I have not talked about apple cider vinegar in this article yet, but it is one of the hair treatments that I regularly recommend, because it is cost effective and completely natural. Apple cider vinegar is amazing for improving the texture and appearance of hair. To use essential oils with apple cider vinegar, you will need to mix a couple of cups of vinegar with around five drops of essential oils you want to use. You can also mix in various herbs for additional benefits. Once you have this mixture prepared, you can store it in the fridge and use it for a long time. To apply it to your hair, simply dilute a couple of tablespoons into a cup of water. Pour it over your hair in the shower, or spray it on using a spray bottle.
- Another idea is to mix essential oil to aloe vera gel. Once again, make sure that you observe safety precautions, and dilute the essential oils correctly. You can then work this mixture into your hair, and rinse it out. If you want, you can even wrap your hair up in plastic wrap and leave the treatment in for half an hour. Some people even leave the treatment in overnight and wash it out in the morning.
- You also have the option of leaving essential oils in your hair. This allows your hair to soak up all the benefits of the oils as they saturate your locks. It also gives you the additional benefit of smelling great throughout the day. If you want to do this, all you have to do is apply a couple of drops of your favorite essential oils to your hairbrush bristles. Then simply brush your hair as usual. Do not get any undiluted oils on your skin. Don’t use too much oil, or you will weigh your hair down and it will look limp and greasy. Try not to leave them in too long either.
These are not the only methods for applying essential oils to your hair, but they are a few of the most popular ones. The most important thing to remember is always to use essential oils in small amounts.
Types of Essential Oils to Try for Hair Growth
There are so many ways in which essential oils can help nourish your hair. Depending on the oils you choose, you can fight itching and dandruff, boost circulation in your scalp, add softness and shine to your hair, and deep cleanse your scalp. As you might expect, there are also essential oils which are perfect for stimulating hair growth.
These oils do this through two mechanisms. Firstly, they improve the overall health and condition of your hair, which means that your hair is less prone to breakage. Secondly, they stimulate your hair follicles. The fact that essential oils can increase the circulation in your scalp means that more nutrients are able to reach your hair follicles. If you are eating a nourishing diet which promotes hair growth, essential oils will have an even more potent effect.
What kinds of essential oils can you use to promote faster hair growth? Here are a few examples.
This is an herb you are probably quite familiar with from cooking. Basil is used in many Italian recipes. But did you know that it is also great for your hair? Basil is an herb which can increase circulation in your scalp as we just discussed. By doing so, the essential oil from basil can draw much needed nourishment to your hair follicles. Additionally, basil is excellent for balancing sebum production and can be a great treatment for an oily scalp.
Cedarwood oil is an essential oil that is derived from various types of pine and cypress trees. Sometimes it is simply known as cedar oil. As you might expect, cedarwood oil smells fantastic, and it also happens to be excellent for your hair.
There are several ways in which cedarwood oil can improve conditions in your hair and scalp. To start with, it is a great essential oil for balancing moisture in your scalp. Whether you suffer from a dry or oily scalp, this oil can help to moderate and regulate sebum production so that it is at its optimum. This means your hair will neither be dry nor greasy. When your hair is not dry, it is less prone to breakage, which assists with growth.
On top of that, this oil is excellent for reducing dandruff, itching, and hair loss. It has antiseptic and astringent qualities, which makes it ideal for fighting infections. It can also help to stimulate your hair follicles, which is key for promoting healthy hair growth.
Lavender is one of the best all-around herbs you can use in your hair. This is why it is a commonly listed ingredient in so many commercial hair care products. It is especially popular shampoos and conditioners. If you want to add extra Lavender to your hair care regimen, you can use the herb itself (I like to add it directly to my apple cider vinegar rinse), but you can also use essential oil instead.
Lavender essential oil provides you with all the same benefits as the herb in its raw form. It conditions hair while reducing dandruff, dryness, and itchiness. It can stimulate the production of your scalp’s natural oils, while also balancing that production so that you do not end up with greasy hair.
What you end up with is hair that is hydrated, silky, and smooth. This kind of hair is manageable, and isn’t prone to split ends. Incidentally, lavender also promotes hair growth directly. So if you are going to start with just one essential oil, I would recommend lavender is a great beginner’s option.
Here’s another oil you are probably more familiar with in your kitchen. In fact, you’ve probably used it to flavor food or drinks. But peppermint oil has beauty benefits as well. Peppermint oil can be used to hydrate dry hair, and can also increase blood circulation in your scalp. These are both excellent means to stimulate hair growth. As a bonus, peppermint oil has a soothing, cooling effect on your skin. This can provide some relief if you have been dealing with inflammation or itchiness.
Rosemary is another very popular herb for hair care. Like many of the others listed here, you can use the herb itself in its raw form, or you can use the essential oil. Rosemary, like lavender, is included in many shampoos and conditioners. You have probably even tried some of them before.
With rosemary, you have another effective dandruff treatment, which is not only great for dry hair, but for oily hair as well. By normalizing your scalp conditions, rosemary helps your hair grow faster.
There is one caution to observe if you’re going to be using rosemary. This herb can act as a darkener. I have discovered that this effect is pretty marginal so long as you do not use large amounts of it. And since you will be using it in a diluted form, you should not have too much to worry about. If you do have any concerns, however, you may want to also use some chamomile to balance the darkening effect. Chamomile is an effective hair lightener.
This kitchen herb is an antiseptic. The essential oil is therefore great for treating a variety of scalp conditions which can cause dandruff, irritation, and hair loss. On top of that, it is very invigorating, and can promote circulation, stimulating your hair follicles. This makes yet another winner for promoting growth.
This is an essential oil which you may have seen listed as an ingredient in perfume. It has a wonderful smell, which makes it a great choice for brushing through your hair. Its antiseptic properties make it a soothing treatment for dandruff and dryness. It can stimulate your follicles, leading to faster hair growth.
These are not the only essential oils which can boost hair growth, but they are definitely some of the top choices. Other essential oils that can help your hair grow longer and faster by conditioning your locks and improving scalp conditions include chamomile, sage, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and tea tree.
So to review, essential oils help your hair grow by:
- Treating scalp infections which may be causing itching, dryness, dandruff, and hair loss
- Moisturizing and strengthening dry, damaged hair, and preventing split ends
- Boosting blood circulation in your scalp to draw nutrients to your hair follicles
- Stimulating the hair follicles themselves
Because drawing nutrition to your hair follicles is one of the key ways in which essential oils helps promote hair growth, you can amplify the effects by taking a healthy multivitamin for beauty. Look for a supplement that contains a mixture of vitamins, minerals, and herbs formulated specifically for hair growth. The best supplements for beauty contained no artificial additives, and are 100% natural, safe, effective.
When you combine several powerful natural approaches to promoting hair growth, such as an apple cider vinegar rinse, a hair multivitamin, and essential oils, you create a healthy, nourishing environment which stimulates hair growth far more effectively than the expensive commercial products you are probably using now.