Essential Oils for Hair (2022)

Overview

Essential oils are extracted from plants through methods like distillation or evaporation. While essential oils are most famous for their aromatic capabilities, they also contain strong chemical properties that can be beneficial for health.

Essential oils have long been used in alternative, Eastern, and homeopathic medicines thanks to their effectiveness and low risk of 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.

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 on one animal study found that this oil was able to generate faster hair growth in mice.

It also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can improve scalp health.

Mix several 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 10 minutes before washing it out and shampooing as you normally would. 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.

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One study found that peppermint oil, when used on mice, increased 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 5 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.

According to one study, rosemary oil performed as well as minoxidil, a common hair growth treatment, but with less scalp itching as a side effect.

Mix several drops of rosemary oil with olive or coconut oil, and apply it to your scalp. Leave it in for at least 10 minutes before washing it out with shampoo. Do this twice per week for best results.

4. Cedarwood essential oil

Cedarwood essential oil is thought to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss by balancing the oil-producing glands in the scalp. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which can treat different conditions that may contribute to dandruff or hair loss.

Included in a mixture with lavender and rosemary, cedarwood extract was also found to reduce hair loss in those with alopecia areata.

Mix a few drops of cedarwood essential oil with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil of your choice. Massage it into your scalp, and leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it out.

It may be hard to find in grocery stores, but you might be able to purchase it from smaller health food stores.

5. Lemongrass essential oil

Dandruff can be a common ailment, and having a healthy, flake-free scalp is an important part of hair health. Lemongrass oil is an effective dandruff treatment, with one 2015 study finding that it significantly reduced dandruff after one week.

Lemongrass oil for dandruff is most effective when used daily. Mix a few drops into your shampoo or conditioner daily, and make sure it’s massaged into your scalp.

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6. Thyme essential oil

Thyme can help promote hair growth by both stimulating the scalp and actively preventing hair loss. Like cedarwood oil, thyme oil was also found to be helpful in treating alopecia areata.

Thyme is particularly strong, even among essential oils. Put only 2 small drops in 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil before applying it to your scalp. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, then wash it out.

7. 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 favorite 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.

8. 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 2013 study even 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.

A review in 2015 found tea tree 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.

9. 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.

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Mix 5 drops of essential ylang-ylang 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.

Horsetail plant extract oil

Horsetail plant oil is an extract oil, not an essential oil. It contains silica, which is thought to improve hair growth speed and strength along with potentially reducing dandruff.

While no studies have evaluated horsetail oil used topically, a 2015 study found that oral tablets containing the oil improved hair growth and strength in women with self-perceived thinning hair.

It can also be effective as a topical treatment, with anecdotal evidence and theory suggesting that it may help boost circulation to the scalp and have the same benefits as the oral tablet. You can buy it online or at your nearest health food store.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions. It can be added to shampoo or massaged into your scalp.

Risks and potential complications

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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:

  • contact dermatitis
  • burning, discomfort, or painful tingling
  • redness in the affected area

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • severe dermatitis
  • blistering rashes
  • difficulty breathing
  • 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.

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FAQs

Can you add essential oils to your hair? ›

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.

Which oil is best for hair regrowth? ›

Best hair oils for hair growth and thickness
  1. Castor oil. Rich in vitamin E, this oil is loaded with proteins and minerals, and works wonders for your hair. ...
  2. Coconut oil. ...
  3. Argan oil. ...
  4. Olive oil. ...
  5. Tea tree oil. ...
  6. Rosemary oil. ...
  7. Almond oil. ...
  8. Amla oil.
21 Sept 2022

What oils stimulate hair growth? ›

A number of essential oils including lavender, rosemary, thyme, and cedarwood are effective in boosting hair growth. Some carrier oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, castor oil, etc. can also be used to improve hair growth. So use them the right way to start noticing new strands of hair!

Can I mix essential oils together for hair growth? ›

Combine rosemary, lavender, cedar, and thyme for a time-honored mixture. This combination of essential oils has long been recommended to help promote hair growth. Studies have shown that using these oils is more effective than using a carrier oil alone.

What is the best carrier oil to mix with essential oils for hair? ›

Castor Oil: Castor oil is one of the best carrier oils for hair. It's a thick oil that coats the hair to make hair appear thicker and fuller. It's often used in deep conditioning treatments, hair masks and in shampoos. This ingredient is perfect for a hair mask recipe for hair growth.

How often should I use essential oils for hair growth? ›

Doing either of these methods once a day – preferably at night – will help those who are thinning or balding and want to achieve hair growth. You can choose to leave the oil in your hair overnight or rinse it out straight after application.

Is it okay to put essential oils in your shampoo? ›

Essential oils can be added to shampoos in numerous ways. First, simply add a little to your existing shampoo to create a-one-of-a-kind scent. Another option is to select an organic, non-scented shampoo and then add essential oils as desired.

Which is the No 1 hair oil in world? ›

1 Hair Oil - 550 ml with Almond Shampoo - 350 ml Free (2 Items in the set) Dabur Amla hair oil infuses your hair with strength, thanks to amla extract which is renowned as the power fruit for hair which has been traditionally used as a hair tonic.It is a beneficial product for scalp health.

How can I thicken my hair? ›

10 Easy Ways To Get Thicker Hair At Home:
  1. Use a volumizing shampoo or thickening shampoo. philipb. ...
  2. Reach for thickening hair products. ...
  3. Eat a hair-thickening diet. ...
  4. Exfoliate your scalp. ...
  5. Stay away from hot tools as much as possible. ...
  6. Wash hair in the morning. ...
  7. Use a cool air dryer. ...
  8. Vote yes for Ayurvedic Massages.
8 Jun 2022

Which homemade oil is best for hair growth and thickness? ›

A. Coconut oil is the go-to oil for hair. Almond oil, black seed oil, and castor oil are considered excellent for hair growth.

How can I thicken my hair naturally? ›

Remedies to thicken hair
  1. Eggs. Eggs are rich in protein, which is essential for strong, thick hair. ...
  2. Olive oil. Olive oil is rich in omega-3 acids and other nutrients that are essential for overall health, including hair health. ...
  3. Proper nutrition.
  4. Orange puree. ...
  5. Aloe gel or oil. ...
  6. Avocado. ...
  7. Castor oil. ...
  8. Coconut oil.

Can thin hair become thick again? ›

Here's the truth: You can't change the size of your hair follicles. If you were born with fine hair, it's genetics, and no product will completely alter that. Of course, there are ways to maintain your hair health, add volume, and keep it from getting any thinner.

Which essential oils should not be mixed for hair? ›

5 Oils You Should NEVER Apply to Your Strands
  • Mineral Oil. Mineral oil is often disguised as petroleum, white petroleum, paraffin, liquid paraffin, liquid petrolatum, and paraffin wax. ...
  • Lemon Oil. Some people swear by putting lemon in their hair to lighten and brighten it. ...
  • Olive Oil. ...
  • Camphor Oil. ...
  • Castor Oil.
2 May 2021

How often should you oil your hair? ›

Oiling your hair 1-2 times a week is enough. Doing it everyday can attract dirt and also strip away essential oils from your hair. Combing, rubbing and vigorously massaging your hair with oil can also cause breakage.

Which oils can penetrate hair? ›

Which Oil Penetrates Hair Best?
  • Oils That Penetrate Hair Best.
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil is one of the least processed hair oil and it is one of the best oils for your hair. ...
  • Olive Oil: Extra Virgin olive oil is recommend and that makes one of the best oils for hair. ...
  • Avocado Oil: ...
  • Grapeseed Oil: ...
  • Argan oil: ...
  • Babassu Oil:
5 Dec 2018

What oils are moisturizing for hair? ›

The Best Natural Oils To Moisturize Dry Hair
  • Coconut oil. Arguably the most recognized oil for hair health, coconut oil reduces protein loss in damaged hair. ...
  • Jojoba oil. ...
  • Olive oil. ...
  • Lemongrass oil. ...
  • Tea tree oil. ...
  • Almond oil. ...
  • Stick to natural ingredients.
17 Mar 2020

What carrier oil makes hair soft? ›

Coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, and almond oil work great on dull and dry hair. They also boost hair moisture. Lavender oil, lemongrass oil, and almond oil help soothe and hydrate the dry scalp. Coconut, almond, olive, and jojoba oils are great for repairing damaged hair.

Can you mix essential oils with water for hair? ›

Essential oil Spritz

You can keep it simple by opting for a 2 ingredient recipe or an all-inclusive mix with 5-6 ingredients depending on your preference. For the 2 ingredient spritz, get some distilled water and add in any essential oil of your choice that best meets your hair needs.

How do I make my own hair growth oil? ›

Natural Hair Growth Oil Recipe
  1. 2 Tbsp Fractionated Coconut Oil.
  2. 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil.
  3. ½ Tbsp Castor Oil.
  4. 1 tsp Jojoba oil.
  5. 2 drops cypress essential oil.
  6. 2 drops cedarwood essential oil or peppermint essential oil.
  7. 2 drops rosemary essential oil.

Can I leave peppermint oil in my hair? ›

Its fragrance is pleasant and popularly found in shampoos, skin creams, and other products. While peppermint oil may be known for some skin care benefits, it's also good for your hair and scalp. It may help with dryness, itching, or other scalp problems.

Does tea tree oil help with hair? ›

Improves Overall Scalp Health

Tea tree oil has proven natural antifungal and antibacterial properties that help in maintaining a clean, healthy scalp and strong, healthy hair follicles.

What essential oils can I mix with shampoo? ›

A few essential oils that are good for hair and smell wonderful include basil, bergamot, lavender, ylang-ylang, and mint. For a few essential oil blends that smell fantastic and promote healthy hair, try: 25 drops of lemongrass, 10 drops of lemon, and 15 drops of lavender, mixed with 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) of shampoo.

What is the best carrier oil to mix with essential oils for hair? ›

Castor Oil: Castor oil is one of the best carrier oils for hair. It's a thick oil that coats the hair to make hair appear thicker and fuller. It's often used in deep conditioning treatments, hair masks and in shampoos. This ingredient is perfect for a hair mask recipe for hair growth.

Which hair oil is best for frizzy hair? ›

Argan Oil. Argan oil is one of the best oils that helps nourish your hair. It aids in adding shine and smoothness to your unmanageable mane and gets rid of that frizz too. Argan oil is known for its strengthening properties that help prevent breakage and hair loss.

What oils are moisturizing for hair? ›

The Best Natural Oils To Moisturize Dry Hair
  • Coconut oil. Arguably the most recognized oil for hair health, coconut oil reduces protein loss in damaged hair. ...
  • Jojoba oil. ...
  • Olive oil. ...
  • Lemongrass oil. ...
  • Tea tree oil. ...
  • Almond oil. ...
  • Stick to natural ingredients.
17 Mar 2020

How often should I oil my hair? ›

If you have regular hair that would be considered healthy, oil your scalp 1-2 times per week. On the other hand, you may need to oil your scalp daily for the first week if you haven't done so for a lengthy period of time.

How can I rehydrate my hair? ›

Use cold or tepid water instead, of hot water when washing hair. Cold water helps to seal the cuticles and reduces moisture loss. Use moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, such as those with softening oils that can include sweet almond, Argan, sunflower, and soybean.

Which is the No 1 hair oil in world? ›

1 Hair Oil - 550 ml with Almond Shampoo - 350 ml Free (2 Items in the set) Dabur Amla hair oil infuses your hair with strength, thanks to amla extract which is renowned as the power fruit for hair which has been traditionally used as a hair tonic.It is a beneficial product for scalp health.

Which oil is best for weak hair? ›

Whether you are trying to avoid chemicals or are just looking to experiment with some new hair care products, try natural oils such as coconut, argan, jojoba, almond, olive and grapeseed. These are some of the best oils for hair health and can be used directly on the skin and hair.

What oil is best for thin dry hair? ›

What oils work best for fine hair?
  1. Argan oil. Argan oil is a light plant-based oil high in vitamin E and antioxidants, which help treat and repair damaged strands.
  2. Almond oil. Almond oil is one of the lightest drupe oils and is high in essential fats, proteins and magnesium. ...
  3. Jojoba oil. ...
  4. Avocado oil. ...
  5. Grapeseed oil.
1 Apr 2022

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