Top 10 Essential Oils For Healthy Hair and Scalp - hair buddha
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Top 10 Essential Oils For Healthy Hair and Scalp

essential oils for hair growth
 essential oils for hair growth
 essential oils for hair growth


Essential oils are powerful plant extracts, with almost magical properties.  They can transform your dull and limp locks into radiant and healthy-looking hair.

When we peel an orange, we get its orangey smell – which is nothing but essential oils that evaporates in the air.

As children we would squeeze the orange peel in each other’s eyes just for fun; that would burn badly.

Aromatic oils can be found in the various parts of a plant, including seeds, flowers, root, leaves, wood, and fruit peel. These oils have been used for thousands of years as perfumes, in cosmetics, and for their medicinal and culinary benefits.

There effect on the scalp, hair follicles and hair growth is fantastic. These lovely oils penetrate deeply into hair shaft and follicles and help produce healthy, shiny hair. Some oils can be extremely helpful to soothe dry, irritated scalp. Other essential oils influence the sebaceous glands and can reduce oiliness of the hair.

Benefits of Essential oil for Hair and Scalp:

  • Nourishes and moisturises hair
  • Reduces hair loss
  • Promotes healthy hair growth
  • Improves shine and softness of hair
  • Soothes irritated scalp and gets rid of dandruff
  • Balances skin hormones

Since every essential oil is different you can pick one that best suits your needs. You can also use them in combination for an enhanced effect.

It’s very simple to use essential oils for hair. Simply blend in a few drops with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba and massage into your scalp.

Here’s the selection of the most popular and the most effective essential oils for gorgeous looking hair, and how to use them…

Top 10 Essential Oils For Healthy Hair and Scalp

1. Lavender Essential Oil



Lavender oil is very versatile and has a well-established tradition as a folk remedy. It moisturises the scalp and balances sebum production, making it valuable for all hair types. Regular massage with lavender oil can increase scalp circulation, reduce hair loss and make hair strong and shiny.

With its powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, lavender oil works great in providing relief from irritating scalp conditions, such as psoriasis, dandruff, itchiness and dryness.

Lavender oil has a mild sedative and antidepressant action which makes it useful to ease down nervous tension and helps you sleep better.

Scent: It has a sweet, floral scent and herbaceous-woody undertone. The oil is extracted from the fresh flowers of Lavandula angustifolia shrub.

Blends well with: clary sage, geranium, cedarwood, vetiver and patchouli.

2. Khus (Vetiver) Essential Oil


Vetiver (Khus) Roots

Khus oil reminds me of summer months in India – mats made by khus roots are used in evaporative air coolers; they are also hung in a doorway or on the windows to keep the house cool. And it makes the whole house smell amazingly fresh.

Khus oil, derived from the roots of khus grass, is known as the oil of tranquillity because of its ability to calm, cool, and soothe the mind and body. This cooling property makes it highly beneficial in hair loss (as in against hair loss) that occurs due to high body heat (pitta body constitution).

It is also known for its antiseptic and tonic action and helps treat acne and oily scalp

Scent: It is a dark brown or amber colour oil with an earthy-woody odour and a sweet persistent undertone. The oil is extracted from the roots of a grass of vetiver or Chrysopogon zizanioides.

Blends well with: sandalwood, lavender, ylang ylang, jasmine and patchouli.

3. Rosemary Essential Oil



Rosemary is not just for cooking, it comes with many hair benefits

Rosemary is one of the premier hair growth enhancing essential oils. It is packed full of antioxidants which help fight against free radicals – that are responsible for greying as well as thinning of hair.

The revitalising properties of rosemary add shine and increase bounciness and silkiness of the hair. Rosemary oil is also a good natural remedy for treating dandruff, itchiness, and scalp irritation.

Besides, this aromatic oil is said to calm the mind and lift your mood.

Scent: It has a strong, minty-herbaceous scent and a woody undertone. Rosemary oil is extracted from the plant of Rosmarinus officinalis.

Blends well with: lavender, peppermint, basil, thyme, and cinnamon.

4. Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile Flowers

Chamomile Flowers

A flower in the daisy family, chamomile is recognised as a healing skin treatment with its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-itching and anti-allergenic qualities. It helps treat dry, irritated scalp, dandruff, eczema, and scalp acne.

By keeping the scalp in good health, it promotes faster and healthier hair growth. Chamomile oil also conditions the hair and greatly improves its softness and lustre.

Scent: It has a sweet, fruity-herbaceous scent. The oil is extracted from flowers of Matricaria recutica (German chamomile) or Chamaemelum nobile (roman chamomile), I prefer the German variety.

Blends well with: jasmine, rose, geranium and lavender.

5. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

This fragrant oil is my personal favourite. Native to tropical Asia, it has been traditionally used as a scalp stimulant to encourage hair growth. Another way Ylang ylang oil promotes hair growth is by relaxing the tight scalp muscles which can lead to hair loss.

Ylang ylang oil helps to treat both dry, dull hair as well as overly oily hair by balancing the scalp oils. Plus, the natural antiseptic and tonic properties of this fragrant oil keeps the scalp clean and healthy.

A massage with ylang ylang oil can ease tension headaches and is also useful in treating anxiety and insomnia.

Scent: Also known as poor man’s jasmine, this oil is highly valued in perfumery. It has intensely sweet, soft, floral, and slightly spicy scent. The oil is extracted from the flowers of cananga odorata tree.

Blends well with: It blends well with rosewood, jasmine, rose, and vetiver.

6. Thyme Essential oil
thyme essential oil for hair growth

A common kitchen herb, thyme is also popular in herbal medicine and has been used since ancient times. It’s particularly beneficial in scalp and skin conditions like dandruff, eczema, dermatitis, acne, lice and scabies.

Thyme has a great reputation for preventing hair loss. It increases blood flow to the scalp and regenerates the hair follicles. For this reason, it is often added to shampoos and other hair products that are meant for promoting hair growth.  The deep cleansing action removes grease and build-up and leaves hair shiny, bouncy and lustrous.

Plus, Like peppermint and wintergreen oil, thyme oil enhances oral health and therefore is used in mouthwashes, gargles and toothpaste and cough lozenges.

Scent: Reddish brown in colour, it has warm, spicy-herbaceous odour. The oil is extracted from the leaves and flowering tops of Thymus vulgaris shrub.

Blends well with: rosemary, lavender, pine, marjoram.

7. Petitgrain Essential Oil
petitgrain essential oil for hair

An essential oil extracted from the bitter orange plant, petitgrain is a great cleansing oil and leaves your hair feeling fresh and shiny. It opens up clogged pores and balances skin oils, making it ideal for an oily scalp.

Petitgrain is also superb for the facial skin, it heals pimples and helps tone skin so that it appears smoother and flawless.

Scent:  It has a fresh-floral citrus scent and a woody herbaceous undertone. The oil is extracted from the leaves of Citrus aurantium tree.

Blends beautifully with: rosemary, lavender, palmarosa, geranium, jasmine, and clary sage

8. Patchouli Essential Oil

With a strong musky aroma, it is either a much loved or much hated fragrance. I love it and its effects on hair and scalp. Its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-fungal effects make it beneficial to treat various skin and scalp problems. Those with eczema, acne and dandruff have said that patchouli is especially helpful for them. Since underlying scalp conditions are often the cause of slow growth or thinning hair, getting rid of them will promote fuller and more radiant hair.

Patchouli also helps to balance sebum production and is excellent for both dry and oily hair.

Also, it’s a great addition to your homemade facial oil, as patchouli oil helps to regenerate new skin cells, and this keeps the skin looking young, soft and vibrant.

Scent: sweet, rich, musky, earthy odour – it improves with age.

Blends well with: vetiver, lavender, Neroli, clary sage, cedarwood and myrrh.

9. Cedarwood Essential Oil

This soothing oil has a beautiful woody aroma and obtained from the wood of the Cedrus atlantica tree. This oil is well known as hair tonic and is used to treat thinning hair and various types of alopecia. A blend of cedarwood oil, rosemary oil and coconut oil, when applied  to the scalp, can stimulate hair follicles and promote thick hair growth (I have included the recipe below).

Cedarwood oil is also a good remedy for dandruff, fungal infection and eczema, and it even treats oily greasy scalp.

If you have lax or loose muscles, a massage with cedarwood essential oil may be effective. Because to its astringent and tonic effect, it tightens loose muscles and creates a feeling of firmness and youth.

Scent: warm, woody, camphoraceous aroma with a sweet-balsamic undertone.

Blends beautifully with: bergamot, juniper, rosemary, ylang ylang, myrrh, neroli and ylang ylang.

10. Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary Sage for Hair Growth
Clary Sage for Hair Growth

Clary Sage for Hair Growth
A Close relative of the garden sage, the clary sage is a perennial herb with large hairy leaves of green-purplish colour. Clary sage is particularly useful for female pattern baldness and is said to provide hormone balancing effect. Due to its ability to increase cellular metabolism, it has regenerative effects on hair cells to stimulate hair growth.

It’s moisturising and nourishing qualities makes hair soft, glossy and manageable.

Scent: This oil has sweet, nutty herbaceous scent. The oil is extracted from the flowering tops and leaves of Salvia sclarea.

Blends well with: lavender, geranium, cedarwood, frankincense

How To Use Essential Oils for Healthy, Shiny Hair

Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent, so they should not be used directly on the skin. Mix a few drops in a suitable carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil; they can also be added to herbal rinse, or floral water or your homemade shampoo.

If you are using essential oil for head massage or body massage, it should be diluted like this:

  • 3 drops in 1 teaspoon (5ml) of base oil (carrier oil)
  • 10-15 drops in 5 teaspoons (25 ml) of base oil
  • 20-40 drops in 100ml of base oil

Base Oil for fine, thin hair use sunflower, coconut, grapeseed, olive, almond, or jojoba oil – these will add volume to your fine hair.

Base Oil for dry, thick coarse hair use rich nourishing oils such as: avocado, olive, hemp, rosehip, sesame, almond – these are valuable hydrating treatments.

I have added some essential oil recipes just for guidance. But you can go ahead and create your own blend depending on your requirement. The simplest way to use them is by taking any one essential oil and one carrier oil.

Hair Growth Recipe 1

There’s some evidence that applying a combination of cedarwood, lavender, thyme and rosemary essential oil to the scalp improves hair growth in people with alopecia. In this study 44% participants who applied this combination reported hair regrowth. Here’s the recipe…

Hair Growth Recipe 2

If you don’t like your hair getting oily, use aloe vera gel as the base.

Dandruff Recipe

You can also use olive oil/ aloe vera gel as the base.

Oily Hair Recipe

You can also use coconut oil/ aloe vera gel as the base.

Dry Hair Recipe

Mix the oils in a bowl. If you like a particular recipe, make a big batch and store in a glass bottle (preferably dark colored) and shake well.

Massage the lovely homemade oil blend into your scalp and hair, leave it on for an hour, or overnight for more conditioning. Wash with a homemade natural shampoo or a sulfate free shampoo (such as this) and let your hair dry naturally.

Hair rinse: Add a few drops of essential oils (10 to 20 drops in 1 cup) in the herbal rinse to improve the condition of your scalp and hair.

Homemade shampoo: You can also add a few drops to your homemade shampoo to enhance its effectiveness.

Note: Essential oils will evaporate fairly quickly if left open, so be sure to replace the lid when you have finished using them.

What are the safety precautions: If you are pregnant, lactating, suffer from epilepsy, high blood pressure, or any other medical condition, seek the advice of your doctor, midwife or qualified aromatherapist prior to using any essential oil. Here are more safety instructions.

Buying Suggestions:

Always buy essential oils that are pure, undiluted and stored in glass bottles, preferably dark color. Also, when you make oil blends using essential oils, use a glass bottle to store them. This is because plastic reacts with essential oils and may cause an unwanted side effect.

I would recommend this and this brand.

Which is your favourite essential oil? How do you use them…. please share in the comments box below.


The Complete Illustrated Guide to Aromatherapy: A Practical Approach to the Use of Essential Oils for Health & Well-being by Julia Lawless

Personal Care Magazine 6, 5 pages 49-54 (2005) Essential Oils

Vetiver Image: Wikimedia Commons/ David Monniaux



Leave a Comment:

Vandana says October 15, 2017

Hi. I have dry scalp with frizzy hair and my husband has oily scalp. Can you provide us a herbal infusion remedy in oil form that we can apply once or twice a week? I generally mix coconut and sesame (2:1) and apply to our hair due to temperature changes. We do grow curry leaves and tulsi at home and hoping to include that in my herbal infusion along with other herbs you recommend. I have a feeling that due to our different scalp type and hair, we may need different oils for us but I can’t figure out which type of herb is good for what type of hair or scalp. Please help.

Paulu says July 27, 2017

HI Minaz , I also have scalp problem especially with my forehead…I think I maybe losing my hair. What can I do?

    Minaz says August 5, 2017

    Hi Paulu, what scalp problem?

BeardMantra says June 8, 2017

Hey Minaz

How are you?

Thank you very much for putting so many information together. I must say that’s a great article.

I was not aware of few things like Clary Sage, Patchouli , Thyme Essential oil etc.

Just a quick question: Do you use all these oils on a regular basis?

Thanks again.

Wish you more success.



Amanda says March 27, 2017

Hi there, I’ve been using German chamomile oil, about 5 drops in a tbsp. of carrier oil, every other day to treat scalp dermatitis. I do my best to keep the oil at my scalp, but I’m concerned it will lighten my light brown hair making it brassy. Do you think this cold happen or is 5 drops not going to lighten my hair?

Helen says February 25, 2017


Brandi Grieco-Wilson says October 20, 2016

Hello! I am a Caucasian woman with dreadlocks. Since I started naturally dreading my hair 3 1/2 years ago, my hair has become very dry and brittle. I have to be very careful what I use in my hair, like only non residue shampoo and almost no conditioner…ever. Could you possibly recommend something to help soften and condition my hair without build up occurring. Thank you so much!

Muhammad Talha says September 19, 2016

Hi Minaz, i’m 18 years old. I’ve a serious issue that my hairs are growing weak and falling day by day. What should I do to resolve these problems?

Head Massage and Grow Your Hair Faster (Update 2) - hair buddha says August 21, 2016

[…] Blending essential oil: Since the essential oils are very strong and potent you only need a very small amount. For 2 tablespoons (15ml) carrier oil add 2 to 3 drops of essential oil of your choice. For safety and precautions of essential oils, read here. […]

Rakhi Agarwal says August 12, 2016

Hi minaz…..!!! Rose oil is good fr what type of hairs.imean I have thin this oil helpful to me to thicken my hair shaft

    Minaz @hairbuddha says August 12, 2016

    Yes it is good, but you use very little – 1 or 2 drops in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.

    Rakhi Agarwal says August 12, 2016

    Minaz can i use rose oil in hair mask consisting of 1/2apple aloevera gel n 1to2 tspoon of methi powder n 2to3 pcs of choti harad….also hw many drops should be mixed in 250ml of carrier oil
    Sent from my Samsung device

    ——– Original message ——–

    Minaz @hairbuddha says August 12, 2016

    Rakhi, try this hair mask: aloe vera gel, methi powder, 2 to 3 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 teaspoon of castor oil (can add 1-2 drops of rose oil or khus oil). Apply on your scalp and hair, let it sit for 30 minutes, and wash off.
    Don’t mix too many ingredients in the first go. If you like this mask then you can experiment adding apple and choti harad – and again don’t add them together, try one at a time.
    Hope this helps.

    Rakhi Agarwal says August 12, 2016

    Minaz forgot to mention i also add egg to my hair mask..also suggest if we can apply hair mask even if we have washed hairs 2or3 days earlier

    Minaz @hairbuddha says August 12, 2016

    Yes of course you can apply.

Cathy Lao says July 2, 2016

can i blend this with vco?


Adri says September 9, 2015

Hi Minaz,

I would like blend some essential oils to massage my scalp. Does the base oil needs to be essential as well?

    Minaz @hairbuddha says September 9, 2015

    Hi Adri, Base oil is oils such as sesame, almond, olive and sunflower. (see above in massage blend)

Javid says August 27, 2015

Sorry forgot to add Coconut oil. Is it also possible to add coconut oil together with neem oil? I have an oily hair.

Javid says August 27, 2015

Great explanation, Thanks. I bought a Neem hair oil that has the following mixture (Wheat Germ Oil (never heard this before), rosemary oil, Neem leaves, chamomile flowers). Its expensive and i would like to make it by my own at home. I have a medical problem that my scalp has pimples with puss, skin stinks in one day of hair wash, hair fall, all in all its painful. Surprisingly Dr. says i have to live with it after advicing expensive shampoos and medicines. In reality, i cant live with it and i have decided to treat myself by natural remedies. Your explanation really helped me to understand the use of essential oils.

I am not sure the % and types of essential oils to be mixed with Neem oil. I have decided Neem as i have read that i helps curing my problem. Please help me to understand the combinations. Thanks in advance.

    Minaz @hairbuddha says August 28, 2015

    Javid, you can buy pure neem oil and it is not expensive to buy.

    You can make an herbal infusion of neem leaves and tulsi leaves: boil 1 tbsp each of neem and tulsi in 1 cup of water of 10 mins, strain and apply that to your scalp. It will bring relief.

    Javid says August 29, 2015

    Hi Minaz, I can buy pure Neem oil here and not leaves. Please write to me your recommendations. As I have Sinusitis, I want to use only oil and dont want to use water on my scalp except washing. Thank you.

    Minaz @hairbuddha says August 31, 2015

    You can use neem oil mixed with sunflower oil, olive oil or almond oil (ratio of 1: 5). You can also add a few drops of lavender or khus essential oil.
    Let me know how it works.

Success Stories: Hair growth oil blend - hair buddha says August 3, 2015

[…] how to make amla oil here) 1 tbsp neem oil (Neem for hair loss) 1 tsp jojoba oil some drops of lavender and rosemary oil (All the oils i use are 100% pure) After a severe hair loss due to stress my hair […]

Ali says April 12, 2015

please tell me which is the best brand of Amla hair oil ,as there are huge number of amla oil brands available in market. what is the side effect if i use some assence containg oil of amla.

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