10 Best Essential Oils for Hair and Scalp Health - hair buddha
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10 Best Essential Oils for Hair and Scalp Health

essential oils for healthy hair and scalp

 

What happens when you peel an orange? You get the refreshing, orangey scent.

And what about when you drive past the lavender farm, you can smell the heavenly floral scent for miles….

Also, if you or your neighbour is mowing the lawn, you get the scent of ‘fresh cut grass’.

The thing is all fruits, flowers, leaves and barks have their distinct smell. You can call it ‘plant perfume’. But technically it’s known as essential oils. And these oils are volatile and ethereal, so they evaporate fast, infusing the air with a lovely fragrance. 

But essential oils are more than just nice smelling oils. They have tons of therapeutic and beauty benefits. And in this article, we will see some useful essential oils for hair and scalp.

Before that, I want to clarify a common question which may have occurred to you too…

What’s the Difference between Essential oil and Regular oil?

Well, the difference is big.

Essential oils are not actually oils. If you have ever used essential oils, you know it does not feel like your regular oil (coconut or almond). It’s light to touch and evaporates quickly without leaving any trace (of course there are some exceptions to this rule like myrrh, patchouli and khus).

Basically, essential oils are extracted from the ‘non-fatty’ parts of the plants, such as leaves, flowers fruits, stem, and barks.

Whereas the regular vegetable oils are derived from the fatty parts of the plants, such as seeds, kernel or nuts. And that is why they are heavy and greasy.

One important thing I want to highlight here is that although essential oils are ethereal and delicate, they are very potent or concentrated extracts and often described as life-force of the plant. This is the reason you need to use a small amount to experience results. Also, when applying to your scalp or skin, it’s usually best to dilute with vegetable oil that serves as a ‘carrier oil’.

Okay, that was a little bit about essential oils. Now let’s move on to finding the best ones for hair and scalp. There are plenty of choices, such as lavender, rosemary, chamomile, ylang ylang, khus etc. You can pick the one to suit your hair’s needs. You can also combine two or three essential oil for an enhanced effect. 

Without further ado, let’s find out what’s in store for us, shall we?

10 Best Essential Oil for Hair and Scalp Health

1. Lavender Essential Oil

lavender2

Lavender

Lavender oil is one of the most popular oils for hair. And for many reasons. 

Lavender oil works for all hair types — it moisturises the scalp and balances sebum production.

Lavender is also useful in hair regrowth. A regular massage with lavender oil is said to reduce hair loss and make hair soft, shiny and healthy. Lavender oil is also very healing and therapeutic. It provides relief from skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Besides, you will feel relaxed and calm after applying it on your scalp and hair. That’s because of lavender’s sedative effects.  

How to use: mix 5 drops of lavender oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Massage into your scalp and hair and let it sit for a few hours before washing it out.

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 or patchouli oil

2. Khus (Vetiver) Essential Oil

Vetiver essential oil for hair growth

Khus oil reminds me of summer months in India – mats made of 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, made 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 (seen as baldness on the top of the head).

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

How to use: mix 10 drops of khus oil with 2 tablespoons jojoba oil and massage into your scalp and let it sit for few hours.

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 or patchouli oil

3. Rosemary Essential OilRosemary

Rosemary is one of the best essential oil for enhancing hair growth. It stimulates the scalp and increases local blood circulation. Another way rosemary improves growth is because of its powerful antioxidant effects. It helps to fight against free radicals – that are responsible for thinning of hair as well as greying.

How to Use: blend 10 drops of rosemary oil with 2 tablespoons olive oil and apply to your scalp and hair. Do this twice a week for best results.

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

Rosemary oil blends well with: lavender, peppermint, basil, thyme

Rosemary fact: this aromatic oil is said to lift your mood. Try taking a sniff if you are feeling dull and low.

4. Chamomile Essential OilChamomile Flowers

A flower in the daisy family, chamomile is a soothing and healing oil. It’s anti-inflammatory effect help with dandruff, eczema, dermatitis of scalp.

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

How to use: Combine 5 drops chamomile oil and 5 drops lavender oil with 2 tablespoons almond oil. Massage into your scalp and leave on for an hour before washing it out. 

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

You can combine chamomile oil with: jasmine, rose, geranium or lavender oil

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. 

How to use: mix 5 drop ylang ylang oil and 5 drop khus oil with 1 tablespoons castor oil and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Massage into your scalp and hair and let it soak for few hours before washing it out. 

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: jasmine, khus

6. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil gives a cooling, tingling sensation on the scalp. That’s why it’s so popular in natural hair care. 

Another reason peppermint oil is famous is because it can wake up dormant follicles and kick-start hair growth. But since peppermint oil is astringent and refining, it works best for those with an oily scalp. People with dry scalp may find it irritating. 

How to use: mix 5 drops peppermint, 5 drops tea tree oil and 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Massage this into your scalp and hair and let it sit for an hour before washing it out.

Scent: The smell is fresh, crispy and minty! The essential oil is made from peppermint leaves.

Blends well with: rosemary, cedarwood, tea tree oil

7. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood has a beautiful woody aroma. This oil is well-known hair tonic and has been used for centuries to treat thinning hair and various types of alopecia.

Cedarwood oil is also an excellent remedy for dandruff, greasy scalp, fungal infection and eczema.

How to use: mix 3 drops cedarwood oil and 3 drops lavender oil with 2 tablespoon coconut oil. Massage into your scalp and hair and leave it on for a few hours before washing it out. 

Scent: warm, woody, camphoraceous aroma with a sweet-balsamic undertone. The oil is obtained from the wood of the Cedrus atlantica tree

Blends well with: juniper, rosemary, ylang ylang, lavender

8. Petitgrain Essential Oilpetitgrain essential oil for hair

Petitgrain is a lovely cleansing and soothing oil and leaves your scalp feeling fresh and invigorated.

It opens up clogged pores, reduces over-production of sebum, thus making it ideal for an oily, greasy scalp. Petitgrain is also great for skin problems. It heals pimples and reduces pore size, leaving skin clean and clear. 

How to use: Combine 20 drops petite grain oil and 10 drops geranium oil with 30 ml almond oil. Use as a hair massage oil or hair smoothing serum or facial oil. 

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

Blends beautifully with: rosemary, palmarosa, geranium, or clary sage oil

9. Clary Sage Essential OilEssential Oils for Healthy Hair

Clary sage is herb with large, wrinkled leaves, and bears pink, lilac and cream flowers in the spring.

The essential oil is high in antioxidants and phytoestrogens, which makes it particularly beneficial for female pattern baldness. Clary sage is also said to be a great stress-reliever and calming. So it may be useful in stress-related hair loss such as alopecia and telogen effluvium. 

Besides, clary sage works as a natural remedy for dandruff and flaky, irritated scalp because of its antiseptic properties.

How to use: mix 5 drops of clary sage with 2 tablespoons jojoba oil. Massage into your scalp and hair and let it soak for an hour before washing it out. 

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

You can blend clary sage with: lavender, geranium, cedarwood, or frankincense oil

10. Patchouli Essential Oil

With an earthy, musky aroma, patchouli takes you to tropical regions of Asia.  

Patchouli oil is super effective to keep the scalp clean as well as heal scalp issues such as eczema, dermatitis and fungal dandruff. All thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antimicrobial effects.  

How to use:  mix 2 drops of patchouli oil, 3 drops geranium oil and 1 tablespoon almond oil. Mix well and massage into your scalp and hair and let it sit for a few hours before washing it out.

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

Blends well with: vetiver, lavender, neroli, clary sage, cedarwood 

How To Use Essential Oils for Healthy, Shiny Hair

You won’t use essential oils the same way as your regular oils like coconut or olive oil. As I said earlier, essential oils are highly concentrated and potent extracts of the plant. Therefore they need to be diluted in a suitable base oil.

The simplest way to use them is by mixing any one essential oil with one base oil.

As a general guideline, add about 1% of essential oil in the base oil. You can use the following proportions:

  • 10-15 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of base oil
  • 30-40 drops essential oil in 100ml of base oil

Base Oil for fine, thin hair: Use sunflower, coconut, grapeseed, almond or jojoba oil – these will nourish and add volume to your fine hair.

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

Here’s a couple of hair growth recipes that I like. But you can go ahead and create your own blend.

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

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); shake well before use.

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 your favorite shampoo and let your hair dry naturally.

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. Children have very delicate and sensitive skin, so use essential oils very diluted (half or quarter of the stated amount).

For people with sensitive skin, it’s best to test a small area then wait 30 minutes before applying to scalp or other areas.

Buying Suggestions:

Always buy essential oils that are pure, undiluted and stored in glass bottles, preferably dark (such as this). 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.

Which is your favourite essential oil for hair? I would love to hear from you!

Leave a Comment:

47 comments
joseph valenti says

Can I use Patchouli Oil as a terp in my henna hair color mixture, if so how many drops! Terps are essential oils that darken the henna stains!

Reply
    Minaz says

    Joseph I have no idea about this. Sorry!

    Reply
Jo says

How often should these Hair Growth Recipes 1 or 2 be applied? The time frame it takes to notice results? Once results are obtained, how often should these recipes then be used?

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nerti says

Halo Minaz, how often can I use these essential oils? I wash my hair every other day. Thank you 🙂

Reply
    Minaz says

    Hi Nerti, you can use them every day, as long as they are diluted as said.

    Reply
daniela says

Hi Minaz, could you plese tell me, what is the best way to use herbs/flour? I use herbs and flour in “powder” form and I am wondering, what gives me the most benefit ? The “powder” or if I use the “infusion” from it? Thank you very much 🙂 D

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Charity says

Hi Minaz
Is it okay to leave essential oils on the hair for a day or two. I usually leave it before wshing. Thanks so much for this advice on the best oils

Reply
    Minaz says

    I am so glad to know you found it useful.
    Yes of course you can leave in on for couple of days – as long as it’s used in the quantities I mention (see how to use).

    Reply
Atchu says

Hi…minaz how can i use avacado oil

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    Minaz says

    Hello Atchu. you can make a simple remedy like this:
    take 2 tablespoon avocado oil and 10 drops of lavender oil. Mix well. Massage into your scalp and leave it on for a few hours before washing it out.

    Reply
Sameera says

Hi Minaz! This is such an helpful post as I’ve been looking for essential oils and I have ordered Rosemary and lavender eo. I have thin hair and I’ve planned to make blend with castor oil and jojoba oil.
1 tablespoon of castor
1 tablespoon of jojoba
And few drops of lavender and rosemary.

Just confirm this blend and tell me how many drops of both eo should I add. Thank you for this post minaz.

Reply
Pamela says

Hi, this is my first time here but, it won’t be my last. I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know about e. oils, thank you so much. I had to have 8 inches cut off my hair due to a toner mishap, yikes! Going to make your hair growth recipe right now. Happy New Year and good night.

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Jina says

I love rosemary e.o. I do a weekly massage treatment with it. I use coconut oil, rosemry e.o and a drop og peppermint e.o. I see lots of new hair growth. fingers crossed.

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Beth says

Brilliant, many thanks.

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Vandana says

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.

Reply
    Minaz says

    Hi Vandana, I have explained different oils here.

    Reply
Paulu says

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

Reply
    Minaz says

    Hi Paulu, what scalp problem?

    Reply
BeardMantra says

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.

Regards,

Tim

Reply
Amanda says

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?

Reply
    Minaz @hairbuddha says

    Hi Amanda, the chamomile oil will not change your hair colour.

    Reply
Helen says

Hi

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Brandi Grieco-Wilson says

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!

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Muhammad Talha says

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?

Reply
    Minaz @hairbuddha says

    Eat amla or drink amla juice.

    Reply
Head Massage and Grow Your Hair Faster (Update 2) - hair buddha says

[…] 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. […]

Reply
Rakhi Agarwal says

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

Reply
    Minaz @hairbuddha says

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

    Reply
      Rakhi Agarwal says

      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 ——–

      Reply
      Minaz @hairbuddha says

      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.

      Reply
      Rakhi Agarwal says

      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

      Reply
      Minaz @hairbuddha says

      Nice.
      Yes of course you can apply.

      Reply
    gunjan aggarwal says

    Hello Minaz,

    I am Gunjan. Please let me know as which Essential oil will be best for regrowth and increasing the volume of hair ?

    Reply
      Minaz says

      Hello Gunjan, try a combination of lavender, rosemary and peppermint oil. Let me know how it works for you.

      Reply
Cathy Lao says

can i blend this with vco?

XoXo_laofoye

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Adri says

Hi Minaz,

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

Reply
    Minaz @hairbuddha says

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

    Reply
Javid says

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

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Javid says

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.

Reply
    Minaz @hairbuddha says

    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.

    Reply
      Javid says

      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.

      Reply
      Minaz @hairbuddha says

      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.

      Reply
Success Stories: Hair growth oil blend - hair buddha says

[…] 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 […]

Reply
Ali says

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.

Reply
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