9 Best Essential Oils for Hair Growth (and Healthy Scalp) - hair buddha

9 Best Essential Oils for Hair Growth (and Healthy Scalp)


essential oils for hair


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….

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 talk about a common question…

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

Well, there’s a big difference.

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 vetiver).

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

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.

Another big difference 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. When applying to your scalp or skin, it’s usually best to dilute with vegetable oil that serves as a ‘carrier oil’. Okay, those were the differences between essential oils and regular oils.

Now let’s find out the best essential oils for hair and scalp.

There are plenty of choices, such as lavender, rosemary, chamomile, ylang ylang, khus etc. These oils are easily absorbed into the scalp skin and depending on their properties, produce various benefits. Essential oils such as lavender and rosemary have a stimulating effect on hair follicles and enhance hair growth. Oils like chamomile and cedarwood can be helpful to soothe a dry, irritated scalp. While ylang ylang oil can help balance scalp oils.

Essential oils can work wonders on your hair and scalp. You can use them to:

  • Stimulate healthy hair growth
  • Reduce hair loss
  • Improve condition and shine
  • Balance scalp oils
  • Soothe dry, irritated scalp
  • Bring relief from dandruff and eczema 

Pick the oil to suit your hair’s needs. You can also combine two or three essential oils for an enhanced effect. Without further ado, here’s a selection of the best essential oils for hair care and hair growth, and how to use them…

9 Best Essential Oil for Hair and Scalp Health

1. Lavender Essential Oil

lavender essential oil

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 useful in hair growth. It stimulates the hair follicles and enhances denser and thicker hair. 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 after applying it on your scalp and hair. That’s because of lavender’s calming and de-stressing 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 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.

This cooling property is also 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. 

And like lavender oil, khus is calming and soothing for the mind, helping with nervous tension and anxiety. So it’s often called ‘oil of tranquillity’.

How to use: mix 10 drops of khus oil with 2 tablespoons almond 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 Oil

Rosemary oil for hair

Rosemary is another superb essential oil for enhancing hair growth. It stimulates the scalp and increases local blood circulation. Rosemary also has powerful antioxidant effects. It helps to fight free radicals – that are responsible for thinning of hair as well as greying.

Rosemary is beneficial for greasy, oily scalp. Because of its astringent effects, it helps balance sebum and keeps hair oil-free and manageable between washes.

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 Oil

chamomile for hair

Chamomile oil comes from chamomile flowers — which are daisy-like with white petals. Chamomile is excellent for scalp conditions such as dry skin, dandruff, eczema and psoriasis. And that’s because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

By keeping the scalp in good health, it promotes strong and healthy 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 favourite for hair. 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 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 oil for hair

Peppermint oil with its cooling, tingling sensation is great for head massages. 

Its stimulating properties increase blood flow to the scalp, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles. Which means your hair will grow stronger and healthier. 

Peppermint oil also has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s beneficial in scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. It also reduces oiliness of the scalp and hair and brings relief from scalp acne.

How to use: mix 5 drops peppermint oil, 5 drops lavender 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 oil has a beautiful woody aroma. This oil is well-known hair tonic and has been used for centuries to treat thinning hair and alopecia.

Besides, cedarwood oil is purifying with anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. It’s an excellent remedy for dandruff due to fungal infection. It may also help with scalp acne 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. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary Sage for Hair Growth

Clary sage is a herb native to Mediterranean region. It’s a short plant with large hairy leaves and small blue flowers.

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 calming and relaxing. So it may be useful in stress-related hair loss such as telogen effluvium.

Also, clary sage balances natural scalp oils, making it useful for both oily and dry scalp.

How to use: mix 5 drops of clary sage with 2 tablespoons olive 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

 9. Petitgrain Essential Oil

petitgrain  for hair

Petitgrain is a lovely cleansing and uplifting oil obtained from the leaves and flowers of the orange tree. 

Its cleansing action opens up clogged pores, this means your hair can grow and thrive happily. Petitgrain also has moisturising and scalp balancing properties, making it beneficial for scalp health. 

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

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 well with: rosemary, lavender, palmarosa, geranium, jasmine, or clary sage oil

How To Use Essential Oils for Healthy Hair Growth

As I said earlier, you don’t use essential oils the same way as coconut or olive oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent extracts of the plant. Therefore you need to mix them with a base oil.

As a general guideline, add about 1% of essential oil to 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 – these will nourish and add volume to your fine hair.

Base Oil for dry, 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 oil blend showed significant improvement in hair growth. Here’s the recipe…

  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops thyme essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 4 teaspoons grapeseed oil

Hair Growth Recipe 2

This is the recipe I like to use on my hair. But feel free to add or subtract oils. Every scalp and hair is unique, so it’s good to try various combinations to see what works best for you.

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon castor oil
  • 6 drop lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil

Mix the oils in a bowl. If you like a particular recipe, make a big batch and store in a glass bottle.

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 favourite 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 a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oil. Children have delicate and sensitive skin, there are a limited number of essential oils you can use on them. Check with the aromatherapist. 

For people with sensitive skin, it’s best to test a small area then wait for 30 minutes before applying to scalp and hair.

Buying Suggestions: Always buy essential oils that are pure, undiluted and stored in glass bottles. Also, when you make oil blends using essential oils, use a glass bottle to store them. As plastic may react. 

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

Leave a Comment:

Ruby wright says

I was happy to read about the clary sage oil, and that it helps with alopecia, never heard of it. Thanks for the tips on how to mix the oils.

Alectra says

Very informative article will be trying some of the recipes

Adry says

Hi. Great tips, Can I add essential oils to the avocado hair mask ? thank you!

    Minaz says

    Hi Adry, yes you can.

Chinasa says

I always look forward to your hair care tips every Sunday. Is tea tree oil also an essential oil? Thanks

    Minaz says

    Hi Chinasa, tea tree oil is an essential oil.

Star Tyler says

Awesome post. Thanks for sharing. I love reading your blogs on hair care. They are very useful.

Anuradha says

Hi Minaz, thanks for your suggestions can we apply any hair mask in oiled hair?

    Minaz says

    Yes you can.

Sam says

Hi Minaz,

Great blog! Would really appreciate a response just to clarify a few things:

1. With the recipes, do you warm it up initially (and if so, how?) or just store it it away immediately?
2. How long do you let it ‘steep’ before using it on your hair/scalp?
3. Whats the generally shelf life?

Many thanks!

    Minaz says

    Hi Sam, do not warm the oils.
    You can let the oils soak in for an hour at least.
    The shelf life is the life of the oils you purchase.

chamane says

you can also replace the oils for those lotions by mustard oil, wich stimulates the blood circulation in the scalp

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!

    Minaz says

    Joseph I have no idea about this. Sorry!

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?

nerti says

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

    Minaz says

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

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

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

    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).

Atchu says

Hi…minaz how can i use avacado oil

    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.

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.

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.

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.

Beth says

Brilliant, many thanks.

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.

    Minaz says

    Hi Vandana, I have explained different oils here.

Paulu says

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

    Minaz says

    Hi Paulu, what scalp problem?

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.



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?

    Minaz @hairbuddha says

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

Helen says


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!

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?

    Minaz @hairbuddha says

    Eat amla or drink amla juice.

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. […]

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

    Minaz @hairbuddha says

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

      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 ——–

      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.

      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

      Minaz @hairbuddha says

      Yes of course you can apply.

    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 ?

      Minaz says

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

Cathy Lao says

can i blend this with vco?


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?

    Minaz @hairbuddha says

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

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.

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.

    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.

      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.

      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.

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 […]

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.

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