Essential oils can bring a wealth of benefits to your health and beauty routine, but have you ever considered adding essential oils to your shampoo? Whether you want to combat a bald spot, reduce scalp inflammation or nurture the hair you already have, a variety of essential oils can help you achieve your hair goals. Here are my nine favorite oils for hair growth.
Cedarwood essential oil is a gentle oil that helps increase circulation under the skin, which can help treat thinning hair and slow hair loss. A Scottish study found that subjects who massaged a combination of cedarwood, rosemary, lavender and thyme oils diluted with jojoba and grapeseed carrier oils into their scalps daily showed significant improvements of hair loss symptoms. Adding it to your shampoo can help you experience similar results. In fact, adding all of these oils to your shampoo bottle might give you the knock-out hair you crave — they all boast hair growth benefits.
This beautifully scented oil helps balance hormones and encourages hair growth in people who experience hair loss for hormonal reasons. It’s especially beneficial for those with alopecia, a hair-loss condition that can lead to permanent baldness. Even better, ylang-ylang is considered an aphrodisiac and makes for a lovely natural perfume.
Is there anything that lavender can’t do? Lovers of this oil won’t be surprised to learn that lavender has hair growth-promoting properties. A 2016 study found that lavender increased the number of hair follicles in female subjects. It also helped thicken skin and deepen the depth of hair follicles, making them harder to lose during regular activities. Lavender essential oil is also useful for soothing irritated skin. Try combining lavender with some of the other oils on this list for an extra health boost for your scalp.
Want thicker hair? Try adding rosemary to your shampoo. Rosemary essential oil increases cellular metabolism and has been found to work as well as more “conventional” hair loss treatments. People who swear by rosemary in their shampoo report slower graying, softer skin on the scalp and increased hair growth in thinning spots.
Not only is the scent of lemongrass a soothing way to wake up in your morning shower, but it can also help increase your hair strength. It strengthens hair follicles, making them stronger and more conducive to healthy hair growth. Try adding some of this oil to your conditioner too for lasting effects, but be sure to mix it in well. Lemongrass can cause skin irritation if it’s not diluted properly.
6. Clary sage
Clary sage essential oil is hailed as a must-have for women as it helps to balance hormone levels, but clary sage also stimulates the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth. As an anti-inflammatory essential oil, clary sage can also help fight scalp irritation and dandruff. Like ylang-ylang, clary sage is also considered an aphrodisiac, so choose this oil before a special night out to enjoy the other benefits of this oil.
As a “hot” oil — meaning it can easily irritate the skin when used without proper dilution — peppermint essential oil is very stimulating. It can also treat lice and dandruff, but a 2014 studyfound that it also promotes hair growth. Subjects who received an application of peppermint essential oil for four weeks showed significant hair growth and improved follicle health and quality. Just make sure to mix it into your shampoo well to avoid skin irritation.
Roman chamomile oil soothes the scalp and can bring relief to dry, itchy skin. It also conditions hair and protects it from damage. So, while it doesn’t necessarily stimulate hair growth, it does help preserve the hair you currently have, giving you a fuller, healthier head of hair. You might notice it helps brighten your hair a bit too.
When it’s time to wash your hair, add some thyme essential oil to your shampoo. The oil increases blood flow, which can help breathe new life into the follicles on the scalp, promoting hair growth. This potent oil is antibacterial too, so it’s great for combatting scalp issues. It’s also considered a hot oil, so be sure to use it in moderation.
Essential oil safety
No matter which essential oil you choose to add to your shampoo or conditioner, be sure to do so safely. Essential oils are highly concentrated, delivering a powerful punch of their benefits, but some oils like thyme and peppermint can burn your skin if used without dilution.
Other oils, like lemongrass, can cause photosensitivity, which means that they can cause an intense sunburn at the application site. Just bear that in mind if you have plans to be at the beach the same day and take a hat with you.
Finally, if an oil is new to you, be sure to test it out first on a small patch of skin — diluted with a carrier oil, of course! If there’s no reaction, you’re good to go.
By adding just a few drops of essential oil to your shampoo, you can enjoy fuller, healthier and softer hair within weeks.