Your hair can be your shining glory or source of your distress, which is why knowing how to nourish it properly is so important. There are countless celebrity-endorsed hair products on the market, and while these can give you great results, you need to tread carefully, especially if your hair is sensitive. Some commercially made shampoos and conditioners can cause damage due to their strong chemitcal content, which can include diethanolamine (DEA), momoethanolamine (MEA) triethanolamine, and sulfates. Scary stuff!
So to provide safe (and cost effective) nourishment for your hair, why not turn to Mother Nature for solutions?
Using natural essential oils for hair care has been an age-old practice in many different cultures, and for good reason! With their amazing properties, essential oils can work wonders not just on your hair but also on your scalp. They can help control dandruff and irritation; stimulate hair follicles while strengthening and promoting hair growth.
Here are some of the best essential oils for hair that you can start using today:
Chamomile Essential Oil
Great for: Brittle, Dry Hair.
Chamomile Oil is produced from the blooms of the Chamomile plant, which comes in two flavours: Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis) and German Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla). The oils extracted from both plants are quite similar in terms of medicinal properties although they differ in composition.
Of the two variants, Roman Chamomile oil is more soothing and is renowned for its nerve calming abilities. It is also considered as being the most soothing of the essential oils for hair and scalp. A chamomile tea rinse can help keep the scalp from drying out, which is the main cause of dandruff. This essential oil is great for dry, brittle hair, and is also useful for killing lice and mites, which is why it is often used as an ingredient in many anti-lice shampoos.
Lavender Essential Oil
Great for: Weak Hair or Hair Loss.
Lavender oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant through the process of steam distillation. Apart from its famous sweet and floral aroma, lavender is also known for its balancing, soothing, and antidepressant effects.
Different cultures have been using lavender for different purposes. The Ancient Greeks used it to treat various illnesses such as constipation and throat infections. The Romans also favored lavender oil for cooking and bathing. They also used it as a natural air freshener.
As a hair treatment solution, lavender essential oil is great for preventing dandruff and itching. It is also effective in eliminating hair breakage as well as in improving hair growth. Lavender is especially useful for treating alopecia areata. Research has shown that when applied to the scalp in combination with oils from thyme, rosemary, and cedarwood, hair growth was improved by an astounding 44% after 7 months of treatment.
Lemon Essential Oil
Great for: Oily Hair.
For centuries, lemons have been used for culinary purposes, thanks to their remarkable flavor and aroma. Originally from India, lemons are now widely cultivated in the Mediterranean, Israel and some parts of the United States. Lemon essential oil is extracted from the fresh fruit peel through the process of cold expression.
Lemon essential oil is used to treat infections, digestive problems, headaches, migraines, and muscular pain. As a hair treatment, it is best for oily types of hair. Lemon oil is great for preventing scalp dryness and dandruff as well as killing lice.
Myrrh Essential Oil
Great for: Dry, Sensitive Hair and Scalp.
Myrrh is a resin extracted from the low-growing branches of the Commiphora, found in Asia, mainly India, Africa and Middle East.
Myrrh was very popular in ancient cultures. The Chinese and Egyptians used it for its many medicinal properties (including its stomach soothing and anti-carcinogenic properties). The oil is useful for treating respiratory and digestive infections, as well as gynecological problems among others. Myrrh is also one of the best essential oils for hair, most especially for dry hair. It can help treat dry scalp and dandruff problems. It’s also a great essential oil for the skin.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Great for: Weak, Heat Damaged Hair.
Peppermint essential oil has a long history of medicinal use, mainly for its antibacterial and muscle soothing properties and as a natural headache cure. The Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks were also fond of the oil’s cleaning and fresh aroma.
The oil is great for improving hair growth, and can help stimulate blood circulation to hair roots; important as it allows the hair to get proper nourishment. The best way to take advantage of peppermint oil’s stimulating and rejuvenating properties is by adding a couple of drops to a natural shampoo and conditioner base.
Tea Tree Oil
Great for: Dull Hair and Flaky Scalps.
Extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alterifolia, a short, bushy tree indigenous to Australia, tea tree oil has been used as a topical medicine by the Aboriginal people since time immemorial. Even to this day, this essential oil is used as an antiseptic and anti-fungal treatment.
As a natural hair tonic, this oil helps prevent bacterial and fungal problems. Tea tree oil works by unblocking the sebaceous glands and stimulating the flow of the scalp’s moisturizing oil to get rid of dead skin cells, which makes it perfect for dull, lifeless hair. Mixing tea tree oil with other essential oils , such as peppermint and rosemary makes an incredibly effective treatment for dandruff.