May 23rd 2019
Wherever we look and read these days there’s oils, everywhere. For cooking, for massage, in perfumes, for flavourings, for medicinal purposes, to burn, for the skin and also for the hair.
Essential Oils are basically highly concentrated versions of natural oils that are found in plants, nuts and fruits. Through the process of distillation the oils are extracted by water, or steam from the bark, the leaves, flowers, stems and roots of each plant, . Other methods to extract the oils include expression, solvent extraction, resin tapping, wax embedding, and cold pressing ( not sure what all those mean but ultimately thy extract the oil) . The odour of the plant or other source from which it is extracted gives the actual scent of the oil.
We’ve been using oils for many years on hair to nourish and feed it, and there was a big influx of hair oils in the 70’s, but with so many oils now available I thought I’d give you a low down of what’s available right now and what could work for your hair.
Even many household oils can be good for your hair too so take a read and see if there could be something lurking around in your kitchen that could be more useful for you than just cooking or used for a salad dressing.
Almond milk has become really popular as of late for those who are dairy intolerant and also vegans, which has lead to a large increase in the use of almonds and almond oil too.
Almond Oil is considered a lighter nut oil, and full of goodness. It has antioxidants, vitamin E, fatty acids and protein, plus it’s high in magnesium, which can help to boost hair growth and reduce breakage. If you suffer from scalp irritation, try massaging your scalp with almond oil whenever you wash your hair, to reduce inflammation, redness and dandruff.
Argan Oil or “Morrocan Oil” as it is more commonly known due to it’s origin, ( not to be mixed up with the brand of the same name ) is the oil that began the UK’s biggest hair oil obsession since the 70s. It is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E that can help turn dry, coarse, unruly hair into softer, shinier, more manageable tresses, also helping to reduce frizz and fly-aways too. It works best on dry or frizzy hair as a conditioner or hot oil treatment.
Olive Oil is rich in antioxidants & vitamins A and E which help combat DHT, a hormone that wears down the hair follicle shaft, which is known to cause hair loss. I’ve always loved and used Olive oil for dry scalp.
It conditions the scalp, fights dandruff and prevents hair loss Use it as a detangler, conditioner, and carrier oil A good tip is to rub neat olive oil onto a dry scalp over night and shampoo off in the morning. You will possibly have an oily pillow but you can always chuck that in the washing machine.
Macadamia Oil is a nut oil that is rich in nutrients, which has tendency to be the most intensive. It contains healthy fatty acids and potassium . It works wonders on extremely dry or damaged hair. I would recommend to use it as a weekly mask, or to replenish your hair if its feeling dry and tired form a lot of dry heat styling… ie: straightening and curling irons.
Grapeseeed Oil has a super high amount of linoleic acid (which is a type of omega-6 fatty acid). It is known for moisturising the scalp, promote blood flow, fight dandruff and even promote hair growth. It
This oil is perfect for hydrating a dry scalp and brittle strands. You can use it as a hair mask or as a heat protectant, or as a carrier oil.
Baobab oil is pretty new to the British hair market, and there's plenty of hype surrounding it and its high vitamin content. It contains essential fatty acids needed for deep hydration and nourishment, and also packs vitamins A, D, E, and F as well as Omega 3, 6, and 9. which helps to strengthen the follicle, support elasticity, and encourage cell regeneration. It’s most well known in the hair world for promoting healthier hair growth.
Peppermint Oil has been known for a long time to stimulate hair growth, balance out your scalp’s pH level, reduce oily skin and also moisturise hairstrands. It stimulates blood circulation and increases oxygen supply, which in turn allows your roots to prosper. Peppermint oil also has antibacterial elements that helps clears pores and restore oxygen to hair follicles.
It is known to cause a cold, tingling feeling when it increases circulation to the area it’s applied to. This can help promote hair growth during the anagen (or growing) phase.
I read in one study that peppermint oil, when used on mice, increased the number of follicles, follicle depth, and overall hair growth.
Mix 2 drops of peppermint essential oil with any carrier oil of your choice. Massage it into your scalp, and leave on for 5 minutes before washing out thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner.
Avocado Oil is another popular oil that has emerged recently. Avocado is rich in amino acids, vitamins A, D and E, lecithin, minerals, nutrients and potassium and is known to strengthen your hair strands plus increase elasticity — it’s basically like a superfood for your hair as well as your body.
Because of how light an oil it is, you can apply it to your scalp and hair without worrying about build up, weighing your hair down, or clogging your pores. The monounsaturated fats also make avocado oil great for dry or sensitive scalp. You can apply pure avocado oil onto your scalp and hairline to promote blood circulation, moisturise your scalp, strengthen the roots, and encourage growth. It also can be used as a detangler, when used as an alternative to conditioner.
Lavender Oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can help to improve scalp health and speed up hair growth. When applied to hair or scalp, it may also prevent itchy scalp or dandruff and even scalp infections
The best way to use it is 2 or 3 times a week by mixing a few drops of the lavender oil into 3 tablespoons of a carrier oil, like jojoba, coconut or olive oil and apply directly to your scalp. Leave it on for approx 10 minutes before shampooing it out as normal.
Another benefit of lavender is the calming effect, so not only will your scalp feel better but you will too.
.Rosemary oil has significant antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. In recent studies it has been flagged up that rosemary directly helps protect against hair loss. It has been found to be just as effective as minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) in stimulating hair growth in alopecia patients.
Add rosemary to your shampoo – leave for about a week in the sun preferably then use.
Mix several drops of rosemary oil with olive or coconut oil as a carrier, and apply it to your scalp. Leave it in for at least 10 minutes before washing it out with shampoo. Do this twice per week to get the maximum results.
Jojoba Oil contains natural forms of vitamin E, vitamin B complex, silicon, chromium, copper and zinc. It has a very high percentage of iodine at 82 percent, which gives jojoba oil its healing powers. and it has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It is also an antioxidant. It conditions and moisturises hair plus fights bacteria as well as strengthening the hair shaft, helping to thicken strands, plus repair damaged hair. It can also help to sort out our hair’s natural frizz.
It’s properties are very similar to sebum, our skin’s natural oil. This natural moisturisation helps protect the scalp from irritation and bacteria. Jojoba is gentle enough to be used as a carrier oil to mix with other essential oils or you can also use it on its own. It’s also hypoallergenic thus making it a non irritant - YAY
It can be used as a hot oil conditioner or treatment and can be applied directly onto the scalp
Cedarwood essential oil is thought to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss by balancing the oil-producing glands in the scalp. It also has antifungal and antibacterial properties and contains alpha cedrene, beta cedrene, cedrol, widdrol, thujopsene, and a group of sesquiterpenes ( These compounds are known for their calming properties and they also can be supportive to the immune system in protecting us from harmful microbes, acting as antioxidants, and assisting in cellular repair) , which contribute a great deal to its medicinal value and health benefits. It is known to treat varying conditions that may contribute to dandruff or hair loss.
I suggest to mix a few drops of cedarwood essential oil with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil of your choice. Massage it into your scalp, and leave for approx 10 minutes then shampoo your hair as normal.
Lemongrass oil is an effective dandruff treatment. It significantly reduced dandruff after one week according to one study. it is known as an antimicrobial, , antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, fungicidal, , and a tonic.
I suggest to use it daily for the treatment of dandruff. Mix a few drops into your regular shampoo or conditioner daily, and make sure it’s massaged into your scalp.
Thyme essential oil can help promote hair growth by both stimulating the scalp and actively preventing hair loss. Like cedarwood oil it has also found to be helpful in treating alopecia aerate.
It is antimicrobial and can help with many scalp problems, including dandruff. It’s known to be one of the stronger oils amongst the essential oil family, so only mix 2 small drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil before applying it to your scalp. Leave it on for approx 10 minutes, then shampoo as normal. .
Coconut Oil is probably one of the most popular oils in circulation at the moment and Ive heard so many people say they’re putting it on their hair and skin. This is all fine but there’s some important info you need to know about coconut oil. Please read on.
Cocount oil is loaded with tons of rich fatty acids and has many beneficial properties for your health. Hair doesn’t have the ability to drink, digest or metabolise coconut oil quite like our digestive system does, so it actually offers the most benefits to us humans when consumed. I’m a great believer that healthy hair starts on the inside, so incorporating coconut oil into your regular diet may lead to stronger, healthier, shinier hair.
Coconut oil can however penetrate inside the hair shaft due to its small molecular size, and also because it contains lauric acid which has a high affinity for hair proteins. This can be great for fine to medium hair that lacks natural hair proteins because protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure and results in healthier, shinier hair.
But please be warned……..
if your hair is dry, stiff, brittle, or coarse, then it’s best to stay away from coconut oil. I know this sounds mad but if you have coarse, straight, thick hair that tends to be on the dryer side, coconut oil can cause protein build up for these hair types. It blocks your hair from much needed moisture which makes your hair even drier, stiffer and less elastic. Less elasticity means more breakage when combing or styling it. Therefore, using coconut oil as a hair mask can actually make your hair drier, brittle and more damaged than it was before!
People often use hair oils to moisten their hair, especially when it’s thick, coarse, and feels brittle but when hair needs moisture, it is thirsty and needs a drink. But oil and water don't mix. Oil actually repels water and either pushes it out of the hair or stops it from penetrating into the hair.
NB: Some hair oils - especially coconut oil - tend to seep into every tiny hole in your hair shaft and disguise the real problem to act as a quick-fix
Clary sage oil like lavender oil can be effective in increasing hair growth. It’s known to improve hair strength, as well as increasing hair growth, making hair stronger and less prone to breakage. This is due to it containing lineally acetate.
I suggest to add 3 drops of clary sage oil into your mix conditioner, or with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. If you’re using it daily, rinse out after 2 minutes. If using it once or twice per week, leave it on your scalp for 10 minutes.
Tea tree oil has powerful cleansing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. When used directly on the skin, it can help unplug hair follicles and increase hair growth. Tea tree is most commonly used in anti-dandruff treatment products but a study in 2013 found that a when mixing tea tree oil with Monoxidil it was more effective than using Minoxidil on it’s own for improving hair growth.
NB: Tea tree oils come in many concentrations, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Some are highly concentrated oils, and other products are mixed in a carrier cream or oil.
I suggest to mix 10 drops of tea tree essential oil into your regular shampoo or conditioner and use it daily. Or, you can mix 3 drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it out.
Ylang-ylang essential oil is ideal for anybody who suffers from regular dry scalp, as it can help stimulate the production of sebum. it is know for being antiseborrheic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory
A lack of oil and sebum causes hair to become dry and brittle, so ylang-ylang can definitely help to improve your hair texture and reduce hair breakage.
Mix 5 drops of essential Ylang Ylang oil with 2 tablespoons of warm oil. Massage it into your scalp, and wrap your head with a towel or cling film (wrap) Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it out.
Neroli oil which I love, can also be used to regulate oiliness, minimize enlarged pores and clear blemishes, making it good to use on oily skin and hair.
Due to its anti-oxidant properties it encourages healthy cell growth which allows it to boost and revive dull looking hair. Neroli can also be useful in treating many types of dermatitis and scalp irritation. This elite oil is now used by many to calm skin rashes, help reduce stretch marks and reduce any scarring.
Happy Hair Oiling.
Now you’ve finished reading, I just want to point out that the the biggest risk of essential oils is skin irritation and or allergic reactions. This is generally more common when an essential oil is applied directly to the skin, so it’s vital to always try use a carrier oil with most of them to dilute it.
Allergic reactions are also more common in those with sensitive skin or those who have allergies to the essential oil. Essential oils can help you improve the health of your hair with very little risk of side effects at an affordable price.
They’re easy to use and for many, mixing some with a carrier oil or your shampoo and applying that to your scalp regularly can generally increase hair growth, strength, or shine.
To check for irritation, remember to test a small amount of the mixture on a small patch of skin before full use.