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Essential oils for healthy hair: Our top eight favourites

Longevity logo Longevity 2018-09-05 Pierrette Mulumba
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Essential oils have become staples in every home due to their natural healing properties. Shampoos and other hair products are filled with toxic ingredients that can strip the hair of its natural oils, which often leads to hair challenges such as dandruff, frizziness, a dry scalp and hair loss.

Oils and hair care

While it may seem bizarre to apply oil on your hair, by doing so, you can help replenish the natural oils that are stripped from the hair as a result of toxic hair products or other environmental factors.

Moreover, the use of essential oils can also help to strengthen the hair, encourage grown, eradicate dandruff and soothe an irritated scalp.

The following essential oils can be used to maintain the health of one’s locks. However, as essential oils are highly potent and concentrated - it’s important to always use them with carrier oils such as coconut oil and jojoba oil. Carrier oils help carry the essential oils into the skin, preventing skin damage as well as ensuring that it’s properly absorbed by the skin. These are our top favourites and why we think they are fabulous.

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1. Cedarwood essential oil

Cedarwood oil, with its wood-like scent, helps to encourage hair growth by balancing the natural oils found in the hair.

One study has highlighted its potential to reverse hair loss resulting from the autoimmune skin disease alopecia areata. The study saw that cedarwood oil, when mixed with lavender, rosemary and thyme oil, helped to improve symptoms associated with alopecia areata after a period of seven months. Its antibacterial properties also helps to treat dandruff build up.

2. Chamomile oil

While essential oils can be extracted from a variety of different types of chamomile, the most common one associated with hair care is the Roman Chamomile – the same one used for tea.

With its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile oil helps to soothe a dry and itchy scalp.

Also, if you’re looking to add some shine to your hair - simply adding chamomile oil to condition your hair will create a beautiful golden shine.

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3. Rosemary oil

Rosemary, with its minty scent, is often reserved for kitchen use but as an essential oil, it can help to stimulate hair growth. Rosemary oil promotes blood circulation, which then stimulates the hair follicles, which then lessens the chances of thinning hair. By doing so, it helps to prevent premature baldness and, according to this study, it does that better than most conventional treatments.

Moreover, rosemary oils help to balance sebum production leading to a less greasy scalp as well as hair. It also helps to relieve both itchy scalps and dandruff.

4. Lavender oil

With its sweet scent, lavender oil is perfect for hair health due to its growth promoting properties.

According to one animal study published in the journal Toxicology Research, the use of lavender oil on female mice resulted in the increase of hair follicles.

It also deepened said hair follicles, and this lowered the risk of the hair falling out.

Furthermore, lavender has also been contributed with helping to naturally lower stress levels. As hair thinning and hair loss are often symptoms of stress, the application of lavender oil can induce relaxation which can then lower both your stress levels and risk of hair loss.

Topical scalp application of lavender oil can also moisturise the scalp, improve circulation and its antibacterial properties can help to combat dandruff.

Also read: My hair, my pride

5. Patchouli oil

Patchouli is a plant that’s native to Asia and its oil is often cultivated to be used as an ingredient in perfumes. The oil contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which can help with hair and skin issues such as dandruff, eczema and dermatitis.

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6. Tea tree oil

With its vast number of anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, many have started to view tea tree oil as their new favourite essential oil. As a result of its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is occasionally added as an ingredient to many hair products aimed at alleviating dandruff. It also maintains the health of hair follicles by unclogging them and encouraging the flow of the hairs’ natural oils.

7. Vetiver oil

Vetiver is a type of grass that’s native to south Asia and is often planted to help protect the soil against erosion.

In the same way that the grass helps protect the soil against environmental factors, vetiver oil does the same for one’s hair. Vetiver oil helps to prevent hair loss as a result of excessive heat in the body which stems from stress. Stress-induced body heat can also lead to premature greying.

8. Ylang ylang oil

Ylang ylang is a tropical tree that is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The name translates to flower of flowers, which makes sense as the tree produces flowers that are three separate colours - yellow(which the essential oil comes from), pink and mauve. Ylang ylang oil stimulates the production of the hairs’ natural oils, which helps to prevent a dry and itchy scalp, and it’s also used in some lice treatment products.

Also read: My Hair Was My Favorite Thing About Myself. Then I Started Losing It

Using essential oils on hair

As mentioned, it’s not the best idea to ever directly apply essential oils onto the scalp. Instead, you can add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner or you can add it to a carrier oil (castor oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and avocado oil all work well) before using it as a leave-in deep conditioning treatment.

Before you purchase an essential oil, be sure to consult with a professional. Also, do a skin patch test to find out if you’re allergic to any of the oils. Symptoms of skin irritation include redness, burning, painful tingling or a rash. If you find your tongue swelling or you’re having difficulty breathing, then you may be allergic to the oil.

Essential oils are staples in every home and for good reason. In regards to hair care, they’re not only easy to use but they can help to promote growth, strength and shine.

Gallery: 41 unforgettable layered hairstyles (Provided by ELLE)


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