Essential Oils for a Healthy Hair and Scalp
Essential oils are all the rage nowadays, with many people swearing by their positive effects. Used as an aromatherapy treatment, essential oils are purported to boost energy, relieve stress, or set the stage for a good night’s sleep, among other mood-altering effects. They can be mixed with other ingredients to make household cleaners and can also be used topically for skin care. And if you’ve got a (literal) hair-raising problem like frizzy tresses, essential oils can be used for hair care.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants through distillation. The highly concentrated oils retain the properties of the plant source, including the scent. Essential oils have been used throughout history in folk medicine but further scientific studies have to be conducted to prove any medical benefits.
Because of their potency, essential oils are usually diluted with carrier oils when applied topically on the skin or used for hair. The best carrier oils are vegetable oils, which are generally absorbed better than animal fat. Cold-pressed, unrefined vegetable oils are ideal. Aside from the more popular olive oil and coconut oil, other carrier oils are already great hair care oils in themselves:
Sweet Almond Oil. More studies need to be done but sweet almond oil is said to promote hair growth. At the very least, it can be used as a conditioner to give you lustrous locks.
Castor Oil. Made from the seed of the Ricinus communis plant, castor oil is sometimes used to treat hair loss, although no studies are available to support its effectiveness.
Grapeseed Oil. Lighter than olive oil and coconut oil, grapeseed oil can give your hair the same conditioning effects without the heaviness. A study on mice also indicated that grapeseed oil may promote hair growth.
Argan Oil. Moroccans traditionally use Argan oil for skin and hair. The oil is rich in Vitamin E, making it a great treatment for dryness.
Best Essential Oils for Hair
If you have dry, unruly hair or limp, lifeless hair, try mixing one of these essential oils with your favorite carrier oil:
Lavender Oil. The soothing scent of lavender is often used to calm the senses, but it may also promote hair growth. A study published in the journal Toxicological Research found that lavender oil topically applied to the backs of female mice once a day, five times a week for four weeks resulted in a significant increase in the number of health follicles, deeper hair follicle depth, and thicker dermal layer. To use: Mix a few drops of lavender oil with three tablespoons of a carrier oil, rub into scalp, and rinse off after 10 minutes.
Clary Sage Oil. Made from an herb grown in the Mediterranean, clary sage oil contains the same compounds that give lavender oil its hair growth-promoting properties. It can also soften coarse hair and give dry locks some much-needed moisture. To use: Mix a few drops into a carrier oil or hair conditioner. Apply to coarse hair while damp; others can use it as a weekly deep-conditioning treatment.
Peppermint Oil. A study also published in Toxicological Research likewise looked into the use of peppermint to promote hair growth. The results of the four-week study on mice indicate that peppermint oil may be used as a practical agent for hair growth without negative side effects. Another study demonstrated the ability of menthol, the main component of peppermint oil, to increase blood flow, which means it may stimulate hair growth where it’s applied. Peppermint oil may also be used to treat an itchy scalp but keep in mind that a little goes a long way—too much might cause irritation. To use: Mix a drop or two with a carrier oil or conditioner, leave on for five minutes, then rinse off. If the tingling feels more like a burning sensation, rinse off immediately and try less oil next time.
The general rule for using essential oils for hair or skin is to start with the minimum, then build from there. If you have recurring or severe scalp and skin conditions, consult your doctor before applying essential oils. Always consult a pediatrician before applying essential oils on children.
Product You Might Be Interested In
Aura Cacia Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage is a key ingredient in many skincare formulas. It has a sweet, soothing aroma with intriguing musk and wine-like nuances. This popular oil tones the skin, balances the emotions and lifts the spirit.
Aura Cacia Peppermint Essential Oil
The experience of authentic peppermint essential oil is like a cool breeze after a sweet spring rain. At first cooling and bracing, then warming and comforting. Peppermint oil will refresh your whole being and awaken your senses.
Aura Cacia Organic Argan Skin Care Oil
Aura Cacia® argan oil contains high levels of skin-rejuvenating essential fatty acids and is ideal for brightening your skin and hair.
Aura Cacia Grapeseed Skin Care Oil
Light, absorbent grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of wine grapes and contains an excellent balance of skin-supporting compounds, including oleic, linoleic, palmitic and stearic fatty acids. Grapeseed oil restores balance and firmness to combination and oily skin.
Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Skin Care Oil
A source of skin-nourishing fatty acids and lipids, sweet almond oil has a rich, skin-nurturing consistency that provides a nice glide during massage. It is excellent for bath and after-shower applications, and especially appropriate for dry-skin care.
Home Health Castor Oil
Castor oil is a pure, natural emollient oil that oftens and nourishes skin. It is excellent for massaging into joints and muscles.
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