Do essential oils for hair growth really work?
What essential oils are good for hair growth?
With so many professional products for hair growth, it seems needless to tinker with DIY masks. Yet, hair experts recommend using essential oils for hair to help it grow faster and healthier. Let’s puzzle out how these substances help and which one to choose for thickness, shine, and other hair goals.
Types of Essential Oils for Hair
Before wondering where to buy this miracle cure, it would be nice to clearly understand what to buy. Actually plenty of popular hair care oils are not quite the essential type – they are carrier oils. They are also derived from plants but feature heavier and greasier texture while having little to no odor. They also help damaged hair to recover; however, what we’re interested in right now is their ability to mix up with actual essential oils.
So, what are the essential oils we’re talking about? They are volatile oily liquids obtained from various parts of plants and characterized by a strongly pronounced flavor. Being highly concentrated substances, they may cause allergic reactions and burns when used topically in their pure form. Besides, they evaporate easily thus requiring a carrier (hence the name) to penetrate the scalp and hair shaft. With a few exceptions, the oils provide the necessary source of safety and health benefits for thinning hair only when working together.
Both oil types can be obtained from plants by a bunch of methods, not to mention the fact that the plants themselves can be cultivated with or without chemicals. Some manufactures use mineral oil (derived from petroleum) instead of processing plants or add various fillers/preservatives to reduce the product price/extend the shelf life. Obviously this does not bode well and you need to search for organic oils – Oregon Tilth-certified, USDA-labeled, GC/MS-tested or at least something like this. The product purity ensures that you get the utmost of natural benefits for healthy hair while escaping possible troubles.
Benefits of Essential Oils for Hair
Now, let’s reveal how these aromatic substances can contribute to fast hair growth. Sure, they cannot change our genes or correct our diet, yet they are good for hair growth. In which way?
– Volatile oils are rich in monoterpenes, ketones, and phenolic compounds which are in their turn high in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Thus, it makes sense to use essential oils for hair loss caused by inflammation as their antiseptic and wound-healing properties promote a healthier scalp.
– Essential oils are proved to work as antioxidants, so they prevent aging (being great for gray hair), improve the immune system, and reduce cellular damage caused by free radicals.
– Some of the oils (namely, rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, lavender, and peppermint) were tested in several studies and proved to be promising for hair loss treatment. They demonstrated improvements in dermal thickness as well as follicle number and their condition, which means they work nicely for thicker hair.
Obviously these are by no means all the positive effects ethereal oils can deliver since the pharmacology of oils depends greatly on the plants they are derived from. But along with the main benefits like the encouragement of the normal flow of skin oils and itchy scalp treatment, the aromatic substances are appreciated for their strong scent. If you don’t want to have smelly hair after using, let’s say, a castor oil mask, just add a drop of natural fragrance to it.
Best Essential Oils for Hair and Hair Growth
Though not all the oils have been clinically tested yet, their centuries-old application for hair shine, conditioning, and other purposes allows us to come up with the following list of DIY essential oil remedies:
Rosemary– enhances blood circulation and cellular metabolism thus stimulating the hair roots to grow;
Peppermint – reduces inflammation and nourishes the hair with vitamins A and C;
Basil –has tonic properties and softens the scalp;
Sage – boosts cell growth and strengthens the hair;
Cedarwood– boasts antibacterial and fungicidal properties while improving microcirculation;
Lavender –protects the hair against microbial infection and soothes the skin;
Lemon – works as an antioxidant also removing dandruff and preventing excessive sebum;
Thyme – stimulates and nourishes the scalp;
Lemongrass – clinically proved to treat dandruff;
Bergamot – stimulates the scalp and strengthens the hair;
Tea tree – famous for its antifungal and antibacterial properties, dandruff treatment;
Cinnamon– provides antioxidant and antimicrobial effects;
Ylang-Ylang– contributes to sebum production and improves dry hair.
How to Use Essential Oils for Hair: How to Mix Them and Make Customized Recipes
Many hair care products come into the market as an essential oil blend for hair growth with pre-mixed carrier and ethereal oils. To add even more confusion, some plants serve as raw material for both types. So, you need to distinguish these products and use them correspondingly. If dealing with a ready-to-use essential oil formula, just follow the manufacturer’s application instructions.
With pure essential oils, the rule of thumb is to add a couple of drops to a carrier substance in a 1:5 ratio. The best choice is to mix aromatic oils with vegetable oils known for their hair-growth-boosting properties:
– wheat germ
– almond, etc.
Sure, the choice of substances depends greatly on the problems that may prevent hair growth. Moreover, you can mix volatile oils to address different issues like brittle hair or dandruff. For example, combine fir needle and rosemary oils (for rapid hair growth) with jasmine (for dry hair) or juniper berry oil (for oily hair) and add them to castor or argan carrier oils (for dry and oily hair correspondingly).
Also, ethereal oils are often mixed with shampoos and conditioners, though some hair experts believe that adding essential oils to shampoo is less effective.
Essential Oils Recipes for Black Hair Growth
African American women tend to suffer from hair breakage oftener since their curl pattern is trickier to moist with sebum. The oil produced by the scalp fails to cover the entire hair shaft from root to tip which slows down natural hair growth. The hair loses moisture and protection thus becoming brittle, dry, dull, and weak. So, it is vital for 4c hair to get deep conditioning from an essential/carrier oil combo. The best blends for hair growth for black hair are:
– Olive + rosemary – to unclog pores;
– Coconut + cedar – to treat dandruff;
– Olive + thyme and lavender – to enhance blood flow to the scalp;
– Coconut +peppermint and lavender – for deep cleansing;
– Castor and coconut + peppermint – to stimulate follicles.
Side Effects of Essential Oils for Hair
As highly concentrated and sometimes even toxic substances, volatile oils can cause irritated scalp which will inevitably aggravate your hair condition. Allergy testing is a must: apply a drop of your shampoo with essential oils or any other mixture containing these aromatic substances on your skin prior to using on your hair. Never exceed the recommended oil-to-carrier ratio and don’t use undiluted oil unless it is permitted by the manufacturer.
Besides, keep in mind that oils have specific properties which might be very opposite of what your hair needs. For instance, enhanced sebum production is not that great for oily heads though it is just the thing for dry frizzy hair.
Well, now you know the basics and can start using essential oils for hair growth depending on your hair type and health issues. But we encourage you to learn more about various oils to customize your beauty routine.Featured Image: freepik.com