15 October 2021 / Caitlin Devlin
The best essential oils for hair growth and hair health
Nourish your hair with the restorative powers of essential oils.
Here are some of our favourite, cleansing, scalp-protecting, and growth-promoting essential oils for beautiful, healthy hair.
One of the most common topical uses for essential oils is in the cleaning, strengthening and regrowing of hair. Essential oils have been used in rinses and hair masks for centuries across a range of civilisations, and almost every oil in existence has been tested for its effects on hair at some point. Whilst people’s experiences with these natural products may vary, these are some of the oils that have been found to have the most beneficial effects on hair, from reducing oil and treating dandruff to regrowing hair altogether. Explore the best essential oils for hair growth and thickness.
Lavender oil is a very common ingredient in haircare products, not just because of its calming floral scent. It’s been a well-known fact for centuries that lavender oil has strong antimicrobial properties, and this ability to inhibit the growth of harmful organisms helps it to keep hair and the scalp clean and healthy. A study in 2011 supported this when it found that lavender oil can help to prevent headlice. Recent animal research has even suggested that lavender oil can help to promote the growth of new hair after hair loss.
Mediterranean cultures have used rosemary in hair rinses to promote hair growth for centuries, and science is beginning to catch up to the reasons why. Lots of research has been done in the last decade investigating the fascinating hair-regrowing abilities of rosemary essential oil. After a study made the astounding discovery that rosemary oil was able to aid hair regrowth in alopecia patients, further studies investigated the circulation-improving effects of the oil, with the suggestion that rosemary is able to significantly increase blood flow to the scalp and so stimulate hair growth. A trial in 2015 even found that rosemary oil was just as effective at regrowing hair as minoxidil. Minoxidil is a common hair regrowth agent used to treat thinning hair and male pattern baldness.
Cedarwood oil has been found to work effectively with lavender and rosemary to support hair growth and fight bacteria on the scalp. A very gentle oil, cedarwood is a good choice for sensitive skin, and shares rosemary’s circulation-improving properties, stimulating hair follicles through increased blood flow.
Try mixing a few drops of your chosen essential oil with a basic shampoo.
Like rosemary, peppermint oil has also been tested against minoxidil, and was actually found to be even more effective than the common treatment. There is some suggestion that this is due to the effective of its component menthol on blood vessels – it is thought that menthol is able to widen blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow to the scalp.
Sebum, a natural, waxy oil, can cause hair to appear lank and greasy if it is left to build up on the scalp. Citronella oil is a popular natural shampoo as it targets and regulates the production of sebum, reducing greasiness and leaving hair looking clean and shiny.
Bay leaf essential oil has a long-standing association with beard health, and can be just as beneficial to hair on the scalp. Not only does it have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, helping to keep the scalp clean and healthy, but it is also known to boost circulation to the scalp, stimulating hair growth.
A less well-known essential oil, cade oil is nonetheless powerful. It is most commonly found in dandruff shampoos, and many people use cade essential oil as a home remedy for flaky scalps. The oil has helpful antimicrobial properties which allow it to prevent infection, and it has been found to inhibit sensations of itching.
Another common dandruff remedy, tea tree is known for its very strong antimicrobial properties, making it a great way to keep hair clean and the scalp free from harmful organisms. A 2013 study found that tea tree oil also works very well alongside minoxidil and is able to improve its effectiveness in regrowing hair.
Often essential oils work best blended with other beneficial oils. It may take some experimenting to figure out exactly which blend is best for your hair, but our Hair Health Pure Essential Oil Blend is a great place to start.
Shop it here.