There are quite a few essential oils that have a lot of research going into their benefits for hair growth. While they all nourish the hair with vitamins and nutrients to increase thickness, some possess specific mechanisms that target the whole hair growth process. These mechanisms often include blocking DHT hormone, increasing blood flow, and reducing inflammations at hair follicles. The essential oils mentioned ahead are praised for their abilities to promote hair growth because they have one or more of these properties. But before, let’s break down the basics.
How to use carrier oils for hair growth
Because essential oils are very concentrated, they can be irritating for the scalp. For this reason, you should use a carrier oil to dilute it before applying it. Carrier oils are derived from the fatty part of a plant, such as the seed, nut, or kernel, being vegetable oils.
They are important because they are the key to diluting essential oils before they are applied. A couple of small drops diluted in a carrier is enough to get the best of the properties.
Which carrier oil to use
You should use a carrier oil suitable for your hair type. If your scalp is oily, a light-weight carrier oil, like almond oil or grapeseed, will do best. For a dry scalp, use a heavy-weight carrier oil (coconut oil).
How to do an oil mask
To use, pour a few drops of your favorite essential oil into your regular shampoo. Or, you can do an oil mask.
If you want to get most of the oil properties, heat it up for a few seconds. When warm, oil allows for deeper penetration through the hair cuticles and scalp, and it’s also more soothing and effective.
How to apply the oil mask
The next step consists of how you apply it to your hair. First, segregate your hair into small parts to avoid missing out on any area, especially if you have curly hair. Then, use circular motions to gently rub the oil into the scalp for about 10-15 minutes. And only after you’re done with the scalp, you can gently work your way to the length and ends of your hair.
As an extra step, before washing the oil, you can opt for wrapping a warm cloth around your hair. This is how you allow the pores and cuticles to open up, allowing for deeper oil penetration into the scalp and hair follicles. Leaving the oil to act for the entire night is fine too.
It turns out that these are the best essential oils for hair growth.
Famous for its distinct refreshing aroma and high medicinal value, it’s believed that peppermint oil stimulates hair growth, and it’s encouraged to be used as an alternative restorative treatment for hair loss.
A study in Korea hinted that peppermint oil facilitates hair growth by promoting an early entrance of the anagen phase. This is the stage where the hair is actively growing, and by shifting the hair follicles from the resting phase to anagen, peppermint oil facilitates natural hair growth. By the end of the four weeks of research, 92% of people treated with peppermint oil showed an increase in hair count.
Also, due to its ability to kill bacteria and its antioxidant properties, peppermint creates a healthy environment where hair can grow. Furthermore, it stimulates blood circulation to the scalp, allowing hair to receive more nutrients and oxygen necessary for hair growth.
Peppermint leaves infusion:
Take two cups of hot water and put two tablespoons of fresh mint leaves or one tablespoon of dried mint leaves. Cover it and let it rest until it cools down, then strain it and put it in a glass bottle.
Finally, apply the mint infusion directly on the scalp while massaging gently. Leave it for 30 minutes, and then rinse off.
You can repeat this process four times a week, and you can preserve the infusion for one week in the fridge.
The essential fatty acids and vitamins naturally found in coconut oil nourish the scalp and help remove the hair follicles’ sebum build-up. This review suggests that coconut oil is easier absorbed in the hair than mineral oil or other kinds of oils. This means that it better protects the hair, preventing breakage and split ends.
Bergamot oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, being exceptional for preventing dandruff and soothing an irritated scalp. It simply hinders bacteria growth. The scalp stays clean and creates the perfect environment for the hair to grow. When massaged to the scalp, bergamot oil stimulates the scalp blood flow, allowing more nutrients to reach hair follicles.
A study published in the Journal of Chinese Materia Medica shows that topical application of bergamot extract for 42 days increased skin collagen content and significantly promoted hair growth. The study was effectuated on animals, and further studies in humans are needed to confirm this effectiveness and set a dosage. Still, bergamot oil is commonly added to hair care product formulations, either for its scent, properties, or both.
Tea tree oil
Extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, tea tree oil is another famous plant extract recognized for its scalp and hair conditioning abilities. It holds cleansing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, helping against dandruff and hair loss.
As one of the most effective essential oils for hair growth, tea tree oil stops the accumulation of chemicals and dead skin caused by conventional products and hair dying. Basically, it keeps your hair and scalp well-conditioned and clean. Research shows that using tea tree oil and minoxidil delivers more benefits than just minoxidil alone.
To benefit from tea tree oil, simply add it to your regular shampoo, or buy a shampoo formulated with 5% tea tree oil.
Rosemary essential oil not only enhances the hair’s appearance but the popular belief is also that it helps hair grow faster. Rosemary oil boosts blood circulation when massaged into the scalp, preventing hair follicles from being starved of blood supply.
This study compared the effectiveness of rosemary oil in treating androgenic alopecia to 2% minoxidil. For six months, 50 people applied minoxidil while the other half applied rosemary oil. While both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count by the end of the study, the minoxidil group had scalp itching more frequently.
Lavender essential oil is not only good to relax our senses but also has a great influence on hair’s health. According to research, lavender oil can improve follicles and scalp health with its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, allowing healthy hair to grow. It’s safe to use on hair and scalp, either massaged or added to hair care products.