Are you trying to grow your natural hair longer and healthier? If so then there are several things that you can incorporate into your hair regimen to boost hair growth and scalp health. One method that has helped me is the use of essential oils in my regimen. In this post I will be sharing with you information that will help you to understand what essential oils are, how they work, and what they do for afro-textured hair. I personally use several essential oils in my natural hair journey, and I experienced a clean and healthy scalp, consistent hair growth, and just overall healthy hair.
While essential oils do not guarantee waist length hair overnight, they stimulate hair growth, aid in bacterial elimination/prevention, and they help to keep the hair healthy. The consistent use of these oils coupled with excellent hair care techniques/products over time will positively affect how your hair flourish.
What are Essential Oils?
An essential oil is a concentrated homophobic (does not mix with water) liquid that is typically obtained by distillation from a plant and having the characteristic fragrance of that plant or source from which it is extracted. Essential oils are used in many ways such as aromatherapy, healing treatments, topical application (such as in lotions, oil mixtures, etc), etc, but they can also be used to stimulate hair health and growth.
Essential oils are very concentrated therefore in order to use them safely they must be diluted with a carrier oil or another liquid. I typically dilute using 5 drops of essential oil to 1 oz of carrier oil and this works well for me. This doesn’t mean that it is set in stone. Please experiment and see what ratio works best for you.
Essential oils are 100% pure and are not to be confused with fragrance oils. If you check the ingredient list and it contains more than one oil then it is not a 100% pure essential oil. I have seen too many oils at stores that claim that they are essential oils but when I check the ingredient list I see stuff like ‘water, sorbate, pony dust, rainbows, and whatever else’. If it doesn’t have one ingredient then it isn’t what you’re looking for.
Let’s take a look at my top 7 essential oils for our natural curls!
- Lavender Essential Oil
This is absolutely one of my favorite essential oil for many reasons. The main reason is that it has an amazing smell, and I just can’t resist its calming effects. This oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavandula angustifolia, and it is a very soothing/calming oil which makes it a perfect fit for massage therapy and herbal treatments.
This lovely plant oil is also antibacterial/antifungal (hence the medicinal properties), so it’s helps to eliminate bacteria from our scalp, and it soothes irritated skin. It promotes healthy hair growth by stimulating blood flow to the scalp while combating dandruff . To maintain the health and length of your hair you must have a clean and healthy scalp. Like I mentioned in one of my recent posts nothing grows if the scalp isn’t healthy.
How to use:
- Dilute the essential oil by adding 5 drops to every ounce of carrier oil. So if you have 3 oz of jojoba oil you will need to add 15 drops of lavender essential oil.
- You may add it to your deep conditioner, pre-poo, hot oil treatment etc, and allow it to penetrate into the hair and scalp for best results.
2. Tea-Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is extracted from the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia and has been used to treat many skin and hair problems throughout Australia for decades. Tea tree oil has been documented through several studies to kill bacteria/fungus and aids in healing wounds due to its antibacterial properties.
Tea tree oil has been proven to be beneficial to the hair and scalp because of its ability to soothe dry and flaking skin, remove dandruff, and is used in the treatment of head lice. It is very effective in treating itchiness in the scalp, so if you are experiencing itching then you should give this a try. Many hair growth problems are directly related to the scalp (lack of scalp health) and hair follicles which prevent healthy hair growth. Therefore you must make it a priority to maintain a clean and healthy scalp by cleansing often and occasionally using essential oil treatment to combat bacteria on the scalp.
How to use to combat itchiness and Dandruff:
- Add a few drops (5 drops of EO to 1 oz of carrier oil) of tea tree oil to a carrier oil (olive, coconut, etc) and apply lightly to the scalp daily to relieve dryness and itching. Ensure that you cleanse your hair once per week to remove any build-up.
3. Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger Essential oil is extracted from the ginger root (Zingiber officinale), and is a warm, spicy, and pungent plant. Its flesh can be white, yellow or red depending on the variety, but most of the ginger available to consumers are either white or yellow.
The benefits of ginger are endless; it’s used to relieve stomach aches, as a fresh culinary spice in many dishes, and used in various medicinal ailments. While many use ginger solely as a form of internal medicinal treatment or as a culinary spice, when extracted as an essential oil it can be used to treat various scalp conditions topically.
When used topically ginger essential oil helps to relieve pain and aids in blood circulation. It is also widely known for its antibacterial properties which plays a huge part in maintaining a healthy scalp and promoting healthy hair growth. Because of its potency this essential oil must be diluted to prevent any skin irritation or reaction.
Ginger Essential Oil can be used to treat scalp conditions, however, I would recommend that you always visit a dermatologist before proceeding with any homemade treatments. Add a few drops to your favorite carrier oil and use that mixture to lightly oil the scalp 2-3x per week.
4. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential oil is in my top 3 most used essential oils simply because while growing up in Jamaica I had a ton of rosemary trees in my yard. My older sister and I would always pick the leaves and squeeze what was to us at the time ‘juice’ unto our arms and apply it as a lotion. We had no idea that the rosemary plant was very beneficial to our skin and hair, but what do you know when you are a kid?
Native to the Mediterranean the Rosemary plant (Rosmarinus officinalis) has been used as medicine for many years to improve memory, soothe digestive ailments, and relieve muscle aches. But that’s not the only thing that its famous for. I love me some rosemary chicken, and you can also use it to make delicious potatoes…..yuuuummmm!
The Rosemary plant is very high in antioxidants, it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. When applied to the scalp rosemary essential oil stimulates hair growth, prevents balding and helps to prevent pre-mature graying. It is also excellent in treating dandruff and many other scalp conditions.
5. Peppermint Essential Oil
I call the peppermint essential oil the ‘cooling oil’ because it gives a cooling sensation, but if applied to the face it creates an energizing stimulation. So kinda layoff peppermint oil before bed! Peppermint is a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint (Mentha aquatica), and the essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the fresh aerial parts of the flowering plant.
The benefits of peppermint essential oil are endless, and they include:
- Antimicrobial properties
- Improves mental focus
- Relieves headaches
- Stimulates blood flow to the scalp
- Relieves an itchy scalp
6. Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary Sage essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the buds and leaves of the clary sage plant whose scientific name is Salvia Sclerea. It is a herb and has been used for its medicinal properties for many years. The great thing about the clary sage essential oil is that it contains an ester called linalyl acetate which reduces skin/scalp inflammation.
Many scalp conditions may be a direct correlation to inflammation, therefore incorporating essential oils into your hair regimen may help to reduce the possibility of scalp irritation. As always check with your doctor first to address any issue related to your hair and scalp.
Another interesting fact about clary sage essential oil is that it is used to address menstrual issues, promote relaxation during childbirth, and ease menopausal symptoms.
7. Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedar wood essential oil is extracted via steam distillation of the fragrant wood from cedar species tree. When used on the skin and scalp cedar wood essential oil provides a range of benefits that includes:
- treating cuts and scrapes
- treating acnes and rashes
- treating eczema
This oil is anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory which makes it an excellent oil to add to your regimen.
What’s your favorite Essential Oil?
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