While most essential oils nourish hair with vitamins and nutrients to boost thickness, there are some that possess specific properties that target the whole hair growth process — and with a lot of research going into their benefits. These perks often include blocking DHT hormone, increasing blood flow, and reducing inflammations at hair follicles. But before going into the best essential oils for hair growth, let’s break down the basics.
How to use carrier oils for hair growth
Because essential oils are very concentrated, they can be irritating to the scalp. For this reason, you should use carrier oil to dilute the essential oil before applying it. A couple of small drops diluted in a carrier is enough to get most of their benefits, without dryness or irritation.
Which carrier oil to use
You should use a carrier oil suitable for your hair type. If your scalp is oily, a lightweight carrier oil, like almond oil or grapeseed, will do best. For a dry scalp, use a heavy-weight, moisturizing carrier oil, such as coconut oil.
How to use essential oils for hair growth
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
First, split 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. 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.
The best essential oils for hair growth
It turns out these are the best essential oils for hair growth.
Famous for its distinct refreshing aroma and soothing benefits, peppermint is one of the best essential oils for hair growth. A study in Korea hinted that peppermint oil can promote an early entrance of the anagen phase — the stage where the hair is actively growing. By shifting the hair follicles from the resting phase to anagen, peppermint oil facilitates natural hair growth. Based on the study’s results, 92% of people treated with peppermint oil showed a significant 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 flow to the scalp, allowing follicles to receive more nutrients and oxygen necessary for hair growth.
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 and hydrated the hair, preventing breakage and split ends.
Bergamot oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, great for preventing dandruff and soothing an irritated scalp by hindering bacteria growth. The scalp stays clean, creating the perfect environment for the hair to grow. Besides, when massaged into the scalp, bergamot oil stimulates the 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 done on animals, and further studies on humans are needed to confirm this effectiveness and set a dosage. Still, bergamot oil is often 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 essential oil that can strengthen your hair since it holds cleansing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. As one of the best essential oils for hair growth, tea tree oil reduces the buildup of chemicals and dead cells 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 overall hair’s appearance but may help hair grow faster and thicker as well. More precisely, rosemary oil boosts blood circulation when massaged into the scalp, preventing hair follicles from being starved of blood supply. According to research, rosemary oil provides almost the same results as 2% minoxidil in terms of improving thinning hair, but with fewer scalp irritations.
Lavender essential oil is not only good to relax our senses but has a great influence on hair’s health too. According to research, lavender oil can improve follicles and scalp health with its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, allowing healthy hair to grow. It can be delicately applied to the hair and scalp, either massaged or added to hair care products.