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11 Best Essential Oils For Dry Hair Treatment : DIYs and Safety

Overview

Dry hair is not an uncommon malady afflicting the hair. Anyone can be affected and bothered with dry hair problem. Dry hair happens due to the lack of moisture in the scalp. It also happens when the hair is not able to retain the moisture. The dry hair problem makes the hair look dull and frizzy making it brittle and vulnerable to split ends and breakage. But, is it a problem that only affects a certain gender? No, dry hair problem can affect both men and women, and it is more likely as you age. Natural oils and carrier and essential oils for dry hair are simple and easy ways to tackle dry hair problems no matter the cause of the issue. Before diving deep into the topic let us know which essential oils are useful in resolving dry hair problem. So, what are some of the best essential oils for dry hair? There are some essential oils that have the ability of keeping the hair hydrated for a long time and regulating the secretion of sebum. Out of the plethora of essential oils, these oils can keep the scalp and thus the hair moisturized. Here’s the list of 11 essential oils for dry hair, (arranged in no particular order): -

  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Tea Tree essential Oil
  • Chamomile Essential oil
  • Geranium Essential Oil
  • Bergamot Essential Oil
  • Birch Essential Oil
  • Rose Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Sandalwood Essential Oil
  • Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

Now, let’s dive deeper into the world of dry hair and essential oils for dry hair therapy. First, we need to know about dry hair and what causes dry hairs.

Dry Hair And The Causes Of Dry Hair

There are lots of factors that can lead to loss or lack of moisture in the scalp and hair. Some of these factors are environmental, genetic, lifestyle and hair care practices.

Environmental factors that cause dry hair are: -

  • Hot and humid climate
  • Working or playing too much in the sun
  • Bad water for bathing. Chlorinated water can result in dry hair and hair loss.

Lifestyle choices that cause dry hair are: -

  • Smoking and alcohol abuse
  • Not drinking enough water and relying on carbonated drinks
  • Bad food habits

Hair care practices that cause dry hair are: -

  • Blow drying the hair everyday or regularly.
  • Coloring or dyeing hair regularly
  • Using powerful shampoos and conditioners.
  • Straightening and curling hair regularly can also cause dry scalp.
  • Washing hair too often

Genetic factors and underlying health conditions that cause dry hair: -

  • The genetic disease called Menkes syndrome leads to dry hair.
  • Malnutrition caused by anorexia nervosa (eating disorder).
  • Issues with the thyroid glands. Hypothyroidism and Hypoparathyroidism both results in dry hair.

What Are Essential Oils?

Now that we know the causes of dry hair, we must know about the easiest way of moisturizing the scalp and hair. Essential oils not only moisturize the hair, it nourishes it with amino acids, proteins and vitamins.

Essential oils are concentrated oils obtained from various parts of plants. The plant kingdom has trees, grasses and roots that have good medicinal properties. The flowers, buds, petals, rhizomes, roots, bark, stem, fresh leaves, dry leaves etc are used in making essential oils. The processes used for the extraction of essential oils are:

  • Steam distillation
  • CO2 extraction
  • Solvent extraction
  • Maceration

Essential oils have a strong fragrance and have many compounds from the plant in concentrated form. Every essential oil has a unique aroma given to it by the aromatic molecules unique to its source plant. These essential oils are used in aromatherapy or diluted and applied on the skin (face and scalp included). When essential oils are diluted and applied on the scalp it boosts the hair health right from the scalp and hair follicles to the tip of the hair, hence preventing breakage and split ends. It also does not make your hair greasy.

Now, let’s learn more about the essential oils for dry hair.

11 Best Essential Oils For Dry Hair

1. Lavender Essential Oil For Dry Hair

Now, even though we said at the beginning that this list is not in any particular order, lavender oil had to be the first in this list. Lavender essential oil extracted from species Lavandula and is a versatile essential oil that can be used on any skin and hair problem.

A study published online in April 2016 in the Toxicological Research concluded that lavender oil from the lavender plant promotes hair growth and it also increased the speed at which the hair grows. The study was done on lab mice and it was concluded that the oil of lavender could be applied on the scalp as hair growth-promoting oil. The oil increased the number of hair follicles and the depth of the follicle. (1)

Another research on dry hair and lavender oil found that the oil had positive effects on dry hair and scalp. The study ascertained the role of lavender oil as the most popular oil in hair care. (2). The oil of lavender also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that are useful for treating dry scalp. The oil is also used as an ingredient in cosmetic products.

2. Tea Tree Essential Oil for Dry Scalp

Tea tree essential oil is extracted from the tall shrub Melaleuca alternifolia. The oil supplied essential nutrients to the scalp and maintains the scalp health and hair moisturized. The anti-inflammatory nature of the oil prevents irritation and itching. The potent properties of oil are useful in eliminating blockages from the scalp which stimulates hair growth and regulates sebum secretion. It is also suitable for scalp infections such as psoriasis and scalp itchiness.

3. Treat Dry Skin with Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman chamomile essential oil and German chamomile essential oil are the two varieties of essential oils that are obtained from different varieties of the chamomile plant. The oils have different colors, fragrance and medicinal properties of the oil. However, both these varieties are useful in treating dry hair. Besides being mild in nature, the chamomile essential oil supplied the scalp with vitamins and nutrients which then regularizes the sebum secretion. It moisturizes the scalp and keeps the hair hydrated for a long time. Chamomile oil also has a pleasant aroma and hence makes up for a great hair day. The oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which removes any microbes from the scalp. The reason for the many properties of the oil is due to the presence of terpenes, sesquiterpenes etc in the oil. A complete analysis of chamomile essential oil has been published in the Pharmacognosy Review in 2011. (3)

 4. Geranium Essential Oil dry Hair Home Remedy

The essential oil of geranium is from the Pelargonium graveolens plant and has a flowery scent, which keeps the hair smelling nice. The whole plant is used to make the oil, but the oil is still gentle in nature. The oil is used in hair care and as an ingredient in hair care products as ingredient. It nourishes the hair follicles and hydrates the scalp thus stimulating hair growth. In 2005, the Journal of Inflammation published a study that proves the anti-inflammatory properties of geranium oil which can soothe any scalp conditions. (4)

Geranium oil can control the sebaceous glands and control the secretion of sebum thus acting as an oil balancer for the scalp. This ability makes geranium oil suitable for both skin types – oily and dry. A research article published in 2017 proves the hair growth-promoting effect of geranium oil. 

5. Bergamot Essential Oil for Dry Hair and Scalp

Bergamot oil is obtained from the fruit of the Citrus bergamia plant native to Southeast Asia. Because of its many health benefits, bergamot plant is grown across the world. The fruits of the plant are cold pressed to extract the oils. The oil of bergamot has several benefits for the hair, and that is why the oil is used as an ingredient in hair care cosmetic products. The Journal for Cosmetic Dermatology has published a review of how essential oils can be used in hair care products. Bergamot oil finds a mention in these reviews. (5)

What does bergamot oil do for dry hair? The oil conditions the dry hair thus making it silky and shiny. Massaging the oil on the scalp also stimulates blood flow that is needed for the nutrients to reach the hair follicles. This helps the hair grow faster and get thicker. The therapeutic properties of bergamot oil include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial. These properties protect the scalp from environmental factors and put a stop to bacterial growth. Food Science and Nutrition published a study in January 2019 which proved the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative nature of bergamot. (6) And if the dry hair is caused due to lifestyle habits, then bergamot also balances the hormones and lowers stress and anxiety.

6. Birch Essential Oil For Dry Hair

Birch essential oil for dry hair is obtained from the Betula alba tree by dry distillation. The oil of birch has some benefits for the hair and is used as an ingredient in cosmetic hair care products. Applying this oil regularly makes the hair stronger and prevents hair fall or hair breakage. It stimulates the flow of blood and thus promotes hair growth. This oil has antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties because of the underlying compounds saponins and flavonoids. Because of these properties the oil fights against dandruff and soothes the skin with eczema.

7. Rose Essential Oil against Dry Hair

This oil of rose is extracted from the rose plant and has a sweet floral aroma. The oil has therapeutic benefits that can support hair growth and balance dry scalp, plus giving the aroma to the hair. Rose oil when applied with carrier oils including coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil moisturizes the scalp and makes the hair look shiny. Some of the active compounds in the oil are linoleic and oleic acids which gives the dry or damaged hair good fatty acid content. The fatty acids are good for dry hair roots as it moisturizes the scalp sufficiently. 

Rose essential oil also has antioxidant properties due to the presence of Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties due to phenolic compounds. Most essential oils for dry hair include therapeutic compounds that give it the healing effect.

8. Rosemary Essential Oil For Dry Hair Remedy

Rosemary essential oil is a versatile oil from the Rosmarinus officinalis L. plant that belongs to Lamiaceae family. Its therapeutic uses have been utilized for centuries. It is applied on the hair to boost hair growth and thickness. It amply moisturizes the scalp making it a good choice for dry hair types. Scientific African published in July 2022 and verified the hair growth properties of rosemary (as well as cedarwood). (7)

In fact, a randomized comparative trial was done between rosemary oil and Minodixil 2% for the treatment of Androgenic Alopecia. The research presents evidence on the effect of rosemary in treating the baldness pattern. (8)

It also boosts blood circulation in the scalp that ensures that the nutrients reach the scalp. Furthermore rosemary also improves cellular regeneration.

9. Treating Dry Hair with Peppermint Essential Oil

From the Menthae piperitae aetheroleum plant, peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol that is efficient in soothing the scalp. One of the characteristics of menthol is in improving the blood flow by dilating the vessels. By stimulating the flow of blood it promotes hair growth by supplying nutrients to the hair. The menthol in the oil is an efficient soothing agent that calms the scalp irritation arising from dry scalp. The pulegone compound in the oil tightens the hair follicles thus preventing hair loss.

A study published in the Toxicological Research in December 2014 concludes that peppermint oil is a hair growth agent as it causes rapid anagen stage. (9)

10. Sandalwood Essential Oil For Dry Hair Home Remedy

Diluting the essential oil of sandalwood with carrier oils including sweet almond oil, olive oil or fractionated coconut oil and massaging it twice a week on the scalp and the hair strands improves the hair health. This is the simplest home remedy for treating dry hair. Now, the sandalwood oil from the  Santalum album tree has a rich aroma and several therapeutic properties. In hair care, the oil is an excellent moisturizer and also helps in retaining moisture content. Sandalwood oil also aids hair growth. A study conducted on lab mouse to find the effect of sandalwood oil on hair growth concluded that sandalwood oil was as effective as 3% minoxidil in promoting hair growth. (10)

11. Ylang Ylang essential oil for dry hair care

Ylang ylang oil is extracted from the tropical tree Cananga odorata through steam distillation. The oil can resolve dryness issues of the scalp and hair. The best advantage of using ylang ylang oil for hair is that it regulates the sebaceous glands and thus controls the sebum secreted from these glands. Less sebum secretion equates to dry hair. Dryness of the scalp can also result in infections and loss of hair. The oil of ylang ylang makes the hair feel soft by trapping the moisture. Your favorite essential oil also contains sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes and aliphatic compounds.

How To Use Essential Oils For Dry Hair Treatment And Scalp Issues

Essential oils are concentrated plant oils that and should not be applied on the skin directly. It should always be blended and diluted with carrier oils (rich in fatty acids) before applying on the scalp. Some of the popular carrier oils for treating dry hair are as follows:

  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Olive oil
  • Virgin coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Rosehip seed oil
  • Fractionated coconut oil

Carrier oils are also good for damaged and dry hair. It strengthen your hair, moisturize dry hair and prevent hair issues. Nutrients are supplied to the scalp such as vitamins and minerals which protect your hair and trigger new hair growth. The best oils for healthy hair are also used in hair masks.

How to mix oils for hair remedy –

  • Mix 2 to 3 drops of essential oil with one tablespoon of carrier oil.
  • Apply it on the scalp and hair and massage the scalp using the fingers.
  • Make sure that the oil is spread evenly.
  • Leave the oil for at least an hour or overnight.
  • Wash it off with a good shampoo and conditioner.
  • Gently dry the hair with warm towel.

DIY Tips and Recipes For Essential Oils For Dry Hair

Instructions for mixing the oils

  • Mix the oils as mentioned in the recipe
  • Apply on the scalp and hair
  • Gently massage the scalp till the oil is absorbed and till the scalp feels warm.
  • Keep the oil on the hair for a few hours. It is best if the oil is left overnight.
  • Wash off the oil with shampoo and condition the hair.

Dry Scalp Hair Oil

  • 8 drops of sandalwood essential oil
  • 4 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 5 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil

Hair Growth Oil for Dry Hair

  • 1 drop of lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop of bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop of cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops of Clary sage essential oil
  • Quarter cup of Argan oil

Other Treatments Of Dry Hair

Sometimes essential oils form a supplementary treatment for dry hair and dry scalp issues. The scalp may be undernourished and may need more than essential oils to repair itself. Some of the other treatments for dry hair and scalp are as follows:

  • Keep the hair short
  • Take multivitamin supplements
  • Take fish oil supplements
  • Stop air drying the hair
  • Stop washing hair everyday
  • Stop using heating appliance on the scalp like hot styling

Safety And Precautions While Using Essential Oils

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and follow caution when using them to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from its side effects. Generally essential oils are safe, but a few guidelines must be followed to avoid any adverse effects. Also, the oils are different, made up of different compounds. Some people may be allergic to certain compounds while others may be allergic to others. Concentrated oil must be bought after careful deliberation. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. While buying essential oils be wary of the terms fragrance oil, perfume oil and natural identical oil.
  3. The term pure essential oil can be widely seen on the bottles. These maybe made from substandard sources.
  4. Ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or compounds in the oil.
  5. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  6. Do not add too much of the oil in the diffuser.
  7. Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  8. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  9. Keep it out of reach of kids and fur kids.
  10. Do not diffuse the oil near kids and pets. Consult a doctor before doing so.
  11. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  12. Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
  13. Always do a small patch test before topical application.
  14. If aromatherapy is performed directly from the bottle, make sure that the oil does not touch the skin.
  15. The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
  16. If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
  17. Some essential oils cannot be used by people with kidney problems, whereas some essential oils cannot be used with blood disorders. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about your essential oil needs and predisposition for diseases.
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