Wave Bye-Bye to Damaged Hair

Do you have a head full of damaged, dry, and unruly hair? Like many women, you likely use strong shampoos and blow dry every day as you pull, twist, and tease to style. Over time, this ritual depletes your hair’s nourishing oils.

Essential oils may be the rescue you’re looking for. Using them as part of your hair care routine can breathe new life and luster into your hair. Essential oils also infuse your hair with a burst of fragrance.

Oils Shine and Moisturize

For centuries, people have used essential oils for a variety of medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The beauty industry eventually caught on, marketing luxurious aromatherapy shampoos, serums, and other hair care products -- with equally luxurious prices.

Today, you don't have to spend a fortune for essential oils. Many health food stores sell inexpensive versions. Here are some essential oils that experts recommend for dry hair.

  • Almond oil soothes and moisturizes the scalp.
  • Cedarwood oil stimulates the scalp and promotes hair growth.
  • Chamomile oil adds shine and softness to hair, and soothes the scalp.
  • Clary sage oil promotes hair growth and stimulates the scalp.
  • Coconut oil softens hair and increases shine.
  • Geranium oil strengthens hair.
  • Jojoba oil moisturizes the hair, adds nutrients, and stimulates the scalp.
  • Lavender oil deep conditions the hair, keeps it shiny, and helps control dandruff.
  • Moroccan argan oil moisturizes, nourishes, and provides antioxidants to hair.
  • Rosemary oil stimulates the roots, improves hair growth, and increases circulation in the scalp.
  • Sandalwood oil helps with dry ends, and adds fragrance to the hair.

How to Use Essential Oils

You only need a few drops of an essential oil -- mix one or more types in a shampoo or conditioner. Or mix the drops into 2 ounces of a "carrier" oil, such as olive or jojoba. Experts suggest these combos.

  • Cedarwood, clary sage, and lavender
  • Jojoba, clary sage, and cedarwood

After you apply the oil mixture, cover your head in a towel or shower cap.

You can either wash out the treatment after 30 minutes or leave it on overnight and shampoo in the morning.

Remember to wash out oils completely. When you leave them in too long, they weigh down hair, leaving it limp and oily.

If You Have Allergies

Take note if you have sensitive skin:

  • If you apply some essential oils directly to your scalp, they may cause irritation. Diluting them is the answer. Read label instructions for how to dilute oils, and never use them in higher-than-recommended amounts.
  • If you're allergic to plants such as ragweed, test the oil on a small area of your skin or scalp to see if you have a reaction.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on November 18, 2017



Green, Mindy and Kathi Keville. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, Random House Digital, Inc., 2008.

Sherri Jessee, Internationally renowned stylist and owner of the Sherri Jessee Salon in Bristol, Va.

Wilson, Roberta. Aromatherapy: Essential Oils for Vibrant Health and Beauty, Penguin, 2002.

Gottlieb, Bill. Alternative Cures: More than 1,000 of the Most Effective Natural Home Remedies, Random House Digital, Inc., 2008.

University of Minnesota: "Are Essential Oils Safe?" 

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