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How To Use Essential Oils for Hair Care

Commercial hair care products contain hundreds of chemicals, some known to be hazardous, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By using essential oils for hair care and making your own products, you can avoid these toxic chemicals.

Using Essential Oils for Hair Care

Although some companies now make products claimed to be natural or organic, the EPA points out that the word 'natural' doesn't mean the product is natural or safe. In the booklet Techniques to Achieve Naturally Healthy Hair, the EPA lists the following safe, natural ingredients:

  • Aloe vera
  • Avocado oil
  • Chamomile
  • Honey 
  • Olive oil
  • Shea butter
  • Sunflower oil
  • Witch hazel
  • Essential oils

Healthy hair starts with what you put in your body. It's important to eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, good-quality proteins, and omega-3 fats and to drink enough water.

The best essential oils for hair depend on your type of hair and its condition. Feeding Your Skin suggests you can use geranium, lavender, rosemary, and ylang-ylang for all hair types.

The rest of this article focuses on essential oils and blends for normal hair. Also see:

Best Essential Oils For Hair

The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness suggests these good essential oils for normal hair care:

  • Carrot seed
  • Geranium
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Roman chamomile
  • Rosemary

To that list, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy adds cedarwood, sweet orange, and eucalyptus lemon. The book offers the following two essential oil blends for hair:

Stimulating Shampoo Blend

  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops eucalyptus lemon essential oil
  • 3.5 ounces natural, fragrance-free shampoo

Mix essential oils and then add to the shampoo.

Moisturizing Shampoo Blend

  • 3 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops borage seed oil
  • 3.5 ounces natural, fragrance-free shampoo

Mix essential oils with borage oil. Add the blend to the shampoo.

Adding essential oils to a bottle of shampoo is the easiest way to use essential oils for the hair. Aromatherapy, A Holistic Guide to Natural Healing With Essential Oils says you can use up to 80 drops of essential oil, depending on the oils and your sensitivity to them, in an 8-ounce bottle of shampoo. The book suggests clary sage, geranium, or lavender for normal hair.

Homemade Shampoo

  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/2 cup distilled or filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon light olive oil or sunflower oil (leave out if you have oily hair)
  • 16 to 20 drops essential oil(s) of your choice
  1. Very gently (to avoid creating foam) stir the ingredients together.
  2. Pour mixture into a clean squeeze bottle and use as you would use any shampoo.

Note: This shampoo is thin and doesn't lather.

Normal Hair Aromatherapy Herbal Rinse

  • 3 drops essential oil of your choice
  • 1 pint herbal tea
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
  1. Mix ingredients. Shake well.
  2. After shampooing, shake well and pour over scalp and hair. 
  3. Leave the rinse on for several minutes, and then wash it off. 
  4. Store leftover rinse in refrigerator and use within three days.

Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

Essential Oils for Normal Hair Treatment 

Use the following hair treatment by rubbing one teaspoon of the mixture into your hair and scalp. Leave the treatment on your hair for several hours. You can also leave it on overnight by wrapping your head in a towel before you go to bed.

  • 8 drops thyme essential oil
  • 6 drops sage essential oil
  • 6 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons jojoba oil

Source: 500 Formulas For Aromatherapy

Intensive Hair Treatment


  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) jojoba oil
  1. Massage the blend into your hair and scalp. 
  2. Wrap your hair in plastic, and then wrap the plastic with a towel. 
  3. Leave this treatment in your hair for 20 to 30 minutes, and then shampoo.

Source: Healing With Aromatherapy

Simple Hair Treatment


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil  
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil 
  • 1 drop West Indian bay (Pimenta racemosa) essential oil 

Massage the blend into scalp and hair. Leave the treatment on your hair for 10 to 20 minutes, and then shampoo.

Source: EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs

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Photo Credit: Flickr User Luciano Consolini