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How to Use Essential Oils for Oily Hair Care

If you want a simple blend using essential oils for oily hair, add 8 drops lemon essential oil and 8 drops geranium essential oil to an 8-ounce bottle of unscented, nondetergent shampoo. Wash your hair as usual.

Woman shampooing hair.

If that doesn't work for you, try any of the other suggestions that Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies lists as the best essential oils to use for oily hair:

  • Basil
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary sage
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Helichrysum
  • Juniper berry
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Myrtle
  • Palmarosa
  • Patchouli
  • Sage
  • Sandalwood
  • Tea tree
  • Vetivert

Essential oils suggested by The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness are bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), West Indian bay (Pimental racemosa), clary sage, cypress, lavender, lemon, and rosemary.

Tip: Washing your hair too often with a harsh shampoo usually only makes oily hair worse.

Shampoo Blends

Here are two oily hair shampoo blends from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.

Stimulating Shampoo

  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 1 drop basil (ct. linalol) essential oil
  • 1 drop cypress essential oil

Blend the essential oils. Add the blend to 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of natural, unscented shampoo. (For an 8-ounce bottle of shampoo, double this blend.)

Shiny Hair Shampoo

  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops spearmint essential oil
  • 3 teaspoons meadowfoam oil

Mix the ingredients together. Add the blend to 3.5 ounces (100 ml) of natural, unscented shampoo. (For an 8-ounce bottle of shampoo, double this blend.)

Clay Shampoo

  • 5 tablespoons shampoo base
  • 2 teaspoons green clay
  • 10 drops ylang ylang essential oi
  • 10 drops orange essential oil

Source: Feeding Your Skin

Oily Hair Rinses

Pre-Wash Oily Hair Rinse

  1. Stir 3 drops each tea tree, lime, rosemary, and ylang ylang essential oils into 1/4 cup baking soda in a cup.
  2. Fill the cup with 1 cup water, stirring the solution.
  3. Tilt head back over sink or tub and pour some of the solution over your hair, from the hairline down.
  4. Wash hair as normal.

Use 2 to 3 times each week. Use rinse within a week of making it.

After-Shampoo Oily Hair Rinse

To make an after-shampoo rinse for oily hair, combine:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar (the smell goes away quickly)
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop tea tree essential oil

Treatments Using Essential Oils for Oily Hair

Here are two hair oil treatments and two hair masks to nourish hair that has too much oil.

Oily Hair Treatment #1

Use the following hair treatment by massaging one teaspoon of the blend into your hair and scalp. Leaving the blend on your hair for at least several hours. You can also use the blend at bedtime and leave it on overnight by wrapping your head in a towel.

  • 8 drops petitgrain essential oil
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil

Source: 500 Formulas For Aromatherapy

Oily Hair Treatment #2

Massage the following blend into your scalp for two to three minutes. Leave it for 60 to 90 minutes, and then wash your hair:

  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil of choice

Source: Essential Oils Desk Reference

Oily Hair Masks

Honey and Lemon Mask

  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey 
  • 10 to 12 drops lemon essential oil

Apply the mask to your hair and leave it for about 20 minutes. Shampoo as usual.

Egg White Mask

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon brewer's yeast
  • 1 to 2 drops essential oil of choice

Adapted from Feeding Your Skin

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