Essential oils simply put, is the “essence” of a plant, obtained through mechanical pressing or steam or water distillation. Different parts of the plant are used for extracting oil, including the plant roots, leaves, stems, flowers, or bark. They retain the smell and flavour of their source and each essential oil has a unique composition of chemicals, and this variation affects the smell, absorption and effects on the body. Every essential oil comes with versatile properties that can benefit one’s health physically and emotionally.
Using Essential oils for Hair growth:
Essential oils have been used since ancient times for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Nowadays they have become a key ingredient in many shampoos, serums and hair care treatments. Essential oils help in improving blood circulation and stimulates hair follicles. Some oils are also known to reduce dandruff, flaky, dry scalp and may also prevent greying of hair.
It is important to blend essential oils in carrier oil as they are highly potent and concentrated and applying directly on scalp can result in irritation
Stimulating Hair growth blend
1. Into a sterilised container, add 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil and 1/4 cup castor oil.
2. Now add 10 drops each of rosemary, peppermint, cedar wood and lavender essential oils.
3. Gently massage this hair oil blend on hair
4. Put on a shower cap, leave overnight
5. Wash next day with lukewarm water
Benefits of these oils:
Rosemary Essential Oil: Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties and encourages circulation and nerve growth. It improves scalp circulation and stimulates hair growth, thereby promoting growth of thicker, healthier hair. It has also been used to treat hair loss and even prevent premature greying of hair.
Peppermint Essential oil: Peppermint essential oil helps in increasing blood flow as it contains menthol, which causes the blood vessels under the skin to dilate. It also helps in rejuvenating hair follicles which stimulate hair growth. The cleansing properties of Peppermint oil unclogs pores and allows for the normal flow of skin cells, which makes it perfect for those with a dry scalp. Peppermint oil has a pleasant cooling sensation which when applied helps in reducing inflammation.
Cedarwood Essential Oil: Cedarwood is another amazing oil that is well known for promoting hair growth. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and an antifungal properties which helps to fight bacteria build-up on the scalp from conditions like dandruff and eczema, thereby helping in reducing itching and flakiness on the scalp which in turn helps hair to grow normally again. Cedarwood also has the ability to awaken dormant phase follicles which is a result of unhealthy maintenance of hair due to poor nutrition, excessive heat etc.
Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender oil is known for its ability to heal and soothe and has a gentle effect on the scalp. It helps in keeping hair shafts and follicles clear of bacteria which inhibits growth of healthy hair. Lavender oil is also known for moisturising the scalp and balancing sebum secretion. Studies have shown that lavender oil is able to deepen the depth of hair follicles and thicken the thermal layer. Additionally, emotional stress is a known factor contributing to hair thinning and hair loss, Lavender oil creates a soothing, tranquil and stress-free environment.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is the most trusted oil for hair growth.It contains medium-chain fatty acids, including lauric acid and capric acid, which have strong antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These properties help to thoroughly clean your hair and scalp, thereby helping to prevent and treat issues like dandruff. It promotes hair growth and prevents hair breakage and has moisture retaining properties.
Castor Oil: Castor oil is derived from castor bean and is a great oil for hair as it contains vital antioxidants, vitamin E and proteins which help in voluminous and lustrous hair growth. The antioxidants support the keratin in hair, making it stronger, smoother, and healthier. It also helps in fighting scalp infections and dandruff by nourishing the scalp and helps to add volume in hair. Castor oil has very thick consistency and therefore is best used by mixing with another carrier oil like coconut oil.