Essential oils for hair are a popular natural hair care product. Sadly, when it comes to hair oils, not many people understand how different types of oil should be used and what affect they have on our hair and scalp. In this article, I’m going to talk about what essential oils (EO) are, how to use them and how they differ from other types of hair oils.

Essential Oil for Hair Basics

Let’s begin with the name. Oils are called essential because they carry a very strong essence (or scent) of the plants that they have been extracted from. Essential oils penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and should be used with care – only a few drops of EO are usually used.

Now, most hair care regimens recommend mixing EOs with carrier oils such as castor, almond, olive, jojoba, sesame and so on. Carrier oils help to hold essential oils, making them easier to apply and preventing any unwanted side-effects of using strong EOs. Hard oils, such as coconut oil, are rarely mixed with EOs.

Popular Essential Oils

Below are quick descriptions of some of the most popular essential oils out there.

Peppermint oil

A very strong essential oil that has a strong scent and a pleasant cooling effect on the scalp. Peppermint oil should not be used undiluted, because it can easily burn the skin causing serious damage. Normally just 2-3 drops of peppermint EO is enough to give any hair oil mixture pleasant cooling and refreshing properties.

The main benefit of using peppermint oil on hair is that it stimulates blood flow to the scalp, thus helping your body deliver more nutrients and minerals to the hair follicles.

Find peppermint oil on Amazon!

Tea Tree oil

Another popular EO that is known for its superb fungus-fighting properties. Tea tree oil is often used to treat issues with itchy and flaky scalp. These annoying conditions are usually caused by fungus that can also cause dandruff and tea tree oil is a good all-natural way to keep this fungus growth under control.

Remember that tea tree oil should not be applied undiluted in its pure form as it may cause damage/burns. Mix it with a carrier oil or put a little tea tree EO into your normal shampoo/conditioner. Another thing to keep in mind is that too much tea tree oil (or simply using it too often) can lead to scalp/skin dryness, which is not a good thing.

Check tea tree oil on Amazon!

Rosemary oil

This oil has a very, very strong scent that is also quite pleasant. For this reason, it is often added to other oils to improve the way your hair/skin smells after an oil treatment. Some people claim that rosemary EO can help with hair regrowth, though it’s really hard to confirm these reports because rosemary oil is practically always used as an ingredient in a mix of different oils. Do not use rosemary oil undiluted!

Read rosemary oil reviews on Amazon!

essential oils for hair - lavender oil

Lavender oil

This commonly used EO is a little controversial as it is thought to increase estrogen production, especially in young boys. The effects that this strange property has on adults are not very well studied. Lavender oil is often used as an ingredient in complex EO and carrier oil mixes as well as found in many hair care products.

Find the best lavender oil on Amazon!

Ylang Ylang oil

Another oil that has a very strong scent and should be used sparingly. Ylang Ylang smells a bit like jasmine and can be overwhelming if overused. Whether this EO helps with hair growth is very difficult to tell, but it does seem to help moisturize and relieve tension from the scalp! Just remember to mix Ylang Ylang with other EOs as well as some carrier oil/oils – do not use it on its own!

Ylang Ylang oil is available on Amazon!


Used to treat various skin, ear and mouth infections, thyme oil is also found in most potent hair growth products. It is not clear exactly how and why it works so well to treat certain types of hair loss, but it has been proven to work over and over again (only when used in a special mix with other oils though)!

Buy the best thyme oil on Amazon!

How to Use Essential Oils for Hair Loss

One thing that you must remember about essential oils is not to use them undiluted! They are usually very strong and, if overused, can cause serious skin burns as well as other health issues (such as high blood pressure, headaches and so on). People with high blood pressure should avoid using rosemary oil.

Now, for hundreds of years people have been using EOs to treat hair loss, so they are definitely worth trying. Most people either mix 1-3 drops of their favorite EO into shampoo/conditioner or add some to their pre-shampoo oil treatments.

Another thing about EOs that seems to come up time and time again is that they work best when used in conjunction with other oils. This makes it very difficult to pinpoint exactly why EOs help with hair loss and growth.

One of the most popular (and potent) essential oil recipes for hair growth is:

Mix all of the above oils together and then massage the mixture into your scalp (especially the areas where hair loss is occurring). Wrap your head in a towel or something to keep it warm. Now, depending on how your scalp and hair react to this treatment, you have two choices: either wait 30 minutes and then wash it all out, or keep it in overnight and wash your hair in the morning. Do not overdo this; just two treatments per week should be enough.

Hair Oil FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Certain questions about hair oil come back regularly. Below you will find an overview of the most common questions. The questions are provided with short and concise answers.

1. What is hair oil?

Hair oil is increasingly used as an addition to existing hair care. Contrary to popular belief, hair oil does not make your hair greasy or limp. For this you need to use the hair oil correctly. Oil is full of fatty acids that gently care for your hair and can boost it.

2. How do I use hair oil?

Hair oil is usually used after washing your hair. Apply the hair oil to towel dry or dry hair. Preferably spread a few drops of the chosen oil over your hands and spread this through the hair. It is recommended to avoid the roots of the hair. Hair oil is best applied to the ends of the hair.

3. What is the difference between hair oil and hair serum?

Using hair oil gives your hair back its natural shine. Your hair becomes less static. A hair serum, like hair oil, takes care of your hair. Hair serum in fact puts a thin layer over the hair, so that the hair is protected against external influences. Using a hair serum makes your hair manageable and less frizzy. There are few real differences between hair oil and hair serum. Hair oil absorbs into the hair and hair serum creates a protective layer.

4. Can I use hair oil and hair serum at the same time?

Yes, but pay attention to the amount you use. This can quickly make your hair greasy. It is recommended to use both the oil and the serum on your ends. Avoid applying both products to the scalp.

5. What does a hair oil treatment mean?

In fact, a hair oil treatment is nothing but the application of oil to the hair. This nourishes and hydrates your hair ends. The goal of a treatment is that your hair regains its natural shine and bounce. More and more men and women choose to use hair oil. This can be done in combination with hair masks and nourishing shampoos.

6. What are the benefits of using hair oil?

Using essential oils for hair has several advantages. Hair oil is based on natural ingredients that do not damage your hair. It has positive effects on both dry and oily hair. Your hair gets a nourishing boost and can simply be applied at home. By using the hair oil according to the instructions, it is a valuable addition to the daily care of your hair.

7. Is hair oil suitable for every hair type?

Each brand and type of hair oil contains different ingredients. Cosmetic manufacturers have developed hair oil focused on the care of both dry and fluffy hair. In addition, there are oils available that are better suited for colored, curly or normal hair. Before purchasing, always read the instructions on the packaging carefully.

8. Can anyone use hair oil?

In principle, hair oil can be used safely by anyone, as long as you are not allergic to the herbal ingredients. Do you have allergies? Then find an oil without these allergy-triggering substances. In addition to an allergy, there are no contraindications to the use of hair oil.

9. Which hair oil can I use?

The number of hair oils available today has seen an explosive increase. Several cosmetic manufacturers have developed hair oils. This includes various compositions and each oil has its own characteristics based on different ingredients. It even uses standard sunflower oil, linseed oil, olive oil and corn oil. Hair oil is combined with nourishing plant extracts that each have a unique effect. The use of rose oil, castor oil, coconut oil, argan oil and jojoba oil, among others, are ideal as hair care and offer a solution for different hair types.

10. I have oily hair, can I still use essential oils for hair?

It is often mistakenly thought that oily hair becomes even more oily through the use of hair oil. However, this is incorrect. Choosing the right hair oil may even address the problem of oily hair. Before purchasing a hair oil, reading the instructions for use is recommended. Hair oil that is suitable for use with oily hair consists of oils and ingredients that do not make the hair heavy.

11. Is the use of hair oil safe?

The special thing about hair oil is that it consists entirely of natural ingredients. You can safely use hair oil without damaging your hair. Choose a hair oil that suits your hair type and do not use more than a few drops on the ends of the hair.

12. Can men and women use hair oil?

Hair oil is a valuable addition to your daily hair care. This special product can be used by both men and women. In addition, there is no age for the use of hair oil. Everyone knows the examples of nourishing baby oil that can be applied to baby hair. For optimal results, try to choose a hair oil that suits the needs of your hair type.

13. Can hair oil stay in my hair overnight?

Yes, hair oil does not need to be rinsed out. You apply hair oil to towel dry or dry hair. This can be done in the morning or in the evening before going to sleep. The longer the hair oil stays on, the better your hair will be nourished.

14. Where can I buy hair oil?

Hair oil is a common hair care product that you can buy at the drugstore, online or at your hair salon. Especially if you are considering purchasing a hair oil for the first time, it is good to get advice. The products that can be bought through your hairdresser are usually more expensive than the products at the drugstore. Often, however, you need less to achieve the same result, so that the difference at the end of the ride is hardly noticeable.

15. Can I make hair oil myself?

Many men and women use plant-based oils such as coconut oil, sunflower oil and / or olive oil as the basis for a homemade hair oil. Several examples of applications can be found online. Essential oils such as lavender, thyme or rosemary can be added to the base. Always pay attention to the amount you use.


If you are losing your hair or want to make your hair grow faster, essential oils for hair are a great and natural way to boost your hair and scalp health. It is relatively inexpensive, so give it a try and feel free to comment below if you have any questions about essential oils for hair.

Susan Ehlers

Susan Ehlers

Susan was born and raised in Seattle, where she studied Biology. Now she works as a health and nutrition coach. In her free time she enjoys canoeing and hiking together with her husband.
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