Essential oils are the latest trend to take the beauty industry by storm and with good reason, too. And since these oils are completely natural, their benefits for scalp and hair problems are widely accepted. Essential oil can work well for itchy and dry scalp. Also, essential oils are being used for treating hair loss with amazing results. But for the oils to really work on your hair problems, you need to know how to choose the perfect oil and how to use it for the best results.
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that capture the fragrance and flavor, i.e. the ‘essence’ of its parts such as leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and bark. Each essential oil has a unique scent and characteristic that makes it a great choice in aromatherapy.
Difference between Essential Oil and Carrier Oil
Essential oil can be directly used for inhaling in aromatherapy. However, it should not be used directly on the scalp or hair because of its high concentration. It needs a base oil in which a few drops can be added for optimum results. This base oil is usually a vegetable-derived oil, even though animal-derived oils are also sometimes used. The correct base oil can help you reap the maximum benefits of using essential oil. It is known as a ‘carrier’ oil because it helps carry the goodness of essential oils.
The major difference between an essential oil and carrier oil is that while the essential oil is extracted from non-fatty parts of the plant such as flowers, fruits, stem, etc., the carrier oil is extracted from the fatty parts such as seeds, kernels, etc. This is why an essential oil is light whereas a carrier oil is greasy. Essential oils can be very potent due to the high concentration of plant essence in it. This is exactly why it needs a carrier oil to dilute it before it can be used directly on hair and skin.
An itchy scalp, along with scaling scalp skin, and dead skin debris in the hair and on shoulders are common problems many people face. All these symptoms in varying degrees are usually because of dandruff. Dandruff can be caused due to dry scalp skin as well as due to irritated oily skin. It can also be triggered by a fungal infection or due to poor hygiene. Whatever the cause, dandruff is one pesky condition that is difficult to treat and is often recurrent. Especially during winter, dandruff becomes a major hair problem.
Another scalp condition that has similar symptoms as dandruff is scalp ringworm. It is characterized by bald patches of skin on the scalp or brittle hair that breaks easily when pulled out. Apart from this, the scalp can become dry, irritated, and itchy. Using essential oil dandruff treatment is an all-natural way to get rid of dandruff symptoms.
Tea tree oil for treating dandruff's
Essential oils have been accepted as an alternative medicine for treating dandruff as well as scalp ringworm. It is used in a topical application and with correct and sustained usage, improvement can be noticed. It is quite helpful in soothing the scalp and thus relieving from itchiness.
Also, a notable condition that causes dandruff and associated symptoms is the overgrowth of the yeast-like fungus Malassezia on the scalp skin. A study conducted in Dec 2002 and results published on PubMed, it was found that shampoos with tea tree oil, an essential oil extract, was helpful in reducing symptoms according to 41% of the participants.
More about tea-tree oil
Tea tree oil is a plant extract from the tea tree native to certain regions in Australia. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties which can be helpful in reducing dandruff. At the same time, it has a cooling effect which is soothing. It has a camphor-like aroma that is soothing to the senses. Its color can range from pale yellow to nearly colorless and clear. Tea tree oil can be used with carrier oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, and olive oil for treating dandruff. A mixture of carrier oils can also be used.
Using tea tree oil for dandruff treatment
For the topical application of tea tree oil, you can mix 4-5 drops of the essential oil in a carrier oil and apply to the scalp. It can be left on the scalp for a couple of hours or overnight and then washed off with a mild shampoo.One more way to incorporate tea tree oil in your hair care regimen is to go for shampoos that have tea tree oil in them. You can also mix a few drops of this oil with your regular shampoo.
Dry scalp is a condition that occurs if the scalp skin is not able to produce enough oil to keep the scalp moisturized. It causes flaky scalp and itchiness. It also makes the hair look dull and frizzy because there is no natural oil from the scalp to condition the hair. Dryness can cause the scalp skin to be irritated.
Dry scalp is linked to hair loss. This is because dry scalp causes itchiness, and when you scratch the scalp, the dead skin cells produced hair growth are dislodged. This disrupts the normal hair growth cycle and causes hair loss.
Vetiver oil for treating dry scalp
Khus oil is an essential oil that is very effective in treating dry scalp. It has tranquilizing properties and when mixed with the right carrier oil, it can moisturize the scalp and relieve dryness and itchiness. It is also a great option to bring life back to dull hair. It has healing properties that will soothe irritated scalp due to dryness and scratching and promote the growth of new tissue, thus making way for healthy hair growth.
More about Vetiver Essential oil
Khus or vetiver Essential oil is extracted from the roots of a grass that is perennially found in the Indian subcontinent. It has a sweet smell to it that can be extremely relaxing. The aroma is mostly earthy and woody with notes of citrus in it. It is dark brown or amber in color.
Vetiver oil for treatment of dry scalp
Mix 8-10 drops of Vetiver oil in two tablespoons of jojoba oil and massage onto the scalp. Leave it for a couple of hours before washing off with a mild shampoo. Other carrier oils that can be used to reap the benefits of Vetiver oil include argan oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.
Hair loss is by far the most common hair-related complaint. Hair loss can be due to a variety of reasons ranging from poor diet and stress to unhealthy scalp conditions and environmental problems. Thus, apart from maintaining healthy habits, it is important to protect the hair from harsh environmental factors, too. The hair shaft can be damaged due to excessive sun exposure, strong winds, changes in humidity and temperature, etc. Covering your hair with a scarf before stepping in the strong sun or tying your hair in a bun before going in windy weather can be small steps towards reducing hair loss.
Apart from this, there are several benefits of using essential oils on your hair for preventing hair loss. Peppermint oil is one such oil that can be used as an effective treatment to prevent hair loss.
Peppermint oil for treating hair loss
Peppermint oil is extracted from peppermint leaves. One of the contents of peppermint oil is menthol which is known for its cooling effect. Peppermint oil also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and is thus helpful in treating scalp issues. Its astringent properties are helpful in rejuvenating hair follicles and thus promoting healthy hair growth. It is best suited for oily scalp since the cooling properties can be irritating for a dry scalp.
More about peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has a minty, fresh smell. It is pale yellow in color. In its highly concentrated form, it is very potent and has a watery consistency and evaporates quickly.
Using peppermint oil for hair loss treatment
Peppermint oil is used in shampoos for its cooling effect and fresh smell. When applied to hair, it can also have a therapeutic effect due to the crisp aroma. It can be mixed with a carrier oil to give you the best results. Generally, jojoba oil and almond oil are preferred carrier oils to dilute peppermint oil.
The final word
Essential oils can undoubtedly work wonders when used appropriately. For example, using essential oil for itchy scalp can be better than using a hair product with artificial ingredients. Similarly, if you use essential oil for dry scalp, it can be more beneficial than using a shampoo with chemicals that claims to moisturize your scalp and hair. However, it is best to do a patch test before topical application to rule out allergies. Hair problems are best treated with natural remedies and it’s great that essential oils for dandruff and hair loss, two of the most common hair problems, have been proven to work. As seen in this article, tea tree oil for dandruff, vetiver essential oil for moisturizing, and peppermint oil for hair are amazing natural alternatives for hair products that use harsh chemicals.