Some people make it look easy to grow long, thick hair, whereas others struggle to even maintain their hair’s length. Essential oils are a natural, proven way to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. Whether you struggle with balding or thinning hair or just want to accelerate your hair’s growth, essential oils can help.
Essential oils are made from concentrated, natural plant components and can boost hair growth and positively affect your health. Many reduce stress and anxiety, whereas others relieve physical pain and headaches.
Will essential oils accelerate hair growth?
Hair growth happens in three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase, or active growth phase, is a 2-6 year period where hair cells divide rapidly, lengthening your hair. Those with long anagen phases can grow long, voluminous hair, whereas those with shorter anagen phases cannot grow their hair quite as long.
Some essential oils, such as lavender oil, maintain the anagen phase while delaying the catagen phase (the point at which your hair stops growing) to increase hair growth. Others, like peppermint oil, induce an early anagen phase to promote rapid hair growth.
Essential oils can accelerate hair growth and treat the underlying causes of hair loss, including stress, inflammation, and follicle damage. Aromatherapy is proven to be an effective treatment for alopecia areata, as cited in a 1998 randomised trial. Alopecia areata is caused by the body’s cells attacking hair follicles and can be triggered by genetic factors or emotional stress. It often results in inflammation. Many essential oils reduce emotional stress and curb scalp inflammation.
Many common hair products cause damage, have unpleasant smells, and don’t increase hair growth. “Essential oils can be used in place of your ineffective, store-bought products that promise longer, fuller hair,” says Deby Aterby, Chief Editor of Aromatherapy Today International Journal. “They’re a natural, lower-cost alternative that not only promote hair growth but help your scalp recover from years of using store-bought chemicals.”
How to use essential oils for hair growth & repair
The problem with many hair growth products is that they actually do more harm than good. But essential oils can stimulate hair growth and protect your scalp from hair loss, thanks to their all-natural ingredients. And the best part is, you don’t have to adjust your daily hair care routine.
The most effective way to use essential oils for hair growth is by adding 2-3 drops to your favorite carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Massage the oil mixture into your scalp, leave it in for 5-10 minutes, then wash out with your normal shampoo and conditioner. If you’re short on time, you can also add 1 drop of essential oil to your shampoo, wait a few minutes, and then wash out before conditioning your hair.
Repeat this process two to three times per week for best results. And as with any new essential oil, remember to patch test on a small area of skin before applying to your scalp or hair.
Which essential oils grow hair?
These 11 essential oils for hair growth will add length, thickness, and volume to your mane. Our favourites are lavender, peppermint, and rosemary, but find out which one works best for you.
1. Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil promotes cell growth and prevents stress-induced hair loss. According to a 2016 study, lavender essential oil led to a 99.8% increase in lab mouse hair growth over three weeks.
Its antimicrobial properties improve scalp health by limiting unhealthy bacteria and fungi overproduction. More importantly, you can use lavender oil on your hair without killing the healthy bacteria that protect your scalp from rashes and flakiness. This versatile oil also acts as a natural remedy for lice, although it doesn’t kill their eggs and must be mixed with tea tree oil to be an effective treatment.
2. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint essential oil increases blood and nutrient circulation to your scalp, accelerating hair growth and preventing hair loss. It contains menthol, which creates a cooling effect that stimulates hair follicles. In fact, a 2014 mice study confirmed that peppermint oil increases the number of follicles and their depth, improving overall hair growth and thickness.
Hair products are often marketed as an effective way to promote healthy hair. But product buildup actually inhibits hair growth. Treating your scalp with peppermint oil reduces product buildup,
allowing your hair to grow without constraints.
3. Rosemary essential oil
According to a 2010 aromatherapy study, a blend of thyme, lavender, cedarwood, and rosemary essential oils contributed to significant scalp regrowth. Rosemary essential oil contains carnosic acid, which increases circulation, cellular turnover, and nerve growth, leading to thicker hair. Its stimulative properties also balance oily discharge around your follicles.
4. Cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood essential oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can treat and prevent dandruff and hair loss. It also balances oil-producing glands to promote hair growth. A 1998 study found that an essential oil mixture containing thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood effectively treated alopecia areata.
Hair follicle inflammation can result in your immune system attacking the follicles. You can massage a cedarwood essential oil mixture onto your scalp daily to prevent inflammation that may lead to hair loss.
5. Lemongrass essential oil
Lemongrass essential oil’s natural dandruff-treating properties reduce the urge to scratch your scalp and damage your hair follicles. Its antifungal properties also aid in improving your hair’s texture and shine. You must massage lemongrass essential oil onto your scalp daily for it to be an effective dandruff treatment.
This essential oil strengthens your hair follicles, which are vital for hair growth & repair, blood vessel formation, and neuron formation. Like cedarwood oil, lemongrass has anti-inflammatory elements that reduce the likelihood of your immune system attacking your follicles.
6. Thyme essential oil
Thyme essential oil promotes healthy hair growth and prevents hair loss by improving blood and nutrient circulation. Its anti-inflammatory properties prevent follicles from becoming infected. And like cedarwood oil, thyme essential oil was confirmed to be an effective method for treating alopecia areata.
7. Clary sage essential oil
Clary sage essential oil strengthens hair, ensuring it doesn’t break as easily. This essential oil effectively adds volume to your hair and contains linalyl acetate, which stimulates cell growth. It also has stress-reducing properties that aid in the prevention of stress-induced hair loss. In addition to its anti-hair-loss properties, clary sage essential oil softens your hair while combating scalp infections.
8. Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree essential oil is a common ingredient in dandruff care products. It’s a powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial agent that unclogs hair follicles, promoting healthy growth. A 2002 study confirmed that tea tree essential oil alleviated scalp itchiness and greasiness, reducing the urge to scratch the scalp and damage hair follicles.
Although it doesn’t encourage hair growth, its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties keep your scalp healthy.
9. Ylang-ylang essential oil
You can naturally condition your hair with ylang-ylang oil to keep it shiny and reduce breakage. Ylang-ylang essential oil stimulates sebum production, lubricating hair follicles and preventing moisture loss. These sebum-stimulating properties make it ideal for those with dry scalps. Additionally, inhaling ylang-ylang essential oils reduces stress levels, reducing the amount of hair you may lose from stress.
10. Chamomile essential oil
Chamomile essential oil is a natural moisturiser, soothing the scalp and softening your hair. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can nourish your hair to strengthen it and fight damage. Like ylang-ylang oil, inhaling chamomile essential oil was shown to reduce stress, aiding in preventing stress-induced hair loss.
11. Geranium essential oil
Geranium essential oil balances sebum production, regulating dryness and excess oil. Its moisture-regulating properties prevent hair breakage, resulting in longer, stronger hair.
A 2017 study confirmed that geranium extract enhanced the production of human dermal papilla cells, a type of cell that induces hair follicle formation. This enhanced hair follicle formation may lead to faster hair growth and thicker hair.
Essential oils can combat hair loss and promote hair growth by stimulating hair follicles, improving scalp health, and treating stress, anxiety, inflammation, and sebum overproduction. Some of these oils act on hair during its rapid growth phase to induce and lengthen new growth periods. Often, they're more effective and less expensive than hair products and can treat damage caused by store-bought products. Now that you know which essential oils are best for hair growth and how they work, you can choose the one that’s best for you.