A Feast of Essential Hair Oils (part 3)

Donna Kim Brand

I introduced you to a variety of hair oils which could address a range of issues you may be facing with your hair, from split ends to frizz, to fungal issues on your scalp to reviving damaged tresses. Or, you may simply want silky soft and scented hair that blows in the wind like Jennifer Aniston’s, because you are worth it!

Today we’ll take a peek at numerous ‘essential oils’, each of which will address specific issues with your hair and scalp while also leaving your hair restored and luxuriously smooth.

The term ‘essential oil’ is a contraction of the original phrase ‘quintessential oil’, stemming from the idea that matter is composed of four elements: water, earth, fire and air. For an essential oil to be considered a true essential oil, it has to be isolated from the original plant material by physical means of distillation (steam and/or water), expression (cold pressing) or maceration (smashing in warm water). This is what differentiates the following oils from those discussed in earlier posts.

It would help for you to identify any particular issues you seek to address by using essential hair oils so that you can target the most appropriate ones for your needs. You’ll notice there is some overlap in functionality, and that one or two oils feature frequently. They may be the ones you try out first, going for value and bang for your buck. Or, take the experimental route and choose an oil to address a specific, isolated need first.

While you are advised to mix the essential oils in a carrier oil such as grapeseed, olive or  sweet almond oil to distribute throughout your head and hair, on occasion you may try out ‘neat’, undiluted essential oils. Should the concentration cause discomfort or severe stinging, rinse off and add to a carrier oil. To be sure, discuss with your health care provider first.

You might start the process of applying essential oils by first doing a hair cleanse to remove buildup of chemicals, grease or chlorine on your hair or scalp. Then, apply.

Scalp Issues-

Except in extreme conditions, you might be safe to address scalp issues with essential oils as a first step, knowing you can always seek additional medical or naturpathic advice should the problem not clear up in due time or even get worse.

The best essential oils to smother on your scalp are tea tree oil with its antiseptic characteristics, or clary sage, lemon, rosemary or Roman chamomile.

Should dandruff or flaky scalp be the issue, try lavender, patchouli or rosewood oil.

Dry Hair & Split Ends-

Essential oils to treat dry hair or split ends serve to stimulate the sebaceous glands on your scalp to produce more oil. Lavender, which is known for its healing quality, is one of the universal essential oils, along with geranium oil. You can also apply musky sandalwood or exotic ylang ylang to boost bounce and restore life to tired tresses.

For split ends, try rosemary oil.  Sandalwood and geranium are also good antidotes to split ends.

Greasy Hair and Scalp-

On the other end of the spectrum you may have greasy hair or scalp issues, which often stems from highly active sebaceous glands in your hair follicles. You have a wider choice to treat greasy hair, choosing from clary sage, lemon, cedarwood, cypress or lavender oil.

Or for greasy scalp, try tea tree, clary sage, cedarwood, rosemary, lemon, sandalwood, bergamot (which you may know is the citrus fruit in Earl Grey tea), lavender or geranium oil.

Alopecia-

There are even oils to ease conditions of alopecia, depending on the cause. Recommended are lavender along with clary sage, rosemary and thyme. (I know, I started singing too…)

If you decide to go the route of essential oils, I recommend you either read up online or buy a book so you can pinpoint which oils to try first. Or better yet, attend a local course on essential oils and receive hands on advice and techniques for applying the oils for maximum effect. You may also find knowledgeable people in salons, health food stores or wherever fine essential oils are sold. In case of concerns, always check with your health care provider.

Oils are part of our biology, but better or more effective ways of making use of essential oils can surely enhance the overall condition of our hair and scalp, organically treating specific issues meanwhile.  Why not gather some friends and explore the variety together? In any case, do enjoy the journey and the results!

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