May 18th, 2017 Written by a Staff Member of Hair Loss in Women
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts of flowers, herbs, bark, roots, and leaves of different plants. They have been used for thousands of years to treat many different ailments, including conditioning and even regrowing hair. In particular, people use cedarwood, rosemary, clary sage, lavender, bay leaf, juniper berry, lavender, chamomile roman, lemongrass, spikenard, ylang ylang, and thyme, to regrow hair. The question is, do they work?
As much as possible we try to give you reliable information to regrow your hair. We are open to all of the options available, but we try to find solutions that are confirmed by scientific research. There aren’t a lot of studies to show the effectiveness of essential oils for regrowing hair, but there are a few.
Essential Oils For Stress Release
Case Western Reserve University published a study in which they compared identical twins with different life experiences. They found that when one of the twins experienced significantly more stress, she was three times more likely to experience hair loss. The author of the study is Bahman Guyuron MD, professor at Case Western Reserve. Dr. Guyuron explains, “Stress releases cortisol, which produces waste products around hair follicles, making them deteriorate.”
There have been many studies on the positive effects of essential oils on human health. Some of the top oils for stress release are lavender, chamomile, vanilla, rose, and frankincense.
Linaloe wood, lavender and sweet basil contain linalool, which reduces stress. A group of researchers from Japan indicate that Linaloe can reduce neutrophil and lymphocyte levels, which are key indicators of stress.
There are several different ways to use essential oils. Some of the most popular include:
- Direct inhalation: Rub a few drops in your palms and take a few deep breaths.
- Facial steam: Put a few drops in a pot of boiling water, place a towel over your head and take a few deep breaths of the steam.
- Massage: Have the person giving you the massage to rub a few drops of the oil into your skin. One of the most effective places is your feet!
- Baths: Place a few drops in a hot bath, take a few deep breaths, and relax!
- Candle diffuser: You put a few drops of the oil on a diffuser, which should consist of a heat-resistant material, and there’s a space below where you light a candle which will heat the area above that has the essential oil. The drawbacks of this method it that it doesn’t produce a very strong concentration.
- Nebulizing Diffuser: This is our favorite as there’s no heat or flames, no water, no plastic, just put the oil in the diffuser and turn the unit on. It makes a slight humming sound, and within minutes you will smell the oil. Our choice: Dark Radiance by Organic Aromas.
Essential Oils For Regrowing Hair
In the United Kingdom there was a 7 month study done in 1998 by researchers at the Department of Dermatology that concluded that essential oils can treat alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease resulting in bald patches). The oils used in the study were thyme, rosemary, lavendar, and cedarwood. These were blended in a base of jojoba oil and grapeseed oil.
A second group had just the oils massaged directly into their scalps.
The results: the first group had a 44% improvement in hair regrowth, and the second had a 15% improvement. The degree of improvement in photographs is thought to be highly significant.
The theory is that essential oils regrow hair because they stimulate blood vessels in the scalp where the hair follicles are located. This results in more blood flow, which brings nutrients to the hair follicle. Note that this won’t work if the hair follicles are already dead. If hair follicles are dead, the only option is a hair transplant.
The base of jojoba oil is called a carrier, which also can provide nutrition and conditioning for the scalp. Other recommended carriers are arnica, macadamia, coconut, calendula, borage, and evening primrose.
How To Use Essential Oils For Regrowing Hair
If you want to use the same combination used in the study, combine 4 tsp of grapeseed oil and 1/2 tsp of jojoba oil in a small bowl (or you could use other carrier oils listed above). Next add 2 drops of thyme oil, 2 drops of cedarwood, 3 drops of lavendar, and 3 drops of rosemary into the bowl with the carrier oils. Gently mix the oils together and massage into your scalp for 2 minutes every night, and rinse it out in the morning (and remember to use cooler water for the rinse-hot water damages hair).
If you’re not using the oils from the 1998 Department of Dermatology study, then put 4 drops of the oil of your choice to every 10mls of the carrier oil, and gently mix them together.
It’s very important that you massage the oils into your scalp, and not your hair. All the hair that you see on your body is dead. You’re stimulating the hair follicle, which produces your hair, which is in your scalp.
And remember to gently massage your scalp in circular motions. Rubbing your scalp vigorously can cause friction and damage your hair.
Some people recommend bending over after your massaging the oils into your scalp, so your head is below your heart, to increase the blood flow. You can then massage your scalp a little bit more to facilitate more blood reaching the hair follicles.
For best results use high quality oils. It will be worth it to spend a little bit more money to get better results.
Other Oils For Hair Loss
These oils haven’t been studied, but some people claim success with scalp massages using coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil. Also, there are theories the massage itself increases blood flow to the hair follicles, stimulating hair growth. If you use coconut oil and you live in a cold climate, you’ll need to gently warm the oil so it becomes liquid. It only needs to be 76 degrees to become liquid.
And though it’s not an oil, there are claims that the sap from aloe vera plants regrow hair. However, there is a need for research to back this claim up.
Do you use essential oils? What has been your experience? We’d love to hear your story – please comment below.