Craving for thicker hair and a healthier scalp? These 11 essential oils are your answer

I’m in a hairdo. I’m tired of my current style but I don’t know what to do with it next. Change color? Change crop shape? Leave it natural and let my hair decide? All I know is that I HAVE BEEN BORN. But until I have a plan, I don’t want to do anything drastic (like the winter I had purple hair in high school). Ideally, whatever I do, it doesn’t jeopardize the health of my hair (again… the winter I went purple in high school). So I’m taking precautions. After obsessively using heat protectants, I feel like an expert on every hair health product, supplement, and treatment. As it turns out, you can use essential oils to make your hair thicker, longer, and shinier. That’s right: good things do come in three people.

I don’t know about you, but I still go through the same old cycle every time I do anything with my hair. I loved the new style for a while, but the second it started to develop, I felt frustrated. The midterms are unsolvable and I desperately want the next change. Every time I find myself in this position, I try every new hair growth fad to get the hair out of the follicle faster.

Digging oil? Rice? Salt scrubs? I have tried them all. And I’m sure we’ve all fallen into at least one of these traps after two years of quarantine cuts. Personally, I blame TikTok for my less successful experiments, but all those fruitless efforts leave me with more choices about the products I use. This means researching ingredients that will give me longer hair in the long run. One of the answers? Oil.

As I deepen my commitment to using mostly clean beauty products, I will swap my old hair products for new ones. My many new discoveries combine powerful cleansing ingredients with a blend of essential oils for thicker, longer hair and a healthier scalp.

To talk about this less tiring way to finally achieve the shiny, full hair I’ve always dreamed of, I spoke with Wendy Iles, founder of Iles Formula. As one of the most respected hairdressers in the industry and an expert on damaged hair, she told me all about the benefits and limitations of using essential oils for thicker hair.

Featured image of Riley Reed.

What is essential oil?

According to Iles, “Essential oils are oils that have been distilled and not tampered with. Pure virgin oils, often found in perfumery, are extracted directly from plants. “From skin care products to diffusers, they are mostly known for their fragrances. However, essential oils also have medicinal qualities. When applied topically or with a carrier oil, they have amazing healing and beautifying powers. Thicker hair oils work by removing residue, eliminating dandruff, stimulating blood flow, and boosting moisture in your thirsty hairs. They aren’t everything, but they fuel your efforts in your quest for longer and healthier hair.

Which essential oils promote hair growth?

Different essential oils have different benefits. The best products combine more than one to take advantage of each of their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, detoxifying and energizing qualities.

Rosemary: Rosemary oil is one of the most effective essential oils for stimulating blood flow to generate new cells for thicker and fuller hair.

Cedarwood: Cedar wood works to balance the natural oils on your scalp. It keeps your scalp full of good oils and uses its antifungal properties to keep your scalp healthy, facilitating longer and thicker hair.

lavender: Lavender essential oil can have physical and emotional effects on hair growth. While reducing inflammation for a healthier scalp, it also has soothing properties that can prevent future stress-induced hair loss.

Mint: You know how a mint pate leaves a tingling sensation in your mouth? Peppermint essential oil has a similar effect when applied topically. It promotes blood flow and circulation to the hair follicles (thus causing tingling) to speed up hair growth and density.

Tea treeTea tree oil is known for its healing properties, which are effective on the scalp as well as on the face. It refreshes your scalp, removing dead skin cells and excess product to make room for hair growth.

Bergamot: Bergamot is not only the scent in one of my favorite fragrances, but it’s also an anti-bacterial essential oil that promotes a healthy scalp and, therefore, hair growth.

OrangeVitamin C has a strong effect on the hair as well as on the skin of the face. Orange essential oil helps restore moisture and keep the skin’s pH balance.

Sweet basil: For volume, try Sweet Basil oil for stronger strands with more hydration.

Lemon grass: Known for its anti-dandruff properties, lemongrass oil does so much more. It also strengthens the hair shafts for thicker and more elastic hair.

musk: Thyme is one of the best essential oils for thicker hair. It is commonly used to treat hair loss and thinning, making a powerful addition to any hair treatment.

How to use essential oils to thicken or grow hair?

If you want to use pure essential oils to support your hair growth journey, I fully support you. They are very strong, so a few drops will go a long way. Add the essential oil of your choice to a carrier oil and try your luck.

However, not everyone has the home-made mixes and salt scrubs available to everyone. An easier alternative? Look for products that include essential oils. Take this recommendation from Iles: “Apply to scalp and massage in. Pure oils can be greasy, so in my opinion you’re better off using tinctures as a liquid. has a more water-like consistency.”

It’s an easier way to get more elegant recipes without the hassle. Many clean beauty products contain essential oils for their fragrance and nutrients. This dual benefit makes them easy to spot in some of your favorite hair growth products and treatments.

What other ingredients help with hair growth?

There are two FDA-approved ingredients in prescription and over-the-counter products for hair growth: minoxidil and Finasteride. According to Healthline, “Minoxidil is thought to work by partially enlarging the hair follicle and prolonging the hair growth phase. Finasteride works by reducing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body.”

Other growth-promoting ingredients can be applied to the hair or taken orally through supplements. Biotin is a favorite ingredient for strong hair and nails, as are other favorites like zinc, iron and collagen. Some of the popular skin care ingredients you might recognize are also great at promoting longer and thicker hair. Think Niacin (as in niacinamide) or caffeine, which energize and brighten your face just as they do your hair follicles.

What ingredients are harmful to hair?

People are waking up to the negative effects of ingredients commonly found in poor quality hair products. Sulfates and Phthalates are finally getting the lousy raps they deserve… but what exactly are they? In short, they are powerful chemicals do clean oil, but do not distinguish between good oil and bad oil. As a result, they can strip and leave your locks useless in the long run. Not ideal.

Other ingredients to avoid are parabens, synthetic fragrances, and denatured alcohol. Iles also advises being wary of anything that coats the hair shaft with a residue: “One should be aware that conditioners overload the hair with protein, keratin, and the most scientific blends that coat the hair shaft. This causes serious disruption.”

Fortunately, essential oils are a good alternative to synthetic fragrances, leaving a pleasant scent without the negative, drying effects. They are also natural detoxifiers and anti-bacterial ingredients, so no alcohol or parabens are needed. If you’re ready to start incorporating essential oils into your hair, get ready. Keep scrolling to find the top hair care products and treatments that contain essential oils!

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