17 Best Oils for Hair Growth, Dry Hair, and Dandruff

April 04, 2018

17 Best Oils for Hair Growth, Dry Hair, and Dandruff

Wish you had a thick mane of shiny and healthy hair? You have to focus on the root of the problem — literally. Healthy hair starts with your scalp, and believe it or not, you don’t need to spend tons of money on high-end shampoos, mousses, and beauty products. Essential and natural oils are versatile, affordable, and highly effective ways for you to boost hair growth, moisturize dry hair, and treat and prevent pesky dandruff. 

Wondering which oils to try? Here are 17 that are proven by science to be healing, powerful, and potent. You might even have some of them in your pantry or medicine cabinet right now!

  • 1.Lavender oil
  • 2.Peppermint oil
  • 3.Rosemary oil
  • 4.Thyme oil
  • 5.Cedarwood oil
  • 6.Lemongrass oil
  • 7. Tea tree oil
  • 8. Cinnamon oil
  • 9. Eucalyptus oil
  • 10. Jojoba oil
  • 11. Coconut oil
  • 12. Olive oil
  • 13.Almond oil
  • 14.Argan oil
  • 15.Macadamia oil
  • 16.Avocado oil
  • 17.Castor oil

    Essential oils for hair growth

    Hair loss has many possible causes: genetics, thyroid issues, chemotherapy, medication, and other health conditions. There’s no denying how devastating hair loss can be, for both men and women. In one study surveying balding men, 62% agreed it impacted their self-esteem and 21% reported feelings of depression. But there’s good news! A large body of evidence shows that essential oils are incredibly effective at naturally boosting hair growth with very few side effects.

    What are essential oils?

    Essential oils are the highly concentrated pure “essence” of a plant’s natural oils. Essential oils are frequently extracted by distillation, often by using steam, but can also be extracted through other methods such as cold pressing. Essential oils have been valued throughout history for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits, and modern science is now proving their myriad of benefits through a multitude of peer-reviewed studies. They can help with asthma, treat headaches, alleviate stress, and yes, boost hair growth. If you’re suffering from hair loss, try these essential oils:

    1.Lavender oil

    Lavender oil

    Sweet-smelling lavender oil is extracted from the purple lavender flower. A 2016 study on mice found that lavender oil has a marked hair growth-promoting effect, making hair grow both thicker and faster. Lavender oil also has antimicrobial properties, so when applied to the scalp, it can be an effective dandruff treatment, which is frequently caused by an overgrowth of fungus. Added bonus: lavender has a wonderful aroma that can relax your nervous system and improve your mood.

    2.Peppermint oil

    Peppermint oil

    Believe it or not, another 2014 study on mice found that the topical application of peppermint oil is more effective for hair growth than Rogaine, a hair growth product approved by the FDA. Applying it to your head has another benefit: scientists found peppermint oil may be as effective as Tylenol in relieving the symptoms of a tension headache.

    3.Rosemary oil

    Rosemary oil

    In a 2015 study, people suffering from androgenetic alopecia — hair loss from primarily the top and front of the scalp — were randomly assigned to either the topical treatment of rosemary oil or Rogaine (minoxidil 2%) for a period of six months. Both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count at the end of the six months, and the people who used rosemary oil reported less itchiness. Another great benefit of rosemary oil? It’s said to improve memory, focus, and mental performance.

    4.Thyme oil

    Thyme oil

    A 1998 study found that thyme oil, when massaged into the scalp in combination with rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood oils, is an effective treatment for alopecia areata (spot baldness.) It’s also a great thing to keep in your medicine cabinet if you get the occasional pimple, too. A 2012 study found that thyme is more effective at fighting acne than prescription creams!

    5.Cedarwood oil

    Cedarwood oil

    That same 1998 study found that massaging cedarwood oil into the scalp helped 44% of people suffering from alopecia areata with significant hair growth. Cedarwood oil is also a natural insect repellent and has natural antifungal properties. Plus, it smells great!

    Essential oil tonic for hair growth

    First, a word of caution: though essential oils are natural, they are very potent, and you never know how your own skin will react. Before applying all over your scalp, first test a very small amount on a small patch of skin to see how your skin reacts.

    In a bowl, blend:

    • 5 drops lavender essential oil
    • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
    • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
    • 5 drops thyme essential oil
    • 5 drops cedarwood oil
    • 4 tablespoons jojoba oil

    Massage the oils into your scalp at night right before bed. Sleep with your hair wrapped in a towel. Shampoo your hair in the morning. Repeat every night for four weeks to see improvement.

    Essential oils to treat dandruff

    Dandruff can be frustratingly difficult to treat. Like hair loss, it has many possible causes: an overgrowth of yeast, a fungal infection, eczema, psoriasis, an allergic reaction, or simply dry skin. If you’re suffering from white, flaky stuff coming from your scalp, don’t fret. Dandruff is definitely embarrassing, but these essential oils have an incredible track record for stopping it in its tracks!

    6.Lemongrass oil

    Lemongrass oil

    Suffering from dandruff? Try a tonic of lemongrass oil. A 2015 study found that applying a tonic of 10% lemongrass oil twice a day was an effective treatment against lipophilic yeast that caused moderate to severe dandruff. Also great: among many other benefits, lemongrass oil is known to be an effective antidepressant that boosts the mood and controls anxiety.

    7. Tea tree oil

    Tea tree oil

    Tea tree oil is another great oil for the treatment of dandruff. In one study, people experienced a 41% improvement in dandruff when using a 5% tea tree oil shampoo. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties, and is a powerhouse oil to keep in your medicine cabinet. It can treat acne, lice, scabies, athlete’s foot, and ringworm. The only downside? Tea tree oil has a pretty powerful, funky smell.

     8. Cinnamon oil

    Cinnamon oil

    Cinnamon oil is a powerful germicide and an active fungicide, and in a 2012 study, scientists found that it’s an effective treatment for the fungus Malassezia furfur, a yeast widely accepted as the cause of dandruff. But be careful when using cinnamon oil! It must be heavily diluted; otherwise, it’s likely to cause skin irritations or allergic reactions.

    9. Eucalyptus oil

    Eucalyptus oil

    Many studies show that eucalyptus oil has powerful antifungal and antimicrobial properties, making it a top-line choice for the treatment of dandruff. Additionally, it’s an excellent pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, which is great for anyone who’s dealing with itchy and bothersome scalp conditions.

    Essential oil tonic to beat dandruff

    In a bowl, blend:

    • 15 drops tea tree oil
    • 1 drop cinnamon oil
    • 10 drops lemongrass oil
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 4 tablespoons warm coconut oil

    Make sure all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Store in a jar or container with a lid. Massage the tonic into your scalp at night right before bed. Sleep with your hair wrapped in a towel. Shampoo your hair in the morning. Repeat every night for four weeks, but you should start seeing improvement immediately.

    Carrier oils and moisturizers

    All the essential oils we’ve listed so far have powerful medicinal properties and need to be heavily diluted so that they won’t burn or irritate your skin. Here are some great “carrier” oils that can be mixed with essential oils or simply used on their own to moisturize your hair or skin. They’re must-haves for both your bathroom and kitchen and once you experience the beauty benefits of these natural products, you’ll never go back to traditional conditioners and moisturizers!

    10. Jojoba oil

    Jojoba oil

    Technically a liquid wax, jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) is incredibly soothing and was used by Native Americans to treat sores and wounds. It’s high in phenols and tocopherols, meaning it’s anti-inflammatory, and one study showed that a conditioner made with jojoba oil effectively protected hair against a highly damaging chemical straightening treatment. It’s great to have on hand for your body, face, and hair to use on a daily basis.

     11. Coconut oil

    Coconut oil

    Coconut oil is a must-have for your both kitchen and bathroom. It has too many benefits to list! In terms of your hair, like many of the essential oils listed above, coconut oil is a natural antibacterial and antifungal, so it can be great to use as a carrier oil as a treatment for dandruff. Another study showed that extra virgin coconut oil is a great treatment for dry, rough, scaly, and itchy skin. It smells great, it tastes great, and it can even help you lose weight — there’s nothing not to love about coconut oil.

    12. Olive oil

    Olive oil

    Do you have especially frizzy, rough, or curly hair? You should be using an olive oil masque on your hair. Olive oil is rich in fatty acids such as palmitic acid, stearic acid, and linoleic acid that form a protective layer around hair strands and prevent moisture loss. It’s thus a great addition to conditioner for people who have hard to manage tresses. Plus, it’s so cheap and convenient. Chances are you already have it on hand, right?

    13.Almond oil

    Almond oil

    Almond oil is another fantastic all-natural moisturizer that’s great to blend with all of your favorite essential oils. Another huge benefit of almond oil is that it’s packed with vitamin E, which can curb the damage caused by free radicals. One 2007 study showed that almond oil reduced the effect of UV light-induced photoaging on skin and protected skin against structural damage.

    14.Argan oil

    Argan oil

    Argan oil is the star of the beauty world and has the price tag to show for it. Produced from a tree in Morocco, a tiny bottle retails for $20 or more. It does wonders when applied topically to your skin or hair, but eatingit can have great beauty benefits. One study found that the daily consumption of argan oil led to a significant increase in skin elasticity. It’s also known to impart great shine to your hair.

    15.Macadamia oil

    Macadamia oil

    Macadamia oil is another great oil for people with curly, thirsty, and hard to manage hair. Cold-pressed from the nuts of the macadamia tree, macadamia oil is one of the highest sources of essential fatty acids and strengthens and nourishes hair follicles from the inside out.

    16.Avocado oil

    Avocado oil

    Avocado oil is incredibly nourishing, making it a great moisturizer for shiny, strong, and healthy hair. Compared to many of the other oils on this list, it’s also very light, so it won’t weight down your hair or make it greasy. Want more bang for your buck? It’s great to cook with!

     17.Castor oil

    Castor oil

    Though there’s no scientific study to confirm this, many people insist that castor oil is great for hair growth. Try it as a carrier oil with some of the essential oils we listed above that have been scientifically proven to help with hair growth and let us know what you think! Castor oil is also a great cleanser to use on your skin: mix it with some coconut oil or jojoba oil, hold a warm cloth to your skin for several moments, and then wipe off.

    Homemade deep moisture conditioner

    Mix together:

    Two tablespoons coconut oil

    1 tablespoon honey

    1 tablespoon argan oil

    1 tablespoon jojoba oil

    1 teaspoon rose water

    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

    Healthy, beautiful hair doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg. Purchase just a few of these oils to boost hair growth, fight dry hair, and treat dandruff.