Essential oils for hair - are they effective?

Essential Oils for Hair: Do They Really Work?

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Aditya Pratama

Organic Aromas Posed This Question to Two Leading Hair Experts

We want to learn more about essential oils for hair. Did you know that a single strand of hair has a lifespan of about five years. However, if hair is compromised and weak, five years become a stretch. Optimal hair health is absolutely critical for every person.

Anu Taranath, a UW professor specializing in identity and global literature, in a presentation on why hair matters to society, suggested that hair is not just hair; it signifies belonging, identity, culture, race and even social pressures.

But how exactly do you nurture healthy hair? One popular way is incorporating essential oils in your hair care routine. Do these aromatic oils really work? Organic Aromas had a Q&A session with two seasoned hair professionals as detailed below;


paul windle

Photo of Paul Windle. One of London's top hairstylists.

Paul Windle is one of London’s top hairstylists, he is the founder of the long-established (30+ yrs) Windle salon in Covent Garden and has also successfully developed a niche indie hair care line. Paul has been quoted many times in magazines like Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour Magazine, Tatler, and many others.

Organic Aromas: Tell us a little about your career/expertise as a professional in the hair industry.

Paul: After being head of education at Vidal Sassoon in London I opened Windle salon. Windle salon has been at the top of London hairdressing for over 30 years. I simultaneously started building niche hair brands in the UK and set up a distribution company. I introduced and built French brand Phyto and New York brand Bumble and Bumble.

We have recently built a laboratory and manufacturing center dedicated to making hair products more sophisticated and effective. It’s kind of like skincare for hair. The lab and salon are under one roof and self-financed so we can bring to market products that truly make a difference to the hair without the huge amount of money wasted on marketing by big corporations. Our products are rigorously tested by the salon team to create the very best formulas.

What are the top 3 problems/issues people have with hair in your experience?

Top issues that I have observed are;

    • Hair and scalp aging
    • Thinning
    • Overuse of heat styling causing breakage

Do you use essential oils on your clients? If so, What are the top benefits?

Yes indeed. The benefits of using the correct oils are that they are absorbed by the hair. Moisturizing, making the hair more supple and less prone to breakage.

How do you use essential oils on hair the correct way?

The best way is to rub them in with a little friction. The surface of the hair is like tiles on a roof. You have to slide the oils under so it penetrates. Many companies advocate combing the product through the hair. This is good to do at the end but give the oils a good rub first.


“The benefits of using the correct oils are that they are absorbed by the hair. Moisturizing, making the hair more supple and less prone to breakage.”


Which are the very best essential oils for hair in your experience?

I love lavender with monoi oil that is extracted from the petals of Gardenia flowers. It’s pricey for us to use but its molecular weight is small so it penetrates the hair and doesn’t weigh it down. Also apricot, coconut and camellia are great for blends. However, they must be blended correctly. Also, be careful with some oils as they often come from a hot country where the sun often helps penetration. In cooler countries, they can make the hair quite oily.

I also think that tea tree essential oil is awesome for hair growth. It comes with a cleansing effect that benefits hair follicles unclogging the scalp as needed to boost growth of hair. The oil has also been found to work well to remove dandruff and to prevent the same when used on the scalp.

To strengthen weak hair, clary sage oil is excellent. It works by supporting follicles and this can greatly improve the luster and give you a healthy glow. This oil works a lot like lavender.

Another great oil for the scalp, and more specifically dandruff is lemongrass oil. It is a citrus oil that has healing properties of skin to remove build up and hydrate the scalp.


monica davis

Photo of Monica Davis, a professional hairstylist and founder of the MyStraightener blog.

Monica Davis is a professional hairstylist and founder of the MyStraightener blog. She has been featured in NBC News, Healthline, HuffPost, and other authoritative websites.

Organic Aromas: Share with us a little background about your career as a professional in the hair sector

Monica: I’ve been working as a hairstylist for over 20 years already. Now I’m a co-owner of Hair Madness Salon in Cedar Rapids and founder of the MyStraightener blog.

What are the top 3 problems or issues people have with hair in your experience?

In my years doing hair, the most common hair problems include hair loss, split ends, and dandruff.

Do you use essential oils on your clients? If so, what are the main benefits?

Yes, I offer essential oil therapy to my clients. Depending on hair and oil type, I can help my clients achieve natural shine, soothe the scalp, restore moisture in the cuticle, or eliminate frizz, or altogether.

How do you use essential oils on hair the correct way?

I recommend mixing 3-5 drops of essential oil with a carrier oil and massaging it into the scalp for around 5 minutes. After that, you need to spread the rest of the oil all over the hair and let it sit for around 10 minutes. To finish the therapy, you need to wash your hair and deep condition it to conserve moisture. Blow-dry your hair only on low-temperature preset after that.


“Depending on hair and oil type, I can help my clients achieve natural shine, soothe the scalp, restore moisture in the cuticle, or eliminate frizz, or altogether.”


Which are the very best essential oils for hair in your experience?

Lemongrass oil – this oil is the most effective against light cases of dandruff. What’s convenient is that you can add a few drops right into your shampoo or conditioner and save time. The anti-dandruff effect becomes evident in the first week of regular application.

Peppermint oil – massaging your scalp with this oil regularly can significantly increase the number of hair follicles and eventually make your hair thicker.

Lavender oil – it has antibacterial properties and can generally strengthen your scalp health. It’s also a proven oil for better hair growth. Several studies have shown that this oil is effective in promoting development of healthy hair follicles.

Thyme oil – this oil has been studied and found to stimulate the scalp. It therefore promotes faster hair growth and in many cases, it is recommended for hair loss or alopecia areata.

Ylang ylang oil – this one is ideal for those who battle hair dryness. It effectively stimulates the production of sebum and is therefore not suitable for people who have oily or greasy hair.


essential oils for hair


Essential Oils for Hair Fact Sheet

  • Studies on bergamot oil show that its anti inflammatory antimicrobial properties can promote a healthy scalp
  • A comparative study on minoxidil (hair loss medication) and peppermint oil revealed that peppermint is more effective for hair growth
  • Sage, rosemary and chamomile essential oils have been studied and found to have hair growth promoting benefits
  • One of the best carrier oils for faster hair growth is jojoba according to a recent study
  • To improve hair texture and reduce breakage, ylang ylang essential oil has been found highly beneficial. This is because it triggers production of sebum to minimize brittle hair and breakage.
  • Essential oils for hair should be diluted effectively before use. This is to avoid irritation and allergic reactions from highly volatile and potent essential oils. Best carrier oils for diluting essential oils for hair include pumpkin seed oil, shea oil, olive oil, avocado oil, argan oil, grapeseed oil, moringa oil, coconut and jojoba oils. These carrier oils come loaded with nutrients and multiple elements that further promote optimal hair health.


Organic Aromas 2022 Essential Oils And Hair Survey On Adult Men And Women in The US

Organic Aromas conducted a survey to find out whether people are using essential oils for hair. The survey target group was 200 men and women between 18 and 60 years in the United States. In our survey findings, the top hair problems that people grapple with are dandruff, hair loss, premature graying and dry hair in that order.

63% of people polled said that they use essential oils on hair all the time. Also, we found out that the most popular oils for hair are peppermint, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, thyme, bergamot as well as essential oil blends. A whopping 60% of people said that using high quality pure essential oils is extremely important to them. 65% of all respondents would recommend essential oils for hair to their friends.

Below is a detailed look at the graphical data representation as gathered in our survey.




How to Use Essential Oils for Hair

Using essential oils for hair correctly is paramount. Always start by getting good quality pure essential oils from a trusted seller. Then, get carrier oils that are suitable for your hair. If you have dry hair for example, use heavier carriers like avocado, shea and coconut to deliver high levels of moisture. If you have oilier hair, stick to lighter carriers like grape seed and almond oils.

For every tablespoon of carrier oil, use 2 or 3 drops of essential oil. This combination makes the potent essential oils safe for use on hair and scalp. Using your fingertips, make sure to massage the oil mix into your scalp. The motion also triggers better blood flow which is beneficial to hair health. Depending on the oils you are using, you can rinse after 30 minutes or leave overnight. Overall, there is no single regimen and discovering what works for you is key. Just make sure to follow the safety rules as guided.



A forensic analysis on a single strand of hair tells the whole story about what is in your bloodstream; from drugs to vitamins and medications. It is therefore important to start proper hair care from within. Eat valuable nutrients, always hydrate and avoid harmful substances. Your crown will reflect the state of your health.


“Life is short, you might as well live it with really great hair”


Essential oils play an important role by nurturing great hair. ‘Life is short, you might as well live it with really great hair’, this is an anonymous quote that unravels an inspiring philosophy. Great hair makes you feel good and adds loads of value to your everyday life.

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  1. Amazing information from both these hair experts. I love the thought of using lavender with monoi oil in my hair and rubbing it in well, also Peppermint oil would, I expect, leave your scalp and scalp feeling wonderful and hydrated. I ended up with bald spots on my scalp before finding out I had hypothyroidism. By then I had lost quite a bit on my crown hair and to the right of my head. I have to move my hair around carefully when styling to cover these. Perms help as it gives my hair bulk, but also dries it out. I have used many products to keep my hair’s moisture, hot oils and even Coconut oil. I am dealing with a very itchy scalp right now, mostly at the back width of my head. I have tried everything. I read that it might be due to dry hair/scalp but nothing I use helps. Thanks for the chance to win some hair oils and all the great information.

  2. I’m excited to put this information to use – definitely going to use Monica’s deep conditioning technique with some of these suggested oils!

  3. I’ve never thought of using essential oils for my hair but it makes sense when many of the same oils are added to shampoos and conditioners. I particularly want to try tea tree oil for scalp health.

  4. I’m always trying to find ways to help with my hair because I’m just not happy with it so this article helps a lot for natural remedies. Thanks!

  5. Could be dangerous, even when diluted, for anyone with MCAS. Since long-covid is MCAS & extremely few doctors have even heard of MCAS (let alone care enough to learn about it) this could be problematic for many millions of people who aren’t being properly diagnosed/treated medically. Anyone using essential oils on clients’ hair likely wouldn’t have any idea about their medical Dxs and could cause severe harm without even knowing it.

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