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There are many essential oils that can promote hair health. They are often ingredients in a variety of products, including specialty shampoos and conditioners.

Can applying essential oils to the scalp help stimulate hair growth? We look at the evidence.

Bergamot essential oils for hair growthShare on Pinterest
Bergamot oil may help to promote hair growth.

While more research is needed, some evidence does exist to suggest that essential oils can help hair to grow healthier and stronger. Examples include:

Bergamot oil

One study found that bergamot essential oil helps facilitate wound healing and reduce inflammation. This may help promote hair growth and a healthy scalp.

Another study found that bergamot displays antimicrobial activity when applied to the scalp.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil comes from the seeds of the Zizyphus jujube plant. According to one study, when jojoba oil was applied to shaved hair, it promoted faster hair growth than hair that did not have jojoba oil.

Peppermint oil

Some research found that peppermint oil promoted hair growth more effectively than topical applications of saline, jojoba oil, and minoxidil, which is a medication commonly used to treat hair loss.

The researchers also found that peppermint essential oil increased scalp thickness and the number of hair follicles. They also suggested that peppermint oil may help to promote a more rapid growth stage for hair in the body.

Peppermint oil contains menthol, which causes the blood vessels just under the skin to dilate. This additional blood flow could help to promote further hair growth.

Additional oils

Other essential oils that may be helpful in promoting hair growth include chamomile, rosemary, and sage oil.

Essential oils are usually well-tolerated when diluted in a carrier oil. However, some people may experience allergic reactions, including itching, swelling, and irritation.

If a person has an adverse reaction to an essential oil, they should wash off the oil with soap and water as soon as possible.

Anyone experiencing problems breathing, dizziness, and changes in consciousness should seek emergency medical treatment.

Some essential oils can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, including

  • bergamot
  • lemon
  • grapefruit
  • orange

It is best to apply these oils before bed, so that a person is not immediately exposed to the sun after use.

According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, some oils, such as sage and peppermint oils, should not be used during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.

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Coconut oil is a popular carrier oil.

Essential oils can be effective in even small amounts, as they are highly concentrated. However, it is crucial to mix essential oils with a carrier oil, such as olive, jojoba, or grapeseed.

To use essential oils for hair growth, a person should:

  • Purchase essential oils from natural food stores or online. If a person has dry hair, carrier oils such as shea, coconut, or avocado oil may help moisturize the scalp. If a person’s hair is oilier, lighter oils, such as grapeseed, apricot kernel, or almond oil may be preferable.
  • Mix 2 or 3 drops of the essential oils into a tablespoon of carrier oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated and must be diluted.
  • Massage the mixture into the scalp vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the oil on the fingertips and start at the front of the scalp, rubbing in circles.
  • Dip the fingers in the essential oil mixture periodically while working the oil into the sides of the scalp, the back of the hair, and the middle of the scalp. This application may stimulate blood flow to the scalp.
  • Some people may want to leave the essential oils on overnight. Others may choose to rinse the scalp immediately.

Combining essential oils may also be beneficial. Popular combinations include rosemary, thyme, and lavender, or peppermint and lavender with coconut oil.

Essential oils and scalp massage may help stimulate hair growth related to inflammation or poor blood flow to the scalp.

Essential oils are very concentrated, so always mix them in small amounts with carrier oils before massaging them onto the scalp.

Some people may need repeated or frequent applications to see results from the essential oils. If a person does not experience their desired results, they can talk to a doctor about other options for reducing hair loss.

The essential oils listed in this article are available for purchase online.