October 2016

Essential Oils Blends & Recipes: Honey Citrus Shampoo

While essential oils can be used on their own with a carrier oil or diluted with water to promote healthy hair and scalp skin and to address hair care concerns, they can also be blended together to create natural hair care solutions. Here are two simple recipes that can be used for all types of hair.

Honey Citrus Shampoo for Purifying the Scalp

With the cleansing power of citrus oils and the antimicrobial benefits of tea tree oil, this shampoo is great for removing build-up. Although it’s a powerful cleanser, this shampoo is much gentler on the hair than products you’ll find in stores because it does not contain any harsh surfactants. This recipe will produce enough shampoo to allow you to wash your hair 20 to 30 times, depending on the length of your tresses.

For best results, store the shampoo in a glass bottle; acidic essential oils like lemon oil can corrode plastic, causing toxic chemicals from the bottle to enter your shampoo.

Making the Shampoo

What You’ll Need

1 c. water

5 T. honey

5 drops therapeutic grade lemon essential oil

5 drops therapeutic grade tea tree essential oil

Glass bowl

Wooden spoon

Funnel

Bottle of your choosing

Step 1: Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl.

Step 2: Mix well with the wooden spoon. You want the entire mixture to be even in color and smooth.

Step 3: Use a funnel to pour the finished shampoo into the bottle.

Using the Shampoo

To use the Honey Citrus Shampoo for Purifying the Scalp:

Step 1: Shake the bottle well until the shampoo is mixed.

Step 2: Wet your hair well.

Step 3: Apply a dime to nickel-sized amount of shampoo to your hand.

Step 4: Work the shampoo through your hair, concentrating on massaging it against the scalp. You won’t get a lather with this shampoo because it is soap free.

Step 5: Rinse well.

Top 10 Most Beneficial Essential Oils for Hair

Many essential oils can be used for hair care or as remedies for scalp and hair problems, but some oils are especially beneficial for the tresses. If you’re looking for the best essential oils to try first for all-around hair care, choosing one of these is a great option:

1. Cedarwood Oil from the wood of the cedar tree contains powerful anti-fungal, antiseptic and astringent compounds. In addition, the oil has a circulation-boosting benefit, making it ideal for rejuvenating the scalp to promote hair growth or to address symptoms of dryness or irritation.

2. Lavender Produced from the beautiful purple flowers of the lavender plant, lavender essential oil has a pleasing scent and has been shown to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It can be used for many hair care concerns from calming eczema of the scalp to supporting the healing of irritated skin to enhancing hair growth.

3. Peppermint Peppermint oil creates a pleasing tingle when applied to the scalp, making it a favorite remedy for an itchy scalp. The tingling also increases blood flow to the follicles to assist with hair growth. Antimicrobial properties of peppermint also make it a natural remedy for scalp acne.

4. Lemon Squeezed from fresh lemons, this vitamin C rich oil is a natural purifier that can be used to fight scalp build-up. It can also be used as a natural disinfectant, making it ideal for addressing scalp acne and various scalp infections.

5. Tea Tree Oil Sourced from the melaluca or Australian tea tree, this essential oil has remarkable antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s one of the best natural remedies for dandruff, and it can help to reduce flakes caused by dryness. In addition, the oil can be used to remove product build-up, fight ringworm and acne of the scalp and to repel lice.

6. Eucalyptus Produced from another Australian tree, eucalyptus has circulation boosting properties that allow more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to reach the follicles in order to support hair growth. The oil also can calm inflammation to soothe an itchy scalp.

7. Rosemary Essential oil produced from the rosemary herb has been shown in clinical studies to encourage rapid hair growth by enhancing circulation to the scalp. The oil is also frequently recommended for addressing scalp flakes and helping to slow graying.

8. Sandalwood Known for its exotic, earthy fragrance, the essential oil made from the sandalwood tree has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This makes the oil ideal for addressing a number of scalp problems.

9. Lemongrass Vitamin rich essential oil from the herb lemongrass helps to energize and strengthen the hair follicles. As a result, it is often used for hair loss due to excessive shedding. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that are good for easing itching and redness.

10. Frankincense A resin made from an African tree, this essential oil was once very hard to come by and considered to be priceless in some cultures. Now that it is more readily available, it is often used for its antioxidant protection and for its ability to fight microbes.

Quick Guide to Essential Oils for Hair Care


Essential oils are the concentrated extracts of the flowers, bark, peels, roots, seeds, stems and leaves of herbs. The oils are rich in the bioactive compounds that give herbs their unique properties, making them the perfect way to reap the benefits of plants that have been used medicinally and as beauty remedies for thousands of years.

Some of the beneficial compounds found in essential oils include:

  • Antioxidants. An antioxidant is a nutrient that fights reactive particles called free radicals. These particles can oxidize body and skin cells, causing damage that has been shown in clinical studies to be the driving force of the aging process.
  • Antimicrobials. An antimicrobial is a substance that fights germs. Often, antimicrobials are further classified by the types of germs that they fight, such as antibacterial agents, which fight bacteria, and antiviral agents, which fight viruses.
  • Anti-inflammatories. An anti-inflammatory is a substance that lessens inflammation, an immune system response that results in swelling, redness, tenderness and pain.

Each type of essential oil has its own unique benefits based on the active compounds that it contains. The following is a brief guide to some common uses of essential oils for hair care.

FOR THIN HAIR: Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil to your shampoo and then wash as you ordinarily would.

FOR CLARIFYING AN OILY SCALP: Combine 10 drops each of ylang ylang, lime and rosemary essential oils with 2 ounces of an unscented carrier oil. Massage the oil into your scalp for several minutes and then rinse. Repeat 2 to 3 times per week as needed to control build-up.

FOR SOOTHING AN ITCHY SCALP: Add a few drops of lavender, cedarwood or essential oils to your shampoo and then wash as you ordinarily would.

FOR SOFTENING AND STRENGTHENING DAMAGED HAIR: Make your own deep conditioner by combining 15 drops of rosewood, 5 drops of sandalwood and 5 drops of lavender in a carrier oil of your choosing. Put the mixture in a plastic bag and place it in a container of warm water to heat it. Apply the oil to your hair. Wrap your head in a towel and allow the oil to rest for 20 minutes. Shampoo as usual.

FOR ADDRESSING SCALP FLAKES: Combine 5 drops of lavender and 5 drops of rosemary with 3 tablespoons of an unscented carrier oil of your choosing. Massage the mixture into your scalp for 10 minutes. Rinse with water and then shampoo.

FOR CLEANSING HAIR DAILY: Make a homemade shampoo by combining 20 drops of rosemary oil, 10 drops of peppermint oil, 10 Tablespoons of baking soda, 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and 6 ounces of aloe vera gel in a plastic bottle. Shake well to mix. Use as you would any shampoo. Always shake before use.

FOR ADDRESSING SCALP ACNE: Create a treatment by combining tea tree oil with raw honey. Massage onto your scalp once per day. Rinse with cold water.

Quality of essential oils matters greatly whether you’re using them for a beauty remedy or as an alternative method of healing. Choosing therapeutic grade oils from a well known, reputable manufacturer can help you to ensure best results.

Essential Oils for Hair Growth

Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to help promote hair growth, and today, reaping the benefits of these traditional remedies is easy with the right essential oils.

Addressing hair loss the natural way with an essential oil will require two components: your essential oil, which acts as an active ingredient, and the carrier oil, which forms the base of your hair growth treatment.

Some of the most effective essential oils for hair growth include:

Carrot root is frequently used in combination with minoxidil or on its own for addressing male pattern baldness. It contains retinoids that stimulate cellular turnover to help promote a healthier scalp.

Cedarwood has been shown in studies to have antibacterial benefits, making it an ideal choice of essential oil for hair loss connected to infections of the skin.

Clary sage is often suggested for hair loss that is linked to hormonal imbalances in women, as this essential oil may help to boost estrogen levels in the skin tissue.

Clove is a circulation-boosting natural extract with added antibacterial and antioxidant benefits. By increasing oxygen levels in the skin, it has the potential to stimulate the hair follicles.

Helichrysum has demonstrated anti-inflammatory abilities and is often used to address scar tissue, making it the optimal choice of essential oil for hair loss due to many different underlying causes.

Lavender not only has been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, but it is also believed by many to ease stress. As a result, it is a popular essential oil for hair loss that may be connected to emotional or physical stress.

Rosemary is used in many hair care products that address hair loss. The extract may help to stimulate the production of cells in order to drive hair growth.

Combining your essential oil with one of these carrier oils will perfectly complete your treatment and give you the best chance of getting great results:

Coconut oil is used in India as a hair growth treatment all on its own.

Evening primrose oil provides the scalp with essential fatty acids, which nourish and hydrate the skin. This oil is an ideal carrier for thinning caused by poor circulation.

Grapeseed oil has been used as a carrier oil in a number of successful studies regarding the use of essential oils for hair loss treatment.

– Jojoba oil is often used to purify the pores, making this an excellent carrier oil for thinning that is caused in part by build-up on the scalp.

Rosehip oil has been shown in some studies to support rejuvenation of damaged skin tissue, giving it the potential to help revitalize a damaged scalp.

To prepare your essential oils for hair growth, mix about eight drops of your essential oil for each ounce of carrier oil that you use. Apply at least once every day, massaging the oil into your scalp and allowing it to remain in place for at least a few hours or overnight.

Using Essential Oils for Hair Loss

Hair loss affects more than 30 million women and 50 million men. There are plenty of medicinal products and chemical-laden shampoos out there that promise to fight the condition, but many of these products cause side effects or must be used for a lifetime to make any difference in the thickness of the hair. Essential oils offer an alternative to medicinal and chemical interventions for hair loss that can naturally address the underlying causes of hair loss and promote fuller, thicker growth.

The key to getting results with essential oils for hair loss is to choose the right oils for the cause of your thinning. Hair loss can arise due to many different reasons, including:

Hormones. The most common type of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, which occurs when the hair follicles are sensitive to a hormone called DHT. Carrot root essential oil has been shown to be successful for addressing hair loss due to hormonal sensitivities. Women may also suffer from hair loss due to fluctuations in estrogen levels due to menopause, pregnancy or the birth of a child. Clary sage is often recommended for this type of hair loss.

Infections of the skin. Fungal and bacterial infections of the skin can lead to inflammation that in turn causes excessive hair fall and thinning. Essential oils that have antimicrobial properties like cedarwood, clove and lavender can be used for this type of hair loss.

Immune system dysfunction. Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss that occurs when the immune system malfunctions, causing inflammation that leads to permanent hair loss. Cedarwood and rosemary have been shown in studies to promote hair growth in people with alopecia areata, especially when used with a grape seed oil carrier oil.

Scalp build-up. When the hair follicles become clogged with build-up from styling products and dead skin, hair loss can follow. Sage and myrtle essential oils are often used as purifying treatments to remove build-up and promote hair growth.

Poor circulation. Conditions that limit blood flow to the scalp can contribute to hair loss by depriving the follicles of the oxygen needed to support hair growth. Stimulating essential oils like clove, cypress and helichrysum are especially effective for this type of hair loss.

– Scarring of the hair follicles. Scarring alopecia occurs when the hair follicles suffer damage, making hair unable to grow. Helichrysum is known to minimize scar tissue and is often used for this type of hair loss.

Stress. Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss that happens in response to physical or emotional stress. Essential oils that promote relaxation like lavender and ylang ylang can be used to address this type of hair loss.

Once you have determined which essential oils are right for your particular form of hair loss, you can prepare a treatment by combining the essential oils with a carrier oil of your choice. Apply the mixture to your scalp every night before bed and rinse it out in the morning. While it can take time for results to become apparent, consistent application can help you successfully address hair loss.

Where to Buy Essential Oils

Essential oils can be incredibly beneficial for your hair, but only if the products you choose are of high quality. As you begin your search for oils, you’ll quickly find that there are hundreds of brands all selling the most commonly used essential oils and that there are just as many retailers carrying them. The good news is that it gives you plenty of options, but the bad news is that it can be difficult to figure out where to buy your essential oils and which ones to purchase.

When you keep the following considerations in mind, it becomes much easier to narrow down your options:

– Grade of oil. When you’re shopping for essential oils that you intend to use on your hair or skin, you really need to be careful when it comes to quality. That’s why therapeutic grade products are the ones you’ll want to focus your search on. To be considered a therapeutic grade product, an essential oil must be distilled using techniques that preserve their beneficial compounds, and they must be tested to ensure potency. While they are generally higher in price, therapeutic grade essential oils ensure you get the best value for your money with more potent formulations that are undiluted.

– Reputation of Brand. After you limit your search to only those essential oils that are therapeutic grade, you’ll want to consider the reputations of the brands that offer these oils. The best way to do this is to conduct a general Internet search for something like “BRAND NAME” reviews or “BRAND NAME” quality. When you’re reading the results, always be wary of blog posts and reviews on sites that could be for affiliate marketing purposes. Instead, look for third-party, unbiased information about the brands.

– The Brand’s Messaging. It’s always best to choose brands that are upfront and honest about what their essential oils can do. Think twice about brands that tout their products as being miracle cures. Things like misspellings and poorly worded descriptions online can also be red flags that a company is less than professional.

– Type of Retailer. Some essential oil brands only sell through their own website, but many today make their products available through online marketplaces like Amazon and through drugstores. While there is something to be said for supporting a small business by buying directly from their site, purchasing from a third-party or directly from the business using marketplace can help you to avoid hassles. Amazon offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on all purchases, so if you end up being disappointed with an essential oil, you’ll have some recourse. Most large drugstore chains will also accept a return if you’re dissatisfied. On a brand’s official website, you might be stuck if you’re unhappy with your order.

While it may take time to fully investigate the available essential oils when deciding where to buy, the time spent is more than worth it when you consider that you’ll be applying these oils to your hair and skin. You deserve the best, so take the time to ensure that you get it.