- What Is Lavender Oil?
- Benefits of Lavender Oil for Hair
- How to Use Lavender Oil
- Side-Effects of Lavender Oil
- Experience the Hair Benefits of Lavender Oil
Essential oils have gained traction over the past few years, particularly as effective home remedies. Lavender oil is one such essential oil that has a multitude of benefits to offer for skin, hair, and overall health. This oil could just be the respite you seek from scraggly, undernourished, dandruff-laden hair that seems to voluntarily uproot the second contact is made with a hairbrush or shampoo.
If the pile of hair on the floor seems more than the one on your head, feel free to stick around and find out how lavender oil can help your hair stick to its roots!
What Is Lavender Oil?
Lavender is a flowering plant that is used for its therapeutic properties; because of this, it’s often an active ingredient in cosmetic products. You can identify the flower by its distinct pale purple hue; it grows in a lovely bunch, and blooms in the summer.
The oil from the plant is extracted with distilling techniques or mechanical pressing to produce a highly concentrated decoction that is brimming with health benefits. It takes over 200 pounds of lavender flowers to create a single pound of lavender essential oil.
Over 40 species of lavender have been discovered to date in more than 400 varieties. Each species is cultivated to yield a specific kind of lavender essential oil. The variants that each species comes in produce oils with distinct chemical compositions that result in essential oils that are more suited to specific applications when compared to others.
Benefits of Lavender Oil for Hair
Lavender essential oil contains a variety of natural compounds. These compounds have several healing properties that can aid in various hair woes. And the relaxing fragrance of lavender offers a variety of ways to nourish the body and mind.
The following are ways your hair stands to benefit from this oil:
Promotes Hair Growth
Have you ever dreamed of long, luscious, lustrous, hair that lets you do the much-touted hair flip seamlessly? If you’re nodding keenly right now, then lavender essential oil is the friend you have been longing for! A 2016 study was in the headlines due to its suggestion that lavender oil is an effective stimulant for hair growth.
The study found that lavender oil, when applied to mice, aided in the growth of thicker hair at a faster than normal pace. This is attributed mainly to the effect that the oil has on the skin and scalp which in turn promotes the growth of hair. This study led researchers down a train of thought that rested on the premise of whether pattern baldness and alopecia could be treated with lavender oil.
A Scottish team hopped on board to prove that 40% of alopecia patients noted an increase in hair growth with regular lavender oil scalp massages. What’s more is that the oil has also shown evidence of helping to condition the hair which in turn controls frizz, boosts shine, and adds luster. That hair flip doesn’t seem so far-fetched, now, does it?
Soothes Itching and Irritation
A flaky, dry, itchy scalp that seems to be shedding, demanding to make its presence felt on all your dark-hued clothes, is a sign from the universe that your scalp is in dire need of saving. Enter lavender oil with its list of traits that feel like superpowers: it’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. Here’s the rundown of what those superpowers mean for your locks.
- The antiseptic nature of lavender oil helps to treat scalp acne – those big red bumps or pimples your fingers sometimes bump into while oiling or shampooing your scalp.
- The antibacterial properties of lavender oil inhibit the growth of bacteria that is responsible for causing scalp infections and dandruff. It also aids in combating acne-causing bacteria, thereby reducing any inflammation in the process.
- The antimicrobial property of lavender oil impedes the growth of Malassezia, which is a yeast-like fungus that inhabits the skin, infects the hair follicles, and causes skin eruptions and dandruff.
The growth of your hair and ultimately the quality of it depends on how healthy your scalp is and how effective your troops (read shampoo, hair-oil, or any other hair care product) fend off the bacteria and microbes that constantly attack your scalp.
Also, note that lavender makes for a more effective dandruff repellent when combined with other ingredients. You’ll need a scientifically-proven product that can balance out lavender with a range of functional ingredients. The most important being zinc pyrithione which is a powerful dandruff-combatting ingredient.
Ever fallen prey to the loop of excessive oiling, only to excessively shampoo to get rid of the excessive oil leaving you back at square one – with frizzy, dry, static hair? Chances are that your dry hair could be due to several factors, some of which are environmental while others could be your daily hair care habits or your physical health.
Environmental factors such as pollution; dust; or dry, hot and humid climates can rid your hair of its moisture and luster. Also, spending a lot of time in the sun or wind can contribute to dry hair.
In some cases, dry hair is self-inflicted unconsciously by washing your hair too often; using harsh shampoos, conditioners, or styling products; regularly blow drying your hair; using electric curling irons, straighteners or curlers; or by using chemically harmful coloring products and treatments.
Certain underlying health conditions such as anorexia, hypoparathyroidism, and hypothyroidism could also lead to your hair turning dry and dull.
Lavender is particularly beneficial in the treatment of dry hair as it helps to regulate sebum production, sealing in moisture and thereby soothing the scalp. It also can moisturize hair, leaving it silky, soft, and smooth while protecting against frizz and dryness.
Prevents Hair Loss
Does it feel like your hair takes the lyrics of Tom Petty’s famous Free Fallin’ all too literally, giving in to the whims of gravity, plunging into the mysteries of life beyond the humble scalp without a second thought? If this feels all too familiar, then you know that hair loss is seldom a petty issue.
Here’s where lavender oil, that knight in shining armor, comes into the picture, swooping in to save those damsels in distress.
Lavender works to strengthen the hair follicles. In doing so, it prevents the thickening of the membrane tissues surrounding them which is often a cause for hair loss. It also helps to regulate hormones and stress which is especially beneficial to people suffering from hair loss due to stress or an imbalance in hormones. Lavender helps hair to grow fuller and faster.
This fact is backed up by the evidence that germinated from a study that discovered that regular application of lavender oil five times a day for four weeks straight resulted in many positive outcomes. The standout outcomes were participants showing an increased number of hair follicles, deeper hair follicle depth, a thicker dermal layer, thicker hair shafts, and a decreased number of inflammatory cells.
The fact that lavender possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties helps to keep the scalp and hair follicles healthy and clear of microbes that could impede the growth of hair. Lavender also works as an excellent sedative which aids in the lowering of cortisol levels. This in turn reduces stress and any stress-induced conditions such as hair loss.
Prevents Head Lice
Head lice are tiny insects that feed off the blood from the human scalp and are usually spotted on children aged 10 years or under. This doesn’t mean to say that adults aren’t victims of head lice; it just means that it’s seen more frequently in children. An infestation of head lice is usually due to the transfer of lice from the hair of one person to the hair of another.
Itching on the scalp, neck, or ears is generally the first sign of an infestation; the itching is an allergic reaction to the louse bites. The lice may or may not be visible as they are quite small and are quick to avoid light; however, lice eggs can be spotted as they often stick on to hair shafts.
Lavender oil is antiseptic and antimicrobial which is why it is beneficial in the prevention of head lice. It is an excellent deterrent against the formation of nits and head lice. Studies have shown that the scent of lavender repels head lice, thereby preventing them from feeding on the scalp.
Other Uses of Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has a wide array of uses including the likes of dish detergents, candles, perfumes, body lotions, soaps, and shampoos. The pleasant scent that lavender emanates makes for a soothing, gentle experience, creating a relaxing home environment through its aromatherapeutic power.
The dried buds of the plant are used in lavender tea, and the plant is also used as a culinary herb, particularly in baking. The plant also contains compounds that are known to help calm the nervous system.
How to Use Lavender Oil
We’ve explored how lavender oil is antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. Now, it boils down to how you can incorporate lavender oil into your hair-care routine to extract the aforementioned benefits.
Massage the Oil Into Your Scalp
For busy bees constantly on the run, this is probably the simplest way to get the most out of lavender oil’s hair and scalp benefits.
All you have to do is massage the diluted oil onto your scalp. It is best to dilute the oil in equal parts with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. The best time to do this? After a bath or shower. How long do you have to keep it in your hair? Anywhere between five and ten minutes, though, if you like the smell of the oil, you can also avoid rinsing and leave it in.
Another option at your disposition is to leave the oil overnight with your hair wrapped in a towel. This enables you to tap in on the oil’s therapeutic benefits which helps to calm your nerves while promoting sound sleep in the process.
Oil massages once per week or perhaps even once a day, if time permits, can work wonders for your scalp.
Use Lavender Oil Hair Serum
For hair that insists on doing the splits before making a grand exit, hair serum is an effective option. Hair serum is usually designed with specific hair care benefits in mind, such as calming frizzy hair, repairing split ends, or treating oily hair.
Some hair serums come with lavender oil included in it. While these serums don’t particularly promote hair growth or regrow hair, they do help in repairing damaged hair, preventing it from further breaking and splitting at the ends.
Be sure to check the label on any product; if the ingredients mention lavender essential oil, then it’s likely that it can aid with your hair woes. The label usually tells you how often you should use it – whether daily or weekly.
Add the Oil to Your Hair Products
If you’re someone who prefers making use of lavender oil with your existing hair products, then this one is for you. You can add a few drops of lavender oil to your shampoo, conditioner, or even hair oil. Ensure that you are sparing; only five drops per ounce of the product is ideal.
This method is very simple to do. You just add a few drops directly to your hair product, right in your palm, before applying it. You can use it as often as you would use your regular hair products.
Purchase Hair Products With Lavender Oil
Products that have lavender oil in them can be good for your scalp. While they might not promote hair growth, depending on the concentration of the oil in the product, it can help in repairing damaged hair or even preventing further damage. The concentration of lavender oil is likely to vary from product to product.
When purchasing hair products, check whether the ingredients contain lavender essential oil or lavender hydrolate. The more natural ingredients and carrier oils, the better.
You can also make use of a lavender hair mask once each week. It prevents breakage and aids in moisturizing. Commercially available hair masks with lavender oil as an ingredient should do the trick; however, you can also try homemade masks with lavender oil added in.
Side-Effects of Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has a plethora of health benefits to offer. However, there are some potential side effects you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Even though lavender oil has some great benefits, it doesn’t mean that you can go overboard and apply way more than what is recommended. Too much essential oil can irritate the skin and scalp so make sure that you do not apply too much. It is best to use a carrier oil along with lavender oil.
- Ensure that you never ingest the oil or get it into your eyes. If you do manage to do that somehow, then wash your eyes out immediately with cool water.
- Be cautious when using or inhaling lavender if you take nervous system sedatives or depressants. There are known interactions with these medications that can exaggerate sleepiness or drowsiness.
- There is also the possibility that despite the use of carrier oils you might still develop a rash, hives, or dermatitis. If you find that you are allergic to lavender oil, it’s best to visit a doctor or dermatologist to see what your options are.
- Sticking with pro formulations is also beneficial. Lavender, much like all other essential oils, varies in terms of concentration, quality, and chemical compositions. Getting the right kind of lavender on your scalp in the right amounts requires some science.
Experience the Hair Benefits of Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has the potential to work wonders for your hair when used in moderation, so be sure to incorporate it into your hair care routine while exercising caution. It’s time to put an end to the tantrums your hair has been throwing all this while – dandruff, split ends, hair loss, you name it! Walk them out the door and bid them adieu!