6 of the Best Essential Oils for Hair Health and Growth
As a society, we put significant stock in our physical appearances since beauty has become fairly valuable. We see our society place value on models, celebrities, and influencers who use their appearances to gain a larger following. This has made maintaining our physical appearance an incredibly important part of our lives, especially since our looks are fleeting.
Certain aspects of our appearance are vulnerable to the aging process and can deteriorate because of it. Hair loss is one of the most common issues we face as we age, which can adversely affect our confidence and appearance. Hair loss is remarkably common in adults after a certain age, but fighting it is extremely difficult.
The number of factors contributing to hair loss in adults makes it difficult to counteract, especially since most are genetic issues. While these problems can be difficult to resolve, we can reinforce our bodies with natural resources. Regardless of your genetic profile, your hair was created by the same proteins and molecules as everyone else's.
This similarity between our hair means that the tools people use to improve hair health are fairly consistent. Some people employ elective operations to correct hair loss, while others use natural supplements to reinforce the body's natural capacity to grow hair. While certain people have preferred tools, a commonly cited option is using essential oils to reinvigorate our hair's health. The question people are left asking is: which oils are best?
What Are Essential Oils?
The term "essential oil" is likely one you have heard before, though you might not have put much stock in them. Certain demographics overestimate the benefits essential oils provide and will claim they outperform modern medicine. While this sentiment is highly flawed, it does not mean essential oils cannot be used to provide significant health and cosmetic benefits. The mistake people make is to believe that essential oils are sufficient to replace medicine for serious health issues.
Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids derived from plants used in products and services worldwide. The most common use of essential oils is in producing cosmetic products such as perfumes, soaps, air fresheners, and makeup. However, using essential oils has also extended to health products and alternative cosmetic tools for less common practices.
Essential oils derived from specific plants can yield a variety of benefits we can use to improve our appearance and health. Insofar as health uses of essential oils are concerned, the options include aromatherapy and alternative medicine services, taking advantage of natural compounds in the oil's composition.
There are dozens of plants from which essential oils can be distilled, with each variant imbuing the resulting oil with the qualities of the plant. This transference means the qualities of one essential oil can radically differ from another, with some being more beneficial than others.
This means some essential oils will play a larger role in hair health while others are better suited to skin health. Ultimately, there is a lot of overlap between essential oils that can turn almost all of them into valuable assets. The question becomes whether essential oil has the best chance of improving your hair's health.
#1: Lavender Oil
Lavandula, colloquially known as lavender, is a popular genus flower due to its appearance and scent. Lavender is commonly used in scent-enhancing products like deodorants, air fresheners, and soap. The use of lavender in so many products has transformed it into a staple of modern cleaning and cosmetic products.
As mentioned earlier, these products are created when the plants are distilled to generate an oil that can be reused as an ingredient. As a result, a lavender essential oil is a common tool in several industries to provide a pleasant smell and color to their products. What is often overlooked is that lavender oil can produce certain benefits for our hair that help it stay healthy and grow.
Lavender oil creates a relaxing sensation when inhaled, which is the basis for most aromatherapy treatments. The effects of lavender as an aromatherapy tool were evaluated by studying mice to see if the scent had any physical effect. The results showed that the mice exposed to lavender oil had reduced stress that promoted new cell growth. The mice also demonstrated an increased rate of hair growth after being exposed to the oil.
While no human studies have been conducted, the initial results suggest that lavender oil can promote hair growth. Additionally, lavender oil is antimicrobial, which can purge certain toxins that appear in hair follicles and damage them.
#2: Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is a lesser-known essential oil since few people realize grapes can be distilled for anything other than wine. Grapes are a remarkably versatile fruit used for several beverages and snacks throughout human history.
Some people forget that every grape contains small seeds that are generally used to plant new vines. However, grape seeds can also be refined into grapeseed oil, converting the natural nutrients in grapes into a valuable cosmetic product. In fact, grapeseed oil is a byproduct of the winemaking process, making it an extremely common resource wherever vineyards are located.
Grapeseed oil also has moderate health benefits that can promote certain advantages in the skin and hair when applied properly. Despite being a byproduct, these effects have elevated grapeseed oil to the ranks of essential oil.
A Japanese study was conducted to evaluate the benefits of grapeseed oil concerning hair growth and health. Specifically, the researchers wanted to determine whether grapeseed oil could suffice as a scalp treatment or tonic. The results proved interesting since they were somewhat delayed compared to other essential oils. The grapeseed oil was applied to the scalp where the hair was thinning, and after 6 weeks, the hair began growing back to replace the lost strands.
The key to grapeseed oil is patience since many people want to find a quick fix for their hair loss. Nevertheless, grapeseed oil can be highly effective for people dealing with hair loss due to follicle damage or contamination.
#3: Peppermint Oil
One of the more festive plants on Earth is Mentha x piperita, better known by its common name "peppermint." Whenever we hear "peppermint," our minds instinctively turn to gum or candy canes for fans of Christmas. This is hardly surprising since peppermint is commonly used to create minty confections for people with hardier palates.
Despite its close association with candy and gum, peppermint is a highly nutritional substance that can promote improved health. Peppermint is special in that it is a hybrid species created by crossbreeding watermint and spearmint, 2 well-known subspecies of mint. Since its discovery in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus, peppermint has been used for several health-oriented purposes, including refinement into peppermint oil.
Like other essential oils, peppermint oil is imbued with the benefits the peppermint plant is known for but possesses an additional malleability. The benefits of peppermint oil were corroborated by a study that, once again, focused on rodent subjects. The mice used in this study were exposed to peppermint oil to determine the effects it might have on their skin and fur. The results showed that the mice in the test group developed more hair follicles.
Additionally, their follicles had improved depth, and they enjoyed a higher rate of hair growth, reinforcing the idea that peppermint oil can promote healthier hair. As before, peppermint oil's effects on human hair have yet to be fully explored, but the potential is undeniable.
#4: Cedarwood Oil
Cedarwood oil, also known as cedar oil, is an interesting example of essential oil that is broader than the others on this list. Whereas peppermint and grapeseed oil are distilled from a specific plant, cedar oil is not strictly distilled from cedar trees.
Cedarwood oil can be distilled from multiple conifers, though trees from the pine and cypress families yield the best results. As a matter of fact, very few vials of cedar oil were ever distilled from cedar trees despite the name. Nevertheless, cedarwood oil remains one of human history's oldest and most commonly used essential oils.
The oil has a significant history in art, perfumery, and even Egyptian funerary practices. Despite this colored history, cedarwood oil also has a significant place in alternative medicine that has cemented its position as an essential oil.
While there are many purported benefits of cedarwood oil, its effect on our scalps is likely the most important to you at the moment. Cedarwood oil has often been cited as a tool to promote hair growth and inhibit hair loss by restoring balance to the oil on the scalp. Additionally, cedarwood oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that can counter certain contaminants.
A study moderately reinforced these theories after combining cedarwood oil with lavender and rosemary. The results showed the combination reduced hair loss in subjects with alopecia areata. Unfortunately, few studies corroborate cedarwood oil's abilities as a solo act.
#5: Rosemary Oil
Anyone with a history of cooking knows what rosemary is, though they might lack insight into its benefits outside the kitchen. Salvia rosmarinus is a common shrub that produces strong-smelling leaves that can significantly improve the flavor of a roast chicken. In addition to its culinary benefits, rosemary is packed with nutrients that can improve the health of the human body.
Its benefits are not strictly physical and can extend into cosmetics if properly prepared and applied. One of the main methods of refining rosemary is converting it into rosemary oil, which allows us to apply the benefits of common rosemary to other body parts. It is alleged that rosemary oil can benefit our hairline when applied to the scalp.
As with the other oils, this claim was investigated via a research study to determine whether it could promote healthier hair. Oddly enough, rosemary's purported benefits appear genuine since the study compared rosemary oil to minoxidil, a common hair growth product.
The results found that rosemary oil had similar results to the minoxidil but with the added benefit of reduced side effects. Minoxidil is known to cause itchiness in the scalp after application, but rosemary oil's version of this effect was less severe in comparison.
#6: Tea Tree Oil
Starting the morning with a cup of tea is common in several continents, most notably the United Kingdom and Asia. While citizens of the United States tend to prefer coffee as their morning beverage, tea has proven extremely beneficial.
However, we do not even have to drink tea to take advantage of its benefits since most tea leaves can be refined into an essential oil. Specifically, leaves from the Melaleuca alternifolia (the common tea tree) have been associated with several medicinal benefits long before they saw commercial use. The oil produced from these leaves has recently been applied to promote hair health and growth.
Tea tree oil's antibacterial and antimicrobial effects were studied in 2013 in comparison to minoxidil in the same fashion that rosemary oil was studied. The study combined the minoxidil with the tea tree oil and compared it to independent minoxidil use. The results showed that the combination was more effective than the minoxidil alone and improved hair growth. Unfortunately, the studies focusing on tea tree oil as an independent hair growth solution are minimal at best.
Finding the Right Blend
Hair loss is a common issue for men and women worldwide, with more and more people facing premature balding. This issue has sent the race for a solution into overdrive, though the results have been less encouraging. Thousands of alleged baldness cures have been sold, though most are ineffective at best and counter-intuitive at worst.
The detail these essential oils have in common is that they are naturally derived from plant matter that organically interacts with our biology and physiology. Unfortunately, essential oils alone are often insufficient to address an issue fully and seldom serve as a cure. The trick is combining them with other natural substances that reinforce hair growth and health effects.
We at Teami fully endorse using natural substances to improve health or cosmetic conditions. That is why we offer a variety of products that employ natural ingredients and essential oils to address several common issues. Insofar as hair care is concerned, we can offer our Grow + Glow, Hair, and Nails Support Gummy Vitamin (employing biotin and grapeseed oil) or our Beauty Butterfly Collagen (taking advantage of collagen's benefits for hair).
We encourage you to visit our website and try our products yourself so you can take control of your appearance again. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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