What is lavender oil?
Essential oils are increasingly popular home remedies. Among them, lavender has become a widespread essential oil favorite.
Boasting many uses and a heavenly scent, lavender essential oils are made directly from the lavender plant. Using special distilling techniques, the end-product is a highly concentrated extract of lavender’s useful compounds, full of health benefits and more.
These include pain relief, migraine relief, air freshening, cleaning, and even hair care perks. Studies suggest it has many advantages for hair and healthy, beautiful locks.
We’ll look at these in this article.
How does lavender oil improve hair health?
Lavender oil has many beneficial properties that could also support hair health, some of which are described here.
- It helps promote hair growth
Lavender essential oil recently gained attention for stimulating hair growth. A 2016 study found that lavender oil applied to mice made them grow more hair. Their hair also grew thicker and faster than normal.
This benefit is way more effective when the oil can work itself into the skin. Per these studies, lavender oil may help with issues like pattern baldness or alopecia. Human studies are needed to prove this, though people can safely try the oil in their hair.
- It’s antimicrobial
Lavender also has antimicrobial properties, noted in this 2014 review. This means it helps prevent bacteria and fungi from growing.
When applied to hair or scalp, this may prevent common hair or scalp issues. In particular, it may prevent itchy scalp or dandruff and even infections.
- It may help prevent or kill head lice
A 2011 study found that lavender essential oil could help prevent head lice. It may even kill head lice.
The study tested lavender with another essential oil, tea tree oil. Though more studies are needed, using lavender oil could possibly reduce the risk of getting lice. Using tea tree oil with it could be even more successful.
But that doesn’t mean these oils are a replacement for your prescribed treatment plan — you shouldn’t rely solely on oils to treat head lice.
- It may help curb skin inflammation
Lavender is sometimes used as a home remedy for skin inflammation and burns. Using it in essential oil form may be good for scalp inflammation and dryness.
A 2012 study saw lavender oil used topically on skin inflammations and ulcers, with success. It reduced inflammation and sped up the healing process.
- It has a calming effect and divine fragrance
As an extra benefit, lavender has a wonderful smell. Its aroma can literally calm down your nervous system. In this 2012 experiment, human subjects experienced more relaxation, pleasure, and better moods after inhaling its fragrance.
How to use lavender oil for hair
There are many ways to use and apply lavender oil to one’s hair. Depending on the benefits you want to experience, certain applications are better than others.
- Massage the oil into your scalp
Want to get the very best of lavender oil’s hair growth and scalp benefits? Massage diluted lavender oil onto your scalp.
You can dilute lavender essential oil with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil. You should mix the essential oil and carrier oil in equal parts.
This is best to do following a bath or shower. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then rinse out afterward (if desired). You can leave it in overnight with your hair wrapped in a towel if you want maximum benefits. You’ll also experience lavender’s calming and lovely scent as well as some scalp-healing effects.
Oil massaging anywhere from once per week to once per day works well. We recommend lavender oils from doTERRA or Mountain Rose Herbs. Both are reputable companies with great reviews on their products.
- Add the oil to your hair products
For some scalp benefit, hair growth, fragrance, and calming effects, add oil to hair products. For example, you can add a little lavender oil to shampoo, conditioner, or another product.
Be sparing. Only add about five drops per ounce of product to be safe. Next, use hair product as directed. Another option: Add two to three drops directly to a dollop of hair product in your palm before applying.
Use it as often as you would use your hair products regularly.
You can also add oil to your very own homemade shampoo. Try this recipe from Wellness Mama as well as many others online.
- Purchase products with lavender essential oil already added
Products with lavender oil already in them can be calming, fragrant, and good for your scalp. They may not necessarily promote hair growth—the lavender oil is very likely to be diluted, with the amount varying from product to product.
Next time you’re purchasing hair care products, look at the ingredients. If the ingredients lists contain “lavender essential oil” or “lavender hydrolate,” these are good candidates. The more natural ingredients and carrier oils, the better.
Simply use products as often as is needed or as directed, daily or weekly.
We recommend Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender shampoo or The Honest Company’s Lavender conditioner.
- Use lavender essential oil hair serum
Hair serums are products designed for specific hair care benefits. This includes frizzy hair, oily hair, split ends, and more.
Some hair serums are designed to include lavender essential oil for its effects. They may have some scalp benefits but fewer hair-growth benefits, though they may also prevent hair from breaking.
Just like with purchasing any product, look at the ingredient list on the label. Products that list lavender essential oil content and natural ingredients are your best bet. Follow directions on hair serum product for how often you should use it, daily or weekly.
Or save money by making your own lavender oil hair serum such as this one from Beauty Munsta.
- Try a lavender hair mask once per week
Try a weekly lavender hair mask. This gives you all the best benefits of lavender oil for hair care. Like a hair serum, it could also give benefits such as preventing breakage or moisturizing.
Some commercial hair masks contain lavender essential oils—check their ingredient lists. We recommend Momma B’s Naturals Hair Mask, which contains lavender essential oil.
Or save money and try this hair mask recipe from Making Lemonade for preventing hair breakage instead.
Does lavender oil have side effects?
Make sure not to apply too much oil to scalp or products. Too much essential oil can irritate the skin. To avoid this, always use with a carrier oil when using plain oils.
If, despite using carrier oils, you get a rash, hives, or dermatitis, stop use immediately. It may be a sign that you’re allergic to lavender. Many people are.
Never ingest plain essential oils or get them in your eyes. If you accidentally get them in your eyes, wash your eyes out immediately with cool water.
Be cautious using or inhaling lavender if you take nervous system sedatives or depressants. There are known interactions with these medications that may exaggerate sleepiness or drowsiness. Other interactions are unknown.
Other than these considerations, using diluted lavender essential oil topically is perfectly safe.