Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular as many people look to using more natural methods to maintain their wellbeing and to treat health concerns. But how much do you know about them? They do far more than just smell nice.
- 0.1 Essential Oils: A Guide
- 0.2 How to Use Essential Oils
- 0.3 In a Diffuser
- 0.4 Steam Inhalation
- 0.5 Use Them in a Room Spray
- 0.6 Add Them to the Bath
- 0.7 Use It in a Massage
- 0.8 Use Them on a Compress
- 0.9 Balding
- 0.10 Types of Hair Loss
- 0.11 Male and Female-Pattern Baldness
- 0.12 Alopecia Areata
- 0.13 Anagen Effluvium
- 0.14 Telogen Effluvium
- 0.15 How Is Hair Loss Treated?
- 0.16 Emotional Problems Caused by Hair Loss
- 1 Essential Oils for Baldness
Essential Oils: A Guide
Only around 10% of the plants we know of have been analysed for their essential oil content, so there’s probably a lot we still don’t know about. There are over 3000 known essential oils.
Essential oils are not technically oils, because they don’t contain fatty acids.
Oils play a protective role in plants and they aid pollination, and they also contain compounds that have properties that are very useful for us.
Essential oils are extracted from the seeds, leaves, bark, roots, and flowers of a plant.
Every oil contains hundreds of active compounds which give it its health-giving properties. The main compounds are known as terpenes, phenols, alcohols, aldehydes, ethers, esters, ketones, carboxylic acids, oxides, lactones, coumarins, alkanes, and furanoids.
Essential oil molecules are tiny, so they can easily penetrate the skin and assimilate into the bloodstream, whether they are applied to the skin topically or inhaled.
Mixing oils with a carrier oil can improve their absorption.
Many essential oils contain antioxidants which fight free radical damage in the body which can cause premature aging and disease.
Studies have shown that essential oils can boost the secretion of brain chemicals, hormones, and immune cells.
Many essential oils have been found to be very effective against bacteria, even those which are resistant to antibiotics like MRSA. Particularly effective oils include tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass, thyme, and oregano oil.
Essential oils can be useful in the home too and have been shown to be effective for removing toxins from the air, getting rid of mold, and unpleasant odours.
Some of the medicines we know today have been created from synthetic versions of the active compounds in oils; for example, scientists studying the bark of the willow tree created salicylic acid, a synthetic version of methyl salicylate, a natural compound occurring in willow bark.
Essential oils can help to reduce anxiety. Studies have shown that the best oils for anxiety are lavender, frankincense, bergamot, vetiver, orange, lemon, ylang-ylang, chamomile, and rose.
Essential oils should be stored in dark glass bottle, with the cap tightly closed to stop them from deteriorating. You can tell if an oil has spoiled if the scent has changed, the consistency has become thicker, or the liquid has become cloudy.
How to Use Essential Oils
Here are a few of the most common ways you can use essential oils:
In a Diffuser
Adding oils to a diffuser allows them to disperse throughout a room, so they can relax you, cleanse the air, and relieve respiratory problems like congestion.
Add 10 drops of an oil like eucalyptus or peppermint to a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl, close your eyes and inhale the vapour. This is an excellent way to treat the congestion associated with colds, flu, and sinus problems.
Use Them in a Room Spray
Add up to 10 drops of oil to some water in a spray bottle, shake it well, and use the spray around your home, or to freshen linen.
Add Them to the Bath
Adding oils to your bath can create a relaxing aromatherapy experience. Add 6 drops to your bath, and add bath salts if you have them, as this helps the oil to disperse. Rinse your bath well afterwards, in case the oil makes it slippery.
Use It in a Massage
Dilute oils with a suitable carrier oil and apply them to the skin. The small molecules are easily absorbed through the skin into the tissues. Massage can help to treat aches and pains, menstrual cramps, stress, and headaches.
Use Them on a Compress
This can be very effective to promote the healing and recovery from muscle aches, joint pains, headaches, and menstrual cramps. To make a compress, add up to 6 drops of an oil to either warm or cold water, then soak a cloth in it. Wring the excess water from the cloth and apply to the affected area.
Alopecia is the general medical term for hair loss, and there are many types of hair loss, caused by many different things.
Types of Hair Loss
Male and Female-Pattern Baldness
Male-pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss, and it affects half of all men by the time they are 50 years old. It usually begins in the late 20s or early 30s, and many men experience hair loss by their late 30s. The hairline starts to recede first, then the hair on the crown and temples thins. Sometimes, men can go completely bald, but this is not common.
Male-pattern baldness runs in families and it’s thought to be caused by the hair follicles being too sensitive to a particular male hormone. This baldness can also affect women, but in women, only the hair on the top of the head is affected. Experts don’t know if this type of baldness is hereditary, and the definitive cause is unknown. The hair loss is more common in women who have passed the menopause, and this might be linked to a drop in female hormones.
This condition causes patches of baldness on the scalp, which can appear anywhere on the body. It can affect people of any age, but it is most common in teenagers and younger adults, aged from 15 to 29.
The condition is caused by a problem with the immune system, where the body’s own immune system attacks the body’s hair follicles. If you have another autoimmune problem, you’re more likely to suffer from another.
It’s also believed to run in families, and 1 in 5 people with the condition have a family history of alopecia.
In the majority of cases, the hair grows back within a few months, though it tends to be lighter in colour and finer at first. Some people develop severe hair loss like:
- Alopecia Totalis, where no hair is left on the scalp
- Alopecia Universalis, where no hair is left on the scalp or body
This is hair loss that can affect the scalp, face, and body.
One of the most common causes is chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Some other cancer treatments, like radiotherapy and immunotherapy, can cause hair loss.
In the majority of cases, this type of hair loss is temporary, and the hair should start to grow back within a few months after the cycle of treatment has stopped.
This is a common type of alopecia, which causes thinning of the hair all over the head, rather than just bald patches. Hair will look and feel thinner, but body hair isn’t affected.
Telogen effluvium can be caused by:
- hormonal changes, like those that occur during pregnancy
- Emotional stress
- Physical stress
- An acute illness, like a bad infection
- Any other serious illness, like cancer or liver disease
- Crash diets
- Medication like beta-blockers
How Is Hair Loss Treated?
Male-pattern baldness does not require treatment as it is a part of aging. However, hair loss can be emotionally distressing, so speak to your GP if it is affecting your quality of life. Your doctor should be able to tell what type of hair loss is affecting you by examining your hair. They will then make suggestions on treatment.
There are treatments available for male-pattern baldness, including medications like finasteride and minoxidil. Minoxidil can be used to treat female-pattern baldness. These treatments vary in effectiveness, they only work for as long as you use them, and they can be quite expensive.
Alopecia areata is often treated with steroid injections or ointments.
A treatment called immunotherapy may also be used if it appears that the baldness is being caused by a problem with the immune system.
There are also some surgical treatments available for hair loss, including hair transplants and hair implants.
Emotional Problems Caused by Hair Loss
Hair can be part of your identity, and so losing it can be distressing. This can affect your self-esteem and cause you to experience low mood. Speak to your doctor if hair loss is affecting you in this way, and they may suggest that you see a counselor, or join a support group.
The main way essential oils help to combat hair loss is by stimulating the hair follicles and boosting circulation to the scalp. They also provide the hair and scalp with essential nutrients and balance the scalp’s oil production. Here are the best essential oils for baldness:
Rosemary is known to be a very effective essential oil for hair care. It’s great for the hair and scalp. It boosts circulation, treats dandruff, and boosts the health of undernourished hair. It supports scalp hair by reducing oil production and congestion and stimulating the hair follicles at the base of the scalp which promotes healthy hair growth and reduces hair loss. Other health benefits of this oil are that it relieves fatigue, boosts memory, and reduces the incidence of headaches and migraines.
Clary Sage is also a circulation boosting oil that’s highly effective for hair health problems. It’s ability to balance and promote healthy scalp oil levels and its circulation-boosting properties combine to treat and prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth.
Clary sage is a useful oil for all hair types. It tackles dandruff, boosts sluggish circulation, and regulates oil production, so it’s effective for keeping oily hair healthy, as well as encouraging healthy hair and scalp. Other health benefits of this oil are that it can boost creativity, relieve insomnia, lifts the mood, reduce blood pressure, and boost libido.
Lavender is a very versatile oil. It can treat a lot of different health conditions, including problems with the health of the hair. It replenishes moisture in the scalp and treats any areas of dry skin and inflammation. This makes it perfect for treating dandruff. Its active compounds promote strong, healthy hair, and its relaxing properties treat possible psychological reasons for hair loss like stress.
Lavender is an oil that most people should have in their first aid kit, as it has so many different applications.
Thyme oil supports and encourages good blood circulation. Applying thyme oil to the scalp, diluted with a carrier oil will improve the health of your scalp and reduce hair loss. The other benefits of thyme oil are that it’s great for detoxing the body, it boosts clarity of thought, relieves muscles aches, relieves joint pain, and boosts immunity.
Chamomile is another versatile oil. It can be used to treat many different conditions, and it’s a very calming and soothing oil. It reduces inflammation, especially muscle aches and joint pains. It’s an excellent oil to calm a busy, stressed mind, and stress is a major cause of hair loss.
Cedarwood oil is known to be effective at preventing hair loss. It helps prevent hair loss and promotes new healthy hair growth. It also smells amazing. Cedarwood is very effective at clearing impurities from the skin and scalp. It balances skin that is too dry or too oily, and it’s often used to treat dandruff. It works to prevent hair loss and promotes new healthy hair growth.
The leaves of the bay tree have long been used as a natural remedy for people suffering from hair loss and from conditions of the scalp. People in the Caribbean used to combine bay leaves with rum to make a tonic to prevent hair loss and treat aching joints and muscles. Bay oil is added to shampoos and conditioners to boost scalp and hair health because of these properties.
Carrot seed oil is an excellent skin health booster, and its benefits extend to keeping your hair healthy. It provides the hair with a lot of nutrients, and it’s made from the seed of wild carrots. Carrot seed is well-known for its nourishing, detoxifying and hormone regulating abilities. It is especially good for promoting good liver function. The liver is responsible for getting rid of toxins from the body, and less toxins means a healthy body and healthy hair.
Other oils that are very effective for treating hair loss are juniper, yarrow, ylang-ylang, birch, cypress, lemon, Palma rosa, rose, calendula
DIY Recipes for Hair Loss and Hair Thinning
Hair Loss / Alopecia Scalp Massage Oil Treatment
- 4 tsp (20 mL) jojoba oil
- 4 tsp (20 mL) coconut oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 5 drops rosemary oil
- 5 drops clary sage oil
Or you can try:
- 5 tsp slightly warmed jojoba oil, castor oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 12 drops rosemary or lavender oil
How to make it:
- In a 2 oz (60 mL) glass bottle combine the ingredients and shake to mix them thoroughly
- Pour 1/2 teaspoon of the scalp massage oil into the palms of your hands
- Rub your palms together and work the oil into your scalp, massaging the scalp in circular motions.
- Soak a towel in hot water then wring it out and wrap it around your hair.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap or dry towel
- Leave the oil on your hair for 30 minutes
- After this, apply the hair loss shampoo below.
Alopecia/ General Hair Loss Shampoo
For this shampoo, you need to make a very basic herbal shampoo and then add hair health-boosting essential oils.
- 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
- 1/2 cup distilled or filtered water
- 4 tsp coconut, macadamia, or meadowfoam oil
- 14 drops jojoba oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 4 drops rosemary oil
How to make it:
- In a glass measuring cup or jug, mix the Castile soap with half of the water and stir well to combine.
- Add the coconut oil and stir, then pour it into an 8 oz glass bottle and add the jojoba oil, lavender, and rosemary essential oils. Fill the rest of the bottle with the water. Shake well to mix.
Try these alternatives:
- For a creamy and moisturizing shampoo: add 1/2 cup coconut milk
- For extra dry hair: add 6 teaspoons of vegetable glycerine, which seals moisture in the hair.
To lighten or add highlights to the hair:
- soak 3 chamomile tea bags in 1/2 cup boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove the bags and add 1/2 cup of this tea instead of the water in this recipe.
- Also, add 2 tsp lemon juice.
- Hair loss vinegar rinse
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 50 drops of an essential oil blend or single essential oil
How to make it:
- Mix the vinegar and essential oils in a bottle and shake to blend.
- Mix 3 teaspoons of the rinse with 2 cups of warm water, then pour it over your hair. Repeat again, and then rinse just with water.
- You can also make a rinse with the following ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 3 drops west Indian bay oil
- 3 drops rosemary oil
- 3 drops lavender oil
- 3 1/2 oz rose, lavender, geranium or helichrysum oil