Ever since my late fiancé pulled out a pair of clippers during my second year at college, my hair has pretty much been some variation of short. If it wasn't a fade, it was a TWA with a mild texturizer in it, if it wasn't that, it was some sort of mini Frohawk.
But around 18 months ago, I took my clippers and shaved my head bald in the hopes of starting anew and actually getting a little length. Let me just say from personal experience that if you ever want to learn a few lessons in patience, commitment, and consistency, don't only attempt to grow your hair out, attempt doing it in its natural state. WHEW-HEE.
As I've been in the process of figuring out what works for me (Jamaican Mango & Lime Rosemary Castor Oil) and what doesn't (wetting it all of the time), there are some essential oils that are truly my tresses best friends.
So if, like me, you're trying to make this natural thing happen in a really BIG way, I'm here to tell you that if you stock up on the following oils (and mix them in with a carrier oil like sweet almond, coconut, olive, grapeseed or avocado)—you will notice a healthier scalp, stronger hair and (what I'm personally after right now) a good amount of length retention too. Ready?
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In my humble opinion, every woman should have at least one bottle of lavender oil in her possession. Health-wise, it calms your nervous system, relieves headaches, heals acne, induces sleep, and, if you apply it to your abdomen during your cycle, it can make your cramps more tolerable too.
As far as your hair goes, it's the kind of oil that stimulates hair growth. Also, because of its powerful antimicrobial properties, lavender oil also reduces scalp inflammation while treating dandruff (and lice) too.
Hair Regrowth Tip: Mix ½ teaspoon of lavender oil with ½ teaspoon of rosemary and five drops of grapeseed oil. Let the oil combination heat in the microwave for five seconds and then massage your scalp with the solution every other night. It's a great way to pamper your scalp, stimulate your hair follicles, and also heal your scalp if you happen to have alopecia.
A lot of people sleep on rosemary oil, but they shouldn't. It does everything from improve brain function and alleviate stress to reduce joint inflammation and increase blood circulation. It's actually the oil's ability to help in the blood circulation department that makes it an awesome hair growth potion.
The more blood that flows to your scalp, the more nutrients your hair follicles are able to receive and the faster your hair will grow over time. Also, if you happen to struggle with patches of hair loss, rubbing some rosemary over those areas can heal them within a matter of 4-6 months.
Hair Mask Tip: Crack one egg. Then add to it one teaspoon of raw honey, one teaspoon of olive oil, and five drops of rosemary oil. Use a small whisk to blend everything together and then apply it to your freshly-washed hair. Let it sit on your hair and scalp for about 30 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water first, cool water second (to seal your cuticles). Your hair will instantly feel much softer.
Neither one of us has the time to get into all of what peppermint oil can do. But just to give you a brief rundown—peppermint oil relieves muscle pain, treats seasonal allergies (because it acts as an expectorant), increases workout performance, protects skin from sun damage, alleviates headaches, freshens bad breath, and effectively treats irritable bowel syndrome too.
Your hair and scalp will love this oil because (thanks to the menthol that's in it) it fights the yeast the causes dandruff, nourishes damaged tresses, and it even makes hair thicker.
Hair Conditioner Tip: Add 4-5 drops of the oil into your conditioner. Let the conditioner sit on your hair and scalp for 20 minutes before rinsing and styling as usual. You should notice less dandruff and thicker hair within a couple of months (tops).
This is another kind of oil that's well worth the investment. Thyme essential oil is a cicatrizant which is a fancy word that means it promotes the healing of scars. Thanks to the antibacterial and antifungal properties that are in thyme, it also can boost your immune system. Plus, the carminative properties in this oil reduces gas while its expectorant and antispasmodic properties can help to speed up the symptoms that are associated with a cold or the flu.
It's a great oil for natural hair because it's another one that promotes hair growth. There are even studies to support that if it's combined with grapeseed oil, it can reduce the symptoms associated with alopecia areata after about seven months.
Hair Growth Tip: If you mix 10 drops of thyme essential oil, one tablespoon of raw honey and ½ cup of raw apple cider vinegar together in a plastic spray bottle and spray it on your hair and scalp daily, not only will it stimulate hair growth, it will soothe your itchy scalp and clear up dandruff as well.
It might not be the most common essential oil on the market, but don't let that stop you from picking up some. Ylang Ylang (pronounced EE-lang EE-lang) contains properties that make it an antiseptic, aphrodisiac and sedative all in one! If you're feeling a little depressed, you've got high blood pressure or you're looking for the kind of oil that will give your libido a bit of a boost, Ylang Ylang's got your back. Word on the street is that it's even used to treat arthritis and pelvic inflammatory disease.
How can it help your natural hair? For one thing, with regular use, it can help to reduce hair fall. It's also a great way to treat thinning tresses. Also, if you suffer from chronic scalp dryness, Ylang Ylang can moisturize your scalp without clogging up your follicles in the process.
Hair Spritz Tip: Add five drops of Ylang Ylang and ½ teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to a bottle that is filled with distilled water. Spray your hair throughout the day. It serves as a wonderful humectant spritz.
Ginger oil has the reputation for being the "gut-friendly oil"; that's because it's able to soothe motion sickness, nausea, diarrhea, stomach aches, and vomiting. It's also the kind of oil that kills bacteria, reduces inflammation and strengthens the heart. Thanks to all of the antioxidants that are in ginger oil, it can fight free radicals in the body. And, it's another oil that increases sexual desire (it even helps to treat erectile dysfunction).
The antioxidants and nutrients in this spicy oil make it another one that increases blood circulation to the scalp. And, if your hair is dry and brittle, it can make it much softer after just one application.
Scalp Massage Tip: Add six drops of ginger essential oil to three tablespoons of organic coconut oil. Pop the combination into the microwave for five seconds and massage your scalp before going to bed. It will help to heal your scalp and restore hair loss too.
Clary Sage is a flowering herb that has a great reputation for reducing stress and also treating menstrual and menopause symptoms. If you rub the oil directly onto your lower abdomen, it will decrease the intensity of your cramps. As far as menopause goes, the sclareol that's in it mimics the estrogen. This results in fewer mood swings and hot flashes.
If you're looking for the kind of essential oil that not only stimulates hair growth but also balances out the oils on your scalp, fights dandruff and helps to keep your hair shiny, clary sage will do it for you. It's also known for helping to balance out the hormones that could lead to excessive hair shedding.
Hair Thickening Tip: Mix 25 drops of rosemary, clary sage and cedarwood (it's another oil that promotes hair growth) to three ounces of grapeseed oil. Put it in a glass bottle, shake well and massage it onto clean damp hair. Let the mixture sit for 25 minutes, then rinse and style as usual. It will condition your hair will giving it more natural elasticity too. All that you need for long, healthy NATURAL hair!
Featured image by Getty Images.
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