Essential Oils for Shampoo

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Skip harsh chemicals in favor of natural treatments that include essential oils, which can be used to infuse your hair and scalp with health while minimizing damage or irritation. In addition to improving the condition of your hair, these naturally derived oils add freshness to your hair. Some essential oils are good for all hair types, while others target specific problems. Choose oils that appeal to your sense of smell and meet your hair’s needs.

Understanding Essential Oils

Essential oils are plant-derived, concentrated liquids that are highly fragrant. These oils are typically derived from the roots, bark, flowers, stems or leaves of the plant. These natural products have varying benefits for the skin and hair, and they are frequently used in soaps, massage oils and other topical treatments. Not only can essential oils help treat problems such as thinning hair or an itchy scalp, they also add shine and a fresh scent to your shampoo.

Choosing Essential Oils

Tailor your hair care routine to your own personal needs by using the right essential oils for your hair type. While some, such as lavender, carrot seed and rosemary are beneficial for all hair types, others can be used to treat specific needs. For example, chamomile, rosewood and palmarosa moisturize dry hair, while lemongrass, patchouli, sage, cypress and cedarwood balance oily hair. Other oils, including geranium, spearmint, tea tree and juniper soothe your scalp and treat the itching and flaking associated with dandruff. Oils such as thyme, birch, sandalwood and parsley strengthen fragile hair by stimulating the scalp and protecting it from breakage. Yarrow, lemon, Roman chamomile and rose oils encourage hair growth and minimize hair loss.

Using Essential Oils in Shampoo

Whether you enjoy making your own shampoo from scratch or simply want to boost your favorite formula’s benefits, essential oils are simple to use. Make your own shampoo by adding essential oils to an organic shampoo base or add the oils directly to your favorite shampoo, preferably one that is natural and unscented so that the essential oils can fragrance the mixture. Add 20 to 30 drops of the oil or oils of your choice, adding them one at a time if you're using more than one. Combine them by stirring or shaking the mixture and use it every time you shampoo.


Although essential oils are natural and typically gentle on skin and hair, side effects are possible on rare occasions, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Watch out for any irritation or itching, which may signal an adverse reaction. Additionally, since overusing essential oils can be drying to your hair, it's important to avoid overusing the essential oils or adding too high a dosage to your shampoo.