With so many natural oils in ANTIDOTE products, we get a lot of questions about how oils work to benefit our scalp, follicles, and hair. So we wanted to take a minute to pull together the latest research and views on the best oils for healthy scalp and beautiful hair.
Why Use Oil on your Scalp and Hair?
Putting oil on your hair may seem counterintuitive, but there are endless benefits to it. Natural oils moisturize and protect. They lubricate the cuticle and prevent breakage and damage. They detangle, nourish, style, and smooth.
The best part is, you don’t need to break your bank to start incorporating nourishing oils into your regimen. You can find most of these ingredients at the grocery store. Whether you add oils to your own recipes, or in your favorite ANTIDOTE products, we know that you will be delighted with the results.
Won’t my hair get greasy?
If your scalp produces enough natural oils, brushing your hair every day may be enough to nourish and protect your strands. And some people find that using too much of a heavier oil can make your hair feel greasy.
But if your hair is dry, chemically treated, damaged, or if you wash your hair every day, chances are you could use the extra boost of moisture.
Knowing about the best nutrient-rich oils will help you choose one that’s right for you. And because these oils are concentrated, a little goes a long way.
Our superstars are a mix of carrier oils and essential oils. They can be added to existing shampoos and conditioners, combined to make a hair mask, or used lightly on the ends in between washes to style your hair.
Remember to start small and add more if needed to avoid overdoing it.
Before we go into each one in detail, we've listed the best oils for hair and scalp health here:
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of each oil, who would benefit the most, and how to use them.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary is a type of evergreen shrubbery, originating in the Mediterranean. We use the leaves in cooking. Both the oil and leaves are used to combat inflammation and to aid digestion and brain function. You'll find rosemary oil in ANTIDOTE Rosemary Detox Shampoo.
Here’s what it does for your hair: It naturally purifies your hair and reduces scalp irritation. It’s also considered a great oil for hair growth. Some studies have shown that rosemary oil can reverse some of the most common forms of hair loss, like male pattern baldness and alopecia areata - an autoimmune disorder that usually results in unpredictable, patchy hair loss.
Although more research is needed, rosemary hasn’t proven to be effective in reversing hair loss due to chemotherapy, hair pulling, or drug-related hair loss.
Who should use it:Anyone concerned with hair loss or wanting to promote hair growth. Anyone suffering from dandruff or a dry scalp.
“According to one study , rosemary oil performed as well as minoxidil, a common hairgrowth treatment, but with less scalp itching as a side effect,” Healthline.
How to use it:Add several drops of rosemary oil to your shampoo so that it can be massaged into your scalp while you wash your hair. Let your shampoo sit on your scalp for 1 minute and rinse.
Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit is the accidental lovechild of sweet orange and pomelo, originating in Barbados. Rich in Vitamin C, it’s shown to improve heart health and benefit the immune system.
Here’s what it does for your hair: It promotes hair growth while giving your hair a natural shine. Antibacterial and antimicrobial properties clean the scalp, unclog pores, and prevent dandruff.
It also naturally flattens and seals the hair cuticle, making it an excellent detangler.
Antioxidants from the Vitamin C protect the hair and scalp.
Who should use it:If your hair feels dull, or is lacking volume and life, grapefruit oil will help restore shine. It can help control grease for those with thin, oily hair. Anyone with dandruff could benefit from grapefruit oil.
How to use it:For a greasy or flaky scalp, add several drops to your shampoo. For protection and detangling, add several drops to your conditioner.
Or create your own mixture by adding several drops to a bottle of carrier oil like avocado or jojoba oil. Apply as a hair mask for a deep condition.
Learn more about grapefruit peel oil here. You'll find grapefruit peel oil in ANTIDOTE Ginseng Shampoo and Ginseng Conditioner.
Avocados come from central Mexico and have been used by people for thousands of years. The Aztecs used the fruit as an aphrodisiac and the Jamaican’s used to refer to them as “alligator pears.”
Here’s what it does for your hair:Avocado oil is incredibly rich in nutrients, collagen-supporting amino acids, proteins, and vitamins A, B, D, and E. It also contains oleic acid which allows it to penetrate the hair shaft and truly moisturize from within.
The healthy fats in the oil strengthen the hair shaft and prevent split ends. It promotes hair growth as well.
Who should use it:Avocado oil is relatively light, so it’s ideal for people with fine, straight hair. If your strands tend to run dry, this is a great oil to use for protection from heat damage and preventing split ends. Curly-haired people will find it to be an effective moisturizer well, great for styling curls in between washes.
How to use it:Use between washes to touch up curly hair. Or use after showers to style. Apply to ends to keep hair from drying out or breaking. Add several drops to your shampoo to encourage hair growth and thickness.
Use it as a carrier oil and add rosemary or grapefruit essential oil and apply it as a hair mask.
See what experts are saying about avocado seed oil here. You can find avocado oil in ANTIDOTE Avocado Styling Cream and ANTIDOTE Nourishing Oil.
Jojoba Seed Oil
Jojoba oil isn’t actually an oil. It’s a liquid wax from the seed of the jojoba shrub. In the 18th century, Native Americans ground up the seeds to use as a balm for irritated skin as well as to condition their hair.
Here’s what it does for your hair:Rich in Vitamins C, B, E, copper, and zinc, jojoba strengthens and protects hair while providing deep moisture. It encourages hair growth and thickness, and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the scalp.
Who should use it:If your hair is prone to breakage or very dry, jojoba oil is a wonderful aid. Works wonders for color and chemically treated hair.
How to apply:Add a small amount to your conditioner, or buy a natural, safe shampoo that already has jojoba in it.
You can also use it as a hair mask to deep condition dry strands. Or massage a small amount into your scalp to control dandruff and encourage hair growth.
See what others say about Jojoba oil here. You'll find jojoba in ANTIDOTE Jojoba Conditioner.
Everybody loves sunflowers. They are beautiful and give us sunflower seed oil, too! Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin A and E, both of which are antioxidants that promote healthy scalp health. Sunflower oil can also aid digestion and the immune system when used in cooking.
Here’s what it does for your hair:Sunflower oil nourishes and softens skin and hair. Oleic acid helps hair grow faster and prevents breakage. It also tames frizz and adds a natural shine to your hair.
Who should use it:Sunflower oil is a lighter oil, so it’s great for fine, straight hair that tends to be dry or dull. For color or chemically treated hair, it can retain moisture.
How to apply:Make a mask by adding a few drops of rosemary essential oil and applying it to the ends and strands of your hair. Let sit for 10 minutes. Wash out in the shower using cool water.
See what NaturallyCurly says about sunflower oil. You can find sunflower oil in
Sesame Seed Oil (also known as Gingelly Oil)
Sesame seed is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The oil-rich seeds of the sesame plant pack fiber, plant protein, and antioxidants.
Here’s what it does for your hair:Sesame seed oil is antibacterial and antifungal, making it an excellent oil for fighting dandruff. It contains Vitamin E and many other nutrients that support strong, healthy hair. It also protects your hair from sun and environmental damage.
Who should use it:People with irritated scalps, or dandruff. Anyone with color-treated hair can use sesame oil for UV protection.
How to apply:Massage a small amount into your scalp or drop it directly into your shampoo. For long days in the sun, apply a light coat to your strands for protection.
See what Healthline says about sesame oil.
You'll also find sesame oil in ANTIDOTE Gingelly Hair Mist.
Sea buckthorn is a small shrub that produces berries. The oil is extracted from those berries to be used on the skin or ingested. Sea buckthorn supports the liver, heart, immune system, and does wonders for both your scalp and hair.
Here’s what it does for your hair:An incredible nurturing agent, this oil improves blood circulation, fights inflammation, and promotes faster hair growth. Vitamins A and E help to strengthen brittle hair. Antioxidants protect the hair from further damage. Amino acids help repair chemically treated hair.
Who should use it:Sea buckthorn oil is an excellent support for aging hair. Anyone with color-treated hair will also benefit from it’s moisturizing and strengthening properties.
How to apply:Apply to the ends of your hair between washes to protect from breakage and to strengthen hair. Or massage a small amount into your scalp to improve blood circulation.
You'll find Sea Buckthorn in ANTIDOTE Buckthorn Styling Clay.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood oil is extracted by steam distillation of pieces of sandalwood tree. The aroma is earthy, grounding, and loved by many.
Here’s what it does for your hair:Anti-inflammatory properties soothe an irritated scalp. Softens the scalp and helps it to retain moisture. Sandalwood also moisturizes and adds shine to lifeless hair.
Who should use it:Sandalwood is a wonderful oil for all hair types and smells divine. If you struggle with an inflamed scalp or dandruff, sandalwood is a good choice.
How to apply:For thick or curly hair, mix with jojoba or sesame seed oil and apply a small amount to the ends of hair between washes to style. Or add several drops into styling cream you already have. Massage what’s left on your hands into your scalp to prevent dandruff and soothe your scalp. Check out what the Daily Mail has to say about Sandalwood Oil here.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is a wonderful alternative to other oils because it’s light-weight and nutrient-rich. It’s made from the byproduct of winemaking. Cheers!
Here’s what it does for your hair:Grape seed is rich in vitamin E and linoleic acid, both of which aid a healthy scalp, moisturize and protect from pollutants. If your hair is dry and brittle, grape seed will help you restore shine and strength.
It’s an excellent choice to fight dandruff because of its light weight. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
Who should use it:Grape seed is great for fine-haired people who are experiencing dandruff or dry, brittle hair. It can also be used to combat baldness
How to apply:Use it between washes to refresh the ends or mix it with a little sandalwood oil and apply as a hair mask for deep conditioning and protection.
See what Healthline says about grape seed oil here. You will find grape seed oil in ANTIDOTE Nourishing Oil.
Whatever oil you choose to incorporate into your hair routine, have fun with it. Most of these oils can be found locally and won’t break the bank. Have fun mixing them to make masks, drop a little bit into your shampoos, and try them on your face too!
Drop us a comment below and let us know what oils are working for you these days!
Abigail + David
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June 03, 2021
Oh, I love this, and need to read it again! you have the basics laid out so clearly! Great job,
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