Known for centuries as the “soul” or “life force” of a plant, essential oils are delicate, aromatic liquids extracted from the seeds, leaves, stems, flowers, bark and roots of plants and trees. These highly-concentrated oils have been used for centuries for their healing properties and are still used today for health and beauty purposes. These oils are particularly beneficial in African American hair care regimens as they encourage hair growth, prevent hair loss, have anti-bacterial properties and provide nourishment to the roots of the hair.
Known as one of the most versatile of the essential oils, tea tree oil is effective for helping purify the scalp and for treating dandruff problems. It moisturizes the hair, balancing the production of your hair’s natural oil, stimulates the scalp, keeps the scalp free of bacterial and fungal problems and unblocks clogged hair follicles.
Rosemary essential oil encourages hair growth, helps alleviate dry hair and is beneficial for helping eliminate dandruff and an itchy scalp. Rosemary oil should never be used during pregnancy as it very dangerous to an unborn child.
Of all the essential oils, chamomile is thought to be the most soothing to the hair and scalp. It is effective for providing sheen, luster and conditioning properties to the hair.
Basil essential oil encourages hair growth through stimulating blood circulation. It is usually found in shampoos and conditioners designated for maintaining a healthy scalp. Basil oil works well in conjunction with fenugreek and ivy burdock herbs.
Peppermint essential oil stimulates blood flow to the hair roots, enabling the hair to receive the proper nourishment it needs to grow. Peppermint has a tingling effect on the scalp and this is what encourages blood flow to the scalp, contributing to the hair’s overall health.
Bay essential oil aides in hair growth and provides dull, lifeless hair with luster and shine. This oil is also helps eliminate dandruff problems.
Lavender essential oil is known to promote hair growth. It is also used to treat severe hair and scalp conditions such as alopecia areata. According to a 1998 article in the "Archives of Dermatology," a 7-month controlled study, conducted by the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland, concluded that lavender essential oil is an effective treatment for the disease.
Sage essential oil is thought of as one of the best essential oils for clarifying the scalp. It helps cleanse impurities out of the scalp and works well with other herbs to provide healing properties for scalp conditions like psoriasis. When used in combination with zinc it helps eliminate dandruff problems.
Aretha C. Smith began her professional writing career in 2004. She has authored several training guides for Dalhousie University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English. Smith also holds a diploma in library information management from Nova Scotia Community College.