It’s a no-brainer that hair needs care. As times change, so do hair care requirements. Specialized oil treatments that target precise needs are in vogue. For instance, Horsetail oil, an extract from the Horsetail plant, is an excellent hair follicle stimulator. Black seed oil, pressed from the seeds of Nigella sativa, a flowering shrub, is an antidote to flakiness. Using grapeseed oil regularly is beneficial for dry hair. A look at other such lesser-known but beneficial hair oils.
Best for: Hair softening This lightweight oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes. Its high vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids composition make it an excellent conditioner.
Best for Protection from sun damage Extracted from the seeds of rose bushes, this comprises an excellent hair repair formula that works on renewing damaged hair follicles.
Best for Sensitive scalp Cold-pressed from the kernels of almond trees, it has hypoallergenic properties that can be used by people with recurring scalp infections and irritability. “It’s best used in spring and summer because it penetrates easily into the scalp, sealing in moisture to keep dryness at bay,” says Kruthika Kumara, founder of Coimbatore-based brand Vilvah.
Best for: Reducing hair fall Great for preventing hair shedding, this oil has astringent properties. It promotes contraction of hair follicles, thereby preventing weakening and falling of hair.
Best for Anti-frizz “Popularly known as the liquid gold of Morocco, this is the perfect anti-frizz. It’s full of antioxidants and vitamins. It is a light plant-based oil retrieved by cold pressing an Argan nut which grows in Southwestern Morocco. Because it’s high in vitamin E, palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic fatty acids, it can protect the hair and scalp from UV rays,” says Kumara.
Best for: Hair re-growth The presence of methanol in the oil acts as a stimulant for hair follicles.
Lemongrass essential oil
Best for: Itchy scalp If summer sweat or bone-dry winters are giving you an itchy scalp, get one of these. “Add two-three drops of lemongrass essential oil in your conditioner and massage, or let it stay overnight. This reduces dandruff and cleans the scalp from within,” says Gaurav Aggarwal, founder of Mumbai-based Onelife neuroscience.
Cedarwood essential oil
Best for Prevention of infections Look no further if you need an oil that will keep infections away. Cedarwood packs in antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Best for: Reversing damage caused by styling products Hair damaged as a result of continuous or overuse of heat treatments, find a friendly solution in lavender oil that lubricates the scalp.
Ylang Ylang essential oil
Best for: Dry hair Those with dry hair can count on the sebaceous glands-stimulating properties of Ylang Ylang. As it increases the production of sebum, dry hair gets the vital conditioning it requires.
Best for: Brittle hair Packed with selenium, it gives strength to the roots. Because it’s replete with Omega 3 fatty acids, it prevents cell damage that leads to brittleness.
Best for: Chemically treated hair Nourishes course hair back to good health. It also has occlusive properties and is excellent for moisturization.
Best for: Natural hair dye Bhringraj darkens hair strands. It prevents premature greying. Mix it with coconut oil, amla, and shikakai, and you have a wonderful conditioner.
Megha Asher, Co-founder, and COO, Juicy Chemistry
- All essential oils should be combined with a carrier oil before applying to the hair
- The quality of oil will determine the results. Put your money into the best ingredients
- Every herb and plant has a shelf life and must be used within a specified duration
- Use oils that are minimally processed as they retain optimum levels of essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants
- Be patient. Since these are natural oils, they may take time to show improvements
- For best results, use alcohol-free shampoo after oiling
“Many people hold the view that essential oils are meant for aromatherapy alone, without knowing what these seed and plant extracts are capable of.” Gaurav Aggarwal, Founder, Onelife nutriscience
“People have just woken to their merits. Credit goes to the rapid shift towards vegan beauty, sustainable skincare and chemical-free ingredients.” Kruthika Kumara, Founder, Vilvah