Essential Oils To Repair And Revive Your Winter-Damaged Hair
One of the legacies that winter can leave us with when it’s finally over, is the gift of dry, frizzy hair with lots split ends.
All those trips to work during the freezing weather while battling the biting wind, rain and snow dried out the natural moisture in our windswept hair, leaving dry, brittle and unmanageable.
Even wearing a scarf or hat doesn’t offer the protection you really need. Add to this scenario the usual routine of frazzling your hair with hairdryers, heated tongs and rollers, applying harsh chemical styling treatments, bleaches and colourants etc, and the drying effects of indoor central heating. Well, you get my point. The winter months are tough on your hair.
Spring is almost upon us now, so this is the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your parched hair ready for the approaching summer weather. And as usual, your trusty essential oils can be used to revitalize and restore your damaged locks to their former glory in a few easy steps, without the need for all those costly appointments and treatments at your hairdresser.
How essential oils help restore winter-damaged hair
Essential oils improve not only the condition of your hair but also your scalp due to their amazing versatility and wide range of therapeutic qualities. They can be used to strengthen hair, control dandruff, improve condition, and help relieve an itchy, flaky scalp – all at the same time in one supercharged treatment.
Some essential oils work directly on the hair, helping to rejuvenate, repair or strengthen it. Other essential oils improve the condition of hair by actually improving the condition of your scalp, which in turn has a positive effect on the hair roots. The scalp is a living organ, but sadly it is often neglected and abused. No wonder we all have so many ‘bad hair’ days!
Which brings me to the heart of the matter. To coax your hair back to health you must also have a healthy scalp. If you always look after your scalp, your hair will be much easier to keep in tip top condition, free of irritation and flakiness, all year round. Promise yourself that from now on you will look after your scalp as well as your hair, and you will quickly see an improvement in the health and condition of your hair.
Hair conditioning essential oils
These essential oils all have a direct effect on your hair, so simply choose them according to your particular hair type. The plan is to choose essential oils for both your hair type, and scalp type to make a well balanced, personalised hair treatment to repair and restore your winter-frazzled hair.
Here are the best essential oils to repair and condition hair, and the most effective are highlighted in italics;-
- Normal hair – Geranium, Palmarosa, Lavender, Rosemary, Ylang ylang.
- Dry/damaged hair – Elemi, Geranium, Palmarosa, Rosemary, Sandalwood.
- Greasy hair – Cedar Virginian, Clary Sage, Cypress, Geranium, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Lime, Rosemary.
Scalp conditioning essential oils
Scalp problems require essential oils that balance the levels of sebum, treat flaky conditions such as dandruff, or stimulate circulation and cellular metabolism. Increasing the blood supply to the scalp is one of the most important factors to having lustrous, healthy hair. Choose one or two essential oils from this group, according to your hair type;-
- Normal hair – Palmarosa, Lavender, Rosemary.
- Damaged hair/dandruff – Bay leaf, Bergamot, Cedar Atlas, Clary Sage, Patchouli, Rosemary, Tea Tree.
- Dry hair/itchy scalp – Chamomile Roman, Chamomile German, Helichrysum, Lavender, Spikenard, Tea Tree, Yarrow.
How to repair winter-damaged hair
To nurse your winter-damaged hair back to health, choose 1 or 2 essential oils from the ‘hair conditioning’ oils list, and 1 or 2 from the ‘scalp conditioning’ list above, according to your personal hair type. Taking this holistic approach means that we will be conditioning not only your weather-beaten hair, but also your scalp too.
After choosing the essential oils from both of the groups above to match both your hair and scalp type, add them to a fragrance-free aromatherapy shampoo base that has been specially formulated to work as an aromatherapy carrier. And always use a mild, sulphate-free shampoo to maintain the natural moisture balance in your hair. Use no more than a total of 25 drops of your chosen essential oils to 50ml of base shampoo, and be sure to mix the oils evenly into the shampoo.
Hydrate winter-damaged hair
To deep-moisturise and add a beautiful shiny lustre to your hair, add a teaspoon of coconut or jojoba oil to your blend since these aromatherapy carrier oils are softening and nutritious to all types of hair. If you don’t have either of oils these you could use sweet almond or whatever carrier oil you normally use, and this will still help put back a little of what the winter weather has taken out of your hair.
For the quickest results add your essential oils to a good aromatherapy base conditioner as well as the shampoo, and leave the conditioner on for at least five minutes to allow the oils to penetrate the hair and scalp effectively. This will condition, nourish and soften your hair in a way that ‘off the shelf’ hair products simply can not do because they don’t contain enough of the active ingredients to really work.
Follow these guidelines and you will have created your very own personalised, intensive winter-revival formula to restore your dry, brittle and damaged hair. Now you know how to care for your hair the aromatherapy way, aim is to use this as part of your regular hair maintenance routine all year round. It only takes a couple of minutes to make a hair shampoo and conditioner treatment that will last you several treatments, and you will soon discover which essential oils suit your personal hair and scalp type best because you will see the results very quickly. You can then make larger quantities that will keep you going for months at a time.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2023. Written by Sue Charles