An overview on the role of essential oils in natural hair care

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Role of essential oils in natural hair care
Other than medicinal and culinary applications, essential oils are used in perfumes or as an incense in a room. Essential oils are commonly used as fragrance in different natural hair care cosmetics.

These natural essential oils have been used for over a thousand years for skin care, pain relief, ease from tension and fatigue. Other than these useful benefits these natural products invigorate the entire body and produce a sense of relaxation.

Essential oils are largely incorporated into various natural hair care products to impart a pleasant aroma, but they can also be used to impart shine or condition to the hair. These oils are extracted from every part of plant like the woody stem, herb, fruits, seeds, leaves bark and even roots.

Essential oils in natural hair care
Essential oils when incorporated in natural hair care products will impart shine and conditioning effects. They are also used in the formulation of cosmetic products that are used in permanent hair curling systems.

Certain essential oils possess ethylenically unsaturated chemical bonds. These bonds are quite useful for neutralizer formula of cosmetic products that are used in permanent waving.

These unsaturated bonds get attached to the hair shaft during the re-formation of disulfide (cystine) bonds. These unsaturated bonds not only condition the hair, but also impart a long lasting pleasant aroma. The pleasant smell is helpful in eliminating the strong, bad odor of the perm lotion.

Other than permanent waving, essential oils can also enhance the natural health of hair. Hair in general, can be improved with the use of a few drops of essential oils in the final hair rinse.

Essential oils in dandruff and lice prevention

Essential oils can also be added to natural hair care products like in a mild shampoo. Oils such as rosemary, West Indian bay, and chamomile help to condition the hair and encourage healthy hair growth. Lavender oil is used to control lice and fleas while bergamot, tea tree, bay leaf, lavender, lemon, and rosemary help with dandruff control.

Dandruff can involve a fungal infection and causes excessive flaking of dead skin from the scalp. Other than essential oils, there are medicated shampoos that help in dandruff control and prevent the growth of lice.

Essential oils in weathered hair

Among essential oils, chamomile oil is the best essential oil for the prevention of split ends. Split ends are more pronounced in weathered hair which is a severe hair shaft defect that leads to hair breakage. Other than treating weathered hair, chamomile oil with lavender and rosemary oil also helps to stimulate circulation, reduce scalp dryness, and balance pH. It is in fact the best natural hair care that can be made available for your hair care.

Burdock, chaparral, thyme oil are good for conditioning dry scalp, they can also be incorporated into your normal hair care routine. Horsetail, oat straw, silica and stinging nettle help to strengthen the hair follicles. A wash with stinging nettle juice can help you to have a thick hair density. Undoubtedly, these herbs are important ingredients of natural hair care products.

Other significance of essential oils
Apart from natural hair care, essential oils also provide immense physiological and psychological benefits. The application of essential oils stimulates the brain and enhances cerebral blood flow. It also relieves anxiety, provides sedation and antidepressant activities.

Experimental studies have also suggested that the pleasant aroma of these essential oils has a healthy effect on memory and mood. The fragrance compounds are absorbed by inhalation and are able to cross the blood–brain barrier in order to interact with the receptors in the central nervous system. This interaction gives a soothing effect on the mind.

There is no exclusive scientific definition for each and every essential oil. But every essential oil, according to the researchers, is either more stimulating or more calming in accordance to its ingredients.

So why not make use of these essential oils, for the natural hair care and enhance your mood.

References:
Talal Aburjai, Feda M. Natsheh, “Plants Used in Cosmetics”, (2003), Phytother. Res. 17, 987–1000
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