With the onset of spring, we often start to think about how we’ve neglected our bodies during the winter months, bundled up in layers of clothing and not on public display that much! The same can be said about hair – throw on a winter hat, and we don’t have to think about the damage wind and indoor heating systems have done to our lovely, shiny hair.
I confess that I have let my hair be neglected recently and a visit to my hair salon has prompted me to write today’s post. A hot oil aromatherapy treatment with natural vegetable oils and essential oils can give your hair the deep conditioning it probably needs right now!
Vegetable Oils for Hair
Vegetable oils are great for restoring hair vitality and for adding gloss and shine to dry hair. The health of your hair is affected by a number of factors, including diet, stress and the environment. Vegetable oils have natural therapeutic benefits, depending on the type of vegetable oil. However, you need to make sure that you use cold pressed vegetable oils in preference to oils that have been exposed to excess heat in the manufacturing process; excess heat destroys many of the original benefits of the plant from which the oil is extracted from. Most store bought vegetable oils are not cold pressed; check with a reputable aromatherapy supplier for the best cold pressed vegetable oils.
Different Types of Vegetable Oils for Hair
There are various types of vegetable oils which you can use in a hot oil aromatherapy treatment. Three of my suggestions are:
Sweet almond (Prunis dulcis) oil. Sweet almond oil is relatively cheap to buy and is not a heavy oil. Almond oil is pale yellow in color. It contains a high percentage of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, in addition to vitamins such as A, B1, B2, and E.
Coconut (Cocos nucifera) oil. Coconut oil has traditionally been used in hair applications in tropical regions where it is said that the use of coconut oil prevents hair from turning gray in color . However, there is no concrete scientific evidence to support this theory. It is a popular ingredient in hair shampoos and treatments because of its lubricating properties. Unfractionated coconut oil is in fact sold at room temperature.
Jojoba (Simmondsia sinensis) oil. Jojoba oil is in fact a golden colored wax and will solidify in cold temperatures; it is composed of long chain fatty alcohols and esters formed from long chain fatty acids. It has a long shelf life. It is a little bit more expensive to buy than sweet almond or coconut oil but it is a good oil for conditioning dry hair.
How to Make a Natural Hot Oil Treatment at Home
You can use all of the above vegetable oils (plus any other suitable oils) for a hot oil aromatherapy hair treatment. Simply mix your chosen vegetable oil with complementary essential oils that contain therapeutic properties for hair. For example, the following recipe can be adapted with any of the vegetable oils suggested above and switch in (or out) any other suitable essential oils:
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
5 drops sandalwood (Santalum album) essential oil
3 drops of Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) essential oil
2 drops of ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) essential oil.
Mix the ingredients in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl in a microwave oven. Heat up the bowl for two minutes and apply the hot oil directly to your hair (it will be hot, so use care!). Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave the oil on for at least half an hour. Wash the oil out and shampoo as normal. After a couple of treatments, you should notice a difference in your hair.
TIP: add a small amount of shampoo to your hair before washing it with water to help remove the oil more easily.
Cautions for Using Essential Oils
Consult a qualified aromatherapist for advice if you are unfamiliar with the properties of essential oils and how to use them. Never apply essential oils direct to the skin or scalp undiluted; adjust quantities for children, the elderly and pregnant women. You might have to experiment with various aromatherapy recipes before finding one that works well for your own hair but the above vegetable oils, in general, are suitable for hair treatments.
Using natural oils on your hair is a great alternative to store bought shampoos and hair conditioners. You can help restore your hair to it natural condition with only natural oils – meaning both you and your hair will be happier and healthier!
Learn More with Sedona Aromatherapie
If you are new to aromatherapy, you might want to try the Sedona Aromatherapie Mini Hair Aromatherapy Make-Your-Own Kit. The kit includes ingredients for making a hot oil aromatherapy hair treatment (as described in this post) and a simple hair spritzer. It is priced at just $21.95 (plus shipping). For more information, visit the Make-Your-Own Products Kit page on the website.
Clarke, Sue, 2008, Essential Chemistry for Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition, UK: Churchill Livingstone
Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead
Author’s own experience and training.