A Word on Essential Oils

Rosemary



I wanted to do some more research on essential oils (EO) after a conversation with a friend of mine Erin left me wondering.  I am sure by now many of you have seen the use of EO in many hair recipes.  I will address the following common questions about EO: what are they,  why use them, what are their benefits to natural hair, what is a safe amount to use and what safety precautions should I be aware of, and where can I purchase them?

Rosemary Essential Oil
  1. What are EO? EO are the volatile, aromatic essence compounds of botanicals.  They are made from the flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, stems, bark, and/or wood of plants through either cold press or distillation.   Not to be confused with scent oils, EO are pure forms approved for aromatherapy and health benefits.
  2. Why use EO? Well they smell divine and those scents have proven aromatherapy benefits to relax, energize and balance the body.  EO have a lot of other beneficial properties including anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, increased circulation, etc.
  3. What are the benefits for hair? For hair health: Chamomile, Sage, Lavender.  For hair growth: Rosemary, Rose, Cypress.  For dandruff: Patchouli, Tee Tree, Ylang Ylang.  For Dry Hair: Peppermint, Myrrh.
  4. What is a safe amount to use and what are the safety precautions? EO are very strong and should NEVER be applied directly to the skin!  EO are lipophilic (oil-loving) so mix with a carrier oil like Olive, Grapeseed or Jojoba oil.  Adults should use 5-10 drops of EO per 1 ounce of carrier oil.  You can also add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner for an extra boost.
  5. Where can I purchase EO? Locally you can pick up a vial from Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe or health food store. Else you can purchase online from http://www.auracacia.com/ or http://www.puritan.com/ or http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/

Essential Oils are safe when used correctly and remember a little goes a long way.  You can typically find EO in 1/2 fluid ounce vials which contains approximately 300 drops.  EO should always be stored in a cool dark place and kept away from children and pets.  EO are can be used as a natural preservative in natural hair mixtures.  Another popular use is to add a few drops to hair products or oils to improve their smell.  These oils are not cheap!  A 1/2 fluid ounce vial can cost between $6 – $10 for rosemary, sage, orange or $20 for chamomile or vanilla so purchase wisely.  If you are just looking to add scent purchase a scent oil which is an essential oil in alcohol or carrier oil that is much cheaper.

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