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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.