Life Style

12 Best Natural Oils for Hair Growth, According to Dermatologists 2024

Growing out your hair can feel like it takesforever. While there’s no magic cure to speeding up the process, research shows the best natural oils for hair growth (including castor oil and rosemary oil ) can promote longer, thicker, and healthier hair. Plus, these potent plant extracts help define curls, moisturize the scalp, seal split ends, and help retain length. We turned to the experts, including a trichologist, dermatologist, and top hair stylist to understand the strand-enhancing benefits of natural oils for different hair goals.....CONTINUE READING

Sky Organics 8 oz Organic Castor Oil

Castor oil is stocked with fatty acids that moisturize the scalp and increase blood circulation when massaged and may help with reviving hair on brows and lashes, says Leah Kay, lead stylist at Hair Lounge NYC. With 65,000 five-star reviews, customers praise Sky Organics’ castor oil for its ability to strengthen strands, sprout new growth, and retain length.

How to use: Castor oil is thick and so you can try mixing it with a carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, etc.) in a bowl to dilute it. Section your hair and massage the oil mixture onto your scalp with gentle pressure to stimulate blood flow. Leave the oil on your scalp for up to an hour then shampoo it out using a sulfate-free shampoo. If your hair still feels greasy, shampoo it again and condition it as you normally would.

What reviewers say: “I’ve been using it for the past 2 weeks and can see my hair quality get better. Highly recommended!”—Amazon customer review

Shea Moisture 100 Percent Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment
Great for all hair types, coconut oil “coats the hair shaft to increase its strength, decrease brittleness, and reduce hair breakage during styling,” says Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas.. This particular leave-in treatment softens, detangles, and defrizzes tresses while leaving your mane with a tropical coconut aroma for days.

How to use: Generously spray this leave-in conditioner on clean damp hair. Or make your own DIY mixture by melting down one-two tablespoons of coconut oil, three drops of lavender oil, and one cup of water. When spraying either one, focus on mid-lengths to ends of the hair. To finish, blow dry or air-dry.

What reviewers say: “[This conditioner] keeps my waves moisturized throughout the day and through the night. I apply at night after a shower with damp hair. Once I wake up I just dampen my hair and scrunch with a towel. My hair looks great all throughout the day and my curls lock in the moisture which keeps them looking lush.”—Amazon customer review

Ethereal Nature 100% Natural Hair Oil Blend Olive Clear

Revive dull, damaged hair by lathering on this high-performing extra virgin olive oil as a deep conditioner . It’s “rich in monounsaturated fats, which contains conditioning properties that penetrate and moisturize parched strands,” says Kay.

How to use: Always opt for EVOO because it’s incredibly rich in nutrients and moisturizing. Pro tip: warm it up by placing the container in a warm bowl of water so it penetrates your hair as a mask. Apply it to the driest parts of your hair and gently massage it onto the scalp, but avoid putting too much if your scalp tends to be oily. Leave it onto your hair for 30 minutes before shampooing it out and condition as normal.

What reviewers say: “I’ve been using this hair oil regularly and noticed improvement in the overall health of my hair. It has helped to nourish and strengthen my hair, reduce frizz, and promote a healthy scalp environment.”—Amazon customer review

Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross Jojoba Hair & Scalp Oil Blend

Ideal for those with coily or curly hair, jojoba oil is high in essential fatty acids which “helps soften and add sheen to hair that tends to run dry,” Kay says. This specific blend from Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross helps maintain moisture and thickens thinning hair.

How to use: Jojoba oil can be used on wet or dry hair as a leave-in conditioner for added moisture. Start by applying a few drops to the palm of your hand. (Remember, a little goes a long way). Then, lightly dab it onto the most parched areas of your hair. If you want to use it as a scalp treatment, apply a few drops to targeted areas around your head and massage the oil into the scalp. Pro tip: opt for cold-pressed jojoba oil because it preserves the oil’s natural vitamins.

What reviewers say: “I bought this product to add some hydration to my very dry hair and I couldn’t be happier! I use it during styling and in between washes to maintain healthy hair.”—Sephora customer review

Mielle Rosemary Mint Light Scalp & Hair Oil

Rosemary oil is a popular option because when massaged onto the scalp it boosts blood flow which can lead to faster hair growth. Studies suggest that it can be as effective as minoxidil (a common hair-loss treatment) in triggering growth. Mielle’s top-rated version is has biotin, an essential nutrient in the hair growth cycle.

How to use: William Gaunitz, FWTS, certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology Products recommends diluting rosemary oil with a carrier oil (like jojoba or coconut oil) before applying because it is highly concentrated and will irritate the scalp if applied directly. Massage the concoction gently onto your scalp, focusing on areas with hair loss or thinning. For a deeper treatment leave it on for longer than 30 minutes. Otherwise, rinse it out after about half an hour, and shampoo thoroughly using a sulfate-free shampoo, then condition as you normally would.

What reviewers say: “Organic rosemary hair oil is a true game-changer in my hair care routine. Its high-quality, organic formulation, coupled with its numerous benefits for hair growth, strength, and texture, makes it an indispensable part of my beauty arsenal.”—Amazon customer review

Kiehls Magic Elixir Scalp and Hair Oil Treatment

Use this lightweight scalp and hair and oil treatment as a pre-shampoo. It’s infused with avocado oil, a rich source of vitamin E, which prevents hair loss, seals the hair cuticle, dials up your natural shine, and makes your tresses extra smooth.

How to use: Choose a cold-pressed avocado oil that is enriched with nutrients. Pro tip, warm it up by placing the container in a bowl of warm water. It will help the product penetrate the hair better. When applying, lightly coat your fingertips and target the areas that you need the most. If you have an itchy scalp, rub the oil onto your head. For split ends, rub it onto the tips of your hair, as well as the driest parts. Lightly work your way up the hair as needed. Use it as a pre-shampoo treatment, then wash it out using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

What reviewers say: “Very soothing to itchy scalps, left it in all night, and my thick ,dry hair looked good enough to wear without washing the next day. When I did wash it my hair was shiny and smooth (normally frizzy and has little shine).”—Nordstrom customer review

Pure Grapeseed Oil for Skin, Hair, and Scalp

Grapeseed oil is on the lighter side, so it’s a great match for hydrating fine hair. Kay recommends routinely rubbing a small amount of this cold pressed oil onto a dry scalp to keep it moisturized, soothe dandruff, and amp up hair growth. She also says, “it’s filled with antioxidants which helps it masterfully treat and prevent split ends.”

How to use: If your strands tend to get dry or frizzy, add a few drops of this oil to your palms and lightly coat the lengths of your hair after showering. Whether you blow or air dry, it will help reduce frizz and improve hydration without weighing it down.

What reviewers say: “It smells great and soaks in so easily. It’s perfect for my hair and scalp as I know it’s not going to dry my hair out or leave a greasy residue on me as some oils tend to do.”—Walmart customer review

Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Treatment

As one of the richest oils, macadamia is great at penetrating the hair shaft and softening very thick or curly hair. This product has therapeutic properties that revitalizes heat-damaged hair, provides UV protection, and even extends the life of color treatments.

How to use: Take a dime-sized dollop of virgin, cold-pressed macadamia oil. Rub it between your palms and then smooth it throughout your dry hair. Pro tip: Pay careful attention to getting the oil to the ends of your hair to help repair split ends and damage.

What reviewers say: “I’ve been using this conditioner for 20 years and can’t do without it. It’s the best. My hair would be like dead straw without it. Instead it’s silky, soft, and looks and feels great!”—Amazon customer review

Public Goods Argan Oil

Massage this sweet-smelling oil onto your scalp regularly to boost hair growth. Kay shares, “It’s packed with essential fatty acids that condition strands and improve overall softness.” Or if your hair is frizzy, brittle, or color damaged, apply it as a leave-in conditioner.

How to use: Massage eight to ten drops of this oil into your mane and scalp (adjust the amount based on your hair length) for up to 10 minutes. Make sure your hair is covered from root to tip. Put on a shower cap and allow the oil to sink in for an hour, then shampoo and condition normally.

What reviewers say: “I love using a few drops of oil on my hair in the AM. I have very dry ends and this oil helps smooth the flyaways, and make my hair look shiny and healthy.”—Sephora customer review

R+Co On A Cloud Baobab Oil Repair Collection

In search of an oil that delivers a non-greasy shine? Baobab oil has incredible conditioning properties that “adds a subtle gloss to all hair types,” says Kay. Beyond making your strands look more lustrous, this spray-on oil styling mask has a baobab oil-protein technology that rebuild bonds and seals the hair cuticle.

How to use: Spray this oil mixture evenly from roots to ends on clean, damp hair. It’ll help detangle knots, while repairing dry hair damage. Comb through and style as normal. You’ll be left with a soft, lustrous finish.

What reviewers say: “I’m of Caribbean descent and have thick curly hair. This product helps define my curls with a twirl of the finger. It keeps my hair soft, shiny and frizz free.”—Amazon customer review

Briogeo Scalp Revival Organic + Australian 100% Tea Tree Oil

A healthy scalp is essential for hair growth and tea tree oil contains potent nutrients that calm and soothe a dry, itchy, oily, or flaky scalp. This 100% organic version works for all hair types and textures, without leaving oily residue behind.

How to use: For a refreshed scalp, Kay recommends, mixing a few drops of this organic tea tree oil with coconut oil or water. Then massage it onto a clean scalp before bedtime and rinse it out the next morning. Pro tip: If you have a really flaky scalp, repeat two-three times weekly.

What reviewers say: “I deal with a dry and itchy scalp. I added a few drops to both my shampoo and conditioner. After two weeks I have noticed less dandruff and the itchiness is not as bad as it was prior to using the oil. I would highly recommend this product, it can also be used as a spot treatment as long as it’s diluted with water.”—Sephora customer review

Pure Body Naturals 100% Cold Pressed Sweet Almond Oil for Hair and Skin

Rich in vitamins E and D, sweet almond oil stimulates the scalp and protects against ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can lead to dryness, brittleness, and limp strands. Nearly 12,000 Amazon reviewers love this version because it’s non-greasy, smells great, and calms the scalp.

How to use: You have the option to add this oil to wet or dry hair, thought adding it to dry hair will improve its manageability, shine, and softness. This is probably the better option for those with very thick or brittle hair. Simply pour a nickel-sized amount into your hands and distribute throughout your hair, focusing more on the middle to the ends of the hair. Avoid adding too much to the root so your mane won’t look greasy.

What reviewers say: “It keeps my scalp free of dandruff, and I rarely have problems with split ends, but it’s a great leave-in conditioner, as well, and takes [away] fly-aways without weighing down my hair.”—Sephora customer review

There are two different types of natural oils—carrier oils and essential oils. Carrier oils are extracted from the fatty parts of plants, like seeds and nuts (think olives for olive oil or coconuts for coconut oil). They tend to be thicker, odorless, and are especially helpful with hydrating the scalp.

On the other hand, essential oils are extracted from flowers, leaves, and stems (like rosemary and castor oil). They are highly fragrant and require dilution with carrier oils before topical application. When massaged onto the scalp, these oils increase blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles, which can help hair grow. Plus, they have antifungal and antimicrobial properties which can help prevent dandruff and are rich in fatty acids to promote growth.

“The best hair oils offer a holistic approach for faster hair regrowth without any side effects,” says Leah Kay, lead stylist at Hair Lounge NYC.

In addition to helping alleviate a number of scalp conditions, “oils penetrate the hair shaft to help lock in hydration to leave them softer and more resilient.” They can also be used as a leave-in conditioner to make hair more manageable and easier to detangle.

All these factors create an environment that fosters growth and strengthens hair to retain length over time. William Gaunitz, MD, a trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology Products says essential oils can be helpful with preventing seborrheic dermatitis (a scalp rash condition), psoriasis, dandruff, itchy scalps, and hair loss.”

When applied to the scalp, certain natural oils can calm irritation, fight off unwanted bacteria that cause scalp issues, deliver important fatty nutrients directly to the hair root, and stimulate blood flow, says Dr. Gaunitz.

These healing properties can treat several dermatological conditions that can hinder hair growth such as psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff, cicatricial alopecia, and overall hair loss, he says.

Essential oils, including tea tree, lavender, and clove oils, can also zap fungi, which eliminates excess sebum and oily hair. When it comes to your strands, “Almost all natural oils will provide a degree of protection to the hair shaft (the part of the hair that sticks out of the surface of the skin), thereby protecting it from breakage caused by heat, color, and pollution,” says Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD, a board certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas.

When integrating oils into your haircare routine, Kay suggests starting slow to see the effect on your hair health. “Start by massaging a few drops of diluted scalp-stimulating oils (like castor or rosemary essential oil) on your head 1-2 times weekly. Try leaving them on close to an hour before washing it out,” she instructs. “Observe the effect on your hair.

If it leaves it too greasy, apply a smaller amount and less frequently or try a lighter oil.” For more damaged or thicker hair, add a few drops of heavier carrier oils (like coconut or avocado) to your shampoo and conditioner for an additional boost of moisture. If you have coarse or curly texture, rub a few drops of carriers (like jojoba or grapeseed) toward the bottom as a leave-in conditioner to heal split-ends.

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