Essential Oil Hair Care: Dry and Damaged Hair

Essential Oil Hair Care: Dry and Damaged Hair

In all my research and all the questions I have asked and have been asked while putting together the Essential Oil Hair Care series, I think dry and damaged hair is the most common hair issue facing people today. (The second is dandruff.)

Difficult hairDry hair is caused by so many things. Some of it could be genetic but it is mostly because of environment, nutrition, stress level, age, hormones, amount of sleep, medications, and/or chemical treatments. In a lot of ways, dry hair can also lead to dry dandruff, because the skin cells dry up and flake off. But there is hope! Below is a list of the best essential oils for dry hair care, some good points of interest, and several recipes. Have some fun!

Best Oils

  1. Essential Oils: Sandalwood, Rosemary, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Myrrh, Peppermint, Birch Bark, Geranium
  2. Carrier Oils: Extra Virgin Olive, Peachnut, Jojoba, Sunflower Seed, Castor oil, Wheatgerm (5 ml to every 45 ml of another carrier oil)
  3. Tonic Bases: Distilled water, Rosewater, Cider Vinegar,
  4. Herbs: Calendula, Comfrey leaf/root, Orange Peel

Points of interest

  • The simplest way to make your shampoo of choice is to get an unscented, pH balancing bottle of shampoo and add the essential oil(s) of choice to it. Add 6 drops per 1/4 cup shampoo. The easiest way to mix the ingredients is to empty out the bottle into a bowl, add the oil(s), and vigorously mix with a wire whisk to blend everything together. Use a funnel to get the shampoo back in the bottle.
  • If you mix together a shampoo like above, make just 1/4 cup first and try it out to make sure you like it. That also makes it easier for you to make different blends.
  • Dry hairOnce you have split ends, there is no way to heal them. You have to cut them off. So if you have a lot, go get your hair trimmed. See how far up the hair shaft your split ends go and trim your hair at least a half inch above the highest split. Then make sure you apply the treatment of choice regularly to prevent the splits, or at least hold them off for a long time. Best to trim your hair every 6-8 weeks.
  • If you have to use a blow dryer, avoid the high heat settings.  The same with flat irons and curling irons. baby your hair as much as you can.
  • Wear a hat to protect your hair outside in the sun and wind. And especially, wear a cap in the swimming pool.
  • If you go swimming regularly in a chlorine swimming pool, protect your hair by wearing a swimming cap. If you do not have a swimming cap or if you can’t get your child to wear one, put an oil treatment into hair before going into pool. Massage from scalp all the way to the end of the hair and tie back into a ponytail or bun, if the hair is long.
  • If you have green tinted hair from chlorinated pool water, use the swimming pool hair care recipe (below) a couple of times a week to remove the green. Pool water often has high concentrations of copper, which tends to turn light colored hair green over time.
  • Conditioning treatments for damaged and dry hair need to happen three times a week. Once you have your hair in better condition, you can do less. The longer the hair, the longer it will take to get healthy.
  • Watch your nutrition. Make sure you are getting in the proper amount of vitamins and minerals through healthy food. And exercise!
  • Also watch your sleep and manage your stress. These should be a given but they are often forgotten. Doing these will help.
  • Medications can cause a problem. And if they are ones you have to take, then make sure you take very good care of your diet and exercise to help combat any problems.


Here are a few recipes for making conditioning treatments for your hair to help strengthen it and moisturize it. Be sure to try these recipes on a small portion of your scalp first to make sure your skin can handle it before using it all over your scalp.

hair-treatmentSwimming Pool Hair Care

  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Mild Shampoo or Liquid soap, such as a baby shampoo or castile soap

Stir all ingredients together until well mixed. Wet your hair, apply entire mixture into hair and scalp, making sure the ends of your hair are coated. Cover hair with a shower cap or plastic wrap and leave treatment in for 30 minutes, then rinse hair well and shampoo and condition as usual. Use to get rid of the green in your hair from the chlorine.  (15)

Make-It-Yourself Herbal Shampoo

  • 8 ounces Distilled Water
  • 1 ounce Herbs of choice (from above)
  • 3 ounces Liquid Castile Soap
  • 1/4 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 25 drops of Essential oils of choice (from above)

Bring water to a boil. Add the herbs, cover, and let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Strain and cool. Slowly add the castile soap to tea, then mix in the jojoba and essential oils. Store in a shampoo container. Shake well before every use. (8)

Dry Hair Tonic

  • 8 drops Sandalwood
  • 1 drop Rose
  • 4 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 2/3 cup Rosewater
  • 2 teaspoons Cider Vinegar

Mix all ingredients together in a dark colored glass bottle and keep sealed tightly. Shake well before every use. Pour a little tonic into the palm of your hand and massage into the scalp and through the hair. Regular use (several times a week) will help improve the condition of your hair as well as making it smell good.  (3)

Dry Hair Scalp Oil

  • 12 drops Sandalwood
  • 5 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a dark colored glass bottle. Shake well to mix together. Start with wet hair to make it easier to shampoo out. Massage 1-2 teaspoons into your scalp and hair paying special attention to ends. Cover head with a towel and leave for up to an hour before shampooing. Use weekly as a conditioning treatment. (3)

Dry-Brittle-HairDamaged Hair Treatment

  • 1 drop Cedarwood
  • 3 drops Clary Sage
  • 1 drop Geranium
  • 1 drop Lavender
  • 3 drops Rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Mix formula together and use in one of the following ways:

  1. Massage blend into hair and scalp; make sure you reach split ends. Wrap head with a towel and relax for one hour. Shampoo and rinse. Be sure to rinse well to remove the olive oil.
  2. Add a few drops of the blend to a mild shampoo and use on a regular basis when you wash your hair.

This treatment is great for hair that is too dry, too oily, or too flaky.  (1)

911 Hair Rescue Mask

  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Light Olive Oil
  • 3-4 drops Peppermint oil
  • 1-2 drops Rosemary

Blend all ingredients until smooth. To use, first shampoo your hair, then apply the entire mixture and massage into your hair and scalp. Put on a shower cap or wrap your hair in an old towel and leave mixture on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and style as usual. (15)

Dry Hair Treatment

  • 10 drops Ginger Root
  • 10 drops Rosewood
  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 2 tablespoon Sesame Seed oil

Massage approximately 1 teaspoon of formula into the hair and scalp at one time. It’s best to leave on for several hours to allow oils to penetrate. If you use the formula before bedtime, wrap  a towel around your head to protect your pillowcase  and leave on overnight. In the morning, wash hair twice with a natural shampoo and warm water. Use this formula three times a week until you achieve the desired results. (7)

Avocado1Avocado Hair Conditioner

  • 1 ripe Avocado, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt
  • 2  drops Lemon oil

Stir all ingredients together until you have a smooth paste; either with a fork or a blender. Apply entire mixture to your hair or scalp. Wrap hair with a warm towel or cover with a shower cap and leave treatment in for 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water, then shampoo as usual. This is great for super dry or damaged hair.

JC’s Dry Hair Treatment

  • 5 drops Sandalwood
  • 3 drops Palmarosa
  • 3 drops Rosewood
  • 1/2 teaspoon Castor Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jojoba oil

Massage entire formula into the hair and scalp at one time. Pay particular attention to the ends of your hair. It’s best to leave on for several hours to allow oils to penetrate. If you use the formula before bedtime, wrap  a towel around your head to protect your pillowcase  and leave on overnight. In the morning, wash hair twice with a natural shampoo and warm water. Use this formula three times a week until you achieve the desired results.

Last of all

Dry hair is the most common hair issue that I’ve heard about because of the effects of the environment, chemical treatments, stress, and lifestyle. But these treatments can help moisturize and strengthen your hair. What do you like to use for your hair? Please share in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Normal hair cover


  1. Seasons of Aromatherapy by Judith Fitzsimmons and Paula M. Bousquet
  2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  3. The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood
  4. Natural Home Spa by Sian Rees
  5. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
  6. The Aromatherapy Bible: The Definitive Guide to Using Essential Oils by Gill Farrer-Halls
  7. 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy, by Carol Schiller and David Schiller
  8. Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family, by Rosemary Gladstar
  9. Natural Beauty at Home: More than 250 Easy-to-Use Recipes for Body, Bath, and Hair by Janice Cox
  10. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2nd edition, by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green
  11. Do It Gorgeously: How To Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products, by Sophie Uliano
  12. Aromatherapy: An A-Z: The Most Comprehensive Guide to Aromatherapy Ever Published, by Patricia Davis
  13. Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family by Rosemary Gladstar
  14. Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homeade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self, by Stephanie Tourles
  15. Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends by Lauren Cox and Janice Cox

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  1. […] causes are often genetic, hormonal changes, or bad diet. This is not as common a condition as dry hair is with people today. In fact, you mostly find it in teenagers due to their hormones […]

  2. […] Best Recipes for Dry Hair: In this post Essential Health shares a variety of natural recipes that can help you manage dry hair. Get the recipes here! […]