This healthy scalp oil is loaded with essential oils and herbal extracts to add moisture and get your locks back on track. Combine it with a soothing scalp massage, and you’ll have gloriously soft strands and a flake-free scalp in no time.
The weather here in Virginia has been so finicky. One day it’s warm, the next it’s freezing, and seeing as how it’s almost spring, I don’t foresee this trend letting up any time soon. Normally, I don’t think twice about the weather, but these constant temperature swings are wreaking havoc on my hair. I’ve been seeing a ton of flakes and more shedding than usual (every woman’s dream), which means it’s high time for a homemade scalp oil.
Healthy Hair + Scalp Oil Recipe
Cold, dry air combined with harsh hair products is a recipe for scalp issues. In order to tackle the flakes and get your hair back to normal, you need to start with a good scalp oil.
Some herbs and essential oils contain compounds that are known to nourish skin and improve hair health, starting at the root. While there are a lot of different botanicals to choose from, currently, I’m hooked on these for conditioning, soothing irritation, boosting moisture (buh-bye flakes), and plumping strands.
This commonly used cooking oil is chock full of healthy fats and anti-inflammatory compounds. Along with its many known healthful constituents, it has powerful antioxidants, polyphenols and oleuropein, which help to heal damage and protect cells [source]. When used on the hair, olive oil helps to moisturize and reduce scalp irritation [source].
Jojoba oil has long been used as a natural moisturizer because it’s lightweight, odorless, and incredibly soothing. It has so many known beneficial properties, everything from fighting bacteria, to calming inflammation, to its use as a biolubricant [source]. When it comes to hair, jojoba oil is rich in nutrients that are said to help penetrate the hair cuticle and nourish hair from the outside in.
Horsetail extract is far and away the star of hair oils. It is rich in the mineral silica [source], which strengthens bones, skin, and hair. And it contains selenium, which is essential for hair growth. A few drops of horsetail extract mixed with essential oils can do wonders for the scalp.
Stinging nettles are actually weeds that are often picked and brewed into a tea as a way to harness their high levels of potassium, magnesium, and chlorophyll. They’re also an amazing source of fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins, AND they inhibit the growth of bacteria [source]. While you may drink nettle, you can also reap many of the same benefits by applying it to the scalp directly.
A potent antibacterial and antimicrobial, lemongrass essential oil creates an environment conducive to hair growth. In one study using a lemongrass oil tonic on the scalp, it was shown to be effective in reducing dandruff [source].
According to a 2015 study, rosemary oil was shown to be just as effective as minoxidil at treating hair loss and soothing scalp itch and irritation, when used for a six-month period [source].
Clary sage is often used to reduce oil production while also treating scalp ailments such as dandruff and psoriasis. It has antimicrobial properties to help keep those pesky bacteria from causing or contributing to scalp issues [source], and it can also work to calm any inflammation and swelling of the scalp [source].
You can use this blend (recipe below) as a 15-minute hair treatment before washing, as an overnight mask, or as part of a scalp massage session if you’ve got the time. Personally, I prefer to use it in combination with a scalp massage. It’s super relaxing, sure, but because massage improves blood flow and encourages the oils to really sink into the skin, I also find that it helps my hair grow more quickly and look healthier in general.
How to Do a Scalp Massage
In addition to encouraging growth, regular scalp massage has been shown to:
- Condition the scalp, keeping the itch and flakes at bay
- Relax tension in the head and neck area
- Improve mood and concentration
You only need to perform this massage for 5–10 minutes twice or three times a week to see results.
1. Apply oil to fingertips
You don’t need much oil for an effective scalp massage, and in fact, too much oil tends to get messy and difficult to wash out later. First, take off your jewelry—rings, watches, and bracelets will just be in the way or get smothered with oil.
Then, either place a few drops of oil directly onto fingertips and rub them together to evenly distribute it, or dip your fingers into a small bowl of oil and let the excess drip off.
2. Start at the front along the hairline
Place your fingers at the front of your scalp, where your hairline is, and gently massage in a circular motion to relieve tension and boost circulation.
3. Work your hands back and down toward the neck
Run your fingertips through the hair, slowly working your hands back and down toward the neck. Use gentle but firm pressure, and be careful not to let your fingers tangle the hair or yank on strands.
Do this for about two minutes to gently work the oil into the scalp, reapplying oil to your fingertips as needed. This is supposed to be a very slow, relaxed massage, almost like a meditation.
4. Focus on pressure points
There are several points on the scalp that, when pressed, can relieve pressure and encourage circulation. The most common are:
- The top center portion of the head
- Behind the ears
- The base of the skull where it meets the neck
The exact point doesn’t matter so much as gently massaging the area and promoting relaxation.
Using one or both hands, apply firm pressure and slowly massage the points for about 30 seconds to a minute on each area.
5. Apply oil to the length of hair
Lastly, apply oil to the entire length of the hair to moisturize and strengthen the hair shaft. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing it out with a chemical free herbal shampoo.
Healthy Hair Scalp Oil with Horsetail and Essential Oils
- 4 oz dropper bottle
- Add olive oil to the glass dropper bottle. Add the essential oils and nettle extract. Then fill the bottle the rest of the way with jojoba oil. Screw the lid on and shake well to combine.
- To use, place several drops of oil on fingertips and rub your hands together to evenly distribute them. Run fingers through your hair at the scalp, starting at the front hairline and finishing at the base of the neck. Apply more oil as needed.
- Store oil in the refrigerator to ensure the extracts stay fresh. Will keep indefinitely.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified pediatrician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.23