5 Easy Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oil for Hair

brunette woman with braided hair has fresh lavender sprigs tucked into braid and bouquet

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Lavender has been used to help with a number of hair and skin issues for thousands of years. Including lavender essential oil in your daily routine can not only add a relaxing, spa-like quality to your self-care habits, but it may actually help solve some common hair and scalp problems you might be struggling with.

Lavender essential oil is made by a process called distillation, which releases the beneficial oils from the plant and then concentrates them. Its popularity comes from its usefulness in beauty applications as well as the plant's reputation as easy on the environment and the wallet.

Explore five simple ways to incorporate lavender essential oil into your hair care routine.

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Soothe Your Scalp

woman adds drop of lavender essential oil to palm while in shower to wash hair

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

One of the most common causes of dandruff is a yeast known as Malassezia, which produces fatty acids that can be irritating to certain people. Lavender essential oil has antimicrobial effects which may help kill off fungus and bacteria that can cause major problems for your scalp.

If you struggle with dandruff or itchy scalp, mix a few drops of antimicrobial lavender essential oil with a couple of tablespoons of carrier oil and apply it directly to your scalp. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then shampoo as usual. Repeat this process a few times a week to help your scalp stay flake-free. 

What Is a Carrier Oil?

A carrier oil is an unscented base oil used to dilute potent essential oils and "carry" them safely onto the skin. Common types of carrier oils include grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and virgin coconut oil, although coconut oil is scented.

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Promote Hair Growth

carrier oil, fresh lavender bouquet, wooden combs, and lavender essential oil for hair

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Do you have problems with slow hair growth or thinning hair? Lavender has been shown in laboratory studies to stimulate hair growth, resulting in longer, fuller hair. It can also clear hair follicles of bacteria which may be preventing hair growth.

The process of applying lavender oil to stimulate hair growth is the same as treating scalp irritation. Just mix it with a carrier oil, apply for 10-15 minutes, and wash. Directly applying the mixture to your hair follicles will yield the best results.   

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Up the Shine Factor

woman with long shiny hair swings hair outside in garden

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

Using lavender essential oil in a hair mask can provide extra shine and give your strands and scalp some much-needed moisture. It’s an easy way to give your hair a nourishing and calming boost that can help prevent breakage while making it smell amazing.

Mix several drops of lavender oil with a beneficial carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil. Then apply the mixture to dry strands and scalp, letting it sit for up to an hour before washing it out with a gentle shampoo. Rinsing with cool or cold water will help close up the hair’s cuticle and give it an extra dose of shine.  

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Moisturize an Especially Dry Scalp

dried oatmeal, fresh lavender sprigs and seeds, and lavender oil in ceramic cups with comb for hair

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

You’ve probably heard about the moisturizing and soothing properties of oatmeal, so how about taking it up a notch with the addition of lavender essential oil? This powerful combination of a few tablespoons of oatmeal, several drops of lavender oil, and a little bit of water can be applied directly to your dry scalp to calm irritation and add an infusion of moisture. Massage the mixture directly onto the scalp and leave it there for an hour for the best results. Shampoo everything out with a mild cleanser. Style normally and enjoy less irritation and itching.

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Add It to Your Daily Ritual

woman scrubs scalp and hair with sudsy shampoo in white tile shower

Treehugger / Sanja Kostic

One of the easiest ways to integrate the benefits of lavender essential oil into your hair care practice is to just add it directly to shampoo each time you wash your hair. Pour out your usual amount of shampoo into your hand, then add a few drops of lavender oil to it. Mix well and apply directly onto your hair and massage it in for a minute or two. Rinse clean and condition or style like you normally would.

Remember to never add lavender essential oil directly to your shampoo bottle. The oil will separate from the rest of the shampoo and could be irritating if applied in its concentrated form.

View Article Sources
  1. Puskarova, Andrea, et al. "The Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of Six Essential Oils and Their Cyto/Genotoxicity to Human HEL 12469 Cells." Scientific Reports, vol. 7, 2017, pp. 8211., doi:10.1038/s41598-017-08673-9

  2. Lee, Boo Hyeong, et al. "Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice." Toxicological Research, vol. 32, 2018, pp. 103-108., doi:10.5487/TR.2016.32.2.103