One of the cruel jokes of midlife is that the hairs on your head seem to shed more quickly, while the ones on your chin seem to multiply at an alarming rate. If your once luxurious mane is losing its luster, you aren’t alone. Many women experience an increase in hair loss as they get older that can be attributed to everything from diet deficiencies to stress to a decrease in estrogen, the hormone that keeps hair in a growth phase. Before you give in and reach for the scissors, make sure that you are eating a nutrient-rich diet, staying well-hydrated, and putting the right products on your hair.
“Many ingredients in mainstream hair care products contain endocrine-disrupting ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrochemicals, formaldehyde, and more,” cautions Sarah Lee, Modern Day Alchemist who recommends adding essential oils to your hair care routine. “When we slather on these hormone disruptors, we can expect our bodies to have a hard time with functions.”
Essential oils are extracted from plants and have been used by ancient civilizations around the world for centuries. More than just a way to freshen your laundry or clear the air in a room, these natural chemicals are used to treat a variety of conditions from anxiety to acne. As people are becoming more aware of what they are putting both in and on their bodies, essential oils are replacing pricy synthetic alternatives in the medicine cabinets of those seeking holistic and natural approaches to beauty.
Embraced by many women for their anti-aging skincare properties, oils can offer similar benefits for hair. As counter-intuitive as it may seem to add oil to your hair, Lee says that high-quality, synthetic-free oils are excellent for cleansing, nourishing, and strengthening the hair follicles and shaft. It’s a practice that dates back hundreds of years.
“The Arabian people for centuries have used Frankincense resin water to rinse their hair and massage their scalps to maintain a healthy head of hair and stimulate regrowth,” she explains.
In her book, ‘Naturally Healthy Hair: Herbal Treatments and Daily Care for Fabulous Hair,’ Mary Beth Janssen explains that the root of each hair on our head is buried in the dermis and is in direct contact with the bloodstream via the capillaries. There are at least 100,000 hair fibers on our heads and each one stretches and absorbs moisture. In other words, whatever you put on your scalp is being absorbed into your bloodstream, approximately 100,000 times over.
With hundreds of essential oils out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Not all essential oils are created equal. A pure essential oil still contains the therapeutic properties of the plant from which it was extracted. Synthetic brands do not. Make sure the brand you purchase is 100% pure so that you reap the most benefits, and keep in mind that the purer the oil, the greater the potency. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting your essential oil blend with a carrier oil such as grapeseed, coconut, or olive oil before applying it directly to the skin or scalp.
Finally, do your homework and research which oils are right for your specific hair needs, and which ones play well together. A few to try include Clary Sage and Lavender oils, which have both been shown to generate hair growth. Lavender has the added benefit of antibacterial properties to keep the scalp happy and healthy. Rosemary is good for improving cellular regeneration, resulting in thicker, stronger strands. Cedarwood keeps oil under control by balancing the sebum-producing glands, and studies have shown that Sandalwood can increase hair growth after just six days of use. When you understand the benefits of these and other essential oils, you can experiment and create blends that are customized to address your concerns.
Your best hair days don’t have to be behind you. With a little knowledge and know-how, you can be on your way to restoring your strands to their former glory safely and effectively. Below are two of Lee’s favorite recipes from ‘Essential Oils Desk Reference,’ along with application tips to transform your hair loss into hair luster.
If you do not want to make your own hair masks or hair growth blends you can always buy some instead. We recommend Ayurvedic HERBS Infused Hair Growth Oil +Essential oils, made with a robust combination of ingredients, including Argan oil, Aloe Vera Oil, Almond oil, Ashwagandha oil, Avocado oil, Bhrami oil, Bringraj oil, Sesame oil, Castor oil, Kalonji/Black seeds oil, Flex seeds oil, Neem oil, Moringa Oil, Coconut oil, Olive oil, Green Tea Extracts, Methi oil (Fenugreek oil), Amla oil, Tea Tree oil, Hibiscus oil, Eucalyptus oil, Lavender oil, Peppermint Oil, Camphor, and Kachur.
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