Last Updated on December 2, 2022 by Verna Meachum
If you have curly hair, you know that it can be a handful at times. Between the frizz, the tangles, and the never-ending battle against dryness, it’s easy to feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.
But what if I told you that there’s hope? That there are game-changing essential oils for curly hair that can help turn the tide in your favor?
Yes, it’s true! These miracle workers can help tame frizz, add shine, and even promote growth. And they’re all natural, so you can feel good about using them on your hair.
So if you’re ready to take your curly hair care to the next level, read on for the best essential oils for curly hair.
One of the most popular and frequently sought cosmetic ingredients in skin and hair care products are essential oils. These ingredients deliver a wide range of cosmetic benefits to the hair fiber and scalp surface.1
Essential oils have a distinct essence or fragrance that has been recognized for its aromatic qualities and therapeutic benefits.
Historically, the word ‘Essential” stands for “Essence” due to the strong aromatic aroma of these organic liquids. It also refers to the fact that the oil contains the essence of a plant, its fragrance.
Today, scientific advancements and continuous research in the field of cosmetic actives have produced a long list of important oils with numerous applications for hair and scalp care formulation. It is important to understand their chemistry, mechanism of action, and benefits they can deliver.
Furthermore, it’s vital to figure out which essential oil is appropriate for your hair and skin. Especially for curly hair, knowing how to pick and how to use these unique goods is critical in order to get the most out of them.
Let’s explore its science and try to address the questions.
Essential Oil: What is it?
Essential oil is a water-insoluble aromatic liquid obtained from plants. For example, rosemary, sandalwood, rose, etc. They are volatile liquids and offer characteristic aroma fragrance.
The chemical composition of essential oils varies for different plants and also depends upon the plant body part.
They are extracted via steam distillation under vacuum conditions to preserve volatile compounds and prevent their evaporation during the extraction process.
Essential Oils Vs Plant Sourced Oils
Essential oil and plant-sourced oil (e.g. coconut oil, argan oil, etc.) are two completely different materials and have different chemistry.
Essential oils are volatile and aromatic while plant oils are esters of long-chain fatty acids. They have completely different chemical compositions and physical and chemical properties.
For example, essential oils are light in texture and they evaporate quickly leaving almost residue on skin or hair surface.
However, plant oils are more viscous and they make a fine lubricating coating on the hair or skin surface. These plants’ oil do not evaporate.
Moreover, essential oils have a distinct aroma that has been exploited in aromatherapy and can be used as a natural fragrance for food and personal care formulation.
On the other hand, very few plant oils have an aroma e.g. natural coconut oil has its characteristic odor.
Essential oils are also multifunctional materials and studies have demonstrated their self-preserving properties boosting the preservation of formulation itself. This highlights their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.2-3
Choosing Essential Oil for Curly hair
Curly hairs are fine protein fibers having special structural features that distinguish them from other types of hair. Their diameter varies significantly along their shaft and hair is thin at the curvature site. This makes curly hair fragile compared to other hair types.
This diameter variation is due to variation in cortex cells inside the hair shaft. Because of distinct features, curly hair needs customized hair care formulations.
Scientific reports suggest, that curly hair lacks moisture and is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in external temperature and humidity levels. They are high in porosity and thus can absorb externally applied actives very quickly. This makes essential oils a good choice for curly hairs.
They provide the required nourishment without suffocating hair fibers. Also, due to the lighter texture and volatile nature, they do not make them greasy or oily.
However, it requires careful selection to examine the chemical composition of oil, its texture, and its physiological impact. The consumer should also examine the nature of essential oil concerning the external weather conditions.
Certain essential oils have a special physiological effect. For example, black pepper, cardamom, clove bud, ginger, and rosemary demonstrate a warming sensation on application. Contrary to this, Eucalyptus, Chamomile German, Geranium, and Lavender leave a cooling feel during and after the application.
Likewise, essential oils are known for strong anti-inflammatory benefits and are best for the compromised sensitive scalp for wound healing and cellular regeneration.
Ginger and Lavender essential oils are the top listed for this purpose. Horsetail oil stimulates blood circulation and promotes hair growth.
The Best Essential Oils for Curly Hair and Benefits
If you have curly hair, you know that maintaining your locks can be a bit of a balancing act. You want to keep your hair hydrated, but you also don’t want it to be too greasy.
You want to avoid frizz, but you also don’t want your hair to look flat. In other words, it’s a bit of a juggling act.
However, there may be one thing that can help you achieve the perfect balance for your curly hair: essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that are extracted from plants.
When used in hair care products, they can help to improve hydration, fight frizz, and add shine. In other words, they can give you the perfect balance for your curly hair.
Our top moisturizing essential oil picks for curly hairs:
This fragrant herb has long been used in beauty products due to its ability to stimulate hair growth. Rosemary essential oil can help promote a healthy scalp and encourage new hair growth. Just add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner, or massage it directly into your scalp.
This oil is known for its ability to soothe and calm the scalp. It can also help to add shine and definition to curls.
This oil is perfect for dry, frizzy hair. It helps to add moisture and definition to curls.
This oil is perfect for adding shine and definition to curls. It can also help to reduce frizz, add volume, and strengthen hair.
This sweet-smelling oil is known for its calming properties, but it can also do wonders for your hair. Lavender oil is incredibly nourishing and can help to hydrate dry strands, tame frizz, and add shine. Plus, it smells amazing! Add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner, or apply it directly to wet hair before styling.
This oil is perfect for adding moisture and shine to curls. It can also help to reduce frizz and add definition.
This oil is great for all hair types, but it is especially beneficial for curly hair. It helps to hydrate and nourish the scalp while also reducing dandruff.
This oil is perfect for adding shine and definition to curls. It can also help to reduce frizz and add volume.
How To Use Essential Oils
Essential oils, as described above, are water-insoluble organic materials. They are highly active and concentrated liquids having a strong aroma and therapeutic properties.
The essential oil should not be used in its pure form (as it is) and should be diluted in a suitable material. Generally, they are mixed with other water-insoluble oils or lipids. In the cosmetic industry, they are called carrier oils.
The choice of carrier oil depends upon the nature of essential oil, targeted application, and desired results.
For example, sandalwood oil can be diluted with sweet almond oil. Carrier oil should be a light texture liquid with good mixing ability for essential oil and should not give any sedimentation. Sometimes, one has to do multiple trials to choose a carrier oil for particular essential oil.
Top-rated carrier oils for curly hairs are:
Be objective in choosing an essential oil
When choosing an essential oil, one should be particularly objective.
Follow these simple steps: First, identify the problem areas.
· Examine your hair fibers, their dryness, porosity, and frizz.
· Examine your scalp surface, is it dry, has dandruff and itchy patches, red spots.
· Determine your curl needs and scalp requirements, (do they have emollience or moisture?).
· Choose an essential oil and make its blend in a carrier oil or already-prepared conditioner, shampoo, or mask.
· Carry out a patch test to establish the compatibility of essential oil and skin response.
Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular as a way to naturally improve the health of both skin and hair. And when it comes to curly hair, essential oils can be a game-changer.
The best essential oil will vary depending on your individual hair type and needs. But the essential oils listed above are a great place to start.
So, don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect essential oil for your curly hair!
1. Abelan, U. S.; de Oliveira, A. C.; Cacoci, É. S. P.; Martins, T. E. A.; Giacon, V. M.; Velasco, M. V. R.; Lima, C. R. R. d. C., Potential use of essential oils in cosmetic and dermatological hair products: A review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 2022, 21 (4), 1407-1418.
2. Kunicka-Styczyńska, A.; Sikora, M.; Kalemba, D., Lavender, tea tree and lemon oils as antimicrobials in washing liquids and soft body balms. Inter. J. of Cosmet. Sci 2011, 33 (1), 53-61.
3. Varvaresou, A.; Papageorgiou, S.; Tsirivas, E.; Protopapa, E.; Kintziou, H.; Kefala, V.; Demetzos, C., Self-preserving cosmetics. Inter. J. of Cosmet. Sci 2009, 31 (3), 163-175.