Lavender oil makes an excellent conditioning treatment for the air due to its pleasing scent, gentle action and powerful antiseptic properties. It helps to regulate the activity of the sebaceous glands, cleanses the scalp of bacterial infection and helps disperse dead skin cells. It has the reputation of ‘sorting knots and tangles’ and also encourages hair growth.
Dr Marchand has studied the question of hair loss and his studies have led to the conclusion that pure lavender essence used as a scalp massage reduces hair loss and encourages regrowth.12
By making the hair more healthy and manageable, lavender oil benefits all hair types including dry hair, greasy hair and itchy scalp conditions.
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Choose a mild or pH neutral shampoo which does not strip the hair of its protective acid mantle, then add between 1 and 3 per cent of lavender oil (about 20-60 drops per 100 ml of mild shampoo – or 2-3 drops of lavender oil to 1 tsp of shampoo). Shampoo daily or according to your usual routine – this treatment is good for all hair types.
Lavender oil can also be added to a conditioning lotion in the same manner (2 per cent), or a few drops can be put in the final rinse water.
For a hair conditioner to encourage hair growth and to treat baldness (alopecia): mix 25 drops of lavender oil with 50 ml of slightly warmed jojoba or coconut oil, massage thoroughly into scalp. Wrap hair in a warm towel and leave for an hour if possible. Wash out, using lavender shampoo – apply the shampoo first before the water, otherwise the hair will remain oily. Repeat once a week. (Alternatively, a few drops of lavender oil can be added to a natural conditioning lotion or wax – or rubbed neat into the scalp).
A good final rinse for all hair types is to add 5 drops of lavender and 1 tbsp of cider vinegar to the final rinse water. This will help to remove detergent residue and restore the acid equilibrium of the scalp.
Other essential oils which are excellent for hair care include tea tree, rosemary, chamomile and West Indian bay.