How To Create Natural Shampoo and Conditioner With Essential Oils

Aromatherapy offers a personalised treatment for hair and scalp. Not only do essential oils nourish and condition; they also leave your hair smelling beautifully fragrant. You can even personalise the scent of your own shampoo and conditioner! Most over-the-counter products contain loads of chemicals, which can aggravate sensitive scalps and leave hair feeling dry and brittle. Incorporating essential oils into your hair care routine will keep hair soft, lustrous and full of body. The best way to use essential oils is to add them to fragrance free shampoo and conditioner, available from most health shops. However, in a pinch you can use regular shampoo and conditioner although the effects won’t be quite the same.


Photo credit: Nicole Castle @ flickr

Traditionally rosemary is used for darker hair while chamomile is ideal for fair hair. A great blend to use for dark, greasy hair is 9-drops rosemary, 6-drops lemon and 3-drops lavender in 60 ml of shampoo/conditioner. If you have dry, fair hair that is prone to split ends try using 9-drops chamomile, 6-drops frankincense and 3-drops sandalwood in 60 ml shampoo/conditioner. Do consider creating alternative shampoo and conditioners to use especially if you’re someone who washes their hair everyday. Overtime it is possible to develop sensitivity to essential oils if they are used continually without a break. Other oils that can be substituted for oily hair are cypress, peppermint, lemongrass, orange, bergamot, clary sage, cedarwood and patchouli. Dry, hair that tangles easily can also benefit from palmarosa, rosewood and geranium.

Using an Aromatherapy rinse will give damaged hair a boost, keeping it shiny and manageable. Add 3-drops of either rosemary or chamomile essential oil to 2 Tablespoons of cider vinegar and 60ml of water and use after washing and conditioning your hair. This is a great way to nourish the scalp and can be helpful in treating dandruff. If you do suffer from a flaky scalp and dandruff is a problem you can also use lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, cypress and peppermint essential oils. The combination of cider vinegar and invigorating oils such as rosemary and peppermint can make your head tingle. If you feel it tingles too much, simply reduce the amount of vinegar and essential oils used in your rinse.


Photo credit: Dave @ flickr

Although there really is no miracle cure for baldness, certain essential oils are stimulating to the scalp and hair follicles. They can assist in strengthening the hair, helping it look and feel fuller. Rosemary, peppermint, cedarwood, basil and ylang ylang are all good choices and can be used in shampoos, conditioners and rinses 2-3 times a week. Make sure to spend time massaging the shampoo/conditioner/rinse into your scalp as this helps promote circulation to the hair follicles. You can also use a simple blend of 3-drops rosemary essential oil in 2 Tablespoons of jojoba carrier oil before you wash your hair. This is an intense conditioning treatment that your hair and scalp will love! Apply to dry hair and scalp and spend a good few minutes massaging it through to the ends. Wrap your head in a warm towel and relax for 20-30 minutes. Afterward wash your hair as normal but always make sure to add shampoo to your hair first before getting your hair wet! This helps build up an emulsion meaning all the oil will be washed out.


There is nothing quite as soothing as a head massage, even when you have to do it yourself! One of my favourite conditioning blends to use when I feel like pampering myself is to add 6-drops ylang ylang, 3-drops lavender and 3-drops orange to 40ml of jojoba carrier oil. I usually spend a good 10-15 minutes really working the oil blend into my hair. The aroma is calming, uplifting and makes looking after myself feel even more special. With my head wrapped up in a warm towel, there is nothing else to be done except have a cup of tea and read a magazine for half an hour. Bliss! Once I have washed the oil out of my hair, I allow it to dry naturally and I’m always delighted with the results. My hair feels soft and smells fantastic! This is a lovely treatment to do at least once every 2-3 weeks to give hair a bit of extra care and nourishment.

When it comes to using essential oils in your hair care routine you can play around to create aromas that are more personal to you. Experiment, have fun and enjoy making the routine task of washing your hair an experience that is out of the ordinary!