How Lavender Oil Really Affects Your Hair

We all have a friend who responds to every complaint with: "Have you tried essential oils?" Among the hundreds of touted benefits — which range from sensible to stupefying — are stress relief, teeth whitening, smelly shoe deodorizing, fruit fly capture, stain removal, fabric softening, and the pregnancy ailment ease, as SheKnows claims.

One of the most popular and versatile oils out there is lavender oil. The high-priced liquid is made by distilling the Lavandula angustifolia (or lavender) plant. While many uses of essential oils aren't backed by science, this one is different. There's a growing body of research evidencing the plant's therapeutic and curative properties, especially as it pertains to the nervous system (via Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine). Studies show how the stuff can promote relaxation, alleviate depression and anxiety, fight insomnia, and more, per Verywell Mind. But can lavender oil help with your hair care routine? It seems like a stretch.

Lavender oil does more to your tresses than just make them smell good

According to Healthline, lavender oil might be the best thing to happen to your locks since that first post-quarantine haircut. One 2016 study published in Toxicology Research found that consistently applying a solution containing lavender oil for a month straight not only increases hair follicles but also deepens them and thickens the dermal layer. Meanwhile, other studies found that this essential oil may also help treat pattern baldness and alopecia. However, additional human studies must be conducted to fully back up these uses.

Lavender also contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which means it helps prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi from spreading. Therefore, rubbing lavender oil into your scalp may bring some relief to common scalp issues, such as dandruff, itchy scalp, and other infections. The antibacterial effects may help speed up the healing process of skin inflammation or burns. When combined with tea tree oil, lavender oil may also help stave off head lice. In fact, this combo may even kill the little buggers, although it should only be used in tandem with a prescribed treatment plan. Last but certainly not least, using lavender oil on your hair carries a wealth of aromatherapeutic benefits. Getting occasional whiffs of that flowery fragrance brings relaxation, pleasure, and a big old mood boost. So why not give it a try?