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Hair care

Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Dandruff, Hair Loss

Here is a brief compilation of basic hair care hints. 


  Minimize the use of chemicals for bleaching, coloring, highlighting, and perming on the hair. 

  Use high quality, safe hair care products.  Harsh chemicals can be in normal day-to-day hair care products so care should be taken in the selection of shampoos and conditioners.

  Hair driers, curling irons, and other heat devices should be used carefully and sparingly so as not to do physical damage to hair.

  Handle hair gently, rough handling damages hair, especially when it is wet.  Use smooth combs and smooth, wide spaced nylon or other synthetic bristle brushes to gently remove tangles.

  Avoid sharp or tight hair fasteners, especially when placed in the same location time after time.

  Choose and maintain a good hair care routine.

Basic hair types:

  Dry: Frizzy, split ends, dull, feels brittle, tangles easily, hard to comb. Supplement hair with small amounts of quality oil after shampooing.

  Normal: Not greasy or dry, holds styling well, and looks healthy.

  Oily: Becomes oily soon after shampooing, is difficult to manage, limp, collects dirt quickly. Shampoo more often, avoid stroking hair as this moves more sebum (your natural oil) from scalp to hair.  Do not apply conditioner to base of hair shafts.

  Note: Most dry or oily hair conditions are the result of the types and the frequency of hair care products used.  In some locations there may be excessive external mineral build-up from the local water. Secondarily, oily, dry, weak, or thin hair can be a result of hormonal imbalances, poor nutrition, and/or medications. 

Hair care routine: 

A regular routine is one of the best ways to keep your hair looking healthy and stylish.

  Shampoo regularly with a high quality shampoo.  Begin with dry combing or brushing.  Thoroughly wet hair before applying shampoo. Apply ½ - 1 teaspoon shampoo and gently work up a lather, taking time to massage the whole scalp with the fingertips (not the fingernails) to increase blood flow to the follicles (roots) and scalp for healthier hair growth.

    Frequency will depend on your hair type and the quality and amount of hair products used, including the styling products. Experiment to find your best frequency. Starting suggestions would be:

  Dry – every 2nd or 3rd day

  Normal – every other day

  Oily – every day

•   Consider Salon Essentials Protecting Shampoo.

    Notes: If more shampoo is needed for a good lather, two sudsing with smaller amounts of shampoo works better than continuing to add more shampoo to just one sudsing.  Daily shampoo and conditioner is usually better for all types if very high quality products are used.

  Rinse thoroughly and gently.

  Apply a small amount of high quality conditioner. Distribute through the hair with special attention to damaged areas, if any. Do a final rinse after 1 to 3 minutes.  For special hair types consider:

  Dry – add 1 or 2 drops of coconut oil (or other quality oil) to conditioner

  Normal – use conditioner as is

  Oily – apply conditioner on the outer half or tips of the hair strands

•   Consider Salon Essentials Smoothing Conditioner and Salon Essentials root to tip Serum.

  Dry hair gently.  Use a towel wrap and natural drying as much as possible.  If a blow dryer is required do not continue till fully dry, let the last moisture dissipate naturally.  Do not overheat one area or ever let the scalp feel hot.

  Comb, brush, and style after the hair is dry. Brushing wet hair may damage hair or split ends.  Choose a large bristle brush for thick hair, a soft brush for thin hair.

  Brush at night to clear tangles and distribute the natural oils. Secure long hair for sleeping to minimize morning tangles.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: Clary SageC, LavenderC, LemonC, Melaleuca, Peppermint, RosemaryC, SandalwoodC

Essential oils based products: Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV),  Salon Essentials Protecting Shampoo, Smoothing Conditioner, and root to tip Serum.

Also consider: BasilC, CypressC, GeraniumC, Roman ChamomileC, Blend for Women, Ylang Ylang

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Regular routine:

  Shampoo with Salon Essentials Protecting Shampoo, add 1 - 2 drops of Rosemary to slow hair loss.

  Condition with Salon Essentials Smoothing Conditioner and add Salon Essential root to tip Serum or oils below depending on the condition of hair then let the conditioner remain in the hair 2 - 3 minutes before rinsing for best results.

     Dry hair -  add 1 - 2 drops of coconut or olive oil plus 1 - 2 drops Geranium or Lavender

     Oily hair -  add 1 - 2 drops of Basil, Cypress or Lemon and only use on tips and/or outer half of hair shaft

     Fragile hair - add 1 - 2 drops of Clary Sage or Roman Chamomile

  Dry hair and spray (spray is especially effective after hair coloring or perms.) with the following blend:

  2 ounces of water

  4 drops of Peppermint (or other oil of choice)

Basic hair health:

  Eating well with Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV) builds strong and healthy hair.


  Massage the following blend into scalp nightly.  Cover with shower cap if necessary. Shampoo out the next morning:

  1 teaspoon VCO or other carrier

  4 drops Lemon

  4 drops Lavender

  4 drops Melaleuca

  4 drops Rosemary

Hair loss:

  Add 1 - 2 drops of Rosemary to shampoo daily to stimulate follicle

  Consider oils for hormonal balance if needed

  Also consider regular use of Salon Essential root to tip Serum that includes the following oils known for helping healthy scalp and hair (Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Lavandin, Lavender, Marjoram, Niaouli, Peppermint, Rosemary and Tangerine)

  For more serious loss also consider one of these blends:

  3 drops Rosemary

  5 drops Lavender

  4 drops Cypress

  4 drops Clary Sage

  Blend 2:

  8 drops Rosemary

  10 drops Lavender

  10 drops Sandalwood

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Kweeno - Just curious if anyone has had any experience with the (...) shampoo.  I'm experiencing hair loss and am interested to know if this will help or is it just for damaged hair.

Charly - I have no idea if it will help--but I know people who swear by Rosemary and the shampoo.  Personally, I love the shampoo. I like its formulation, but also-- It's really dumb, actually--but I LOVE the smell in the morning and the sparkly.  I am NOT a morning person.  As far as I'm concerned, any hour before 8 am should not happen twice a day.  This shampoo makes me happy!

Nora - I stopped using the shampoo and conditioner because it left my hair really oily in the evenings. As for hair loss...I did not notice any, just the oily hair. I was so bummed because I love the smell of it.

Carolyn - I had to use the shampoo for about two weeks before my hair stopped producing the extra oils. Now, I have no problems with them. Love the shampoo!!!

Megan - I use the shampoo/conditioner, however I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week.  Otherwise my hair becomes extremely dry. I have not noticed any extra oiliness or anything like that. I also use the root to tip serum after every time I was my hair.  I haven't experienced any hair loss either, I'm using it because I want to try to improve my hair growth because my hair is thinning, so I would surely notice if it was getting even thinner I think.  With that said, everything works for everyone differently. 

JasAK - I carry the hair care line at my salon and I love it! It seems to work great for fine hair and course hair as well. Light weight for fine hair and conditioning enough for courser hair. The shampoo gets the hair really clean so it's hard to imagine having an oily problem from it...The trick to the conditioner is to make sure you squeeze the water out of your hair before you put it in and to make sure to let it sit on the hair for a few minutes before you rinse. It has been amazing for preventing static electricity! Which is a huge problem where I live. Maybe just using the conditioner on the ends and not at the scalp area would help with the oily problem....Or just adding enough water to make sure it gets sudsy enough to clean all the hair....


JRW - I was wondering how long the SanoBella Shampoo and Conditioner lasts. I have long hair (below the shoulders.) and it is really thick. I’d really like to try the shampoo and conditioner but don’t want to run out in a week, especially for how much it costs.

Brooke - I also have long, thick hair.  You don't have to use very much at all of both of them - they are VERY concentrated!  I used to use a tablespoon (approx)  or more of conditioner for my hair - now I use no more than a 1/2 tsp. (approx) and it goes through my hair amazingly well!  Same with the shampoo!  I gave a sample to my hairdresser and she was amazed, and wants to carry it in her salon.  My two bottles lasted about a month, and probably would have lasted longer - but I have two daughters who would take them to their bathroom every once and a while - until I finally got them their own!

Cindy - These products are amazingly thick and rich. I love them! I have long, very fine hair and it has never been so silky. I use only about a teaspoon or less of each.

Leah - How often do you wash your hair? Every day? Every couple of days? Twice a week like me?  Don't worry, I hit the shower more often, but I wash my hair itself on Wednesdays and Saturdays. My hair is halfway down my back, but with my usage, I bet the bottles will last me more than 2 months.

Jan -  I have a funny story to share. I just got back from a trip to Tennessee and had nothing but carry on. So that included all my (...) skin care and hair care treatment. I decided to use the small little 5/8 dram glass bottles to put all my "stuff in". It was a little hard putting the shampoo and conditioner in them, but while doing so, I thought they could make great samples to give away. Well when it came time to wash my hair, I couldn't get the shampoo and conditioner out by just hitting them on my hand...LOL. I had taken some toothpicks with me to get everything out. That worked, but was afraid I didn't have enough to wash and condition. But my hair came out very clean and shiney anyway. So a little dab will do ya...it does go a long way! But next time I think I'll use the 5 or 15ml bottles.


Sue -Has anyone experienced hair drying out when using the SanoBella products?  If yes, what are you doing to put the moisture back into the hair.

Lisa - One of my daughter’s hair has dried out with it.  She switched back to her old shampoo.  The rest of us don't have a problem.

Brooke - I've had just the opposite happen - My hair feels so much softer.  I wish I knew why that was happening to her.

Pat - I had dry thin hair before starting with SanoBella and cannot believe how  wonderful my hair is now. I love it and will never change, but everyone is different.

Lori - I use SanoBella hair care.  I'm also a professional hairdresser of 32 years.  During my career, I have used some of the finest hair care products available..  I have never used a more luxurious shampoo and conditioner than SanoBella.  I noticed immediately how lovely the cuticle feels.  If you feel that you need more moisture, I would recommend that you add a very, very small amount of olive oil to your conditioner (about 1 or 2 drops), and concentrate on applying that to the ends of your hair, not the scalp. Hope this helps.

Cory - I love the SanoBella shampoo and conditioner because I only need to wash my hair every 2-3 days and it still looks great. I did notice that if I washed it everyday or if I did not let the conditioner sit for at least 2-3 minutes it was more drying. Love it!


Editor’s note:  This is an interesting excerpt from a separate discussion.

Amelia - Just as an fyi today I also used our Sanobella shampoo and conditioner on all three dogs of my dogs and added a little bit of Lemongrass (just in case for fleas) and they really smell wonderful and their coats are very soft and beautiful...plus not much itching afterward, which is common and typically an issue with commercial shampoos etc. I know it's kind of pricey but I think I'll be buying these for not only myself but also my pets.


Amber - A friend of mine does hair for a living and wants to incorporate some oils into her routine when she washes her clients hair. I would love to hear your suggestions for what oils or blends you think would be enjoyed by her clients.  I have experimented with some of the oils on myself and my husband but it has been hard to eliminate any oils from the list since we loved them all!  Do you know which oils are particularly beneficial to the scalp and hair?  I found a suggested blend for dandruff (Melaleuca, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary), does anyone have any recommendations for a relaxing blend and maybe an invigorating blend? I was also wondering if anyone has had luck using oils for balding men or women?  

Loryjean - I tried the coconut oil and Peppermint treatment; it was really messy but my hair was extra soft for days! Did take a couple of washings to lose the oil feel, but I have thin hair and it weighs down easily. I have thought about adding oils to my unscented shampoo, but then I would be "stuck" with a certain fragrance until the bottle was empty, and I'm having too much fun trying out all the different options!

Denise - To help with the large bottle of shampoo problem, use one of the tiny bottles of shampoo you can get at a hotel or from the travel section at Target or Wal-Mart. That way I can use it for 2-3 washes to see if I like it and what it does to me, then rinse it out and start again.

Jan - ok, I don't use any shampoo and my hair has never been cleaner or smelled better or more manageable. I actually use baking soda with a few drops of Lavender oil. Then I rinse with raw apple cider vinegar and Lavender, a few drops. 1/4 cup vinegar to 16 oz of water and 4 drops of Lavender. Then for extra shine, one drop virgin coconut oil rubbed into the palm of my hands and lightly placed over the hair. I put it on the fingertips and start at the scalp. It works for me. You may have? "icky" hair for a couple weeks, but I never did. I love it. Experiment. It's fun.

Loryjean - I don't use commercial shampoos, either. I use a soap product called "Miracle II" that I buy wholesale from the manufacturer in Louisiana. I use a version of it for cleaning in my home, as well. I realize I can simply put some soap in my hand and a drop of oil for scent or a particular benefit; but most people aren't interested in that approach! I have also used Dr. Bronner's soaps, which have "essential oils" in them, but I am sure the quality isn't high. I could add to those, as well. Mostly I am interested in what kinds of experiences others have had with specific oils; how they add them, which ones, what they mix readily with, or not. I also use white vinegar for cleaning, and would like to know how oils incorporate and react with it. I do not use any chemicals in my home; I make my own laundry detergent, and use a lot of baking soda, vinegar, and pure soaps. We have genetically based chronic inflammation in my family, so our diets and our environment are as natural and as chemical free as I can reasonably accomplish. (I do try to be reasonable; for costs' sake if nothing else!) I am always interested in how others do that, too, although I don't expect most people are interested or doing so. I will try the baking soda for hair; that sounds intriguing! Thanks for the suggestions.

Jan - I essentially built my other essential oils business while doing hair. I mostly used Peppermint and/or Lavender for headaches, allergies, relaxation, and as a conversation starter. With chemical services, after the last rinse and before applying the conditioner, I liberally sprayed the hair with "Peppermint water" mixed at the rate of 2 drops per ounce of water. The Peppermint helps remove residual odors from the chemicals, tightens the hair shaft and helps close the cuticle layer which helps "set" the color or perm and makes the hair smoother and more shiny. And I diffused a purifying blend or a blend somewhat like Respiratory Blend or Protective Blend everyday. There are other things one can do as well, but that's a good start and certainly demonstrates the value of oils.

Pat - I have been using Rosemary with my organic shampoo and find that I have new hair growing in. I also use Peppermint for a stimulating experience, Lavender and Grounding Blend for relaxation and Melaleuca for general hair health. Enjoy!!  

Christine - There's a great book by Valerie Ann Worwood  'The complete book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy'  that has numerous recipes for hair among a host of other recipes.

Pat - Rosemary is supposed to be a great oil to regenerate the hair follicles, Peppermint and Melaleuca really give you a tingly wake up call, and Lavender will relax you. You can use the oils so many ways depending on what you want to accomplish. I have even used Grounding Blend when I felt I might pull my hair out!!

Loryjean - I am eager to try the Rosemary on my thin hair. The Peppermint I tried was interesting, but I think the coconut oil had more effect; smooth and shiny. No  blow away straggles when I put it up, either, which was nice. Is there an oil that helps to keep color in? My daughter uses henna, and it washes out naturally; she'd like it to stay a little longer each time.

Jan- The fact that good quality, natural henna washes out over time is one of the benefits, of course. To make it as stable as possible, I suggest adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil (FCO) to the henna mixture at the time of application. Then just before applying the conditioner, I'd spray Peppermint liberally throughout the hair (2 drops per ounce of water), leave that on for 3 or 4 minutes, then right over the Peppermint use a non-toxic conditioner, rinse, and finish by smoothing a very small amount of FCO through the hair before styling.

Henna will also last longer if it is mixed with hot water, apply it while it is still hot, and keep it hot with a hair dryer or wrapped in a hot towel while it is processing.

Loryjean - That's really helpful; thanks, Jan. We do the henna with hot water and wrap it, plus apply heat about halfway through the processing time. This next time we'll try your suggestions; I really appreciate it!

Pat - I do not know about men, but my hair is getting new growth on top where I am quite thin, and I put Rosemary (a couple of drops) in my shampoo every other day.


Lynda - Pat do you know of any other oils that are good for thinning hair?  Rosemary and Peppermint are two oils that those of us who have had or currently have seizures should avoid. I have very thin hair and would like to find something that could help

Pat - I have been doing some research for my own situation and this is what I have found, at least the condensed version. Hair loss and thinning is caused by hormonal imbalance (such as increased testosterone), or inflammatory conditions, and genetics. Essential Oils are excellent for cleansing, nourishing, and strengthening hair follicle and shaft. Rosemary, above all encourages hair growth.

Single oils: Lavender, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, and Clary Sage

Blend for thicker hair #1

·  3 drops of Rosemary    

·  5 drops of Lavender    

·  4 drops of Cypress    

·  2 drops of Clary Sage

Blend for thicker hair #2

·  10 drops of Lavender      

·  10 drops Sandalwood      

·  8 drops Rosemary

I suppose you could try these without the Rosemary, but it is the best ingredient that I have found so far. I am still looking but this might help for now.


PhilX - Does anyone have suggestions for dandruff.  Bad Dandruff??

Lil - Try Blend for Women with shampoo. Worked wonders for someone I know, and fast too.

PhilX - Wow, cool idea Lil !

Rob - MMmm... I'm telling my wife about that one... Blend for Women infused hair.

Kathy - Massage Melaleuca, Lemon Lavender, or Rosemary with some VCO or Olive oil into the scalp nightly.  Wash it out in the morning.  If it doesn't improve, there may be some Candida or yeast to deal with.

PhilX - My friend had a dandruff problem.  I helped him make a mix of Melaleuca, Lavender, Lemon, and Rosemary with virgin coconut oil.  He put it in a small jar and applied it to his head at night, then washed it out in the morning. He said the only bad part was his pillow got oil spots on it, but it wasn't bad.  After about 3 weeks it has nearly stopped being flaky.  He also said his hair just feels healthier.  He now adds Blend for Women to baby shampoo and washes with it.  It was Lils idea, and he says that not only does the dandruff seem to be staying away, but he loves the smell of his hair.


Heather - My 12 year old has really greasy dandruffy hair. She doesn't wash it a lot; so we will start washing it more... But what will help get rid of the greasy dandruff? We did Melaleuca and Rosemary with vinegar and will do that a few times, but does anyone have any ideas? It was so greasy that the brush bristles were greasy!

Leah - I think washing her hair more will cause more grease to produce. As a teenager, I only washed my hair every other day. I didn't want to get caught in the cycle my parents had of washing their hair everyday or looking very stringy. I'm 29 now, and I only wash my hair twice a week, sometimes once.

Anyhow, for your daughter... it sounds like she needs to be giving herself scalp massages. This will help spread her natural oils more evenly in her hair. It'll also help work the grease into her scalp's skin and likely soften the dandruff flakes. Another benefit of the massage is that it'll help loosen skin flakes that are already going to come off.

I would be massaging every night and right before washing her hair. Just gently stimulate the scalp skin with the fingernails, especially in the areas prone to extra oiliness. A perk is that her fingernails are likely to be stronger and healthier due to the oil exposure.

If you want to strip the grease, I would just make a baking soda slurry. Something like 1 or 2 tablespoons of baking soda to half a cup of water. Put it in your daughter's dry hair before a shower, massage the scalp as best as you can, then rinse it off. Shampoo and conditioner as normal... hopefully the SanoBella shampoo and conditioner.

Victoria – She may be going through hormonal changes. Her hair has no idea what's going on and is trying to find it's homeostasis. Or, it maybe that her current hair products are too much for her.

Believe it or not there is a quiet underground women's movement called "No-Poo." People are not using shampoo and/or conditioner. I can recommend this because I have tried it and I love it. Like Leah, I wash my hair once or twice a week.

It does take two weeks for your hair to find it's homeostasis. I also use Bragg's Organic Raw ~ Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. And when I "shampoo" I add a couple of drops of essential oil's into my cup. Depends on the day and what I need/want as to what essential oil's to use, but Lavender is a great start.

I wish you and your daughter the best of luck!

Victoria - I use one tablespoon of baking soda, two cups of water and a drop or two of essential oil. When she takes a shower most of the dirt will wash away. Rub the baking soda onto the scalp. This will clean her cuticles. I will warn you....doing this will cause her hair to curl if she has any curl in it. It will also take two weeks for her hair to regain any homeostasis. I wore my hair in ponytails for most of the two weeks.

She can rinse/condition with one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and two cups of water. She will not smell like vinegar.

Great thing is, you can adjust whenever you need. Sometimes one tablespoon of baking soda is too much and at other times it's too little. If her hair continues to be too greasy cut back on the vinegar.

Heather - After remembering I used Lemon oil on my grease stained shirt; I realized I should use Lemon oil on her hair also. Thanks so much. I will try it with Melaleuca and Lemon and/or Rosemary.

Protocols folks recommend for children



Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils


What Science & Research are saying

Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University found that cellular stress, caused by damaging agents like chemicals, ultraviolet light and ionizing radiation, may explain why your hair turns gray.

As the study’s lead author, Emi Nishimura, pointed out, a single cell may encounter up to 100,000 events a day that damage DNA, and stem cells in your hair follicles responsible for color are impacted by this damage.

While you’re young, stem cells in your hair either reproduce or mature into more specialized cells that produce pigment to color your hair. But as you age, too many stem cells mature until there are no pigment cells left to be added to your hair.

The researchers believe that accumulated DNA damage may be the trigger that causes stem cells to mature, which then allows these damaged cells to be purged. While the researchers said the DNA damage your hair cells experience is largely “unavoidable,” they did offer hope that anti-graying creams that prevent your hair’s stem cells from switching roles may one day be available.


Is Hydrogen Peroxide Also a Culprit?

A separate study by researchers at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom found another reason why your hair turns gray: hydrogen peroxide.

We’re not talking about the kind used to turn your hair bleach blonde, but rather the type that is produced naturally in your body.

This hydrogen peroxide interferes with melanin, the pigment that colors your hair (and skin). When you’re young your body produces the enzyme catalase, which breaks down hydrogen peroxide and protects your hair color. But as you get older you make less catalase, and the hydrogen peroxide is free to “bleach” out your color.

Further, hair follicles of gray-haired people also contain fewer hair-repair enzymes, which also suppresses the production of melanin.

The researchers believe products that remove hydrogen peroxide from your hair and body may one day help people to avoid going gray.


Alopecia areata

University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC)

In one study of 86 people with alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out, often in patches), those who massaged their scalps with Lavender and other essential oils daily for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. However, there is no way to tell whether it was one or the combination of oils that was effective.



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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.