In the world of hair care, there has been a massive push towards embracing organic, nature-derived products as part of the “clean beauty” movement.
For those who embrace this trend, the explanation behind it is that synthetic chemical ingredients like silicones and sulfates cause more harm than good to our hair health, and that the most effective way towards maximizing hair health is by using only natural products.
While some of the points raised about synthetic ingredients are little more than fearmongering, there is certainly something to the idea that many natural ingredients with potent, proven benefits to hair health have been overlooked by much of the marketplace.
One of these overlooked ingredients has been eucalyptus oil. Until recently, essential oils have been used exclusively for their fragrance and aromatherapeutic effects. However, recent research has revealed that essential oils can contain a plethora of chemical compounds that can provide massive potential when it comes to improving skin and hair health. This is especially true of eucalyptus oil, which has led to a surge in its popularity in the hair care community. Read below to learn more about this new wonder ingredient and see if eucalyptus oil is right for you!
What’s In Eucalyptus Oil?
As can be guessed from its name, this oil is derived from the leaf of the eucalyptus tree, which originates in Australia but is grown in continents worldwide. By utilizing a steam distillation process, cultivators are able to extract a variety of unique chemical components from the leaf, resulting in a potent oil product. Some of these chemical components include:
- Eucalyptol: A monoterpenoid that is responsible for the woodsy, grassy scent associated with eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptol possesses significant antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is why it is frequently used in mouthwashes.
- Linalool: A natural terpene alcohol commonly found in numerous essential oils, linalool exhibits a floral scent and is also a potent antibacterial and antifungal agent.
- Thujene: A monoterpene, this compound has antiseptic properties in addition to exhibiting anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects
Due to all of these components, eucalyptus oil has demonstrated proven to be an effective oil in treating bacterial and fungal infections while reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Aside from this, many find the woodsy, floral aroma of eucalyptus oil to be extremely soothing, making it a fantastic option for inducing relaxation and reducing stress.
Eucalyptus Oil and Hair Care
Given all the amazing chemical components found within eucalyptus oil and their various physical properties, it only makes sense that this oil could possess great potential for hair and scalp care. When discussing this oil (or any essential oil for that matter), however, one thing needs to be made clear: do NOT apply the oil undiluted! Essential oils are extremely potent and applying them straight to the skin can lead to severe burning and irritation. Instead, ensure the oil is either diluted in a carrier oil like argan oil or as part of a larger ingredient composition when used in a hair care product.
Due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, eucalyptus oil is a fantastic way to both prevent and treat the fungal and bacterial infections that lead to dandruff. Additionally, this oil possesses excellent cleansing properties that allow or the easy removal of flakes and bacteria.
With its potent anti-inflammatory and pain-reliving properties, eucalyptus oil is a fantastic way to help heal an irritated scalp and reduce the pain and inflammation associated by conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. When combined with other essential oils, this can be a fantastic way to provide effective pain relief from common irritants or environmental changes.
Boost Hair Growth
Thanks in part to its anti-inflammatory action, eucalyptus oil can potentially aid in the improvement of hair growth while limiting hair loss. Scalp inflammation is the leading cause of hair loss and addressing this root cause is one of the most effective ways of nipping your stunted hair growth issues in the bud. Additionally, the oil is fantastic at preventing the kind of fungal and bacterial infections of the hair follicles that can obstruct hair growth and proper follicle function. Basically, eucalyptus oil allows for your scalp to be at its strongest, healthiest state, which is exactly the kind of condition required for proper hair growth.
Eucalyptus oil has astringent, skin-toning benefits that have been shown to regulate sebum production in the scalp. By preventing excess sebum production, follicle build-up is kept to a minimum, while the hair is given extra volume and bounce by shedding the added weight of oil and grease. Additionally, this reduction in sebum will help to normalize the scalp’s hair production, as well as creating a less hospitable environment for bacteria and fungi.
As mentioned, eucalyptus oil possesses a variety of unique and effective chemical constituents that allow it to exert a variety of beneficial effects when utilized as a therapeutic. One of these effects is influencing the production of ceramides by the skin, helping to create healthier, stronger skin. Ceramides make up the “glue” of the skin, helping to prevent moisture loss and protect the lower layers of the skin from irritants and toxic ingredients. When the skin barrier is compromised or suffers from conditions like eczema or dermatitis, the production of ceramides is decreased, leading to significant moisture loss and inflammation. Thankfully, the application of eucalyptus oil can help improve the scalp’s production of ceramides, which provides an incredible all-around benefit to your hair and scalp health.
As you can see, there is much to love about eucalyptus oil. While you can add a few drops of the oil to any of your current hair care products, we suggest investing in a product specifically formulated to include eucalyptus oil. These products include shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, leave-in conditioners and serums that can effectively deliver the incredible benefits of eucalyptus oil to your hair and scalp.