7 Best Essential Oils for Curly Hair (Updated for 2024)

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Wednesday May 4, 2022

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Are you constantly looking for miracle creams and gels to bring out your natural curls? Perhaps you’ve already tried dozens of products to no avail. Well, we’re here to tell you that hydrating, smoothing and maintaining your mane doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need are a few essential oils for your curly hair and a little bit of patience.  

Nourish your hair, from roots to ends, with oils that’ll leave you smelling just as good as you look. Dilute each one with a base oil or add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner for easy, everyday application. 

1. Ylang-Ylang

Most people use ylang-ylang in diffusers because of its sweet scent. However, you can just as easily use it on your curls to condition them and make them smell amazing. This oil also works as a detangler, especially when you apply it to wet hair. Use a comb to distribute the ylang-ylang from roots to ends and massage a few drops into your scalp. Doing so will moisturize the skin, minimize dandruff and promote new hair growth so your curls appear thicker and fuller. 

$8.89 from Amazon

2. Geranium

Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians used geranium oil to beautify their skin before weddings and other special occasions. Now, people are using it to enhance their hair. Apply this essential oil a few times a week to increase protein keratin and grow stronger, healthier locks. Massage it into your scalp to balance sebum production and boost volume. geranium oil can even help ward off hair loss, improve circulation and promote hair growth, thanks to its amino acid content. 

$14.39 from Amazon

3. Grapefruit

Your hair comes into contact with hundreds of impurities each day, from dust and pollution to chemical-laden styling products. These compounds can accumulate on each strand and eventually weigh down your curls. Luckily, you can restore both bounce and shine with a few drops of grapefruit essential oil. Add them to your shampoo to remove build-up or make a hair mask for more intensive treatment. Grapefruit oil also controls sebum production so you don’t have to wash your hair as often. 

$18.99 from Amazon

4. Lavender 

Like ylang-ylang, lavender is a popular essential oil for aromatherapy lovers. However, this oil is good for more than just making you feel calm. In fact, adding a few drops to your scalp can help heal irritation to reduce itchiness and nix flaking. Lavender’s antimicrobial properties will also prevent bacteria and fungi from causing recurring issues in the future. Gently massage the oil into your roots. Then, comb it through the entire length of your hair to strengthen your curls and minimize breakage.  

$16.95 from Amazon

5. Jojoba

Jojoba oil has many benefits, especially for those with type three or four curls. While your scalp naturally produces oils, tighter curls make it difficult for them to travel to your ends. That’s why your scalp might feel like it needs a good scrub while your tips are dry and frizzy. By physically combing the jojoba oil into your curls, you can moisturize those dry spots and reduce frizz. Adding moisture back into your locks will also help them maintain their shape and shine — no touch-ups necessary!

$12.99 from Amazon

6. Tea Tree

Most people are familiar with tea tree oil for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. In recent years, it’s gained popularity in skincare formulations as it’s proven to be effective against acne, especially on the face. What most people don’t know is that you can also use tea tree oil on your scalp. Minimize irritation and moisturize your curls by adding a few drops to your roots. Remember to dilute it with a carrier oil to prevent any burning sensations as the tea tree cleanses your skin. 

$12.99 from Amazon

7. Rosemary 

Rosemary is a staple herb in Italian cuisine, but it’s good for more than just seasoning. In fact, its scent is wildly energizing and can positively affect the nervous system when you use it in a diffuser. However, the beauty and hair care community most value rosemary essential oil for its ability to soothe the scalp and promote hair growth. Bring some life back into your tresses with a few drops of this powerful oil. 

$25 from Amazon

Essential Oils for Curly Hair

Adding essential oils to your routine is as easy as one, two, three! All you need is an effective oil, something to dilute it with an application method. Once you have a solid formula, you can incorporate it into your daily routine until you see results.  

If you have thinner hair, opt for every other day or a few times per week. You can also add a few drops to a spray bottle and spritz your strands whenever you feel they could use a boost.


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