There are many claims that doing yoga can make your hair grow. The idea is that yoga is a great way to achieve improved blood flow to the scalp which in turn helps hair to grow. While it is true that increased blood flow helps hair grow, and there are plenty of upside down poses which encourage this blood flow, there is little research involving the role of yoga specifically for hair growth. In other words, while these claims are based in truth, there is little actual research between yoga and hair growth to definitively confirm it. However, there may be a connection between yoga and stress. What does stress have to with your hair? Well, a lot it turns out!
Several studies have been performed to discover whether or not yoga has a positive effect on stress. The general consensus seems to be that yoga is a great way to manage stress by means of improving certain functions of the body and helping to regulate hormones. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, “Overall the 25 randomized control studies discussed provide preliminary evidence to suggest that yoga practice leads to better regulation of the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system, as well as a decrease in depressive and anxious symptoms in a range of populations.” This means yoga is an effective way to cut down on some stress! That’s great, but what does that have to do with your hair?
Stress has been a proven detriment to human health for some time now and it is easy to see that connection. When the body is stressed, the adrenal gland releases a hormone called cortisone. While this is intended to be the body’s natural way of reacting to stressful triggers or stimuli, an overabundance can lead to health issues, as well as hair growth issues. In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Pathology concluded that a test group of mice had inhibited hair growth in response to rising stress hormones. This means when your body is stressed, you have a harder time growing your hair.
The connection between yoga and hair growth is not a clear-cut path, but it is a generally accepted one when you dive a little deeper into the research. Since yoga is proven to reduce stress, and stress is proven to impede hair growth, the two have a closer relationship than the simplicity of just doing Downward Dog poses for the head rush. So, give yoga a try! Your mind and your hair will thank you.
Smoothies are a great way to get a bunch of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. When your hair needs a boost in more than one area, a DIY hair smoothie should do the trick! Just like your breakfast smoothie, there are a few masks you can try to make this multi-tasking mask a reality for your curls.
This mask will provide moisture to your strands with the hydrating coconut milk while the avocado will supply strength with the fortifying fatty acids. The honey and olive oil will act as a moisturizer while also serving to seal strands to lock in the moisture.
1/2 of an Avocado
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Honey
Blend all ingredients until smooth and consistent. Apply the mixture to wet hair. Put on a plastic shower cap for around 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water to reveal healthier hair!
Banging Banana Smoothie
This DIY hair smoothie is rich in vitamin B which helps rebuild keratin for stronger hair while also promoting circulation to encourage new growth. The banana and olive oil has moisturizing aspects to leave hair hydrated and soft.
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Combine all ingredients and blend until even. Apply to wet, clean hair and cover in a plastic shower cap. After 30 minutes, rinse out of hair.
The Grow Up
The grow up is like the glow up but for your hair! When you need a multi-use mask that will help with growth, this overnight mask is perfect. The coconut oil will moisturize and seal in moisture, while the lavender oil is known for scalp stimulation that increases circulation to encourage new growth.
1 Cup Coconut Oil
4-6 Drops Lavender Oil
Heat up your coconut oil to get it back to a liquid consistency. Add in the essential lavender oil and stir until blended. Apply to wet strands and put on a shower cap. This is an overnight mask, so go to bed! In the morning, rinse out and style as usual.
*Note that many essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin without being diluted. As a general rule, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil (vegetable or nut oil, like cold pressed coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil).*
1. Tea Tree Oil
One of the most popular essential oils for natural hair, tea tree oil is a cleansing and purifying oil that comes from tea tree leaves. By diluting tea tree oil with a carrier oil and massaging into the scalp, you can stimulate hair growth. Tea tree oil can also be used for spot treatments for acne breakouts. It’s a healthier option than using acne skin products containing alcohol and other drying agents.
2. Peppermint Oil
The refreshing peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant. The scent of peppermint oil can aid in alertness and help retain focus. Aching from a hard workout? Rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil on aching muscles can help relieve soreness. Peppermint is also great for dealing with scalp issues since it has antibacterial properties.
3. Lavender Oil
The sweet and floral smell of lavender oil can aid in calmness and relaxation, which is why this oil is usually common in aromatherapy products. For a peaceful night of sleep, lightly mist your pillow and sheets with a mixture of water and a few drops of lavender. It’s possible that you can have sweet dreams. Lavender oil is also great for dealing with a dry scalp since it’s naturally soothing and moisturizing.
4. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil comes from a eucalyptus plant. This is a great oil to use while fighting a cold. The scent of the oil can help clear nasal passages for stuffy noses. For hair, it can be used to stimulate the scalp and encourage hair growth. It also has antibacterial properties which helps with keeping the scalp clean and healthy.
5. Lemon Oil
The bright yellow color of a lemon isn’t the only thing that can bring cheer. Lemon oil is refreshing and its citrus fragrance can uplift a mood. Mist a room with a mixture of water and lemon oil and the fragrance will brighten the room. This oil can also help lighten dark spots or acne scars on skin. Try adding a drop of lemon oil in carrier oil and using it to improve dull skin. One of the lesser known essential oils for hair, lemon oil can help with scalp issues and restoring pH balance.
6. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense comes from Boswellia trees. The warm fragrance can aid in retaining focus. It can be used to massage the scalp to encourage blood flow and help with hair growth.
7. Rosemary Oil
The fresh scent of rosemary oil can be used for aromatherapy. Rosemary oil can also be used during scalp massages, as it stimulates the scalp to promote hair growth.
The spicy warm scent of ginger can help with nausea or stomach pains from digestion. Ginger oil can aid with energy boosts and uplift your mood. It’s also reported to help with scalp stimulation to encourage hair growth.
9. Grapefruit Oil
The citrus scent of grapefruit oil can help give you an energy boost. Sealing moisture in your skin with the blend of grapefruit oil and a carrier oil will help obtain healthy and glowing skin.
10. Thyme Oil
Thyme oil comes from a thyme plant. The cleansing scent can help with concentration. This oil can help improve the immune system and also treat some fungal infections.
11. Jasmine Oil
Jasmine oil has a sweet floral fragrance and is also used in aromatherapy. This fragrance can help uplift your mood. Enjoy floral fragrances? Apply a few drops of jasmine oil on the skin. It’s a perfect scent for the summer months and even lasts longer than bottled fragrances. Jasmine oil is great for moisturizing strands to prevent breakage caused by dryness. It also has antibacterial abilities for dealing with scalp issues.
12. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood oil comes from the santalum album tree. Sandalwood has aromatherapy benefits and can help reduce anxiety. Sandalwood can also repel insects, which is a great addition for a day trip and beach summer bags.
13. Clove Oil
Clove oil has a strong and spicy scent. Clove oil is great for toothaches. Clove oil can also be used to relieve pain from aching muscles. It is also reported to help with making hair thicker which is why you will find it in hair loss treatments.
14. Clary Sage
An oil known for cleansing and conditioning, this one is great for dry, processed, or heat-treated hair. When combined with your favorite leave in conditioner, it will moisturize and deeply penetrate nourishment into your hair shaft to protect your strands against dryness.
15. Neroli Oil
Neroli oil is a sweet oil that is derived from the plants that grow with orange blossoms. This is a great summertime fragrance, especially if you like the smell of citrus. It is a natural emollient used on skin to hydrate, as well as to heal scrapes with the natural antibacterial properties of this plant.
16. Orange Oil
Orange oil is sweet, fruity, and fresh. Massaging orange oil on your skin can keep promote calmness or rejuvenate you after a long day. When it comes to hair, it can be used for everything from dandruff to spilt ends.
17. Geranium Oil
If you’re having a stressful day, take some time to massage this oil on your skin. The scent will keep you delighted and at peace. The use of geranium oil can make your skin radiant and healthy looking.
18. Cinnamon Bark Oil
The spicy scent of cinnamon bark oil can help relieve exhaustion. Cinnamon bark oil can help treat fungal infections and bacterial infections. It can also help boost your immune system, so this is a great oil during colder months.
19. Rose Oil
Rose oil is great for keeping your skin fresh, glowing, and enhances the overall appearance. It can help seal moisture in the skin and fade scars. It’s a great treat for a home spa day, and the smell definitely enhances the experience.
This essential oil is soothing in scent for a relaxing addition to your routine. Best of all, it can make hair softer while soothing irritation on the scalp. It can also be used to lighten hair in a natural way without using dyes.
Carrier Oils – Carrier oils are vegetable oils derived from the fatty part of a plant, usually the seeds or kernels. Some are able to penetrate the inner cortex of the hair shaft for conditioning while others also work well to seal moisture through creating a light barrier on the exterior of the hair cuticle. When used in conjunction with essential oils, they “carry” the oils to your skin and hair, given that essential oils are extremely light weight and evaporate quickly.
Essential Oils – Essential oils are plant-based oils distilled from leaves, bark roots and aromatic portions of a botanical. With an extremely concentrated smell, essentials oils also have small molecules that evaporate quickly within the scalp. Due to their light, molecular weight and water-like consistency of these oils they are not used for sealing moisture. However, essential oils are great as scalp stimulators.
7 Amazing Oils for Natural Hair…That’s NOT Coconut Oil
1. Avocado Oil – Type: Carrier Oil
I know I just talked about avocado oil last week in my CurLUXE naturals review; however there’s no harm in mentioning it again simply because I love it so much. My fascination with avocado oil includes its light weight and molecular ability to penetrate the hair shaft for intense deep conditioning when combined with other ingredients. Vitamin rich and full of fatty acids it also helps to heal damaged, weak hair.
2. Babassu Oil – Type: Carrier Oil
Babassu Oil is extracted from the tree nuts of babassu palm trees grown in the tropical forests of Brazil. Babassu oil is light weight as well and locks in the hair’s natural moisture, adding luster, shine and elasticity to the hair. For skin care, its emollient properties are also claimed to help in the relief of itchy scalp, eczema, and psoriasis, which is also similar to a few benefits of coconut oil.
3. Peppermint Oil – Type: Essential Oil
This essential oil not only smells wonderful but can be used weekly to treat yourself to a scalp massage in order to promote growth. Peppermint oil, similar to a few other essential oils, are known to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, helping with hair growth. Just remember to combine a few drops of this oil with another carrier oil for best results. No worries, I’ve included a DIY recipe for you to pin or print below.
4. Wheat Germ Oil – Type: Carrier Oil
A little less widely talked about, wheat germ oil is not one to be skimmed over quickly. As the name suggests it is a plant derived oil and is very rich in linoleic acid, similar to avocado oil, which is very rich is omega 6 fatty acid. As the richest source of vitamin E than any other natural oil, use wheat germ oil for extremely dry hair to add moisture and softness. Due to its thick consistency, mix with another carrier oil, add to your spray bottle of water and aloe vera juice or add a little to your favorite conditioners. Since it has high emollient properties it also works well to be added to your favorite deep conditioner.
5. Rosemary Oil – Type: Essential Oil
Fully packed with loads of antioxidants, Rosemary oil is one of the best oils for natural hair known to stimulate hair growth as well as retard premature thinning and graying. As with many essential oils, rosemary oil helps to soothe and condition the scalp, helping with dandruff and itchiness.pumpkin seed oil
6. Pumpkin Seed Oil – Type: Carrier Oil
In a Fall mood and obsessed with pumpkin like everyone else? Pumpkin oil is said to block the androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes hair loss. You can purchase this in the form of a pill or just a jar of oil. Click here to see how one woman used it to fight alopecia.
7. Ylang Ylang – Type: Essential Oil
This essential oil is best for healthy scalp maintenance as it helps to normalize sebum production on the scalp. Since naturally curly hair is prone to be drier given our natural sebum has to work harder to travel from root to tip, this may or may not be of concern for you depending on hair type. However, if you feel your hair produces more oil than normal, you might want to give this essential oil a test.
Here’s a quick oil blend for you to try at home.
Easy DIY Healthy Hair Oil Blend Recipe:
2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil
2 Tablespoons of Jojoba Oil
6-10 drops of peppermint oil (3-5 drops per teaspoon)
Step 1: Mix all oils inside plastic bottle
Step 2: Shake well and apply to scalp for massage or apply to hair for sealing moisture!
DIY OIL MIX Infographic
What are some of your favorite oils for natural hair outside of coconut oil? Comment and let me know!
Our hair needs moisture and it needs to hold onto it and knowing your porosity allows you to figure out the best ways to do so. Here are the differences:
People suffering from low porosity strands often need to steer clear of heavy oils and products that will just sit on the hair and keep moisture from penetrating the cuticle. Even though we are heading into winter and many are opting for heavier products, women with low porosity hair need to lean towards lighter products and oils. We’ve got a list of the best 5 that will not weight down your strands or keep hair habitually dry.
Argan oil is a favorite among naturals as of late and for good reason. This ultra-light oil is extracted from the Argan nut from the Argan tree which grows in Southwestern Morocco. Treasured for years, Argan oil has an overabundance of antioxidants, fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, phytosterols and squalene.
Argan oil tends to be on the pricier side but worth every penny as it moisturizes, tames frizz, adds shine all without adding weight or build-up to low porosity hair. This is an excellent choice for adding to leave-ins or a light sealant on hair.
Grapeseed oil is one of the lightest oils available and much cheaper than Argan oil. Extracted from wine grapes, this oil has a great composition of fatty acids and vitamins like vitamin E. Grapeseed oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it ideal for conditioning and moisturizing the hair and scalp.
Odorless and ultra-light, grapeseed oil is an excellent natural heat protectant and very close to composition as jojoba oil which is very close to human sebum. Its rich, silky texture is perfect for soothing away dryness and irritation and is suitable for all skin types since it won t clog pores or cause break-outs.
Extracted from the seeds of the Adansonia tree, Baobab oil is one of the most prominent oils in Africa and become increasing popular among naturals. This ultra-light oil is an emollient and rejuvenator that moisturizes without weighing down hair. Great for skin too, it is a primary component in the SheaMoisture low porosity haircare line like the SheaMoisture Baobab & Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein-Free Leave-In Detangler.
Baobab oil is great for hot oil treatments and a light sealant that will add sheen without making hair greasy. Another perk baobab oil is a sun protectant and tames frizz.
Safflower Seed Oil
Often overlooked for hair, Safflower seed oil is extracted from the safflower plant. This colorless, flavorless and odorless edible oil has been used for years for helping with hair thinning and baldness. Rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, this is an ideal light oil for low porosity strands.
Safflower seed oil is great for hair growth and can be used in scalp massages as it helps with blood circulation to the hair follicles. Not big on the scalp of hair penetrators but it does penetrate the hair shaft somewhat which makes it a good choice for moisturizing and conditioning.
Closely related to safflower seed oil, this extremely light oil is extracted from the seeds of the sunflower which are indigenous to America. A high penetrating oil, (right under coconut oil), Sunflower oil is an excellent choice for adding moisture to strands, stimulating hair growth and improving scalp health.
Brands are no longer sleeping on the goodness of this light oil like Kiehl’s Since 1851 Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery Pak. A great oil to penetrate those strands lightly and effectively.
The almond is a drupe (not a ‘nut’ by definition) which calls the Middle East and South Asia home. During ancient times, this beauty miracle started making its way along the Mediterranean through Africa, Europe, and eventually the United States. Now it’s in many of our hair and beauty products.
Sweet Almond Oil is one of the best oils for use on your hair–it helps damaged and dull hair become shinier & stronger. Almond Oil is an all natural substance high in vitamins A, B, D and E, magnesium, zinc, potassium as well as healthy fats. All hair types will benefit from this awesome oil.
1. Perfect for Sealing Moisture
Sweet Almond Oil is extremely nourishing to not only the lengths of the hair but the roots as well. Almond oil is lighter than many other helpful oils, which makes it an excellent natural resource for leave-in protection. Because Almond Oil is lighter, it is also an excellent option for finer hair that gets weighed down very easily. Also because of it’s weight, almond oil a perfect base for other helpful essential oils that may further moisturize the scalp, helping to fight off dandruff.
2. Adds Sheen
Sweet almond oil contains a high concentration of proteins and vitamins A, B and E, all of which help add shine to dull, dry hair. Additionally, fatty acids omega 9, 6 and 3 help to reflect damaging UV rays and protect hair from the sun. This helps prevent the dullness that comes from hair that is very dry. It also forms a thin, oily layer on the hair which protects it from further damage and strengthens existing hair. Applying the almond oil also gives the hair a lustrous, healthy and attractive appearance and is therefore great for people with dull hair. If you want more shiny hair it is definitely worth giving almond oil a try.
3. Increases Circulation to the Scalp
The massaging of sweet almond oil into the scalp may help stimulate hair growth and may help to reduce hair loss. Moisturizing the scalp with sweet almond oil provides hair with strengthening vitamins and magnesium at the root of hair, which can aid against excessive breakage as well as increase blood circulation to the scalp to promote hair growth. You can massage almond oil onto the scalp the nights before you are ready to wash your hair the following day. Sleep with a satin bonnet so your pillow does not become oily. Do this consistently every time you wash for the best results.
4. Promotes Strength
Sweet almond oil contains vitamin A, B and E in addition to omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids that help keep hair strong and healthy, preventing against breakage. Sweet almond oil’s natural moisture-sealing properties help to replenish hair and also fight against split ends by holding moisture in hair for longer periods of time. Almond Oil is a great sealant on wet hair over stylers and can also be used on day 2 hair and beyond, concentrating on the ends, to help hold in moisture in and further protect the fragile length.
Bonus: It’s a Great Skincare Ingredient!
Almond oil contains essential vitamins for skin health and beauty including vitamins A, E, and D. It also contains healthy fats which are important for keeping the skin supple and well hydrated. Because of this, many cosmetic companies use almond oil in their products as the primary ingredient. To gain even more beneficial effects with almond oil for the face you can also mix it with other substances such as honey or other vegetable oils but almond oil on its own will also work extremely well.
1. Makes Skin Softer
Almond oil massage helps to reduce dark circles under eyes, remove dead skin cells, and improves the texture of your facial skin. Another benefit of taking almond oil facial massage before bed is that the solution is actually very relaxing. Almond oil is a pure and natural substance with no chemicals.
The most common benefit of almond oil for face is that it can be used as daily moisturizer. It not only softens up rough or dry skin, but almond oil also creates protective layer on the face.
How to Use:
Apply this moisturizer daily for smoother and softer skin. The best time to use almond oil for facial massage is right before bedtime. It ensures that the oil will stay long enough so that it can perform its functions well.
2. Reduces Under Eye Circles
There are many products out there that claim to help with under eye dark circles. But if you are looking for a more natural solution, almond oil is always a good choice. You can simply apply the oil in the dark areas before bed, so you can let it work while you are asleep. For optimum results, you need to perform this treatment everyday for several weeks. This treatment will not only help the under eye dark circles fade, but it also can help to reduce dark eyelids and crow’s feet.
How to use:
Wet your hands with warm water, and then massage the oil to all areas of your face. You can even apply makeup after the oil is fully absorbed.
3. Prevents Aging
Almond oil also reduces sunburn effects on face, prevents aging, and gets rid of wrinkles. You can almost say that this oil is an all-in-one natural substance for your facial treatments.
How to Use:
You can do almond oil face massages as often as nightly. Massage a couple of drops onto face and in a circular motion. Be very gentle with your skin.
4. Use as a Facial Scrub
Almond oil is an excellent carrier for salt and sugar, so you can use it as the carrier oil for your facial scrub. In general, the salt or sugar works by removing dirt and rough or dead skin cells from the face. Use salt if your skin is more oily prone or sugar if your skin is more dry. The almond oil works by immediately moisturize the scrubbed skin. A mix of almond oil with sugar is also effective to soften the lips.
How to Use:
Apply this treatment once or twice a week for best results. Please remember that such solution is not recommended for people with sensitive skin or acne problems. Wash your face thoroughly by using warm water after applying this facial scrub.
5. Use as a Daily Cleanser
People with acne problems or sensitive skin are not suggested to use almond oil for facial scrub, but they can use the oil as facial cleanser. The good thing is that you don’t need to mix it with anything. Apply almond oil directly to your facial skin and leave it for several minutes.
Almond oil facial cleanser removes dirt as effectively as the facial scrub. Basically, the cleanser will open pores, which will help to force dead skin cells and dirt to come out to the surface. As you wash your face, the dirt will also go away. It also makes a gentle eye makeup remover as well.
How to Use:
Apply a generous amount of almond oil on dry skin, massage it in and then splash a little bit of water, continuing to massage. Rinse away everything with cool water and pat dry gently with a towel.
This isn’t just hearsay either. Studies have been conducted that report the connection between blood flow and hair health. In a study performed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, results were seen in mice being treated with a protein to increase the size of their blood vessels. The mice had thicker hair that grew in faster thanks to the increase in blood flow. When you exercise, you are helping to increase that blood flow to the blood vessels which in turns leads to fuller hair.
Another reason exercise can lead to an increase in hair growth and retention is because it reduces stress. Stress is a factor in stunted hair growth and also premature hair loss. A study published in the leading journal of Experimental Dermatology found that hair loss can be tied directly to the stress level by way of the hormones the body releases when stressed. Stress increases cortisone, the hormone that is responsible for hair thinning. Exercise naturally lowers cortisone levels while increasing serotonin, the hormone that allows you to feel energized and happy.
When it comes to exercise, there are tons of reasons to get moving. From the heart healthy benefits to the improvement in your hair and skin, getting your exercise on is a smart move. While the weekly recommendations for exercise varies based on certain factors such as age and pre-existing conditions, the American Heart Association suggests at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. Of course, you should consult your doctor before beginning any new workout program to be on the safe side. The American Heart Association also reports that heart disease is the number one killer with stroke coming in at number five. Following their recommended guidelines, along with a healthy diet and certain lifestyle changes, can help lower your risk.
A few times a week on the treadmill for heart health, lower stress, and great hair? This is definitely a win-win situation!