Everything about Lemon Oil for Hair (The Science)

The antimicrobial effects of lemon oil are well-known and scientifically proven. As a result, it’s often recommended for treating dandruff and even lice when applied topically. Lemon oils also unclog the follicular pores when applied to the scalp, which minimizes dandruff.

Lemon oil has been used for hundreds of years to help hair grow faster and stay healthy. Putting lemon oil on your hair can help in many ways, but if you don’t do it right, it could do more harm than good.

We looked at a lot of research papers and talked to dermatologists and people who know about hair care to figure out the best way to put lemon oil on your hair.

In the sections that follow, we’ll talk more about the method and the science behind it.

What does Science say of Lemon Oil’s Benefits on Hair?

Lemon oil has a variety of health benefits, including strengthening hair follicles, reducing dryness, preventing oiliness, and more.

This is due to the citric acid in lemon oil, which keeps the hair follicles from falling out.

Additionally, lemon oil can be a powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient in skin and hair care products.

Lemon oil also has the capacity to regulate sebum production. Having oily skin and hair is the opposite of what you want when it comes to your scalp. You also don’t want it to dry out. Sebum production on the scalp can be balanced and regulated with the use of lemon oil.

Lemon oil has anti-inflammatory characteristics that can help soothe your skin, making it easier for other products to aid in its growth.

Citrus oils, such as lemon, have antibacterial qualities that are well-documented. As a result, when applied in high concentrations, it’s regarded an effective treatment for dandruff and even lice. Lemons clear the follicle-circumventing pores on the scalp, hence reducing flakes.

In another study, researchers discovered that lemon oil has enhanced wound healing properties that can help repair the damaged scalp and infected full-thickness wounds. They found that. There was less inflammation and better regeneration of the hair follicles and other skin appendages in the group that utilized lemon oil in the experiment.

How to Choose the Best Carrier Oil for Lemon Oil?

On the market, there are so many carrier oils that it may be overwhelming. For the best results, choose a carrier oil that is one hundred percent pure. The use of pure carrier oil preserves the chemical makeup and solubility of lemon oil. Otherwise, the carrier oil may interfere with the lemon oil’s intended effects or benefits.

Avoid carrier oils like petroleum jelly, vegetable oils, and butter, as they do not penetrate the scalp and hair well enough to absorb the active ingredient.

To facilitate the selection of carrier oil, we have compiled a thorough list and categorized it according to your unique needs.

Damaged HairDry HairOily Hair
Sweet Almond OilPumpkin Seed OilGrapeseed Oil
Avocado OilEvening Primrose OilApricot Kernel Oil
Coconut OilCastor OilJojoba Oil
Pumpkin Seed OilMoringa OilArgan Oil

Pro Tip: 

Nut-allergic individuals should avoid using oils made from tree nuts, since they may provoke an allergic reaction. Oils derived from apricot kernels, argan, and almonds all belong to this category.

Do you know that several scientific studies have indicated that rosemary’s Carnosic acid regenerated hair follicles in the scalp and helped restore hair growth? To know more, check this detailed article on How to Scientifically Apply Rosemary Oil on Hair

How to Dilute Lemon Oil for Hair and Scalp?

Only a few drops of lemon oil are required. Avoid using lemon oil straight to the scalp, as it may cause skin irritation and an allergic reaction. Follow the label recommendations regarding oil dilution.

Test a small quantity of the oil on your scalp or skin to detect whether you are allergic to it.

Dilution Proportions:

  • For 10% dilution, you need to mix 5 teaspoons of carrier oil with 50 drops of lemon oil.
  • For 5% dilution, you need to mix 5 teaspoons of carrier oil with 25 drops of lemon oil.
  • For 3% dilution, you need to mix 5 teaspoons of carrier oil with 15 drops of lemon oil.
  • For 2.5% dilution, you need to mix 5 teaspoons of carrier oil with 4 drops of lemon oil.

How to Apply Lemon Oil to Hair in 6 Steps: As per Science

Because lemon oil is so concentrated and acidic, even little amounts can be beneficial. Essential oils, such as lemon oil, must be combined with a carrier oil, such as olive, jojoba, or grapeseed oil.

According to experts, applying lemon oil to the hair’s surface is ineffective and would only make the scalp oily. If you want to get the most out of your hair, you must know how to oil it properly.

In the parts that follow, we will go deeper into the technique and the science behind it.

Step 1: Prepare your Hair

Using a wide-toothed comb, we will detangle and eliminate any knots in the hair. When lemon oil is applied in this manner, hair damage is decreased. This ensures that the oil is applied and distributed evenly throughout the scalp and hair.

To straighten your hair from roots to ends, straighten each area individually.

Step 2: Prepare the Lemon Oil

Due to the manufacturing process, the molecules in lemon oil are much larger than hair follicles on the scalp. Therefore, at room temperature, lemon oil cannot reach the hair follicle and have the desired effect.

The problem is remedied by heating lemon oil, which breaks up the oil molecules and makes it simpler for the oil to penetrate the scalp and hair. The therapeutic properties of heated lemon oil increase. This is also beneficial for damaged or colored hair. Heat seals the hair’s cuticle, allowing it to retain moisture.

Combine three to four teaspoons of carrier oil and seven drops of lemon essential oil.

Note: Due to their high concentration, Lemon essential oils must be diluted.

Heat the oil mixture in a microwave-safe dish (a glass bowl is recommended). Apply a patch test to your hand to ensure that the lemon oil is not too hot and you are not experiencing an allergic reaction.

Step 3: Apply the Lemon Oil

Using lemon oil, we will first treat the scalp, then the crown, and finally the rest of the hair. To stimulate hair development, massage your scalp in a circular manner with your fingertips. Prior to applying oil to your hair, thoroughly massage your scalp with your fingertips.

Lemon oil should be used with caution. Too much oil necessitates more frequent hair washing, which contradicts the benefits of oiling. Excessive shampooing removes hair from its natural oils and nutrients, leaving it brittle and lifeless.

Step 4: Get Rid of Knots

Again, the wide-toothed comb will be used to detangle any knots that may have formed during the application of oil. This enables lemon oil to reach previously inaccessible areas of the head, hence lowering the risk of hair breakage while washing.

Be cautious when combing your hair following a massage, as the massage has loosened the cortex and roots, making them more susceptible to damage.

Step 5: Cover your Head

For the following 15 to 20 minutes, we must wear a shower cap or a cotton T-shirt over our heads. This will give you a warming sensation and open the pores on your scalp and cuticles. If you do this, the lemon oil will permeate your scalp and hair follicles more efficiently.

Because towels are coarse, you should not wrap them around your head because friction could harm your hair.

Step 6: Wash Off the Lemon Oil

A gentle shampoo and a rinse with lukewarm water conclude the oiling procedure. Wash your hair with lukewarm water to open your pores and remove excess oil and dirt.

Now we must wash our hair with cold water to shut the newly opened pores and retain moisture.

How to Choose the Best Lemon Oil?

All of the aforementioned studies and research indicate that lemon oil may benefit hair health. Nonetheless, none of these advantages will be realized if the lemon oil is of low quality. Consider the following factors when searching for the most beneficial lemon oil for hair:

  • Ensure that the lemon oil is appropriate for cosmetic use. This information is generally printed on the back of the container.
  • Ensure that the bottle of lemon oil is dark in color and made of glass. By blocking light, the black hue of the bottle avoids the degradation of the lemon oil.
  • Lemon oil must always be 100 percent pure and unadulterated. On the label, unrefined lemon oil is labeled as “virgin.”
  • Use a recognizable brand whenever possible.

How to Use Lemon Oil to Promote Hair Growth, Increase Density, and Prevent Hair Loss

A number of people have found success using lemon oil as an aid to hair growth.

Citric acid, which is found in lemon oil, stops hair follicles from becoming loose, which in turn reduces the amount of hair that is shed.

Lemon essential oil is a simple remedy that may be administered at home, and it may be equivalent to commercial remedies. In addition, it is highly safe and generates few side effects when used carefully.

Diluted lemon oil can be used directly on the scalp to increase hair growth and thickness. As the growth factor is managed by each hair shaft beneath the scalp, you do not need to apply oil to your hair in this instance.

  • Warm two to three teaspoons of lemon oil in combination with coconut, castor, or olive oil.
  • Apply the lemon oil mixture to the scalp with your fingertips in circular motions.
  • Using a shower hat or T-shirt, cover the area for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Using lukewarm water and mild shampoo, gradually wash it away.
  • To seal the pores, rinse them with cold water.

What to mix with Lemon Oil for hair growth?

According to a study, castor oil is the optimal oil to combine with lemon oil to encourage hair growth. This is due to the high concentration of ricinoleic acid in castor oil. The average person’s hair grows 0.5-0.17 millimeters every month.

It has been established that castor oil promotes faster hair growth. As is customary, heat the mixture of lemon oil and castor oil so that it can penetrate deeper into the hair shaft.

How to use Lemon Oil as a conditioner?

Lemon oil has many uses, one of which is to condition hair. When lemon oil is used as a hair conditioner, it makes hair smooth, soft, and easy to comb through.

  • Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp and rub it in.
  • Rub your fingers through your hair and head to cover them completely.
  • Wear a shower cap or T-shirt over your hair for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • You should rinse your hair with regular water to keep some of the lemon oil in your hair.

Risks of using Lemon Oil for Hair

People who are allergic to lemons should talk to a doctor before using the oil. Even if you don’t eat it, lemon oil can hurt you. Before you put lemon oil on your hair for the first time, you should do a patch test.

If lemon oil makes your skin red or irritated, stop using it and try a different oil.

Don’t get any of the essential oil from a lemon in your eyes or nose. If you do this by accident, wash your eyes with cold water right away.

Due to a lack of awareness, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid lemon essential oil.


When should we apply lemon oil to hair? Wet or dry hair?

Lemon Oil should only be put on hair that is already dry. Make sure you’ve got at least an hour before you start. Since the molecules of lemon oil are bigger than the pores on your scalp, it takes at least an hour for the oil to get in.
Lemon oil shouldn’t be used on wet hair because the oil molecules can’t get through the water in the hair shaft and the pores on the scalp.

Can we apply lemon oil directly to the hair?

Even in small amounts, lemon oil is very powerful and concentrated. So, you have to mix lemon essential oils with a carrier oil like olive, jojoba, or grapeseed oil.
To get the effect you want, you only need a few drops of lemon essential oil. Lemon essential oils can irritate your scalp if you use them directly, so be careful. Follow the directions on the bottle for how much water to add to lemon oil, and never use more than what is suggested.

How long should you leave lemon oil in your hair?

Experts and studies say that you should put lemon oil on your hair at least two hours before washing it. How long it takes depends on the style you want and the type of hair you have.
Lemon Oil shouldn’t be used for more than ten hours at a time because of how strong it is. If you keep lemon oil on your scalp for a long time, it could cause irritation, dryness, and clogged pores.

Can you put lemon oil in your hair every day? How often should you apply lemon oil to your hair?

Only if your hair is dry should you apply lemon oil daily. According to experts, lemon oil should be used on oily hair once each week. The product may be used up to twice a week on normal hair.

Is too much lemon oil bad for hair?

Yes, too much lemon oil can be bad for hair because it means you have to wash it more often. You probably already know that washing your hair too much takes away the natural oils and dries out the scalp and hair. This takes away the benefits of putting oil on your hair and may even hurt it more.
If you put too much lemon oil on your scalp, it could lead to clogged pores and hair loss.

Can you sleep with lemon oil in your hair? Can I leave lemon oil overnight?

With lemon oil in your hair, you could sleep for up to eight hours. Wash it out as soon as you wake up. After eight hours, lemon oil can clog hair follicles and cause irritation and inflammation. If you keep lemon oil on your hair for too long, it may collect dust and stop your hair from growing.

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