How Long to Leave Essential Oils in Hair?

Essential oils are highly concentrated and extremely potent. Because of this, you shouldn’t apply any essential oil directly on the hair or scalp.

Essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil before use.  

As per the haircare experts, you should keep essential oil (after diluting with a carrier oil) on your hair for 1 to 2 hours before you wash it off. The duration may differ based on your hair type or your specific requirements.

How Long do I Leave Essential Oil in My Hair?

Essential oils are incredibly concentrated and powerful. As a result, you should avoid applying essential oils straight to your hair or scalp.

Before using essential oils, they should always be diluted with a carrier oil.

Professionals recommend leaving diluted essential oil on your hair for 1 to 2 hours before washing. The duration of the treatment will vary according to your hair type and unique needs.

The most efficient method of oiling your hair is to use a cotton swab to apply heated essential oil in one-inch increments. Despite popular belief, overnight oiling is ineffective since it suffocates the scalp’s natural oil production.

The most effective application technique is to apply it to the scalp and massage it for ten to fifteen minutes. Allow one to two hours for the essential oil to soak before shampooing gently. Throughout this time period, maintain an indoor presence to prevent accumulating further filth and dust.

Alternatively, you may leave the diluted essential oil in your hair overnight and then wash it out the following day.

To avoid your hair becoming brittle, avoid leaving essential oil on your scalp for longer than 24 hours at a time. Dirt may accumulate, making your hair brittle and fragile.

Avoid applying oil to your hair if the weather is humid.

Avoid oiling your hair totally if your skin and scalp are oily since an oily scalp generates oil naturally.

If your employment needs you to spend significant time outside, you should prevent oily hair. When oily hair is exposed to the weather, it may accumulate dust, which can result in hair loss.

How to Choose the Best Carrier Oil?

The variety of carrier oils available on the market might be confusing since there are so many to choose from. Use a carrier oil that is 100% pure for optimum results. Using pure carrier oil ensures that the essential oil’s chemical profile is intact and that the oil is freely soluble. Otherwise, the carrier oil has the capacity to alter your desired outcomes or the essential oil’s advantages.

Carrier oils like petroleum jelly, vegetable shortening, and butter should not be used since they do not penetrate the scalp and hair at the required degree of absorption.

To simplify the confusing carrier oil choosing process, we have compiled a detailed list and categorized it to fulfill your unique need.

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: Tree nut-derived oils should not be used by anyone who have an allergy to them since they might trigger an allergic reaction. Apricot kernel oils, argan, and almond oil all fall within this category.

How to Dilute Essential Oil for Hair and Scalp

Few drops of essential oil are all you need. Avoid using essential oils straight to your scalp, as they might irritate your skin and trigger an allergic reaction. Don’t go overboard with oil dilution; always follow label directions.

Try a tiny amount of the oil on your scalp or skin to determine if you react if you have a plant allergy. 

Dilution Proportions:

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

How to Apply Essential Oil on Hair?

  1. Divide your hair into small sections and massage the diluted essential oil into each section, starting at the roots and working your way to the ends. Use a wide-tooth comb to ensure that it is evenly distributed (and to prevent tangles). To make it more comfortable, massage it with the tips of your fingers.
  2. There is no need to apply more oil to your hair after a sufficient quantity has been applied. Rather, evenly use your existing hair oil to fully cover each strand. More oil means more washing, which may deplete your hair’s natural oils and hydration, leaving it dull, brittle, and dry.
  3. Once you’ve covered every strand of hair on your head, twist it into a bun and wear it in a high bun to finish the look. Over-tightening ponytails, according to trichologists, may damage the hair’s roots and cause it to break when the ponytail is weighted down.
  4. Taking a steamy shower may be beneficial since the steam increases nutrient absorption. A warm cloth placed over your head may also be helpful.
  5. If necessary, lather up numerous times to fully eliminate all traces of oil residue.
  6. Finally, thoroughly rinse your hair with lukewarm water.

Final Thoughts

If you want the finest effects, use an only high-quality, pure essential oil on your scalp and hair. Even though the price is more, you will obtain more value for your money.

Due to the versatility of essential oil, it is an excellent hair and scalp treatment for all hair types.

Due to essential oil’s strong and potent properties, it is an ideal oil to use on damaged hair to restore it to health. Additionally, it may help strengthen and thicken hair strands.

Oiling your hair and then rushing to the shower to wash it is a waste of time and effort. Allow an hour before washing your hair if you have the time. Wrap your hair in a warm, damp towel to enable your pores to open and receive all of the oil’s advantages. Following that, rinse your hair completely with lukewarm water.

Minimize brushing your hair immediately after applying an essential oil to avoid hair breakage and loss. To eliminate knots, begin at the tips and work your way up. Detangling your hair and scalp in this way enables the essential oil to be distributed evenly throughout them.


What happens if you leave essential oil in your hair too long?

If you leave diluted essential oil in your hair too long it collects dust, which can block the hair follicles and can cause scalp infection. Furthermore, if the essential oil you’re using is unrefined and absorbs into the scalp, it might hinder hair growth.

How often should you put essential oil in your hair?

You should apply diluted essential oil to your hair no more than once or twice a week.
It is completely fine to leave it on for an hour or two, but not required.
Remember that long-term usage of essential oil on your hair might cause significant harm.
After five to eight hours, the essential oil will gather dirt and blend with the natural oil on your scalp. To keep your hair clean and well-groomed, avoid letting dirt and grime accumulate.
Long-term oil retention on the hair and scalp may cause scalp and skin concerns, as well as oil flow down the face, and has no practical benefit.

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