Herbal Hair Oil Recipe for Hair Growth (This stuff works!)
Updated: Mar 6
Have you ever wondered if there were a magical elixir that could make your hair grow faster, thicker, and more lusciously? Well, this recipe may not be magic, but it’s basically the next best thing.
The herbal hair oil recipe I am about to share with you is largely responsible for much of my own hair growth and increased hair and scalp health over the past several years of using it. My hair is now at hip length, after never previously being able to grow so long and healthy. If you would like to know the other practices I implemented that helped my hair so much, check out this article on my historical hair care routine, and this follow-up article.
I would like to thank Curly Proverbz, an amazing natural hair vlogger on Youtube, who came up with the original iteration of this recipe, of course, drawing on hundreds of years of Ayurvedic traditions. This recipe is my own adaptation of hers. I have made a few changes which, in my experience, make this hair oil even more potent and nourishing for the hair. You can find Curly Proverbz’ original hair oil recipe video here. Feel free to watch it and compare recipes.
The most interesting part of hair and scalp oiling is that women all around the world have been using oils on their scalp and hair to increase its health, length, and thickness, since the beginning of recorded history!
It’s actually only in our modern era that Western society has forgotten much of the age old wisdom of hair oiling and its benefits. This particular recipe uses primarily Ayurvedic herbs, which are known for promoting hair and scalp health and increased hair growth, as well as actually having a host of other benefits when used in other applications. This oil also contains one “semi-modern” ingredient that seriously boosts its potency, which I will be explaining soon.
You can find the detailed recipe with all of the exact amounts you need later in this article.
My Herbal Hair Oil Story
I have been using this recipe with slight variations for much of my own hair growth journey since chopping off my hair to chin length 6 years ago. Even though it takes time and intention for me to mix a batch, especially with my busy life, there is a reason I have kept coming back to it.
It has also been a key ingredient in increasing my hair thickness and filling in any thinning areas that I’ve had. I have always been blessed with naturally thick hair, but after having my first baby, and losing a bunch of hair to hormonal changes, an overly restrictive diet, and poor scalp health, I was in need of some help! This oil, and other natural practices have caused my hair to grow back extremely lusciously, and even going through three more births and postpartums since my first has not caused my hair to lose its stride nearly as much as it did before I implemented practices like this hair oil into my regime.
One of the biggest changes I made during this time was implementing a regular hair and scalp oiling routine. The scalp oil blend I have been using throughout that time is the recipe I am about to share with you. I have made a few alterations to it throughout the years to boost its potency, which you will have the benefit of learning right off the bat for your own hair journey!
Who is This Oil Recipe For?
This recipe is for you if you would like to try a natural, simple, and inexpensive method of improving your hair’s health. I really mean that in an all encompassing way. This oil has the potential to increase your rate of hair growth, allow you to retain the length you do have by preventing breakage, improve your hair’s natural shine and manageability, and increase the thickness of your hair.
This recipe is also for you if you are struggling with hair loss, or hair thinning. There are many factors that contribute to hair loss, and I plan on creating an in-depth article on that in future. Using this particular herbal hair oil is a great first line of defense to try in cases of excessive hair shedding. It will keep those hairs firmly in their follicles, and best of all, stimulate new hairs to grow in, while improving the health of your scalp.
Remember, your scalp is like the earth, and your hair are like plants and vegetation that grow from that earth. Oiling your scalp with recipes like this one is an easy way to “fertilize” the earth of your scalp, if you get my meaning.
If you are overwhelmed by all of the ingredients in this oil blend, you don’t need them all to get the benefits of hair oiling in your life. Hair oiling can be as simple as buying a tub of coconut oil from the grocery store, or a small bottle of jojoba oil, and using simple oil treatments that way. Or, you can make a simplified version of this recipe by mixing just one or two of the oils with just one of the herbal ingredients, or with an essential oil. We all start somewhere, and it is better to get some hair oil in your life than none!
Featured Herbal Ingredients in This Oil
Before we jump into the recipe demonstration, I would like to give a brief overview of a few of the main special ingredients in this oil and what their benefits are for the hair and scalp. All of these ingredients will be linked throughout the article for where you can conveniently order them on Amazon. I will not be mentioning all of the ingredients in this particular section, for sake of time. You can find the complete list of ingredients and links to buy them in the recipe section.
Fenugreek seeds, from a Western perspective, are beneficial for hair growth as they contain iron and protein which are both essential ingredients for hair growth. They also contain a unique blend of flavonoids and saponins which have anti inflammatory and antifungal effects. There has even been a study done on fenugreek seeds and hair growth which showed a definite increase in hair growth and thickness compared to the control group.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, it is a warming, pungent spice, and any spice or herb with these properties is great for hair and scalp as it promotes blood circulation and increased hair growth.
Henna has long been used in India for traditional body art, but it also has many benefits for the hair, and when used in an oil like this, is unlikely to have any colouring effect on the hair. This is because henna is unable to release its natural dye in oil, but only in water-based acidic substances. If you are concerned about colour effects, you could sub it with cassia, or simply do a strand test first.
From a Western perspective, henna is astringent, purgative, and anti-fungal, which makes it great for conditions like dandruff or excessive hair fall.
It also contains vitamin E, which helps soften and moisturize hair.
Henna also contains loads of tannins which can help prevent premature greying of hair.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, henna has cooling properties which help to balance conditions that may be related to excess heat, like bacterial dandruff and hair fall.
Also known as Indian gooseberry, amla is naturally high in vitamin C, as well as several other antioxidants and nutrients. Amla has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and has actually been proved in a 2012 study to help prevent hair loss in male pattern balding. It is generally believed to strengthen the scalp and hair, reduce premature greying, stimulate hair growth, prevent hair loss, and prevent or treat dandruff.
Neem Oil *optional
Neem oil is another potent medicinal ingredient that is great for hair and scalp health. It conditions the scalp, prevents dandruff, promotes hair growth, and also prevents premature greying of the hair. It can even treat or prevent head lice. One of the most extremely hair growth promoting recipes I have ever used was one which used neem leaf powder. I actually noticed large amounts of growth shortly after using it. So, in my experience, there is something extremely potent about neem for hair health. It contains vitamin E, antioxidants, and loads of other nutritive substances for the hair and scalp. It does have a pungent and unique smell which is why I have listed it as optional, but I am sure using it in my own oil blend!
I went in depth into the benefits of taking MSM internally for hair growth in my last hair care article, but you can also use it topically and deliver it directly to the hair and scalp! It's organic sulphur, which is an essential nutrient for hair, scalp, and skin health. It is also believed to promote faster hair growth, and I have personally experienced this through taking MSM internally consistently for a couple years.
The Herbal Hair Oil Recipe
3/4 Cup organic unrefined coconut oil, melted over a low heat on the stove
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3/4 cup organic cold-pressed olive oil
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5 tbs organic unrefined castor oil
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1 tbs organic cold-pressed neem oil *optional but recommended
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1/2 cup fenugreek seeds, freshly ground in a coffee grinder *
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3 tbs henna powder
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3 tbs amla powder
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1-4 tsp MSM powder *
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7-10 drops pure rosemary essential oil
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7-10 drops pure peppermint essential oil
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7-10 drops pure lavender essential oil
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7-10 drops pure tea tree essential oil
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Brown glass dropper bottles (for application)
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Fenugreek seeds - using freshly ground fenugreek seeds is the most effective way to get the medicinal benefits of the fenugreek seeds into the oil. You can find an affordable coffee grinder here:
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It comes in handy for cooking, baking, and other purposes to be able to freshly grind herbs and spices!
You can choose to sub out the freshly ground seeds with pre-ground fenugreek, or whole seeds, but it may not be as effective as the freshly ground seeds.
Essential oils - essentials oils are potent medicinal substances which are very effective at improving scalp and hair health and stimulating hair growth. Using a total of 40 drops of essential oils for a total amount of 1.75 cups of carrier oil is an entirely safe ratio. However, if you have never used essential oils on your scalp before, start off on the lighter side and try them out on your scalp before working up in amount. Also, if you plan on using a large amount of this oil on the length of your hair (personally, I mostly use it on my scalp), you may want to decrease some of the peppermint essential oil in favour of lavender or rosemary essential oil.
In a large glass jar, combine the coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, and neem oil. Gently mix with a spoon. Carefully add in the rest of the herbs, stir, and then add the essential oils before giving a final stir.
Let the jar of oil steep in a dark place for 1-3 weeks. The herbal powders will sink to the bottom, so for the first few days you may want to gently stir the jar of oil once or twice a day to encourage the herbs to release their properties into the oil base.
How Long Will the Oil Last? How to strain it?
Once the oil is finished steeping, the herbal ingredients will have settled to a layer at the bottom. You can choose to strain this out, but it isn’t necessary. Instead, you can carefully pour off some of the oil from the top of the jar into an amber glass dropper bottle for use on your scalp and hair. Keep pouring off into a smaller bottle until the oil is all finished and there is only herbal sediment left.
If you do prefer to strain it, I would recommend allowing the oil to steep for three weeks, then pouring the oil through either a nut milk bag or fabric coffee strainer into a separate jar.
I personally don't worry about keeping this oil in a dark cupboard for long periods of time, as there is no water content to cause bacterial growth, and I don't put my hands into this jar. All of the essential oils and herbs are also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. However, depending on your own comfort level, you may want to use up your oil in a shorter period of time! My rather lenient rule of thumb would be to use it up in at least 6 months, but you could choose to be more conservative and use it up in a month or two.
How to Apply the Herbal Hair Oil
I recommend applying this oil mixture to your scalp once a week, the night before a wash day. Carefully part your hair and apply drops of the oil from the dropper bottle directly to your scalp. You will want to part your hair in several different places to allow the oil to be applied as evenly as possible to your scalp. After applying drops of oil to any given area, gently massage it in with the flat areas of your finger tips.
Once the oil has been evenly applied to your scalp (this shouldn’t be a lot of oil, just applied over various areas of your scalp) give yourself a deep scalp massage, starting with your shoulders, neck, and forehead, before moving into your scalp. Using the flat tips of your fingers, gently press your fingers into your scalp and shift the skin of your scalp back and forth beneath your fingers. Your fingers should not be rubbing against your scalp and hair, as this will create tangles. Never use your nails on your scalp. Focus attention on the centre-line of your scalp, which contains lots of acupressure points that stimulate hair growth and bring balance and a sense of well-being. Consult the included chart for other scalp acupressure points to focus on.
You can also apply the oil blend to the length of your hair, or just to your ends. I prefer to use a more inexpensive oil for the bulk of my hair length, like castor or jojoba oil, then apply the herbal oil blend to my ends. You can gently detangle your hair either before, during, or after the application of this oil, but either way, once you are done your hair should be as detangled as possible. You can also use a boar bristle brush as a final step to distribute the oils evenly through your hair. You will need to clean your brush afterward if you choose to do this.