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What Are the Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil for Hair?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 21, 2024
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There are a number of benefits of eucalyptus oil for hair, including strengthening the hair follicles, improving the shine and overall health of the hair, and calming an itchy, inflamed scalp. The oil also has a number of antifungal properties that can help ward off infection and keep residue from building up and clogging pores on the head. Most experts recommend using only a few drops at a time, though, and advise people to be careful to rinse the oil off after it has had a chance to soak in; when left on for prolonged periods, it can damage the hair and leave a greasy feel.

Follicle Stimulation

Hairs on the head grow from individual shafts known as “follicles” imbedded in the scalp. Experts often recommend gentle follicle stimulation to promote hair growth and shine. Stimulation usually comes in the form of massage; the idea is to get the blood flowing to the skin around the follicles, which will allow them to expand, take in moisture, and work more efficiently.

Eucalyptus oil can be a great choice for this sort of stimulation thanks to its natural chemical compounds, which are believed by many to promote proper blood vessel constriction and to have a cleansing quality. People are usually advised to rub a small amount of oil into their scalp, taking care to massage the root ends of each strand of hair, on a regular basis — often once a day. As blood is encouraged to circulate throughout this area, hair follicle growth is stimulated, and the individual shafts of hair, as a result, become stronger and more elastic as nutrients flow to their roots. Many people who do this say that their hair grows faster and is stronger than it was before beginning the regimen, though a lot of this will necessarily depend on the individual.

Improved Hair Health

In addition to promoting growth and strength, eucalyptus oil for hair can also improve shine, thickness, and overall hair health. In most cases these sorts of results depend on the proper execution of a two-step process: first, applying the oil; then, washing it out. It can be tempting for people to leave the oil on their scalps, reasoning that the longer the application period is, the better the results are bound to be. This isn’t usually the case. Eucalyptus oil, despite its healing and stimulating properties, is still an oil. Too much of any sort of oil on the hair can actually reduce shine, lead to build-up, and cause a greasy, dull appearance. Most experts recommend using eucalyptus oil for hair an hour or so before showering or bathing, then using a strong shampoo to remove the residue.

Scalp Care

The oil can also relieve symptoms associated with mild psoriasis and dry scalp. These conditions, in which the scalp becomes red, dry, itchy and begins to flake, may be caused by overly dry skin or a sudden overproduction in hair oils. It may seem counterproductive to add yet another oil to a scalp in this condition, but it often proves beneficial. Blood flow can help eliminate the build up of bacteria in hair follicles internally, and naturally moisturizes and soothes irritated skin, too.

Eucalyptus oil is also a natural antiseptic and antifungal agent. When massaged gently into the scalp as part of an undiluted mask treatment, it works to eliminate bacterial and fungal growth in the upper layers of the scalp and hair follicles. This healing property makes it an effective treatment against some mild cases of scalp pimples. Its naturally strong and woodsy fragrance can also help to mask the sometimes unpleasant odors associated with infected hair follicles during the healing process.

Usage Tips

It’s usually recommended that the oil be used in very small amounts, at least at first, and users should focus their massaging efforts on the scalp. Rubbing the extract into hair strands on their own is unlikely to get any real results. It’s usually best to start with just a few drops at a time, both to keep the scalp from getting overwhelmed and as a way to check for allergies or sensitivities.

The oil can be added to any type of shampoo used daily, as well, or mixed in an undiluted form with other organic ingredients intended for use in a hair mask. It is often recommended that hair mask treatments be applied exclusively on damaged or tired hair, and that it should be left to soak into hair overnight or for several hours. People who make their own masks typically also include honey, olive oil, and coconut oil, three ingredients also known for their moisturizing and healing properties. To avoid stressing the hair or scalp, it’s usually best to use a mask no more than once a week.

Where to Find It

Eucalyptus oil is widely available in most places. Many pharmacies and drug stores carry it, and it is also typically stocked in herbal and homeopathic shops or online. When it comes to hair, the best products are usually those labeled “essential oil.” Extracts, home fragrances, and oil blends aren’t always as effective. It’s also a good idea for consumers to look carefully at all of the ingredients; eucalyptus is a fairly popular oil in many places, which can lead to blending. The best results typically come from oil that contains eucalyptus and nothing else.

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Discussion Comments

By anon343164 — On Jul 27, 2013

i use eucalyptus is my bath and I often just put my hair in the water and my hair soaks it up. It's doing wonders for my hair and wonders for my skin.

By honeybees — On Aug 03, 2012

@bagley79-- I wash my hair with warm water at least two times to get all the oil out after leaving eucalyptus oil in. This does wonders for your hair, and you will love how soft it feels after using it.

I have found that the first day having using this, my hair is a little bit greasy. After the first day, I don't have any problems. The results are worth it though.

Once you get your hair in better condition, you don't have to do it as often. This is great not only for your scalp, but for your hair too.

If you don't like the smell of eucalyptus you might prefer using olive oil. I happen to love this woodsy scent, and feel very invigorated after this has been applied to my head.

By bagley79 — On Aug 03, 2012

When you use eucalyptus oil on your hair, does it leave it feeling greasy? I am also wondering how hard this is to wash out. I can understand how something like this would work, but also think applying oil to your hair would make it really oily.

I am looking for something to help my very dry, brittle hair, and have heard how olive oil is good for something like this. Now that I read about using eucalyptus oil on your hair, this sounds like it would work just as well.

By julies — On Aug 02, 2012

For as long as I can remember, I have had a dry, itchy scalp. None of the dandruff shampoos seemed to make a difference for the long term. They would help at first, but then my scalp would start itching again.

I was doing some reading on the internet trying to find some kind of natural remedy for dry scalp and decided to try eucalyptus oil. I could feel the oil penetrating my scalp as soon as I started working it in.

It almost felt like my scalp was tingling as it was responding to this oil. When I apply this, I like to leave it on overnight to get the best results. It feels wonderful not having a scalp that itches like crazy all the time.

By golf07 — On Aug 01, 2012

I have never really had unhealthy hair, but it has never been very shiny. One reason I started using eucalyptus oil on my hair was to see if it would give me increased shine.

I would mix this in with my regular shampoo so I was getting a little bit of it every time I would wash my hair. I didn't notice a difference right away, but after about 10 days my hair felt much softer.

I continued to use the eucalyptus oil and now I often get compliments on how shiny my hair is. When I tell them I am using eucalyptus oil, they wonder where they can get some to try it for their hair.

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