Aromatherapy: Making Shampoos

Many essential oils contain active ingredients that can benefit your hair and scalp, helping to improve dry or greasy hair, combat dandruff and prevent head lice. Why not turn your hand to making your own aromatherapy hair products?

Pre-wash Treatments

Essential oil shampoos do not foam like regular shampoos, so you may prefer to use them as a pre-wash treatment. This involves rubbing the oils into dry hair and wrapping your head in a towel for an hour before rinsing and washing as normal.

To use oils in the washing process, wet your hair and massage over your scalp - avoid getting any in your eyes. Leave for an hour, then wash and shampoo. Used a few times a week, the essential oils will noticeably improve the condition of your hair.

Choosing your Carrier Product

An important point to consider when making your shampoo is to keep the mixture light to avoid any leftover residue.

Carrier oils

Light base oils such as peach kernel or jojoba are ideal. Wheatgerm is also good for conditioning hair.

Water rinse

You can also add essential oils to the water you use to rinse your hair after washing, rather than adding it to the shampoo beforehand.

Shop-bought products

Add essential oils to combat scalp conditions to your regular shampoo, for example, rosemary oil to treat dandruff. The best shampoos to use as a carrier product are those labelled with a mild PH. The oils should be added at a ratio of 6 drops to 50ml shampoo.

Avoid using these oils, as they may react with commercial products:

  • Cedarwood
  • Cypress
  • Juniper
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Pine
  • Ylang ylang

For Clean and Healthy Hair

The following blend of oils are suitable for any hair type:

  • 500ml clean water
  • 5 drops gernaium
  • 5 drops petitgrain
  • 5 drops rosemary
    For oily hair:
  • 500ml clean water
  • 5 drops bergamot
  • 5 drops frankincense
  • 5 drops rosemary
aromatherapy shampoo
  1. Blend the oils together in a jug and stir, then rinse your hair and pour the perfumed water mix onto your head.
  2. Massage the scalp and hair and leave for 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly to ensure there is no excess oil left in your hair.

Rejuvenating Hair Tonic

Rejuvenate dull hair with a lavender hair tonic.

  1. Boil mineral or distilled water.
  2. Pour into a jug containing a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers and add the juice of one lemon. Strain after 30 minutes.
  3. Regularly use this aromatherapy hair tonic as a final rinse after shampooing, massaging into the scalp for a head of healthy, shiny hair.

For extra shine and vitality, blend the following essential oils with vinegar and add this mix to the final rinse after shampooing:

  • 15ml cider vinegar
  • 2 drops geranium oil
  • 2 drops lavender oil
  • 1 drop petitgrain oil

Scalp Care

Massaging your scalp with oils can stimulate blood circulation and improve your hair's condition, as well as relieve headaches and stress.

  • Make up a massage blend according to the recipe for your hair's condition below.
  • Massage the blend into your scalp thoroughly.
  • Wrap your hair in a warm towel for at least an hour before rinsing out the blend thoroughly
  • Now wash as normal, applying the shampoo before the water to prevent your hair remaining oily.
aromatherapy scalp care

Many conditions specific to the scalp and hair can be alleviated with the use of essential oils.

Try one of the recipe blends given below.

Prevent dandruff

  • 50ml slightly warmed coconut oil
  • 5 drops lemongrass oil
  • 25 drops tea tree oil

Reduce hair loss

  • 50ml slightly warmed extra virgin olive oil
  • 10-12 drops lavender oil

Improve oily hair

  • 25ml sunflower oil
  • 10-12 drops rosemary oil

Treat head lice

  • 25ml water and 75ml vodka
  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1 tsp tea tree oil

Comb this blend through with a fine-toothed comb and repeat every three days until the condition clears up.

Best oils for Hair Care


  • Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree

Dry hair

  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang

Head lice

  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Lavender

Oily hair

  • Bergamot
  • Cider vinegar
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Petitgrain
  • Rosemary
  • Wheatgerm
Aromatherapy rosemary

Scalp problems

  • Frankincense
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme