By Audrey Sivasothy, author of The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care
Essential oils are lightweight, volatile oils with high capabilities for scalp and skin penetration These special oils stand apart from their heavier oil counterparts because of their small molecular sizes and structures. Many essential oils have wonderful scalp stimulating properties that together with your own manual scalp stimulation, enhance the results of your regular scalp massages. Examples of common essential oils include: peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and thyme.
Essential oils have been used for centuries to cure illnesses and heal common ailments. They are not only good for massage, but work well added to regular products in your healthy hair care regimen. A few drops of an essential oil can spice up a drab shampoo or a boring moisturizer. Essential oils work by stimulating your sense of smell as well as your sense of touch and feeling. Essential oils produce a gentle warming sensation on the scalp that increases circulation to that area. This increased circulation nourishes the hair follicles in the region by encouraging the flow of nutrients from the blood. Because essential oils evaporate easily and penetrate the scalp skin unlike other oils that are made of larger, non-penetrating molecules, essential oils do not work very well for sealing in moisturizers.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should take special care to note which essential oils are not recommended for use during these times. Please consult with your physician before you start using any stimulating essential oils.