By Kira Sparkles
Typically, when it comes to spending I’m the kind of person that does a ton of research before I buy anything. With social media’s targeted marketing, it’s hard to resist temptation. I mean, it knows what I like. I’m not going to lie that I’ve studdered at more than a few ads, but one that had me completely hooked was one for a company called “Monq” that marketed “Therapeutic Air.” Looking on their website, they have what they call ‘essential oil diffusers.’ After much thought and a little bit of research, I decided to give it a try.
The diffusers are shipped in a nondescript bag and come in a little plastic tube printed with whatever you purchased. They were having their birthday sale, so I managed to get in on a pretty good deal and bought three: ‘Vibrant,’ ‘Sexy,’ and ‘Sleepy.’
When I popped them out of the tube I was met with… a vape pen. A cute, colorful vape pen, but still a vape pen. You know, where you inhale and the mixture inside is heated and vaporized. Still, I think that there’s some validity to using essential oils, so I was open and ready to try it. After all, the oils are diluted in vegetable glycerine, and there’s no tobacco in them, so how bad could they be?
I started my day with this and it has a ginger flavor. It’s not spicy, but it’s an earthy sort of flavor with a spearmint flavor on the back end. It didn’t make me feel any more awake in the morning, but it was nice mid-afternoon when I came back from my lunch break. It gave me a small pick me up but I would say that’s more because of the mint. You’re supposed to breathe the vapor through your nose as a way to get the essential oils’ ‘full effect’, but honestly, doing this made me wake up because of the cool tingle in my nostrils. Think about brushing your teeth… but for your nose.
I was hesitant to try Sexy because patchouli conjures up images of unbathed hippies, but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Sexy tastes like lime candy, but it also tastes like jasmine flowers while still remaining earthy. It feels very mellow and a little romantic to have this one. I used it in the evening, right before going to bed while wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, but I also used it while going out because it drowns out the smell of actual tobacco while going to the bar.
While the other ones were nice I didn’t feel any better off or worse off while using them. But listen, this one? This shit right here? It blends lavender, chamomile and kava and it will KNOCK. YOU. OUT. I’m talking about the way Nyquil knocks you out when you’re sick. Listen, if you have trouble going to sleep, this one works. The only drawbacks come from the kava oil. It has diuretic properties, so my eyes were a little dry when I woke up and I was a little groggy. Seriously, if you try this one, only take one hit. That might be all you need.
Over all, I’m glad I tried them. They’re a little on the pricey side, but if you wait for a sale it’s worth getting a couple. Would I buy any in the future? Definitely! If nothing else, the floral aromas really give my work break that ‘stop and smell the flowers’ vibe which I could always use a little more of.
MORE INFO ON ESSENTIAL OILS
Nature has given us all sorts of healing solutions since the beginning of time. With so many great solutions available, it’s no wonder we experiment with different oils to see what works for our skin, nails, and definitely our beautiful curls. Essential oils are usually from plants and have benefits that can improve our overall health, as well as help with common hair and beauty concerns. Below is a guide of top 20 oils that can be used in our beauty regimens and overall lifestyle routines. These essential oils for natural hair and health benefits could be the perfect solution to your woes!
*Note that many essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin without being diluted. As a general rule, essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil (vegetable or nut oil, like cold pressed coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil).*
1. Tea Tree Oil
One of the most popular essential oils for natural hair, tea tree oil is a cleansing and purifying oil that comes from tea tree leaves. By diluting tea tree oil with a carrier oil and massaging into the scalp, you can stimulate hair growth. Tea tree oil can also be used for spot treatments for acne breakouts. It’s a healthier option than using acne skin products containing alcohol and other drying agents.
2. Peppermint Oil
The refreshing peppermint oil comes from the peppermint plant. The scent of peppermint oil can aid in alertness and help retain focus. Aching from a hard workout? Rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil on aching muscles can help relieve soreness. Peppermint is also great for dealing with scalp issues since it has antibacterial properties.
3. Lavender Oil
The sweet and floral smell of lavender oil can aid in calmness and relaxation, which is why this oil is usually common in aromatherapy products. For a peaceful night of sleep, lightly mist your pillow and sheets with a mixture of water and a few drops of lavender. It’s possible that you can have sweet dreams. Lavender oil is also great for dealing with a dry scalp since it’s naturally soothing and moisturizing.
4. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil comes from a eucalyptus plant. This is a great oil to use while fighting a cold. The scent of the oil can help clear nasal passages for stuffy noses. For hair, it can be used to stimulate the scalp and encourage hair growth. It also has antibacterial properties which helps with keeping the scalp clean and healthy.
5. Lemon Oil
The bright yellow color of a lemon isn’t the only thing that can bring cheer. Lemon oil is refreshing and its citrus fragrance can uplift a mood. Mist a room with a mixture of water and lemon oil and the fragrance will brighten the room. This oil can also help lighten dark spots or acne scars on skin. Try adding a drop of lemon oil in carrier oil and using it to improve dull skin. One of the lesser known essential oils for hair, lemon oil can help with scalp issues and restoring pH balance.
6. Frankincense Oil
Frankincense comes from Boswellia trees. The warm fragrance can aid in retaining focus. It can be used to massage the scalp to encourage blood flow and help with hair growth.
7. Rosemary Oil
The fresh scent of rosemary oil can be used for aromatherapy. Rosemary oil can also be used during scalp massages, as it stimulates the scalp to promote hair growth.
The spicy warm scent of ginger can help with nausea or stomach pains from digestion. Ginger oil can aid with energy boosts and uplift your mood. It’s also reported to help with scalp stimulation to encourage hair growth.
9. Grapefruit Oil
The citrus scent of grapefruit oil can help give you an energy boost. Sealing moisture in your skin with the blend of grapefruit oil and a carrier oil will help obtain healthy and glowing skin.
10. Thyme Oil
Thyme oil comes from a thyme plant. The cleansing scent can help with concentration. This oil can help improve the immune system and also treat some fungal infections.
11. Jasmine Oil
Jasmine oil has a sweet floral fragrance and is also used in aromatherapy. This fragrance can help uplift your mood. Enjoy floral fragrances? Apply a few drops of jasmine oil on the skin. It’s a perfect scent for the summer months and even lasts longer than bottled fragrances. Jasmine oil is great for moisturizing strands to prevent breakage caused by dryness. It also has antibacterial abilities for dealing with scalp issues.
12. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood oil comes from the santalum album tree. Sandalwood has aromatherapy benefits and can help reduce anxiety. Sandalwood can also repel insects, which is a great addition for a day trip and beach summer bags.
13. Clove Oil
Clove oil has a strong and spicy scent. Clove oil is great for toothaches. Clove oil can also be used to relieve pain from aching muscles. It is also reported to help with making hair thicker which is why you will find it in hair loss treatments.
14. Clary Sage
An oil known for cleansing and conditioning, this one is great for dry, processed, or heat-treated hair. When combined with your favorite leave in conditioner, it will moisturize and deeply penetrate nourishment into your hair shaft to protect your strands against dryness.
15. Neroli Oil
Neroli oil is a sweet oil that is derived from the plants that grow with orange blossoms. This is a great summertime fragrance, especially if you like the smell of citrus. It is a natural emollient used on skin to hydrate, as well as to heal scrapes with the natural antibacterial properties of this plant.
16. Orange Oil
Orange oil is sweet, fruity, and fresh. Massaging orange oil on your skin can keep promote calmness or rejuvenate you after a long day. When it comes to hair, it can be used for everything from dandruff to spilt ends.
17. Geranium Oil
If you’re having a stressful day, take some time to massage this oil on your skin. The scent will keep you delighted and at peace. The use of geranium oil can make your skin radiant and healthy looking.
18. Cinnamon Bark Oil
The spicy scent of cinnamon bark oil can help relieve exhaustion. Cinnamon bark oil can help treat fungal infections and bacterial infections. It can also help boost your immune system, so this is a great oil during colder months.
19. Rose Oil
Rose oil is great for keeping your skin fresh, glowing, and enhances the overall appearance. It can help seal moisture in the skin and fade scars. It’s a great treat for a home spa day, and the smell definitely enhances the experience.
This essential oil is soothing in scent for a relaxing addition to your routine. Best of all, it can make hair softer while soothing irritation on the scalp. It can also be used to lighten hair in a natural way without using dyes.
How to use Essential Oils in Your Natural Hair Care Routine
How you choose to use your oils once diluted is up to you and you hair’s needs. Many naturals, including me, like using their carrier oil/essential oil mixture as a pre-poo/deep conditioning treatment, used in conjunction with a plastic cap for some heat. I also like to add a couple drops of essential oil to the water reservoir of my hooded hair steamer. This not only adds the goodness and benefits of the essential oil to my hair and scalp but the scented steam provides THE most relaxing aromatherapy effect! You gotta try it if you haven’t already!
I’ve also talked about how effective these oils are in scalp massages. On their own, massages are soothing and stimulate blood flow but the added benefits of the oils make it that much more effective. For more relaxation, try warming your oil by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water before applying to your scalp.
You can usually find essential oils in your local health food stores and there are many online retailers and distributors who offer both carrier and essential oils in addition to other helpful natural and organic butters and things.
When in Doubt…
Everything ain’t for everybody! Please be keep in mind any allergies or conditions you may have and do a test on a small part of your skin to make sure you won’t have some crazy reaction to the oils. If you are unsure about using certain essentials oils, do your research and consult your physician.