This Easy-To-Make DIY Scalp Treatment Will Save Your Follicles This Fall
In the pursuit of healthy, glossy strands, it's all about the scalp. It becomes even more important when the weather turns crisper, as flakes and dryness tend to afflict those with even the most diligent of hair care regimens. If this sounds like a familiar predicament, you have two routes to take, here: You can snag a market scalp scrub to dissolve dead skin cells and stimulate the follicles, or you can cobble together your own treatment in the comfort of your own kitchen. With the latter, you know exactly what you're slathering on, and you can easily adjust the ingredients to your own liking. It makes you feel like a chemist, in the very best way.
Below, we sourced a DIY scalp treatment from hairstylist Anthony Dickey, founder of Hair Rules. Read on for happy follicles.
How to make Dickey's invigorating scalp treatment.
For the scalp, Dickey likes to cocktail a mix of carrier oils and essential oils: Essential oils can calm inflammation, stimulate the scalp, and help remove product buildup, but blending them with a carrier oil allows for a more gentle, moisturizing application (plus, you never want to apply EOs directly on the skin). Dickey favors a few different EOs (rosemary, lavender, tea tree, peppermint, basil, and sweet orange oil) with a grapeseed oil base. "It's a nice carrier oil for the finer essential oils," he notes.
While each EO has its own benefits for the scalp (see here for details of each), "I like to base all of those oils by smell," Dickey says. Since tea tree and peppermint have very strong scents, he likes to add only a few drops of each oil, letting the other, subtler smells take the reins. That way, you're still getting all the purifying, blood flowing1 properties of those stronger oils without an overpowering whiff.
That said, here's the exact lineup:
- 3 to 4 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 1 to 2 drops rosemary oil
- 1 to 2 drops lavender oil
- 1 to 2 drops tea tree oil
- 1 drop peppermint oil (Again, Dickey's not a fan of a strong peppermint smell, so he keeps the minty fresh scent to a minimum. But feel free to add more if peppermint's your thing!)
- 1 to 2 drops basil oil
- 2 to 3 drops sweet orange oil (consequently, he loves a citrusy scent)
Mix in a glass bottle or jar until well combined. Adjust the specific measurements to your liking—just make sure there's a larger ratio of grapeseed oil to essential oils, as those EOs can be quite potent.
In terms of using this scalp treatment, trichologist and Hair Health Expert at HairClub Shab Reslan suggests applying the mixture to the scalp for a few minutes, perhaps massaging it in for extra stimulation, then shampooing and rinsing right after. "This way, you absorb the benefits but rinse out any residue-building excess," she previously told us about essential oils for hair growth.
Essential oils make a powerful scalp treatment—just make sure you're blending them with a carrier oil (like grapeseed) to dilute them a bit. You may also want to patch test before applying the mixture to your scalp, as some people face sensitivities to those potent EOs. Once you're in the clear, though, massaging in this scalp treatment feels nothing short of spa-grade.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.