As aromatherapy has proven its wonders in recent years, the popularity of essential oils is also soaring high. It is of no surprise that they have become a fixture in today’s beauty industry. From health to skin to hair, essential oils available in the market have a wide spectrum of benefits to offer to us for our whole existence. Bergamot essential oil is one such magical essential oil that has tons of health advantages with great cosmetic quotient. However, in this post, we will limit our discussion only to how it can make our hair look absolutely gorgeous. Yes, the oil can protect, nourish, and beautify our locks in a natural manner while promoting its health and stimulating its growth exponentially. Let us explore the benefits of bergamot oil for hair and the best ways to use it for growing healthier and stronger hair.
What Is Bergamot Essential Oil?
Bergamot essential oil is a multi-beneficial essential oil obtained from the fruits of the bergamot tree. Though it is currently grown in many parts of the world, the tropical tree is originated from south-east Asia and Europe. In fact, it is named after the city of Bergamo in southern Italy where it was first sold and almost 80% of the oil is produced in Calabria – Italy’s coastal region. Bergamot tree has beautiful white flowers, green oval leaves, and orange-like yellow-colored fruits called ‘Citrus Bergamia’ or ‘Bergamot Orange’. The essential oil is basically extracted from the rinds and peels of the inedible bergamot fruit via the method of cold compression. It has a sweet yet citrusy aroma with a spicy taste, which is extremely refreshing.
Bergamot tree is a cross-breed between lemon tree and orange tree, which contributes to the distinctive shape and fragrance of its fruits.
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Benefits Of Bergamot Essential Oil
Researchers have proved that bergamot essential oil has a wide range of benefits. It contains lots of phytochemicals, which help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body and treating midriff obesity. Strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil can reduce pain and inflammation, fight against food poisoning, and cure acne. Besides, the invigorating fragrance of bergamot essential oil enhances the functionality of our nervous system and lifts our mood wonderfully. Hence, it is widely used in the manufacturing of perfumes, colognes, toiletries, and cosmetics. In fact, the oil finds its use in aromatherapy treatment for stress reduction and a better feeling both inside and outside. The nourishing properties of the oil have also made it a highly sought-after ingredient in beautifying skin and hair (1).
Why Use Bergamot Oil For Hair?
Bergamot essential oil comes with loads of quality benefits that can directly or indirectly boost the health of our hair. It is a magical potion, which can nourish, nurture, and revamp the locks in multiple ways. Find out below the hair-boosting properties of the oil to understand why you should include it in your regular beauty regimen:
Bergamot essential oil is one of the best natural stimulants you can ever use for your hair. It improves the circulation of blood throughout the scalp, which ensures the proper delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicles as well as the nearby cells. This facilitates the overall system to function at the optimum level. As the scalp turns healthy and the roots of the hair get stimulated by the oil, the hair fibers become nourished and start growing significantly.
2. Calming And Soothing
When used on the scalp and the hair, bergamot essential oil induces a soothing effect almost immediately. The oil is known to produce two neurotransmitters called serotonin and dopamine, which not only calm down the nervous system but also make the mind relaxed. This relaxes the scalp too and causes a high positive impact on the growth of our hair. So, if you massage your scalp with bergamot oil frequently, the growth of your hair will be promoted and you will get beautiful mane.
There are times when our scalp gets invaded by certain microbes. All those nasty chemicals from your hair care and styling products along with dandruff, dirt, and excess sebum cause build up on the scalp, clog the follicles, and irritate the scalp eventually. It causes extreme damage to hair follicles and prevents the natural growth of hair by resulting in a number of scalp issues like infections, acne, eczema, etc. But being a great natural antimicrobial agent, bergamot essential oil inhibits the growth of bacteria. Thus, the scalp remains clean, healthy, and absolutely perfect for hair growth.
The antimicrobial properties of bergamot oil are even more strengthened with its antiseptic properties. Apart from eradicating microbes and averting the possibilities of developing scalp infections, it works on already infected scalps and stops the contagion from going worse too. This is very much important for the health and growth of the locks as this accelerates the growth of hair, makes it stronger and keeps split ends away.
5. Moisturizing And Conditioning
Bergamot essential oil is a great product that can moisturize and condition the hair fibers while providing the right amount of nutrients to them. Be it restoring the lost moisture of the hair, imparting added moisture to it, or even sealing the natural moisture present in it, this oil can do each and everything needed for making hair soft and smooth.
6. Damage Repair
An oil with nourishing, moisturizing, conditioning, and scalp stimulating properties is always capable of repairing even the most severe hair damage. Hence, bergamot essential oil can be a wonderful choice for revamping your dry, damaged, and sunburnt hair. It is rich in antioxidants that help in protecting the hair from the damaging effects of oxidative stress by forming a protective shield on the scalp. The antioxidant properties of the oil also help in stripping off the dirt and chemicals that are causing the scalp to dry out, thereby leaving the hair healthy and shiny.
7. Frizz-Free Hair
If you want straighter hair with less or no frizz, bergamot oil is a sure bet for you. It comes loaded with fatty acids, which condition the hair to turn it softer and smoother. It also washes away buildups on the scalp and allows the cuticles to breathe, which makes sure that your hair receives enough moisture to stay hydrated and healthy. Moreover, it alters the structure of your curly hair fibers and turns them straighter in a natural manner. Thus, you do not need to detangle it again and again.
8. Added Sheen
Regular use of bergamot oil on your hair can add a beautiful sheen to it. If you find your mane to be dull and lifeless, include this essential oil in your regular hair care routine to make it shinier and livelier.
Read Also – 6 Herbs & Essential Oils For Hair Growth
How To Use Bergamot Oil For Hair?
Following are different ways to use bergamot oil for achieving healthy and lustrous hair (2):
1. Use In Diluted Form
Like many other essential oils, highly concentrated bergamot oil (full strength) should also not be used directly on the scalp or hair. Always use it in the diluted form by mixing with a suitable carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, almond oil, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, shea oil, etc. Add 2-3 drops of bergamot essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage the mixture vigorously into the scalp for 2 to 3 minutes. Leave it overnight or rinse after an hour as per your choice. You can also use it on your wet or dry hair prior to blow-drying or curling it.
For dry hair, go for heavily moisturizing carrier oils like shea oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc. For oily hair, choose lighter carrier oils like grapeseed oil, apricot kernel oil, almond oil, etc.
2. Use In Shampoo
Add a few drops of bergamot essential oil to your go-to shampoo and wash your hair with it as usual.
3. Use With Other Essential Oils
Mix bergamot essential oil with other essential oils like lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, chamomile essential oil, thyme essential oil, rosemary essential oil, peppermint essential oil, etc. to make the most of it. You can always experiment with new combinations for this purpose.
Side Effects Of Bergamot Oil For Hair
Diluted essential oils are usually well-tolerated by most people. However, you may experience adverse reactions if your skin is too sensitive. These include irritation, redness, swelling, itching, hives, blisters, burning sensation, pain, and allergic dermatitis. The oil also contains a compound named bergapten which, being phototoxic in chemical nature, can increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. So, it can irritate and/or damage your skin when exposed to the sun. Bergamot oil can also interfere with certain medications including the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.
Precautions For Using Bergamot Oil
Although bergamot essential oil is a safe and reliable natural alternative to the expensive hair care products available in the market, it should be used with enough precaution. There are a few words that should be kept in mind before applying it on hair. Check them out:
- As it is an essential oil, you should always dilute it with a suitable carrier oil before using for keeping irritation at bay.
- Being a citrus oil, it can make your scalp and hair photosensitive. Therefore, apply it before bedtime to avoid the direct sun exposure right after the application. Otherwise, make sure that you step out in the sun with enough protection.
- Always do a patch test before including it in your regular hair care regimen. Dilute it in a carrier oil and rub a dime-sized area at the inner side of your forearm with it. If there is no allergic reaction within 24 hours, you can go for it.
- Consult your doctor before starting the use of the oil to ensure that it is not going to interact with any of your ongoing medications.
- It is not suitable for kids under 6 years. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also stay away from it.
- When exposed to sunlight, bergapten in the oil turns poisonous. So, store it in a dark bottle and keep the bottle in a dark place.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Bergamot Oil Be Applied Directly To Skin?
Bergamot oil is an essential oil, which is available in very high concentration. Applying it directly to the skin can increase its sensitivity and cause irritation. Hence, always use it on the skin after diluting with a carrier oil.
Is Bergamot Oil Poisonous?
Bergamot oil is likely safe for most people when used in small amounts. However, it becomes poisonous when exposed to the sunlight due to the presence of bergapten in it.
Does Bergamot Oil Promote Good Sleep?
Yes, bergamot essential oil can improve your sleep pattern wonderfully. It has amazing calming and soothing effects on the nervous system, which relaxes the mind and contributes to sound sleep.
- “About Bergamot Oil“, Healthline.com
- “How To Use Essential Oils For Hair Growth“, MedicalNewsToday.com