It is fair to say you have probably heard of chamomile oil and even potentially used chamomile before.
It is a trendy ingredient for beverages, has long been a part of European treatments, and many users have found it to be incredibly soothing.
But how does it fare as a hair care option? Let’s take a closer look and see what chamomile oil offers as a skin and hair care treatment.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to use chamomile oil for hair growth, thinning, lightening, hair loss, dandruff, skincare, and more.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Origin and History of Chamomile
- 2 What Are the Benefits of Chamomile Oil?
- 3 The Benefits of Applying Chamomile Oil on Your Hair
- 4 How to Use Chamomile Oil for Hair Care
The Origin and History of Chamomile
First, it’s worth noting that “chamomile” is the American spelling, whereas British English uses “camomile.”
The etymology of the word itself traces back to Middle French circa 1300 with “camomille,” which comes from the Old French “camemile,” which itself stems from the Latin iterations “camomilla” and “chamomilla.”
The word ultimately traces back to the Greek “chamaimelon,” which means “earth apple.” Old English rendered the word as “camemalon.”
As that etymological history would suggest, the plant has long been a staple of European diets and medicine.
It shows up in the illustrated form in an entry in the 11th-century Old English Illustrated Herbal.
An illustration of chamomile also shows up in Nicholas Culpepper’s The Complete Herbal from the 17th century.
There are two primary types of chamomile essential oil (1) Roman chamomile oil and (2) German chamomile oil.
Falstaff references chamomile in Henry IV, Part 1. While acting the role of the young Prince Hal’s father in one of the play’s most pivotal and memorable scenes, declares that “though the camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted the sooner it wears.”
Mr. McGregor gives Peter Rabbit some chamomile tea in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Historically, chamomile was used in beer recipes; a tradition craft breweries continue today.
In addition to its usage in beers, chamomile tea is hugely popular and, as demonstrated below, hugely beneficial to your health.
Chamomile has long been used in folk medicine traditions across Europe. It has been used to treat different digestive issues such as upset stomach as well as nausea and vomiting.
In addition, it has been utilized to treat inflammation and general pain while also being used as a natural germ-killing ointment.
When used in steam baths and other aromatic solutions, chamomile has also been used to treat sinus and throat issues, though support for this is far more anecdotal than scientifically peer-reviewed.
That said, its aromatic nature makes chamomile a natural choice for all manner of fragrances and scented items such as candles, cosmetics, soaps, and perfumes.
That said, chamomile is reported to cause uterine contractions, which in turn can lead to miscarriages, so pregnant women should not take or use chamomile.
What Are the Benefits of Chamomile Oil?
Chamomile tea is one of the hottest healthy tea items on the market today, with plenty of documented benefits to its credit.
That said, it is important to preface a lot of these claims by pointing out that studies examining chamomile’s effect on conditions often examine them along with other herbs and treatments, which can make it hard to isolate chamomile’s exact efficacy.
One example of this is the claim that chamomile can help with insomnia. Studies conducted in both 2011 and 2014 showed good signs of its efficacy in that respect.
However, as mentioned above, these studies also considered other factors and herbs in addition to chamomile, so how much of this was due to the chamomile and how much was its role in reacting to other elements can be hard to track.
That doesn’t mean these studies are wrong or even that chamomile isn’t effective in helping with insomnia, but simply that more research needs to be done to establish its total degree of effectiveness. Keep that in mind before buying a ton of chamomile as your answer to any insomnia woes.
Another study conducted in 2015 on postpartum women resulted in those who drank chamomile tea reporting better sleep quality and fewer symptoms linked to depression.
Finally, another 2011 study published in BCM Complementary Medicine and Therapies examined people who consumed 270 mg of a certain type of chamomile extract twice per day over a period of 28 days, with respondents reporting less waking up at night and, on average, fell asleep 15 minutes earlier than those who did not use the extract.
As mentioned above, one of the big selling points of chamomile is that it is pitched as an anti-inflammatory agent, and there is some evidence to back that up.
A 2014 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology and another in 2016 published in Electronic Physician found that it protected against diarrhea in mice, indicating anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile contains antioxidants, in particular apigenin, the efficacy of which was further reviewed in a study published in 2008 in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.
However, as noted above, this study didn’t just study the effects of chamomile but a wide range of herbs.
On the other hand, a specific review of the effectiveness of Greek herbal tea published in the European Journal of Public Health in 2015 found that chamomile tea could help prevent thyroid cancer and other thyroid-related diseases.
A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation in 2015 examined 64 diabetic people who drank chamomile tea with meals daily for eight weeks and found that their blood sugar levels were significantly lower than those who drank water instead.
That same study also hinted at the possibility that chamomile may be good for your heart’s health.
Other potential chamomile oil benefits include:
- Effectiveness in helping with sore throats and the common cold
- Effectiveness in helping with depression when used as aromatherapy or taken as a supplement
- Effectiveness as a moisturizing and skin-softening agent
- Effectiveness in helping with osteoporosis (though this evidence is almost entirely anecdotal)
Again, many of these studies were conducted on animals or contained a lot of different herbs, and more studies need to be done.
Further, unless you are drinking chamomile tea or a similar product, chamomile should not be ingested orally. That said, there are promising signs on several fronts to indicate that chamomile oil can indeed be a helpful health-aiding herb.
The Benefits of Applying Chamomile Oil on Your Hair
1. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
As mentioned above, chamomile extract has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be a big win for your skin. One of the most important steps to proper hair care is making sure your scalp is in good condition.
If it is dried out, hair will not be able to grow well, if it can grow in at all. You thus need to ensure that any inflammation is treated immediately, and chamomile oil can do just that.
A 2010 study conducted in Germany found chamomile oil was effective for treating dermatitis in mice.
This combined with the other attestations of its anti-inflammatory nature above demonstrates why it can be an important part of your scalp care routine.
Although, if you have sensitive skin it’s always best to conduct a patch test using a few drops of the oil to check for allergic reactions.
Even though chamomile oil is an effective natural anti-inflammatory agent it doesn’t agree with everyone. Also, there are many different variants of this oil that may have been combined with other active ingredients depending on the hair product’s formulation.
2. Antioxidant Properties
You probably already know that there are plenty of uses for antioxidants in your diet.
They have been at the center of many heart-smart and weight loss-centric diets over the years, but they are also incredibly helpful for your hair’s health as well.
This is due in large part to the fact that antioxidants can counteract what are known as free radicals, which are unstable molecules that, if left unchecked, can accelerate the aging and wrinkling process.
This is one reason why antioxidants are such a favorite among those looking to counteract wrinkles and age lines in their skin. Antioxidants work to counteract oxidative stress, which in turn helps keep your skin and hair fresher and younger longer.
Many of its antioxidant properties are tied to the fact chamomile contains apigenin, an impeccably potent vitamin for combatting free radicals, and the aging issues it can cause.
3. Moisturizing and Eczema-Fighting Properties
Not only can chamomile oil help soothe your skin in general, but it can also be particularly helpful for combatting eczema.
In addition, it is a natural moisturizer, lending extra softness to your skin and hair.
It is also able to fight rashes, itching, and scarring, all of which can damage your scalp and thus your ability to grow hair if you aren’t careful.
Keep in mind that the hair growth cycle follows the process of four phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (regression phase), telogen (rest), and exogen (shedding phase).
Assuming that you don’t have a medical condition affecting your hair growth potential, providing your hair and body with the proper nutrients, maintaining a healthy scalp, and incorporating the “concept” of protective styling into your regimen are key components of encouraging hair growth.
4. Anti-Dandruff Agent
Dandruff is an irritation-causing, flaky, and unpleasant skin condition that can be hard to eliminate. It’s embarrassing and sometimes leads to anxiety and depression. Chamomile oil, with its anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and soothing properties, is a natural anti-dandruff agent.
5. Helps with Frizzy Hair
Does frizzy hair give you fits? Chamomile oil’s moisturizing abilities can help you soften and eliminate frizziness.
6. Elegant Fragrance and Stress Relief
For as much as you may care about the medical side of hair care, you also want your hair to feel fine, fresh, and yes, fragrant.
That’s why shampoos and conditioners invest so much time, energy, and money into imbuing their products with lovely scents, and it’s another reason you might want to consider treating your hair with chamomile.
The smell of fresh chamomile flowers is a stress-relieving, fragrant treat, and if you like its earthy all-natural scent, it can provide your hair with a long-lasting fragrance to add a bit of extra oomph to your daily hair care routine.
A lovely fragrance isn’t just a nice luxury item, either. Studies in 2016 and 2018 found that, when inhaled, chamomile can have a soothing, stress-relieving effect.
You should already know that stress can lead to hair loss, so if you’re looking for an excellent reason to enjoy the scent of chamomile in your hair, you now have a perfect therapeutic rationale.
7. Adds Shine
In addition to your hair smelling nice, you likely also want it to have a good shine to it. After all, you don’t want to go through all the trouble of growing it in and taking care of it only for the product to be dull and lifeless.
At the same time, you don’t want your hair to be coarse, either. Not only is that unappealing from a cosmetic standpoint, but coarser hair can also be a nightmare to comb, leaving you with nagging tangles.
Thankfully, chamomile can add some shine while softening your hair as well. To add shine many women will rub a bit of chamomile oil throughout their hair strands, spray their hair with an oil-water mixture or incorporate a hair rinse using the oil with a co-wash or their favorite shampoo.
8. Enrich Hair Color
It is important to note that hair color and greying are both genetically determined, so the chamomile plant won’t give you your old hair color back.
That said, it can heighten the color in your highlights, adding crispness and boldness and thus enhancing the color you already have.
It is important to note that if you don’t currently have healthy hair, you should avoid coloring your hair. The hair coloring process often leads to dry and brittle hair strands.
Read this article on how to lighten your hair without bleach or other harsh chemicals that could lead to an inflamed scalp and other skin conditions.
9. Promote Hair Growth
By soothing your scalp, chamomile oil can stimulate your roots, which in turn can help encourage faster hair growth by increasing blood circulation of the scalp and hair follicles.
That said, you will need to allow some time for this to happen, and you should always examine products promising hair growth closely before making any decisions.
Most professional medical advice would confirm that many of the purported hair growth supplements are nothing more than pseudoscience.
Although studies have shown that scalp massages using hair oil can improve blood circulation and encourage noticeable hair growth.
How to Use Chamomile Oil for Hair Care
First and foremost, you should never apply an essential oil directly to your scalp, as the potency of these oils and the way in which they can interact with your skin can cause burning if you don’t dilute them first.
You can either dilute and massage them into your hair, or else add a few drops to your shampoo and apply them that way.
One of the best ways to use chamomile oil is to mix it with other hair-improving oils. Try mixing three drops of chamomile oil with six drops of lavender oil as well as sandalwood oil and three tablespoons of jojoba oil.
Mix everything well, massage it into your hair, and leave it in for roughly an hour at least before rinsing it out. As you can see chamomile oil is often paired with a carrier oil. Carrier oils are often used to dilute the potency of essential oils, so they don’t irritate your skin.
There are seemingly dozens of essential oils, and we’ve used quite a few of them. Many of them have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, in addition to many of the properties outlined in this article.
On the blog, we’ve written articles on the ones that we believe are the best essential oils, including lemon essential oil, lavender essential oil, Jamaican black castor oil, coconut oil, peppermint oil, olive oil, ylang-ylang oil, and almond oil.
Also, we’re in the process of researching several other popular essential oils including evening primrose oil and other ancient medicinal herbs.
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Flowers of the chamomile plant and chamomile oil are a versatile organic treatment that has been a staple of European beverages and folk treatments for centuries.
If you’re a tea lover, there’s a fair chance you have already enjoyed its soothing restorative powers. Using chamomile in a mixture with other essential oils can help boost your hair’s appearance and vivacity.
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With over 15 years of experience, Kenneth has been dedicated to hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box alongside his wife. As a team, they promote healthy hair care practices through their comprehensive platform, Curl Centric. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.