9 Essential Oils for Curly Hair You Need To Try

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The curly hair community’s obsession with essential oils still hasn’t fizzled out — and why should it, anyway?

After all, these oils have gained traction for their hair-strengthening, volume-boosting, and curl-loving benefits!

essential oil roller bottles and droppers on a white background with greenery

But which oils are actually good for curly hair? How do you choose the right one for your needs? 

Read on as we give you a rundown of the best essential oils for curly hair and discuss the benefits of using them in detail. 

Fast Facts

  • The best essential oils for curly hair are as follows:
    • Rosemary oil
    • Tea tree oil
    • Jasmine oil
    • Cedarwood oil
    • Chamomile oil
    • Geranium oil
    • Lavender oil
    • Palmarosa oil
    • Ylang-ylang oil
  • Essential oils can hydrate, define, and strengthen curly hair, reducing dryness, frizz, and breakage while promoting scalp health.
  • Choose 100% pure essential oils and select oils based on specific hair concerns such as dryness or dandruff.
  • Use essential oils safely by diluting them with carrier oils, shampoos, or hair masks to prevent irritation.

9 Best Essential Oils for Curly Hair

1. Rosemary Essential Oil

The ultimate multitasker in hair care, rosemary oil hydrates curls, fights hair loss and breakage, and reverses hair damage all at the same time!  

Among its key benefits is its clinically proven ability to increase circulation in the scalp, which encourages blood and nutrients to flow to the hair follicles. 

This stimulates the growth of stronger, healthier strands. Studies show that rosemary rivals the use of minoxidil — a topical medication for alopecia — in treating hair loss, making it one of the best oils for curly hair growth.

Armed with powerful antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, this oil also combats dryness, dandruff, sun damage, and product buildup.

Want to experience the benefits of this oil for yourself? Get the Handcraft Rosemary Essential Oil!

Handcraft Rosemary Essential Oil

Finally, an essential oil that’s worth the hype. The Handcraft Rosemary Oil has earned the top spot on this list by targeting common curly hair woes and giving you stronger, healthier hair like never before. 

Key benefits: Boosts healthy hair growth and combats hair loss; reduces frizz; relieves itch; prevents dandruff


  • 100% pure therapeutic-grade oil
  • Strengthens hair follicles and improves blood flow to the scalp
  • Ethically sourced with no fillers or additives 

Get the lush, frizz-free, buttery-soft curls of your dreams with this oil!


2. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Good news for curlies who struggle with itchy, flaky scalps: tea tree oil can help you kick dandruff to the curb for good! 

Wielding powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties, it fights dandruff at the source by inhibiting the growth of Malassezia, a type of yeast responsible for dandruff in most adults. 

So if you tend to go longer between washes and struggle with flakes as an unfortunate side effect, tea tree oil can help keep your scalp clean and itch-free. 

You can also use this oil to hydrate and moisturize your curls, soothe scalp inflammation, and boost hair growth! 

To ensure you get pure, certified organic tea tree oil, go for this one from Nexon Botanics.

Nexon Botanics Organic Tea Tree Oil

Defy frizz and dandruff with tea tree oil, a powerhouse of cleansing, soothing, and moisturizing properties at a bargain price. 

Key benefits: Cleanses scalp; fights itch, dandruff, and oiliness; encourages curl definition; promotes scalp and hair health


  • 100% pure, USDA-certified organic oil
  • Boasts antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

An affordable solution to costly curly hair problems!


3. Jasmine Essential Oil

Lauded as one of the best moisturizing oils for curly hair, the Gya Labs Jasmine Essential Oil hydrates your tresses and replenishes lost moisture to tame frizz, fight dryness, and prevent tangles. 

By penetrating the hair shaft and cuticle, it also strengthens each strand and promotes elasticity, making your curls less prone to breakage.

What’s more, it has antiseptic and antimicrobial powers that rid the scalp of dirt and oil buildup and aid in treating dandruff and scalp infections. 

As a bonus, this oil lends a soothing, delicate fragrance to your curls! 

First time trying jasmine essential oil? You can’t go wrong with this goodie from Gya Labs!

Gya Labs Jasmine Essential Oil

Give your hair a well-deserved premium treatment with jasmine essential oil and watch dry, brittle ringlets transform into soft, silky, luscious tresses! 

Key benefits: Clarifies the scalp; strengthens brittle hair; promotes healing of scalp infections; softens and detangles curls


  • 100% pure therapeutic-grade oil
  • Cleansing, nourishing, hydrating, and strengthening properties
  • Versatile, multi-beneficial use for hair, skin, and body 

Pamper your curls with this luxuriously fragrant, astoundingly powerful essential oil!


4. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang-ylang — a tropical flower used to treat various illnesses for centuries — nourishes and strengthens hair follicles while balancing oil production in the scalp.

As one of the best oils for frizzy hair, it also hydrates the scalp and encourages proper sebum distribution to moisturize coarse, brittle curls. 

Even better, this essential oil can also be used to keep your hair thick and damage-free!

Enjoy this oil’s benefits to the fullest with Cliganic’s 100% Pure Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Cliganic Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

Nourishing and intensely potent, ylang-ylang is harnessed to its fullest potential in this essential oil. Among its many perks? Revitalizing dry, dull locks and restoring balance to the scalp.

Key benefits: Creates a healthy scalp environment; fights hair loss; keeps curls shiny and well hydrated 


  • 100% pure, non-GMO, USDA-certified oil
  • Works as a treatment for damaged, thinning hair 
  • Vegan and cruelty-free

This essential oil takes your hair care regimen to a whole new level!


5. Geranium Essential Oil

Curlies are no strangers to shedding. But if you’re dealing with excess fallout, the Artizen Geranium Essential Oil can give you stronger, fuller curls!

A 2017 study found that geranium extracts promote hair growth with their antioxidant properties. 

They do so by regulating growth factors (proteins vital to cell proliferation) and cellular responses (physiological responses to external stimuli). 

Simply put, geranium oil can prevent hair loss caused by stress and other environmental factors. Plus, it can restore proper pH balance in the scalp and enhance curl definition.

Remember that UV exposure can negatively affect the potency of geranium essential oil. So make sure to get it in a bottle with an anti-UV coating, such as this product from Artizen.

Artizen Geranium Essential Oil

Finding a few too many strands on your brush or in your shower drain? Enter geranium oil, the ultimate solution to your hair fall troubles!

Key benefits: Prevents hair loss and strengthens hair; eases scalp irritation; enhances shine


  • 100% pure, natural, and therapeutic-grade oil
  • Regularly tested for purity and quality
  • Comes in a glass bottle with an anti-UV coating

Now you can flaunt thick, well-nourished curls with one of the most exceptional essential oils for curly hair!


6. Lavender Essential Oil

As it turns out, lavender essential oil is as versatile in hair care as it is in, well, everything else.

This oil helps tame unruly frizz, battle dryness, reduce scalp irritation, and relieve scalp inflammation. Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, it also provides superior itch and dandruff control. 

Curly-haired folks struggling with dull, thinning hair can also use it to restore shine and volume. 

Hate the way your hair smells funky on hot or stressful days? Lavender oil can curb the growth of odor-causing bacteria on your scalp and leave a heavenly fragrance on your strands to boot! 

So for a healthy, itch-free scalp and fresh, radiant curls, get high-quality lavender essential oil like the Plant Therapy 100% Pure Lavender Essential Oil!

Plant Therapy Lavender Essential Oil

An oldie but a goodie, you can rely on your trusty lavender essential oil to deliver on all the hair and scalp care essentials (pun intended) for curlies. 

Key benefits: Reduces frizz; hydrates hair; relieves itchy scalps; controls dandruff


  • 100% pure, GC/MS-tested
  • Multi-beneficial for curly hair 
  • Cruelty-free

All you need for soft, fresh, healthy, and voluminous hair is here!


7. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Styling your hair with gel or cream isn’t the only way to highlight your curls. By keeping your tresses moisturized with cedarwood essential oil, you can achieve better definition effortlessly.  

This oil hydrates your hair and helps it retain moisture for that long-desired bounce, even when your hair is gel-free!

When used for scalp massages, it also boosts circulation in the scalp to improve hair health and stimulate growth. 

Bring out the beauty and fullness of your curls with this cedarwood essential oil from Cliganic!

Cliganic Organic Cedarwood Essential Oil

Bid adieu to limp locks and get ready for voluminous and well-defined curls with cedarwood essential oil. 

Key benefits: Improves curl definition; treats and prevents hair loss; promotes scalp health  


  • 100% pure, USDA-certified organic oil
  • Ensures proper blood circulation in the scalp
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and non-GMO

Want your curls to pop? This oil is a must-have


8. Chamomile Oil

Curlies with conditions like psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, which are characterized by itchy, inflamed scalps, often find it hard to get products that address their symptoms without damaging their curls. 

Fortunately, chamomile oil can help! It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can calm your scalp and soothe itch, redness, and flaking. 

The best part? It’s also great for treating and preventing damage! This antioxidant-rich oil defends your hair against UV damage and keeps your strands moisturized. 

So if you want to bust flakes for good and still flaunt soft, lovely curls, the Gya Labs Roman Chamomile Essential Oil is for you.

Gya Labs Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Scratching your head all day? Your scalp may be inflamed. Use the Gya Labs Roman Chamomile Essential Oil to ditch that itch.  

Key benefits: Soothes and treats inflammatory conditions that affect the scalp; moisturizes hair; revitalizes damaged hair


  • 100% pure, GC/MS-, MSDS-, and COA-tested oil
  • Fights signs of hair damage and scalp inflammation
  • Delicate, long-lasting fragrance

Superb anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make this one of the best oils for naturally curly hair!


9. Palmarosa Oil

Every curly’s hair care routine — whether it’s the Curly Girl Method or a modified version of it — is built on one key principle: hydration. Luckily, that’s just what the Plant Therapy Palmarosa Essential Oil offers! 

As one of the most effective essential oils for moisturizing hair, it keeps curls well hydrated to increase their strength and elasticity. The result? Soft, glossy, and frizz-free tresses!

Palmarosa also cleanses and removes dead skin from the scalp while nourishing the hair follicles and facilitating healthy growth. 

Convinced to try palmarosa oil? Grab the Plant Therapy Palmarosa Essential Oil for a pure and undiluted product!

Plant Therapy Palmarosa Essential Oil

An underrated hair care gem that packs a punch when it comes to moisturization, Palmarosa Essential Oil revives the vibrance of parched, brittle curls.

Key benefits: Provides hydration; enhances scalp health; adds shine


  • 100% pure, GC/MS-tested oil
  • Delivers intense moisturization
  • Non-GMO and cruelty-free

The curly community’s best-kept secret for ultra-silky hair!


Why Should You Get Essential Oils for Curly Hair?

Now you can see that essential oils don’t just make your hair smell nice; they offer more amazing perks for your locks!

Let’s take a closer look at why they’re particularly beneficial for curly hair:

  • Hydrate curls. The structure of curly or kinky hair makes it difficult for oils from the scalp to travel down the strands, causing dryness.

    Luckily, plenty of essential oils have moisturizing properties that improve the quality, texture, and appearance of dry, excessively coarse curls.
  • Improve curl definition. Aside from providing a boost of moisture, essential oils also help curly and kinky hair hold on to moisture better to keep curls smooth, bouncy, and beautifully defined.

    This reduces frizz, tangles, and shrinkage!
  • Strengthen and nourish damaged hair. Many essential oils are packed with nutrients that can add nourishment to damaged hair, restoring its luster and resilience and making it less prone to breakage.
  • Relieve dandruff. Folks with curly hair often wash their hair less frequently to keep it moisturized, which often leads to itch and dandruff.

    Essential oils with antibacterial and antifungal properties can provide lasting relief for this issue by cleansing the scalp and inhibiting bacterial growth.
  • Treat and prevent hair loss. Several essential oils can facilitate hair growth, offering a curl-friendly alternative to prescription formulations. 
Young woman applying hair care oil to her curly hair tips

Here’s a quick look at which essential oils can deliver which benefits:

Tea treeJasmineYlang-
Frizz control
Curl definition
Hair growth
Damage repair
Volume boost
Dandruff and itch relief

How To Choose Essential Oils That Are Good for Your Hair

So which one of these do you get? Follow the guidelines below to help you choose the right oil for your tresses. 

Get 100% Pure Essential Oils

Some essential oils contain fillers and artificial fragrances or preservatives so manufacturers can cut costs.

Not only can these additives potentially damage your curls, but they can also compromise the oil’s overall quality and effectiveness.  

So make sure to check the ingredient list of your chosen oil and see if it has a 100% pure, single-ingredient formula. 

Look for Vegan Labeling if You’re Vegan

If you’re looking for vegan oils, keep in mind as well that, oddly enough, not all essential oils are vegan. 

While oils made from singular plant extracts are vegan on paper, the process used to produce them may not be so. In fact, traditional methods require the use of animal fats for extraction.

See to it that you choose a bottle labeled “vegan” instead. 

Choose Oils Based on Your Hair’s Needs

woman with long auburn curly hair

Each essential oil has its own unique set of strengths, so it’s vital to choose one that suits your specific needs.

For instance, if you’re struggling with dryness, chamomile and ylang-ylang may be better for you. If dandruff is your main concern, then tea tree oil is your best bet.

How To Use Essential Oils on Curly Hair 

Not sure how to use essential oils on your curls? We’ve listed three of the easiest and most effective methods to follow!

Warning: Never use essential oils undiluted on your curls or any part of your body! These oils are highly concentrated and volatile, which means they can irritate your scalp and damage your hair and skin.

So they should always be mixed with another hair product or a carrier oil. 

Photo portrait of cool girl with wavy flying hair isolated on vivid yellow colored background

Mix Your Essential Oil With Shampoo

Want to use essential oils to combat dandruff effectively? Mix antibacterial and antifungal essential oils with your shampoo to combine their cleansing and dandruff-fighting capabilities!

Together, they can effectively remove dead skin cells and bacteria and balance sebum production.

Follow these steps for a next-level shampooing experience:

  1. Add a few drops (one to four) of essential oil to a dollop of shampoo.
  2. Massage the shampoo into your scalp.
  3. Rinse it out thoroughly.

Quick Tip

You can also add around 20 drops of your essential oil to an 8-ounce bottle of shampoo. Shake the bottle afterward before use.

Mix Your Essential Oil With Carrier Oil

Looking to make the most of your essential oil’s hydrating or growth-boosting properties? Mix it with a carrier oil with the same capabilities, which include the following:

  • Argan oil
  • Castor oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Jojoba oil

Here’s how to do this method:

  1. For every tablespoon of your carrier oil, add two to three drops of essential oil.
  2. Combine the oils in one bottle.
  3. Apply a decent amount of the mixture to your hair. Massage it into your strands, and make sure they’re fully saturated.
  4. Leave the mixture in for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with shampoo.

Quick Tip

For deep conditioning, you can cover your head with a shower cap and leave the mixture in overnight.

Mix Your Essential Oil With a Hair Mask

Before washing your hair, you can use a hair mask with your choice of essential oil to prevent your shampoo from stripping your hair of its natural oils. This is called a pre-poo treatment.

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Add a few drops of your essential oil to a dollop of your hair mask.
  2. Cover your strands fully with the mixture.
  3. Leave it in for 30 minutes before shampooing.

Quick Tip

Aloe vera is also a wonderful, effective, and affordable choice for a pre-poo!

essential oil bottles on a wood table surrounded by flowers

FAQs About Essential Oils for Curly Hair

Should I Use Essential Oils on My Curly Hair Every Day?

Nope! Oiling your hair too often can lead to excess dirt and grease buildup. It’s best to oil your curly hair only on wash days. 

What’s the Best Leave-In Oil for Curly Hair?

Carrier oils like almond, argan, and jojoba oils are usually the top choices for leave-in oils. However, you can mix them with rosemary or cedarwood essential oils for best results. 

Get Soft, Healthy Locks With the Best Natural Essential Oils for Curly Hair!

Why pamper your tresses with a hair care routine that involves health-boosting essential oils for curly hair? Simple: it can help you bring the bouncy, beautiful curls of your dreams to life! 

Keep in mind, though, that while all the products we’ve listed above are great for curly hair, it’s vital to pick one that matches your needs and helps you achieve your unique hair goals. 

So go ahead. Give your curls a little more love with essential oils! 

Discover More Hair Care Hacks for Curls Here:


  • Nicole Serrano

    Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature and four years of experience as a freelance writer and editor. Since her college days, she’s been obsessed with all things makeup, fashion, and hair care with a particular fondness for ’70s and ’90s trends.

  • Jessica Hoelscher

    With thirteen years in cosmetology, Jessica Hoelscher is a seasoned stylist recognized for her modern techniques. A graduate of Paul Mitchell the School in St. Louis, her expertise has been showcased on Fox Two News and in People Magazine. Self-employed at Salon Lofts, her work has graced TV screens, styling for renowned events and Ole Miss cheerleaders.