Essential oil blends & recipes for greasy hair & scalp

By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

The best essential oils for greasy hair and scalp are;

  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Petitgrain
  • Lime
  • Bergamot
  • Cajeput
  • Cedarwood
  • Citronella

These essential oils are all effective at reducing the amount of oil being produced by the skin. By using them on the scalp they can directly treat the oil producing glands in the skin here.

(This post contains affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases)

Female standing under a shower stream of water, washing her hair.  Essential oil blends & recipes for greasy hair & scalp.

Essential oil blends & recipes for greasy hair & scalp

Hair & scalp treatment for greasy scalp & hair

So you may think that using an oil on already oily hair, is going to make the situation worse, but it won’t! Natural carrier oils such as sweet almond and argan oil, for example, will not stimulate oil production, or make the hair more greasy, as long as they are washed properly.

Jojoba oil is the best choice for oily or greasy hair, as it has the ability to actually dissolve excess sebum being produced, so really acts as a treatment and tonic for greasy hair and scalp.

Mix these oils together and massage into the scalp, pulling through the hair too. Leave on for 10-15 and wash off thoroughly. An ideal way to wash oil off your hair, is to apply some shampoo to the roots of the hair first – before you even add water. Massage the shampoo through and then apply water. Rinse this off and and apply a little more shampoo to wash as usual.

Either of these blends will work well, and pairs a light citrus fragrance with a more woody smelling oil. 20ml will allow for several applications.

  • 20ml Jojoba oil
  • 4 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Petitgrain
  • 20ml Jojoba oil
  • 4 drops Mandarin
  • 4 drops Cedarwood

Hair mask for greasy hair

Similar to a hair treatment oil, a hair mask will nourish the scalp and the hair itself. A hair mask, however can include other ingredients to make it a thicker consistency – so you really feel like your whole head is benefitting.

This hair mask is an alternative to the oil treatment above. The zinc content in natural yogurt, helps to regulate oil production in the skin, so is a great base for a hair mask for oily scalp and hair.

  • Approx 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • A few drops of jojoba oil (optional)
  • 3 drops of you chosen oil (from list above)

Mix the ingredients together well and apply to the hair. Massage into the scalp and take it right through to the ends of the hair. Leave on for 15 minutes and wash well.

Shampoo or Conditioner

Adding 1 drop of your chosen oil to a 10p size amount of either your shampoo or conditioner is a really effective and easy way of getting the desired results of the oils.

When using shampoo, really massage the scalp so you get benefits of the essential oils here, or when using conditioner, distribute the conditioner right through to the ends of the hair to treat every strand.


Female with long hair sweeping across her face.  Essential oil blends & recipes for greasy hair & scalp

How Do Essential Oils Work For Greasy hair & scalp?

The hair has a very similar structure as the skin, so essential oils work in very much the same way.

Essential oils are the pure oils that are extracted from the flowers and leaves of plants, the peel of fruits and even the bark and resin of trees. The molecules in the oils are so pure and fine that they have the ability to penetrate the skin. From here, they can be absorbed into the bloodstream, and travel around the body to have the desired effect.

In the case of using essential oils for the hair and scalp, the oils can have an effect on the skin of the scalp and the hair follicles within the scalp, thus promoting a cleaner, healthier, less irritated scalp and the stimulation of the circulation to the hair follicles, which will encourage hair growth.

The essential oils for relieving a greasy scalp or hair, work to either help absorb the excess oil being produced or prevent excess oil being produced in the first place. The oils can act as an astringent so helps to cleanse and dry out any excess sebum being produced.

What causes a greasy scalp & hair?

Within our skin, we have sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum – also known as the skins natural oil or moisturiser. In most cases, this secretion is a good thing as it lubricates our skin and hair, keeping them nourished, healthy and younger looking (the more hydrated our skin and hair looks, the less ‘aged’ we look). However in some people there can be excessive sebum production, causing oily skin, hair, and in this case, scalp.

The over-production of sebum from the scalp, obviously seeps onto the hair, making the hair look greasy and oily.

While it might be frustrating, having greasy locks, these essential oil blends & recipes for greasy hair & scalp, can help absorb and reduce the amount of oil in the area.


The best essential oils for greasy hair & scalp


Lemon works very well on greasy scalp, thus also helping greasy and oily hair conditions. It also has very good antiseptic properties, so keeps the scalp and roots clean and grease free.


As with lemon, mandarin will work as an astringent for oily hair and scalp conditions.


A lesser known citrus oil, petitgrain is a good, cleansing tonic for greasy skin and hair conditions.



The astringent effect of lime will not only help reduce the amount of oil being produced, but also cleanse any excess oil on the hair.


Another lovely citrus oil that is effective at treating and reducing excess oil on the scalp. Bergamot cooling and antiseptic properties also help to cleanse, freshen and calm the scalp.


A lesser known oil, Cajeput is useful for treating oily skin conditions, meaning that it will help to cleanse and clear excess oil production on the scalp. It also has antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities, so it can help purify the scalp and hair too.


Cedarwood is anti-seborrhoeic, which means that it treats and prevents excess oil, and in the case of Cedarwood, particularly on the scalp. It’s astringent properties, help to absorb any excess sebum that is being produced. A perfect addition to any hair preparation for greasy hair or scalp.


Lightly lemon fragranced, Citronella helps to treat excessive oil production on the skin and scalp.


Precautions for using essential oils for greasy hair & scalp

As you are using the oils in such small quantities, these oils are fairly safe to use. However please be aware of the following precautions;

Avoid Citronella and Cedarwood during pregnancy.

If you have very sensitive skin, and particularly scalp, ensure you do a patch test first. Add one drop of your chosen essential oil to a small amount of oil and apply to the skin. Leave for 24 hours to see reaction.

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.