Are you in search of a simple solution for all your hair problems? A few drops of cedarwood oil can work wonders for your damaged tresses.
Derived from cedar trees, this essential oil has been used since ages for its powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Now, even modern research acknowledges its amazing hair growth stimulating abilities.
Coupled with its scintillating woody aroma, this essential oil makes for a perfect inclusion into your hair care routine. Read on to know the various benefits of cedarwood oil for your hair and the best ways to use it for hair care.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Devadaru, commonly known as deodhar, is a coniferous tree from the pine family. It is beneficial to the skin and promotes hair growth, owing to its Vata hara properties.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Is Cedarwood Essential Oil?
Cedars are evergreen coniferous trees that grow in the Himalayas and in the Mediterranean regions. The essential oil derived from the bark and foliage of these trees is known as cedar oil.
While steam distillation of wood chips has been the age-old method of extracting cedar oil, the more recent supercritical fluid extraction  method has proven to be better for preserving the oil’s natural woody aroma.
Cedarwood oil has a potent chemical composition consisting of alpha-cedrol (sesquiterpene) , thujopsene, cuparene, alpha-cedrene and about twenty other phytocompounds which are responsible for its therapeutic abilities.
Initially cedarwood oil was recognized as a pesticide and was used in insect repellents. However, owing to its antimicrobial , anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties and delightful aroma, it is added to various skin and hair care products. These include shampoos, soaps, hair oils and perfumes.
Ayurvedic View Of Cedarwood Oil
According to Ayurveda, the oil extracted from the Devadaru tree (Cedrus deodara), the native Himalayan cedar, is highly beneficial in the treatment of bone and muscle pains, fever, respiratory conditions and wound infestations.
Also known as deodar oil, cedar oil is astringent in nature with a hot potency and helps balance the kapha and vata doshas. Its Kushtahara and shodhana properties make it an apt cure for various scalp and skin diseases.
As per Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix,“Devadaru, commonly known as deodhar, is a coniferous tree from the pine family. It balances Vata and Kapha doshas. It is beneficial to the skin and promotes hair growth, owing to its Vata hara properties. It is a strong antimicrobial and treats dandruff and scalp inflammations like seborrheic dermatitis.”
While many trees are referred to as cedars, there are actually 4 types of true cedars - Cedrus atlantica (Atlas cedar), Cedrus deodara (deodar), Cedrus libani (Lebanon cedar) and Cedrus brevifolia (Cyprus cedar).
Benefits Of Cedarwood Oil For Hair
1. Treats Alopecia & Reduces Hair Loss
Alopecia areata or Indralupta, an autoimmune condition, is listed as one of the primary causes of severe hair loss. A clinical trial held for 7 months revealed the efficacy of cedarwood oil in the treatment of alopecia areata.
Around 43 patients who massaged their scalp with a mixture of cedarwood and other essential oils diluted in carrier oils experienced a reduction in hair loss and improvement in their condition.
2. Treats Dry Scalp
According to Ayurveda, cedarwood oil helps balance the vata dosha, an aggravation of which leads to dry scalp conditions. Further its anti-inflammatory properties soothe your scalp and prevent conditions like seborrheic dermatitis. Regular scalp massages with this cedarwood essential oil can prevent irritations, itchy lesions and dry flakes on your scalp.
3. Promotes Hair Regrowth
Cedarwood oil can stimulate new hair growth in areas experiencing hair loss. This is mainly due to the growth-promoting activity of cedrol , a sesquiterpene present in this essential oil. In fact, cedrol’s effectiveness in hair regrowth is often compared with minoxidil, a commonly prescribed vasodilator in the treatment of hair loss.
4. Improves Blood Circulation On Scalp
Cedarwood oil is known to promote hair follicle health by improving blood circulation on the scalp. This aids nutrition absorption by your hair roots thus reducing hair thinning, split ends and breakage.
5. Helps Treat Scalp Acne And Folliculitis
Scalp acne and folliculitis-like conditions occur on the scalp when your hair follicles are clogged with excess sebum, dead cells and bacteria. Cedarwood oil’s astringent, vata balancing properties regulate oil secretions on your scalp and prevent excess dryness.
Further, sesquiterpenes such as thujopsene, cedrol and cuparene are known for their antibacterial  properties which keep your scalp free from bacterial infections.
According to a study in 2016, the application of cedarwood oil aided the treatment of acne in a patient.
6. Treats Head Lice
Cedarwood oil is an excellent insect repellent. Massaging your scalp and hair with this essential oil can easily help treat a head lice condition.
7. Treats Scalp Odour
Scalp odour is a common problem and mainly a result of bacterial or fungal growth on the scalp. Owing to cedarwood oil’s antibacterial and antifungal  properties, using it as a hair oil or adding it to your shampoo can help fight bad odour. Further, its cleansing abilities and woody aroma leaves your hair feeling fresh throughout the day.
8. Treats Dandruff And Fungal Infections
Cedarwood oil is one such essential oil that displays powerful anti-fungal properties due to the presence of cedrol , its main component. Thus cedarwood oil can be used to treat various fungal infections of the scalp such as dandruff, ringworm and others.
How To Use Cedarwood Oil For Hair?
Any essential oil needs to be diluted with carrier oils for safe topical application. Below mentioned are a few ways cedarwood oil can be used to benefit your hair.
1. Cedarwood Oil, Rosemary Oil And Grapeseed/ Jojoba Oil
To treat hair loss, add 2-3 drops each of cedarwood and rosemary oil to 10-15 ml grapeseed/ jojoba oil. Apply on your scalp and massage gently focusing on the areas experiencing hair loss. Leave it on for 30 minutes to 1 hour before washing off. Use once daily or at least 3-4 times a week till conditions improve.
2. Cedarwood Oil, Gunja Seed Oil And Coconut Oil
To use cedarwood oil for hair growth, add 3-4 drops of it to 5 ml each of coconut and Gunja seed oil. Mix well and apply on your scalp. Massage gently and wrap a warm, moist towel on your head for better absorption of the oil. Wash off after an hour. Use 3-4 times a week.
3. Cedarwood Oil, Reetha And Shikakai
Soak 2-3 tablespoons of reetha and shikakai powders overnight. Boil the mixture the next day and turn off the heat once it begins to froth. Cool and run it through a sieve for a clear shampoo-like solution. Now add a few drops of diluted cedarwood oil to this and use it to clean your scalp and hair.
Cedarwood oil’s detoxifying properties remove dirt, bacteria, excess oil and toxins, giving you a clean and healthy scalp. Use it 2-3 times a week for best results.
4. Cedarwood Oil, Coconut Oil, Neem And Hibiscus
For treating dandruff with cedarwood oil, add 4-5 drops of it to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Now add ½ tablespoon each of neem and hibiscus powders to this. Mix well and apply this anti-dandruff pack on your scalp. Leave it on for 1 hour and wash off. Use 3-4 times a week for severe dandruff conditions.
5. Cedarwood Oil, Coconut Oil, Haritaki And Garlic
To treat fungal infections on the scalp, dilute 4-5 drops of cedarwood oil in 10 ml coconut oil and add 1 tablespoon of haritaki powder to it. Now crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and add to the pack. Mix well and apply as a spot treatment of the affected area. Leave it on for half an hour and wash off with lukewarm water. Apply once daily till the infection heals.
6. Cedarwood Oil, Amla, Hibiscus And Bhringraj Oil
To prevent premature greying and promote hair regrowth, add 2-3 drops of cedarwood oil to 2 tablespoons of bhringraj oil. To this add ½ tablespoon each of amla and hibiscus powders. Mix well and apply the pack on your scalp and hair. Adjust the quantity of the ingredients as per your hair length. Leave it on for 1 hour before washing off. Repeat 2-3 times a week.
7. Cedarwood Oil, Neem, Camphor And Coconut Oil
For treating hair lice, dilute 5 drops of cedarwood oil with 10 ml of coconut oil. To this add 1 tablespoon each of neem powder and crushed camphor. Mix and apply on your scalp and through the length of your hair. Wrap a towel over your head and leave the pack overnight. In the morning, brush through and wash with a herbal shampoo.
Add 2-3 drops of cedarwood oil to your hair masks or henna packs for enhanced hair benefits and an amazing aroma.
Side Effects Of Using Cedarwood Oil On Hair
Cedarwood oil can lead to dermal toxicity  and severe skin lesions if used undiluted or in strong concentrations for a long period of time. It is also harmful if ingested.
Precautionary Steps To Follow While Using Cedarwood Oil
1. Always dilute cedarwood essential oil before using it on hair and scalp. 2-5 drops in 10 ml of a carrier oil is a safe concentration for frequent use.
2. Use this oil in moderation. Do a patch test when using it for the first time to avoid unwanted allergic reactions.
3. Don’t dilute it in water. The essential oil will float on the surface of the water and have direct skin exposure. Always dilute in oil.
4. Avoid direct sun exposure after applying cedarwood oil to your hair and scalp. This helps prevent phototoxic reactions on the scalp.
The Last Word
Cedarwood essential oil is a popular ingredient added to various shampoos, hair oils and other hair products for its growth-promoting abilities. However, it is important to remember that essential oils have a potent formula with various active ingredients. Adding a small quantity of cedarwood oil to your hair pack, oil or shampoo is sufficient to reap its benefits.
Before using cedarwood oil, know your unique prakriti, to understand how it can benefit you better.
Overuse may have potential side effects. Hence, know your hair type and follow the methods of using cedarwood oil as mentioned in this article for gorgeous, thick, damage-free hair.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Cedarwood Oil : Making It More Aromatic, More Available, 1999 June
2. Chemical Composition Of The Wood And Leaf Oils From The “Clanwilliam Cedar” (Widdringtonia Cedarbergensis J. A Marsh): A Critically Endangered Species, 2010 October
3. Commercial Essential Oils As Potential Antimicrobials To Treat Skin Diseases, 2017 May
4. Hair Growth Promoting Activity Of Cedrol Isolated From The Leaves Of Platycladus Orientalis, 2016 October
5. 11 Essential Oils: Their Benefits And How To Use Them, 2021 December
6. Essential Oils And Antifungal Activity, 2017 December
7. Antifungal Activities And Chemical Composition Of Wood And Leaf Essential Oils From Cunninghamia Konishii, 2011
8. Dose-Response Assessment Of The Dermal Toxicity Of Virginia Cedarwood Oil In F344/N Rats And B6C3F1/ N Mice, 2016 October
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