Lighten Your Hair Naturally with Essential Oils

Have you ever wanted that perfect sun-bleached hair color after spending the summer on the beach? Unfortunately, few of us actually have that kind of time to spend out in the sun. Lucky for you, we’ve found some natural ways for you to get lighter hair quickly without damaging your hair with harsh chemicals and dyes.

Many men and women today are dying their hair regularly in order to make it look lighter or give it some highlights. Others shy away from a change they may want because of the harsh chemicals involved in hair dye. However, there are natural ways to give your hair a lighter color without using hair dye. You may have heard of using hydrogen peroxide to bleach your hair, but this method comes with complications. Hydrogen peroxide bleaching strips the natural pigment from your hair, making it just about as damaging as hair dye. Lemons have long been known for their bleaching qualities, and the essential oil has been found to possess the same properties. Apple cider vinegar helps with lightening, but also leaves a shine and works to strengthen your hair. Rosemary and grapefruit essential oils help to protect your hair from damage in the sun and can help heal other pre-existing damage. Try out this hair-lightening spray to add some color and depth to your hair this summer!

Hair-Lightening Spray

  • Servings: Yield=8 oz. (250 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (25 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  • Water
  • 8 oz. Glass Spray Bottle

Instructions:

  1. Place the apple cider vinegar with the essential oils in the spray bottle, and shake to combine. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water, and shake again to combine.
  2. Spray the mixture through your hair, or in desired locations for highlights. The amount you use will depend on the length of your hair and the intensity of color desired.
  3. Lie out in the sun for 30 minutes, check the color, spray again, and return to the sun until the desired color is reached. Some hair may take multiple exposures to reach the desired color, as this is a very gradual process.
  4. Once you finish lightening your hair, wash your hair out thoroughly, making sure to apply plenty on conditioner to rehydrate your hair.

This recipe is created as a general rule of thumb for most hair colors. This should not be used on dark hair, as it can cause brassy colors or damage to your hair. If you have a strong pigment in your hair and the color isn’t taking quickly, you may need to increase the amount of lemon oil.

Make sure to keep an eye on how your hair is reacting in the sun. Some hair colors and pigments may lighten faster, while others could take much longer. Don’t get discouraged if it’s a slow process; it can take a few exposures to show extreme differences.

While you’re waiting for the lightening spray to work its magic, you can lie out in the sun with a good book or simply get some yard work done. Whatever you do, just don’t forget sunscreen!

 

A Traveler’s Guide to Essential Oils

With summer upon us, the traveling adventures are beginning. However, being away from home can make our regular essential oil use a little more difficult. But does travel really get in the way? Here at AromaTools, we are dedicated to making your essential oil use more convenient and effective—even when traveling! So here’s what you need to know when traveling with essential oils.

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Must-Have Essential Oils for Traveling:

1. Soothing Blend
Traveling usually involves cramped spaces for long periods of time or more strenuous activity than our bodies are used to. For this reason, the Soothing Blend is an important asset to your travel kit. By having it with you, you can easily apply it to sore muscles, cramps, sore feet, and so on. There’s no need to be in pain when you can find relief.
2. Peppermint
Traveling can be hard on our bodies, and that’s why you need peppermint oil. Peppermint essential oil may assist with digestive troubles, motion sickness, and headaches. You should never leave home without this versatile essential oil.
3. Lavender
If you experience difficulty with adjusting to new time zones, or sleeping in a new bed, this oil is a must for all your travels. Lavender essential oil is not only great for relaxation, but it can also soothe sunburns, bug bites, and allergies.
4. Protective Blend
Since it’s impossible to control sanitary conditions while away from home, bringing this essential oil with you on your travels is super important. You can build your immune system with this blend prior to traveling and continue to use it throughout your trip. This blend is great for fighting colds, sore throats, the flu, and infections.

Essential Oil Travel Tips:

1. Fighting Jet Lag
There’s nothing worse than starting off your travels on the wrong foot. When traveling, we want to be our best self, and that means being awake and alert. To avoid jet lag, the most important thing you can do is stay very well hydrated, but avoid alcohol and caffeine while flying. Next, it’s important to set your internal clock to the location you will be traveling to at the beginning of your flight. That means sleep when it’s night there, and stay awake when it’s day. You can take small naps—no more than 45 minutes—in order to keep your body refreshed. If you arrive in the daytime, you should keep your body active until a reasonable time to retire to bed. Now that you know some general tips, let’s get down to the essential oils.

Use invigorating essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus in the morning and calming essential oils such as lavender and geranium at night. Consider making a sleep blend in a small spray bottle to mist on your pillow when you are having trouble sleeping. You can also add lemon, peppermint, or orange essential oils to your water as an energy and immune booster. You can learn more about using essential oils for jet lag in Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

2. Packing Your Oils
If your travel plans include airplanes, you may want to take special care of your oils. If you’re taking your oils in your carry-on luggage, remember that TSA regulations require all liquids to be under 3.4 oz. (100 ml), and placed in a clear plastic zip-top bag or vanity bag, when carried through security. And you can only have 1 quart-sized plastic bag of liquids. This means you can only take the oils that you absolutely need, so you will need to consider what oils are most important to you while traveling. Keep in mind that the x-ray scanners in airport security will not damage your oils.
If you would like to avoid this potential hassle, you may alternatively pack your oils into your checked bag. We suggest that you still place your oils in a plastic bag in case of leaking caused by pressure changes, and remember to secure the lids tightly. If you have further questions about TSA regulations, click here.

Products to Enhance Your Travel Experience:

Diffusers:
Leaving home without a diffuser is no longer necessary if you have a personal diffuser! Now you can still get the aromatic benefits of essential oils while traveling without bothering those around you. We carry many different options for you to choose from. There are perfect diffusers that will fit in your car ports or USB ports in a hotel room, or personal diffusers that don’t require any power so that you can enjoy your oils anytime.

Carrying Cases:
In order to take your oils with you when you travel, you will need a proper carrying case for the bottles so they don’t get damaged. We carry all sorts of cases for whatever size of bottles you would like to take with you. Keep the airplane travel tips in mind if you are flying, but if you are taking a road trip, any size of carrying case will work depending on your specific needs.

We hope you find these tips useful as you embark on your next journey! Below we have linked a few more blog posts that can help you with all your travel needs.

Essential Oils for Car Travel
10 Diffuser Blends for the Road
See Modern Essentials: Outdoor Travel Tips

Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or would like to share your experience of traveling with your essential oils. We would love to read them! Safe travels!

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition.

EO Life Hack: Teething Baby?

It’s no fun when teeth are coming in…for the baby or the parents. How can you help numb the pain and calm the baby down? Use essential oils!

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30 Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Everyday Life

A traditional staple in the Asian Pacific, coconut oil has a checkered history in the western world. Once mislabeled as a harmful saturated fat, raw, organic coconut oil is now widely recognized as not only a healthy culinary oil, but also an amazing natural supplement for disease prevention and optimal health.

In The Coconut Oil Miracle, author Bruce Fife states, “Eating coconut oil may be a simple solution to many illnesses we face today. Laboratory tests have shown that the MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) found in coconut oil are effective in destroying the viruses that cause influenza, measles, herpes, mononucleosis, hepatitis C, and AIDS; bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, throat infections, pneumonia, sinusitis, earache, rheumatic fever, dental cavities, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, and toxic shock syndrome; fungi and yeast that lead to ringworm, candida, and thrush; and parasites that can cause intestinal infections such as giardiasis.

“The marvelous thing about using coconut oil to treat or prevent these conditions is that while coconut oil is deadly to disease-causing microorganisms, it is harmless to humans. The fatty acids that make coconut oil so effective against germs are the same ones nature has put into mother’s milk to protect children. Human breast milk and the milk of other mammals all contain small amounts of MCFAs. This is why butter, which is concentrated milk fat, also contains MCFAs. Breast milk, with its medium-chain fatty acids, protects the newborn baby from harmful germs while its immune system is still developing, its most vulnerable time in life. This is one of the reasons why coconut oil or MCFAs are added to infant formula. A mother who consumes coconut oil will have more MCFAs in her milk to help protect and nourish her baby. If it’s safe enough for a newborn baby, it is safe enough for us. Nature made MCFAs to nourish and protect us against infectious illnesses” (pp. 69–70).

Bruce Fife wrote an earlier book titled Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut. This work is based on what he and a Filipino friend, Porfirio Pallan “Paul” Sorse, found about how coconut helps with many health conditions (using the meat, milk, water, and oil). Fife offers many recipes, formulas, remedies, and suggestions. He discusses how to pick good coconuts and extract meat, milk, water, and oil from them. He also outlines what to look for when buying coconut products. Some of his usage suggestions:

30 Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Everyday Life

  1. Cooking: Use as a substitute for vegetable oil, olive oil, or butter. For a dipping chocolate, add a little coconut oil to melted chocolate chips. Or use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter in chocolate recipes. Make coconut-lime popcorn by combining coconut oil with a few drops of lime oil and a little honey instead of butter. Fife recommends eating 3 1/2 Tbsp. of coconut oil daily to maintain good health.
  2. Moisturizer: Slather coconut oil on your body after showering or bathing for silky, smooth skin.
  3. Hair Conditioner: Coconut oil helps repair damaged hair. Apply 1–2 tsp. of coconut oil to hair (particularly to the ends). Leave in at least 15–30 minutes before shampooing. You can leave also it in overnight.
  4. Dandruff Treatment: Mix 1 tsp. coconut oil with 3 drops lavender or wintergreen essential oil, and then lightly massage the blend into the scalp. Let sit for a few minutes before shampooing.
  5. Frizz Tamer: Smooth a tiny bit (1–2 drops) of coconut oil onto ends or lightly over loose strands of hair to help tame frizzy or flyaway tresses.
  6. Bath Melts: Make some simple bath melts by mixing 1 cup coconut oil with 15–20 drops essential oil. Freeze in a silicone mold. Add a melt to your bathwater to give your skin a moisturizing treatment.
  7. Shaving Cream: Smooth coconut oil over legs before shaving. It will act as both a shaving cream and after-shave moisturizer.
  8. Massage Oil: Use coconut oil alone or combine it with another oil such as sweet almond oil (2 parts coconut, 1 part almond) to give the massage oil a little more lubrication, since coconut oil absorbs quickly into the skin. This combination is safe to use on babies.
  9. Sugar Scrub: Mix coconut oil, brown sugar, and peppermint oil for a refreshing lip or skin scrub. Click here for the recipe.
  10. Acne: Apply a thin layer of coconut oil, and massage it into the skin after washing your face with soap and water. At first, your complexion may get worse as toxins are expelled from the skin. But if you continue applying coconut oil every morning, your skin will improve significantly.
  11. Makeup Remover: Dab a cotton ball, makeup remover pad, or cotton swab in coconut oil to easily remove makeup. This works incredibly well for eye makeup (including waterproof eye makeup).
  12. Toothpaste: Mix a bit of coconut oil with baking soda (and add 1–2 drops peppermint essential oil) to make an all-natural whitening toothpaste. For infants and toddlers, simply use coconut oil alone for a healthy, effective toothpaste that they don’t have to spit out.
  13. Mouthwash: Mix a little coconut oil with 1 drop lemon, orange, or peppermint essential oil, and swish the mixture around your mouth to help freshen your breath. After several minutes, spit the coconut oil into a garbage can. (Do not spit in the sink, or the oil may clog the pipes.)
  14. Lip Balm: Dab a cotton swab in coconut oil, and rub it on chapped lips. You can also make a recipe for coconut oil lip balm in a lip balm dispenser to use as a chap stick.
  15. Sunburn Soother: Gently rub coconut oil over sunburned skin to help sooth and moisturize.
  16. Sunscreen/Suntan Oil: Rub a layer of coconut oil on all exposed areas of skin, and allow it to soak in before going out into the sun. This helps protect the skin from burning rays and may also help absorb tanning rays.
  17. Chafe Protection: Use a little coconut oil to soothe chafing.
  18. Goo-Be-Gone: Mix 1 tsp. coconut oil with 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 drop lemon essential oil. This mixture will help remove sticky residue from any surface, including gum in hair.
  19. Squeaky Hinges: Apply a little bit of coconut oil to the door hinge.
  20. Nonstick Garden Tools: Rub your garden tools and lawnmower blades with coconut oil to prevent dirt and grass clippings from sticking to them.
  21. Surface Polisher: Use coconut oil to polish stainless steel, bronze, leather, furniture, wood, fake plants, etc.
  22. Wood Conditioner: Rub coconut oil on wooden utensils to help condition them. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to help sanitize wood cutting boards and utensils.
  23. Bug Bite Soother: Rub a little coconut oil on bug bites to help soothe the irritation. Fife states that warmed coconut oil will work faster since it penetrates quicker and deeper than cold coconut oil. For convenience, you can also make soothing bug bite sticks.
  24. Insect Repellent: Combine coconut oil with peppermint oil and rub all over your exposed skin to help keep bugs away.
  25. Diaper Cream: Rub a little coconut oil on your baby’s sore bottom to reduce inflammation. Works with cloth diapers too.
  26. Bruises and Minor Burns: Apply something cold (ice for bruises; cold, wet cloth for burns) for 10–15 minutes. Then gently apply a layer of coconut oil. Reapply oil 4–8 times a day, or every couple of hours, until the pain is gone or until healed.
  27. Dry Nasal Passages: Put a dab of coconut oil in each nostril. Then lie down, and let the oil drain into the sinuses to rehydrate them.
  28. Excess Ear Wax: Lie down on your side or back. Using an eye dropper filled with warm coconut oil, put several drops into the ear canal. Move your jaw around to work the oil down into the canal. The oil will loosen the ear wax and allow it to move out on its own. Repeat as often as necessary.
  29. Indigestion: For acute cases of indigestion, take 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil internally. If needed, take 1 Tbsp. again 6 hours later.
  30. Itchy Skin: Massage warm coconut oil into affected area. Repeat as often as necessary.

Click here for other ideas that involve coconut oil!

Sources:
The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, N.D.
Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut by Bruce Fife, N.D.

Homemade Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

While some essential oils can be used “neat” (without dilution), many do require dilution, especially when used on children, pregnant women, or people with sensitive skin. The most common way to dilute essential oils is to mix them with fractionated coconut oil. Sometimes this can get a little messy—especially when you’re on-the-go or applying oils to a wiggly child. We found a dilution solution by creating a thickened blend of carrier oils stored in a twist-up container: a dilution stick. This stick contains a formula of carrier oils that are good for sensitive skin and will remain solid at room temperature.

Our dilution stick recipe does not contain essential oils, so it can be used with any essential oil you need at the time. To use the stick, simply twist it up and rub it onto your skin before (or after) applying your essential oils.

If you have a favorite essential oil that you use frequently, you can also add it to the melted liquid before pouring the mixture into your containers. Or you can add the essential oil after pouring the carrier oil mixture into each container. Just be sure to stir the essential oil in with a toothpick or bamboo skewer before the mixture cools. A good dilution ratio is 1–2 drops per .15 oz. (4.25 g) of carrier oil mixture, or the following:

If you love this idea but don’t want to make it, you can always buy the Essential Oil Carrier Oil Stick that is ready to go. A smaller On-The-Go Essential Oil Extender is also available.

The following recipe fills at least 2 dilution sticks—1 large and 1 small. (Or make 1 round one and 2 small ones, or many little ones—any combination of containers totaling 3 oz.) Keep a big one at home and a small one in your purse or travel bag. That way, you’ll always have one when you need it!

Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

  • Servings: Yield=3 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place the mango butter and beeswax in a double boiler on the stove over medium-low heat. You can create a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup (containing the ingredients) in a pan filled with an inch or so of water.
  2. Once the mango butter and beeswax are melted, reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut oil. When the coconut oil is melted, add the sweet almond oil, and remove boiler from heat. Continue stirring until all the oils have melted together.
  3. Make sure your containers are clean and twisted all the way down. Pour the oil into your containers, and allow them to cool. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  4. To use, rub the stick over the skin before applying essential oils.

NOTES:

Other twist-up containers also work, including our Round Twist Tube (2.2 oz/63.4 g) and our Lip Balm Dispensing Tubes (.15 oz/4.25 g). When choosing containers for this recipe, just use as many containers as needed to hold a total of 3 oz.

*Shea butter contains latex (a natural rubber). If you are allergic or sensitive to latex, do a skin patch test before making this recipe with shea butter.

Pet Odor Spray

Keep your house smelling fresh and free of pet odors with an all-natural spray! This nontoxic spray will take care of odors without hurting your pet.

Pet Odor Spray

  • Servings: Yield=1 cup (240 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 10–15 drops of essential oil such as lemon, lavender, orange, or eucalyptus

Instructions:

  1. Pour ingredients into an 8 oz. glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake before each use. Spray in areas of your home that are overrun by pet odors.

 

EO Life Hack: Sanitize and Season Wood Kitchenware

Refresh your wood cutting boards and spoons by rubbing a little coconut oil and lemon essential oil on them. The coconut oil helps season the wood, and the antibacterial properties in both the coconut oil and lemon essential oil help sanitize your kitchenware at the same time.

EO Life Hack: Opening a Bottle of Myrrh

Have you noticed how difficult it is to open up a bottle of myrrh essential oil that hasn’t been used for a while? Because myrrh is a resin-based essential oil, it can get sticky as it oxidizes. When myrrh essential oil gets on the inside of the bottle cap, it can actually seal your bottle shut. We found a great way to prevent this from happening—coat the inside of the lid with fractionated coconut oil! To do this, just fill the cap with fractionated coconut oil so it covers everywhere inside. Then dump out the FCO, and screw the lid back on the bottle. No more sticky lid!

Extra Tip: If your lid is already sealed onto the bottle, you may want to have an extra lid on hand just in case you end up ruining your lid trying to get it off. Once you have the old cap and orifice reducer off, screw the new cap (with the new orifice reducer) on, and then remove the lid and coat it with fractionated coconut oil to prevent it from sticking again.

EO Life Hack: Fill Capsules with a Dropper Top

Do you get frustrated when you try to fill a capsule with essential oil and end up getting oil on the side of the capsule or accidentally pour in too many drops? A glass dropper top can make filling capsules a breeze! It fits inside the capsule opening and makes it easy to get a single drop out. Now you can get the right number of drops and never have to deal with a capsule-filling mess again!

Also, to make filling capsules even easier, you can pre-mix your essential oil formula and dilute it 1:1 with olive oil in a dropper bottle. That way it is already diluted and ready to use when you need it! Click here for more information about using capsules with essential oils.

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EO Life Hack: Hot Day?

What can you do to cool down on a hot day? Use essential oils!

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