The 16 Best Hair Growth Oils and Serums of 2024 for Thicker, Fuller Hair

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Healthy hair growth starts at the root

<p>People / Kristin Kempa</p>

People / Kristin Kempa

Hair oiling has been a staple in beauty routines around the world for centuries, dating back to ancient Ayurvedic medicine and originating from Indian culture. And in the era of celebrity-inspired sleek buns and COVID-19-related hair loss, it’s no surprise that people are searching for hair growth oils to stimulate their sparse strands.

Hair growth oils can help nourish the scalp and hair follicles, which can promote healthy hair growth,” Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, founder of PsychoHairapy, tells PEOPLE. “These oils contain natural ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil, and argan oil that are believed to stimulate hair growth and improve hair health by locking in moisture.”

However, while hair growth oils can certainly help you achieve the look and feel of of fuller, healthier, stronger hair, there is no concrete evidence that they will magically add inches to your length faster. In fact, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Angelo Landiscina (also known as Derm Angelo), shares that only one standalone study was able to prove that rosemary oil was comparable to 2% minoxidil, a commonly recommended clinical product for hair growth (think: Rogaine), after 6 months. With this being such a new topic, there is not enough hard evidence to prove that hair oils make a huge difference in one’s growth journey — but they can promote healthier strands and scalps (which leads to thicker and fuller hair down the line).

Keep reading to discover the best 14 hair growth oils and serums on the market today, as recommended by dermatologists, and researched and tested by our editorial staff.

Best Overall: Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

$10 at

$10 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This oil is great for someone who wants to strengthen and promote the growth of their strands without paying a hefty price tag.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Those who dislike the smell and cooling feeling of mint won’t be overly enthusiastic about the formula of this oil.

This potent formula is rich in biotin and rosemary as the name suggests — which is said to balance and regulate scalp health, according to celebrity hairstylist Davey Matthew. Not only does this oil work hard to strengthen your strands and smooth your split ends, but it also soothes itchy and flaky scalps due to rosemary’s studied effects as an anti-inflammatory herb.

Though the brand specifically calls out type 3A to 4C hair as the main benefactors of this oil, all hair types can use this product on their hair growth journey — all for $10.

Size: 4.23 oz. | Key ingredients: Rosemary oil, mint, biotin

Best Value: Wild Growth Hair Oil

$11 at

See at

Who It’s Good For

  • This product is not only great for people who want see a difference in the length of their hair, but also for shoppers who want a good amount of product for a reasonable price.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Those who are looking for a daily-use oil, as this one needs to be worked up to — and even then, it’s recommended to only use three times a week

If you’re looking for a product that will lengthen and strengthen your hair without putting a dent in your wallet, then you might consider trying this blend. The Wild Growth Hair Oil is a multi-use product that not only encourages the growth of new hair, but also reduces blow-drying time, detangles, and works in small amounts (a little truly does go a long way). What's more, you can snag this 4-ounce bottle for just $13 at full price, whereas several other options on the market will offer half the amount of product for significantly more.

Hair oiling can be a very peaceful ritual, but if you’re looking for an oil that you can implement into your everyday routine, this won’t be the one for you (the instructions recommend using this product once a week for a month before graduating to three times a week). However, for the amount of oil you get at this price, we think it’s entirely worth trying.

Size: 4 oz. | Key ingredients: Coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil

Best for Thinning Hair: The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density

$23 at

$23 at

Who It’s Good For

  • Those who are experiencing a decrease in the natural volume of their hair due to hair loss will benefit from this density-boosting cocktail.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • People who don’t want to apply an oil to their hair every day, as this is how the best results are achieved.

You may know The Ordinary for their award-winning formulas and budget-friendly prices, but did you know that they have also ventured into haircare? Enter: the Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density, a formula that works hard to battle hair loss and give the appearance of thicker, healthier hair.

It features Redensyl™, a mix of plant-based extracts to invigorate dormant hair follicles; Procapil™ which helps to stimulate scalp circulation and address follicle aging; and Baicapil™, a blend of botanical actives that help stimulate hair growth and density.

It's recommended to place a few drops onto a clean, dry scalp at bedtime. One customer even found that it "works better than minoxidil," with many others noting a stark difference in the density of the hair on their scalps.

Size: 2.03 | Key ingredients: Caffeine, European larch extract, Pisum sativum extract, etc

Related: The 12 Best Shampoos for Thinning Hair of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Best Investment: Vegamour GRO Hair Serum

$165 at

$64 at

Who It’s Good For

  • Anyone who wants a lightweight serum with clinically proven ingredients to help encourage hair growth.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone who is looking for a budget buy.

There’s no overnight solution to hair thinning — but there is Vegamour’s Gro Serum, which has been shown to improve the look, feel, and texture of users’ hair after 90 days of consistent use. This daily serum is color-safe and packed with plant-based ingredients such as turmeric, N. benthamiana, and red clover, which are clinically proven to recharge your dermal hair cells, stimulate the hair growth cycle, and prevent future hair loss, according to the brand. Since this bottle is so small, it’s best for spot treatments rather than all-over use.

This serum is suitable for all hair types and curl patterns and is especially proficient when it comes to volumizing and increasing the density of your hair. Our only warning is that this stuff is expensive — you can buy a 1-oz. bottle for $64 (which will get you through 30 days of consistent use before having to buy another), or you can buy the value pack with three bottles inside to get to the recommended 90 days of use. Depending on how much you’re willing to invest in your hair growth journey, this product may be the solution you've been searching for.

Size: 1 oz. | Key ingredients: Turmeric, N. benthamiana, red clover/mung bean

Best for Curly Hair: Maui Moisture Nourish and Moisture Plus Coconut Milk Weightless Oil Mist

$17 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This lightweight oil is great for those who want a formula that not only moisturizes natural curls, but can also be applied to wet or dry hair.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • People who want a more potent formula, like a thick oil from a dropper, may not enjoy the spray-bottle delivery.

Naturally curly hair requires a certain level of care — and one of these requirements is an extra dose of moisturization. “As a hairstylist who works with natural hair, I can confidently say that [this] oil mist is great for curly hair,” says Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka, psychologist and founder of PsychoHairapy. Dr. Mbilishaka applauds this product for being vegan plus silicone- and paraben-free, putting natural ingredients on the forefront of this formula. “The use of natural ingredients such as coconut milk helps to nourish the hair and keep it healthy, while also providing a weightless finish that doesn't leave any residue or buildup,” she adds.

Another perk of this product is its compatibility with wet and dry hair as a leave-in treatment. “This makes it a versatile product that can be used to refresh and revitalize curls throughout the day without having to wash and restyle the hair,” says Dr. Mbilishaka. If you want something a little stronger than a mist (like an oil in a dropper, à la Ouai’s Scalp Serum), then this may feel a bit too light for you. But if a quick refresh or a light treatment is best for your curls, then we recommend this as your new go-to.

Size: 4.2 oz. | Key ingredients: Aloe vera, coconut milk, guava oil, mango butter

Best for Low Porosity Hair: Pattern Jojoba Oil Hair Serum

$28 at

$28 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This ultra-hydrating oil is great for hair types that have a difficult time absorbing oil.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • People with highly porous hair might find this oil to be too thin to penetrate their strands.

Pattern Beauty is known for making curl-loving products, but their Jojoba Oil Hair Serum expands their reach even further. Though anyone can use this product for an extra dose of moisture, the high content of jojoba oil in this formula makes this nourishing oil best suited for low porosity hair — usually straighter or wavy (but still textured) styles, according to a 2020 study. Low porosity hair is typically prone to scalp buildup, is difficult to wet completely, and takes a long time to dry, which requires a very lightweight product to do the trick.

This formula is boosted with safflower, rosehip, olive, and lavender oils to help repair broken or damaged hair while sealing moisture into your scalp and strands. Its hero ingredient, jojoba oil, is particularly great for reducing scalp inflammation and itchiness, working against flakiness and dandruff. Plus, it’s a pretty big bottle for just $28.

Size: 3.9 oz. | Key ingredients: Jojoba oil, safflower oil, rosehip oil, olive oil, lavender oil

Best Strengthening: Kérastase Initialiste Strengthening & Volumizing Advanced Scalp & Hair Serum

$60 at

See at

Who It’s Good For

  • Shoppers with brittle and breakable strands from heat, dye, or tension will enjoy the ability to reinforce the strength of their hair with this cocktail of a hair oil.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Anyone looking for a budget-friendly buy might think the $60 price of this serum is a bit high.

We’re no strangers to the wonders of Kerastase hair products, but the Initialiste Scalp and Hair Serum was one of the very best we tried in our PEOPLE Tested lab. Not only did our tester notice her hair grow in length (about two inches in six weeks), but she also noticed her strands feeling thicker and stronger over time. In fact, she realized that she was due for a trim sooner than her routine visits were scheduled — a marker of this serum’s success.

Helmed with gluco peptide, wheat protein derivative, and native plant cells, this water-weight product penetrates the dermis to strengthen, repair, and hydrate the hair cuticles at the root. Our at-home tester used a dropper-full almost every day for six weeks, dispersing the liquid onto her scalp and throughout her wet hair after showering. Afterward, she’d dry and style her hair as usual, going about her routine. Because of its lightweight texture, the serum never made our tester’s hair feel greasy or weighed down — in fact, it provided a mildly floral scent and softened her hair over time, almost acting like an extra step of conditioning.

So far, our experience with Kerastase has been absolutely “mane”-changing — and this strengthening serum is no exception.

Size: 2.02 oz. | Key ingredients: Gluco peptide, wheat protein derivative, native plant cells

Best Strengthening, Less Expensive: Sephora Collection Strengthening Hair Serum with Biotin and Phytoprotiens

$18 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This budget-friendly serum is great for someone who wants to try out a strengthening hair product without splurging on a high-end product.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • We wouldn’t recommend this to someone who has naturally oily hair, as this one began to make our hair feel greasy faster than others.

If you can’t tell from this list, hair serums and oils are expensive — but this Sephora Collection strengthening serum defies the odds with its attractive $18 price. We tested it for six weeks and found that it was lightweight, conditioning, and fast-absorbing. While our hair didn’t grow noticeably longer than where it was at beginning of the testing period, we did notice that our strands began to take on a wavier and more voluminous texture around our scalps, which is where we applied the serum.

It took about three to four droppers-full to distribute the oil thoroughly, but once we did so, it absorbed quickly into our scalps due to its lightweight body. However, it did start to make our hair look and feel greasy after a few days, which meant that we needed more hair-wash showers than before.

The best part was that our hair started to look healthier and thicker after just four weeks of use, making those of us with naturally frizzy strands have hair that lays nicer and styles easier without as much product as before.

Its biotin-infused formula would leave our scalps with a slight tingle after initial application, but this just added to the soothing experience. While we wouldn’t say this made us gain inches, it did help our hair to look and feel sleeker while giving our volume an extra oomph.

Size: 1.69 oz. | Key ingredients: Biotin, plant-based proteins

Best for Breakage: Bumble and Bumble Full Potential Booster Spray

$62 at

$62 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This spray is great for people who find it hard to grow their hair out due to continuous breakage.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Because this is a strengthening spray, this product won’t stimulate growth, so it isn't ideal for people wanting to speed up their growth process.

Sometimes hair growth doesn’t mean encouraging new strands to sprout, but instead strengthening weak hair so that it can grow long without breaking. According to Matthew, breakage can be sorted into two categories — chemical breakage (think bleaching, coloring, and texturizing services, like a perm), or mechanical breakage (heat, teasing, and tension, like those trendy, slicked-back buns). “If we’re dealing with breakage, it’s not necessarily that your hair isn’t growing, but rather it’s not retaining length,” says Matthew.

Bumble and Bumble’s Hair Preserve Blend works to strengthen each strand and promote more elasticity with each use. The brand refers to this formula as a “liquid bandage” and says that it's free from mineral oils, parabens, phthalates, and more — allowing your hair to put on extra armor and flourish into shiny tresses.

Size: 4.2 oz. | Key ingredients: Algae extract, caffeine, rosemary extract

Best with Hyaluronic Acid: Ouai Scalp Serum

See at

Who It’s Good For

  • People with flaky or dry scalps will benefit from the skin-loving ingredients that this strengthening serum has to offer.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Anyone looking for a significantly hair-lengthening product may not see the most dramatic results with this product.

Who said skincare was just for your face? Think of the Ouai Scalp Serum as hyaluronic acid for your hair, because this product is ideal for hydrating the skin barrier of your scalp — just like a serum for your complexion. All you need is to massage a few drops into your natural part and hairline daily, which not only feels amazing, but will result in the appearance of more voluminous, healthy hair over time. Its healing hero ingredient is flanked by arctic root, Siberian ginseng, and chaga mushroom for a well-rounded skincare product made specifically for your hair.

What’s even better is that you can apply this serum day or night to wet or dry hair — just be sure to leave it on your strands (whenever you apply) so that your scalp is getting the full effects of this nourishing serum.

Just keep in mind that this product isn’t going to immediately incite a ton of growth, but instead replenish your hair from the scalp to make sure that your strands grow extra healthy and strong.

Size: 2 | Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, arctic root, Siberian ginseng, chaga mushroom

Best for Hair Loss Prevention: Philip Kingsley Density Preserving Scalp Drops for Hair Loss

See at

Who It’s Good For

  • People who want to prevent further hair loss will get the most use out of this serum.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone who wants a wash-out oil or less-expensive serum won’t love these drops.

If you’re more concerned with keeping the hair on your head (a.k.a. less constant shedding), the Philip Kingsley Density Drops were one of our favorite serums that we tested, significantly improving the preservation of our tester's existing hair rather than new growth. We found that over the testing period, our tester lost less hair than usual to her hair brushes, and one of our testers’ hairdressers pointed out how much thicker their hair felt than usual (mind you, they’ve been going to the same person for seven years).

The lightweight serum is made with caffeine, saw palmetto extract, and a biomimetic peptide blend, which is the main anti-hair loss active ingredient in the formula (though the ingredients list goes on and on). Because of how thin these drops are, it is easy to add a few onto the scalp before bed and wake up in the morning without oily-looking hair. If you’re in the camp of not washing your hair every day, then this is a favorable formula for you.

We even noticed a few baby hairs starting to sprout at hairlines with continuous use, which means that our tester’s hair got the chance to preserve its natural density, thus delivering a thicker mane, while also encouraging the growth of new hair. Our only con is its steep price, but if your goal is to keep your hair luscious and thick rather than stimulating new growth, then we think it’s well worth the investment.

Size: 2.87 oz. | Key ingredients: Biomimetic peptide blend, azelaic acid, saw palmetto, caffeine

Best Volumizing: Augustinus Bader The Hair Oil

$54 at

See at

Who It’s Good For

  • People with a history of thin hair will appreciate the thickening effect that this hair oil provides over time.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • We wish the bottle was a little bigger, considering the price.

If you often wish that your hair could have a little extra oomph, then this is the oil for you. This product from Augustinus Bader was instrumental in the thickening and fullness of our tester’s hair over a six-week testing period, turning her previously thin and scraggly strands into soft, shiny tresses that felt and looked noticeably thicker. As per the product’s instructions, she used this oil on her hair two to three times a week after washing and towel-drying. Because the formula is so light, it only took about two to three drops to evenly coat medium-length strands. It also never made our tester’s hair look or feel greasy, which was a huge perk.

Because this oil is meant for your strands and not your scalp, it was easier to see a pretty instant difference when using this oil. It make her hair look sleeker but also had reparative and nourishing long-term effects that made our tester’s hair look more voluminous, too. We can attribute this success to the formula’s key ingredients: Vitamin E, argan oil, squalane, and a bevy of other natural oils that came together to love on her hair.

All we know is that she’s so happy to leave the house without much heat styling because her hair lays so nice — and now that she’s used to this life, she’s using this oil forever.

Size: 1 oz. | Key ingredients: Vitamin E, argan oil, castor seed oil, pomegranate oil, baobab oil, sunflower seed oil, squalane

Best for Scalp Stimulation: Ranavat Mighty Majesty Fortifiying Hair Serum

$70 at

$70 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This serum is ideal for those looking to stimulate the production of new, fuller strands from the root (while also enjoying a scalp massage).

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Anyone looking for a budget-friendly buy may be hesitant to drop $70 on this relatively small (but powerful) bottle of product.

All you need are a few drops of this skin- and hair-loving concoction once a week to see gradual growth. The hero ingredient of this product is Amla (also known as Indian gooseberry), which is an antioxidant-rich superfood that has been known to help treat baldness and hair thinning.

“Think of it as your hair’s best anti-aging ingredient,” says Michelle Ravanat, the brand’s founder. “Amla has been used in South Asian hair care for centuries, as this potent ingredient helps to stimulate scalp circulation and hair growth." She adds that the inclusion of this powerful extract can even slow graying.

Ravanat recommends taking a few drops and massaging it into your scalp before coating the rest of your hair, from roots to ends, for all-over nourishment. “Not only is this incredibly relaxing, but it stimulates fresh oxygenated blood to my scalp, balances oil production, and encourages hair growth,” she adds. Depending on your wash cycle, you can leave this oil on your scalp anywhere from an hour before your shower to 24 hours — just be sure to shampoo twice to make sure you’re removing all of the residue. Thankfully, this process only needs to be done once a week to see some results, because this product is certainly not cheap. But for the longer tresses you’ll be brushing through in a few months, we’d say the splurge is worth it.

Size: 1.7 oz. | Key ingredients: Organic sunflower oil, organic jasmine oil, organic amla extract

Best with Massager: Ceremonia Aceite de Moska Hair Oil & Scalp Massager Set

$40 at

See at

Who It’s Good For

  • This duo is great for someone who is looking for a solid place to start on their hair growth journey, with a massager included for optimal scalp stimulation.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Someone who already owns and uses a scrubber may not want to buy a whole new accessory with their purchase.

One of the necessary steps in the hair growth process is stimulating your scalp with a scalp massager — which is usually a handheld, pointy-tipped (but never sharp) scrubber that you can use before or after applying oil. This two-in-one product comes with both the Aceite de Moska, which is a nourishing scalp remedy oil, and the Scalp Masajeador, which is the accompanying massager. You can choose to rub the massager in small, circular motions all over your scalp before oiling to stimulate the scalp and better absorb the product or apply your oil first and use the massager after to distribute the oil throughout your head in a relaxing, luxurious way.

This oil is fortified with aloe vera, which conditions and softens the hair while hydrating babassu oil and soothing castor oil fuse the formula together to encourage sleeker and stronger strands. If you already have a massager and aren’t looking to own another one, you can always just buy the Aciete de Moska by itself — but if you’re a hair growth newbie and need to start from scratch, this is a solid place to start.

Size: 2 oz. | Key ingredients: Aloe vera, babassu oil, castor oil, meadowfoam seed oil

Best Pre-Wash: JVN Complete Pre-Wash Scalp & Hair Treatment Oil

$29 at

$29 at

Who It’s Good For

  • This product is great for someone who doesn’t want to leave oil in their hair all day long.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • People who like to use hair oil to both nourish and style their hair in slicked-back buns won’t find the best utility in this pre-shower product.

If you’re in the anti-oil/pro-dry shampoo camp of consumers (but still want to attain the nourishment of a hair oil), then you’ll find favor with the JVN Pre-Wash Scalp Oil.

The champion of healthy hair, founder and celebrity hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness understands the want for oil-free hair while still reaping the benefits that strand-strengthening oils have to offer. What makes this specific oil different from the others on this list is its utility as a pre-shampoo product, as opposed to other products that are meant to be kept on the scalp for up to 24 hours before washing.

The Pre-Wash Scalp Oil is infused with rosemary and neem seed extract, which work together to stimulate circulation in the scalp and calm dry or inflamed skin. Adding to this potion is hemisqualane, a silicone alternative and turmeric extract for a hint of color. You may experience sediment in your hair as a result of using this product, but the JVN brand ensures that this dust-like substance is completely harmless — just a result of the oil’s natural ingredients.

After letting two to three droppers full of product sit in your hair for about 15 minutes, you can lather up in the shower as normal. Implementing this process into your routine twice a week adds 30 minutes in total to your shower routine, but results in silkier and stronger hair down the line.

Size: 1.7 oz. | Key ingredients: Rosemary extract, turmeric extract, hemisqualane, neem seed extract

Best for Daily Use: Briogeo Destined for Density Peptide Hair Serum

$57 at

$57 at

Who It’s Good For

  • People who want a growth serum that they can apply every day without feeling greasy will love this barely-there formula.

Who It’s Not Good For

  • Those who want their product to have a liquid formula, as this is closer to gel.

Consistency is key, right? Well, when so many products limit you to using them once or two times a week, it’s hard to feel like you’re seeing results — which is why we liked this serum from Briogeo, a comfortable, barely-there formula that easily absorbs into your scalp.

Our tester concentrated this peptide density serum on the places she wanted to see a bit more fullness, which fell along her hairlines and parts. Her nightly routine included a single drop in each section followed by a 30-second massage (not required, but certainly lovely), which was a great way to get our tester’s scalp circulation going to better absorb the product.

We were most impressed with how well this serum disappeared into her hair, despite its thicker, gel-like consistency when it comes out of the dropper. With a quick massage, the formula would fully absorb into our tester’s scalp and keep her roots from looking greasy, even when she went several days without washing it (while still applying the serum every night).

Its growth-stimulating ingredients, including biotin, copper peptides, and caffeine, created an energy complex that helped promote the density of her hair in previously sparse areas. Over time, she even noticed these spots becoming better suited to heat styling — holding volume far better than it used to before. If you’re more interested in spot-treating than overall hair growth, then this is the one for you.

Size: 1.5 oz. | Key ingredients: Energy complex (caffeine), biotin, copper peptides

Related: The 17 Best Hair Dryers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Other Hair Growth Oils We Tried

  • adwoa beauty Baomint Protect + Shine Oil Blend: One of our favorite things about this oil was the squeeze bottle packaging, which allowed us to use just the right amount of product and will ensure that we get every last drop once we reach the bottom of the barrel. This formula is particularly thick — in fact, one of our testers described it as a cross between an oil and a silicone gel. We used this product multiple times a week, but only at night so that we could wash it out in the morning due to an excess of oil that made our scalps look and feel greasy. But once washed out, it made our hair look sleeker and much more hydrated than before, especially at our typically dry ends. However, we’d be remiss to not mention its rather overpowering scent, which was another reason we would shower before going out in public with this oil in our hair.

How to Pick the Right Hair Growth Oil

Vet Your Ingredients

With any topical oil, it’s important to make sure that your product is packed with the right ingredients to foster healthy growth and nourish the hair along the way. “As a hairstylist, I can tell you that there are several key ingredients you should look out for when choosing a hair oil,” says Dr. Mbilishaka. They include:

  • Rosemary Oil: As mentioned previously, rosemary oil is the only oil that is clinically proven to have a significant effect on increasing hair growth, similar to that of minoxidil.

  • Argan Oil: Dr. Mbilishaka praises argan oil for its ability to “nourish and hydrate hair without leaving it greasy or heavy.” Dr. Angelo Landiscina is hesitant to call out any specific ingredient as being the best for inciting hair growth but agrees that argan oil is a safe bet due to its thin formula, which is less likely to clog pores.

  • Coconut Oil: Another hair-loving ingredient is coconut oil, which is “rich in antioxidants and can help protect hair from environmental damage,” according to Dr. Mbilishaka.

  • Grapeseed Oil: This ingredient provides many of the same antioxidant benefits as coconut oil, making it another oil to seek as you shop.

  • Jojoba Oil: This is popular ingredient in hair oils, thanks to its ability to mimic the natural oils (sebum) produced by the scalp. It can help regulate oil production and keep hair looking healthy and shiny.

  • Tea Tree Oil: Oftentimes people experiencing hair loss will also have itchy or dry scalps, which can be soothed by the calming effects of tea tree oil. Experts hold this oil in high regard for its soothing anti-inflammatory properties as well as its anti-fungal makeup which helps treat dandruff.

  • Peppermint Oil: Rich in antioxidants, this oil is also known to soothe irritated scalps, making it a great addition to your products if you experience discomfort at your roots.

On the other hand, however, there are ingredients that you should consider steering clear of when you’re searching for a good hair growth oil. Two of these are mineral oils and silicones, as they are known to clog pores and can lead to product buildup (which can later cause scalp irritation and hair loss).

Additionally, if you experience frequent breakouts, oils may not be the best choice for your hair growth journey. “In general, those with acne-prone skin should be cautious when using oils in the hair,” says Dr. Landiscina. “Avoid getting them on the skin, as this can exacerbate acne.” Instead, try a lightweight serum like Vegamour’s offering.

Target the Cause of Your Hair Loss

Our hair can start to thin for several reasons. Everything from stress to new diets can result in bigger clumps of hair going down the drain in the shower, but sometimes it’s the products you’re using that are doing more harm than good.

Though it’s generally safe to wash your hair only once or twice a week, letting products like dry shampoo and mousse sit on your skin for too long can eventually lead to hair loss. “Product buildup on the scalp creates an angry scalp leading to shedding or slow growth,” says Matthew. “Think of it as suffocating the scalp.”

But if your wash routine is pretty solid (and you’re not testing new products all the time like us shopping writers), there may be some underlying health conditions that are leading to your shedding. “The most common kind [of hair loss] is called androgenic alopecia,” says Dr. Landiscina. “This is the type of pattern hair thinning we see as we age, which is due to how responsive our hair is to hormones and one's own hormonal balance.” He also mentions that other medical conditions — like anemia — or certain medications and nutritional deficiencies can have a direct correlation to surprise bouts of hair loss.

If you are stumped about why you might be shedding more than usual, it’s always best to check with your doctor for the best answers. 

Follow Through

There are a variety of methods that are important to employ when trying to grow out your hair. For starters, using a massager on your scalp before or after oiling encourages the nutrients to penetrate deeper into your scalp’s dermis and hair follicles.

“By stimulating the scalp, microcirculation helps flow freshly oxygenated blood to the scalp surface for potential increased hair regrowth while balancing and relaxing the mind [and] body,” says Ravanat.

“Increased blood flow equals increased nourishment, [which] equals happy, healthy hair,” agrees Matthew. The Ceremonia Scalp Power-Duo makes this easy, as it comes with both an oil and scrubber in one easy purchase.

Finally, altering your lifestyle can help influence healthier strands. “Hair growth is stimulated by a variety of factors, including a healthy diet that includes protein, vitamins, and minerals, water intake, regular exercise, and proper hair care practices,” says Dr. Mbilishaka.

<p>People / Emma Phelps</p>

People / Emma Phelps

How We Tested

For this article, we did our due diligence through research and testing to bring you the list above. While some products are specifically recommended by experts, others were put through an extensive six-week testing process on behalf of our PEOPLE Tested team to see which oils made a difference and which you can pass on.

We started out by documenting the state of our hair before applying any product — untreated by our selected oils or serums, and usually, thin and dry. Then, we assessed the individual directions of our oils, applying only as frequently as recommended by the brand, such as 15 minutes for the JVN Pre-Wash Scalp Oil or overnight for the Briogeo Destined for Density MegaStrength+ Peptide Density Serum. We massaged and smoothed these oils into our scalps and down our strands, which is where the Ceremonia Scalp Power-Duo came in handy, before (or after) styling, depending on the instructions for each particular particular product.

After the recommended time of absorption had passed, we washed and styled our hair as usual, using no other hair growth products to avoid interference with the integrity of the process.

From there, we simply continued use of the products for six weeks, which is the average time it takes to see results, according to most manufacturers. Once this time had passed, we recorded all of our thoughts and feelings about each product, rating them on a scale of one to five (one being the poorest-performing and five being the best) on application, effectiveness, consistency, and finally, look and feel.

These scores were averaged to see how each product stacked up to each other in the end — and when combined with our research, only the oils and serums above were worth mentioning.

<p>People / Lauren Critelli</p>

People / Lauren Critelli

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the average person’s hair grow in a year?

“On average, hair grows about half an inch per month, which translates to six inches per year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology,” says Dr. Mbilishaka. “However, this can vary based on a person's age, gender, genetics, and overall health.”

“It’s important to note that if we really get nerdy with it, your hair isn’t continually growing, but rather has 3 growth phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen (or growing, resting and shedding),” says Matthew. "Each hair follicle is going through this phase independently, and everyone’s cycles are different.” This can sometimes explain why some people have trouble growing their hair past a certain length or experience excess shedding.

Can hair growth oil increase the thickness of your strands as well?

Hair growth oils are sometimes best for increasing the density and strength of your hair rather than giving it significant length, as it’s the health of the hair that allows it to grow longer rather than breaking off. “Just like a fingerprint, we all have a unique strand thickness that we cannot change,” says Ravanat. “However, we can keep more strands of hair on our head for a fuller, more voluminous hair look and feel.”

Matthew adds that thickening your strands’ density would include using a mousse or spray that cosmetically thickens your hair, but only due to an excess of product. This can then lead to buildup and scalp irritation, which is the exact opposite of what we want out of our hair oils. While these products can strengthen your hair from the follicle, they will not change the actual thickness of your individual strands.

Do these oils work on all hair types, or some better than others?

Though hair oils can be beneficial for the overall health and strength of your hair, there’s not a one-size-fits-all for all hair types. “For example, people with fine or thin hair may benefit more from using hair growth oils than those with thick hair,” says Dr. Mbilishaka. It’s a misconception that people with natural curl patterns (usually) have thicker hair than people with straight or wavy, which makes their hair oil usage look different.

Porosity also plays a role, as we discovered with the Pattern Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross Jojoba Oil Hair Serum, specifically designed for hair with low porosity (hair that takes a long time to absorb water, oil, or styling products). You can gauge your hair’s porosity by taking the porosity test: After washing and drying your hair, take a strand of hair from your head or towel and drop it into a glass of water.

Watch if the strand floats on the top and then sinks to the bottom, which is indicative of low porosity; floats in the middle, which points toward medium porosity; or sinks to the bottom pretty quickly, which usually indicates that it has high porosity. High and medium-porosity hair will typically take well to any of these oils, as they will easily and readily be able to absorb the nutrients and hydration of each one. But people with low porosity hair will need a bit more of a potent formula to reap the benefits of a hair oil.

How often should you apply hair growth oil in order to see results?

Every hair oil is made differently, so it’s best to read the instructions that come with it and follow its specific application instructions. Some oils, like the Wild Growth Hair Oil, are manufactured for daily use, but others can end up being damaging to your hair if they are applied too often.

“It's important to avoid using too much oil, as this can weigh down your hair and make it look greasy,” says Dr. Mbilishaka. But if you find that your daytime use of a hair oil is making your hair look slightly more greasy regardless, you might want to twist your hair into a slicked-back bun for a trendy style that also nourishes your hair.

When should you start to see results from using a hair growth oil?

While there is no set timeline as to when you should start to see fuller and healthier hair after using a hair growth oil (everyone is different), you should be experiencing an increase in a few weeks to months of routine use, according to your product’s manufacturer guidelines. “In a world of instant gratification, I implore you to stick to a routine — your future self will thank you," says Matthew.

Why Trust PEOPLE?

Alyssa Brascia is a shopping writer at PEOPLE specializing in fashion and beauty. She has also written shopping stories for other Dotdash Meredith brands such as InStyle, Shape, and Southern Living. For this piece, she tapped a celebrity dermatologist, hairstylist, and founders of hair care brands with backgrounds in hair oiling to get the best advice and product recommendations when it comes to hair growth oils. Brascia also took the real-world findings of our testers into consideration when creating this list, including several products that were used for up to six weeks to observe the changes in the strength, length, and overall wellness of our testers’ hair.

Meet Our Experts

  • Dr. Angelo Landriscina, MD, FAAD, also known as “Derm Angelo” on Instagram and TikTok, is a board-certified dermatologist who makes social media content discussing and debunking popular skincare and beauty products.

  • Michelle Ravanat is the founder of her namesake haircare brand, Ravanat. Her products are rooted in Ayurvedic and adaptogenic skin and hair care and clinically tested to ensure each claim.

  • Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka is a global expert on mental health and hair, specifically in the Black community. She brought her background in psychology and hairstyling together as the founder of PsychoHairapy, a platform that allows participants to engage in therapy sessions, become certified in therapy-based haircare (for hairstyling professionals only), and more.

  • Davey Matthew is a celebrity hairstylist who has worked with famous clients such as Nicky Hilton and Julia Fox.

<p>People / Victoria Phillips</p>

People / Victoria Phillips

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

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