Our cabinets are full of our Holy Grail shampoos, conditioners, styling products, and oils. We use them because our curls respond well to them and when our curls are happy, we are happy. But have you thought about the purpose of the ingredients in your favorite products? We come across great DIY recipes for our curls that include so many great ingredients, but do we know why we are including some of these ingredients? Are they antibacterial or antifungal? Do your products include antioxidants? Here is a simple guide that can help you determine the purpose of your favorite ingredients.


Antibacterial is anything that will kill bacteria. Antibacterial ingredients are often found in cleansing products. However, there are natural ingredients that you can use for antibacterial purposes. If you have scalp conditions including dandruff, antibacterial ingredients may be in your shampoo to remove bacteria from your scalp.

Antibacterial ingredients:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Cinnamon oil


Ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation. How does this relate to our curls? There are times when our scalp can be red, dry, and itchy. These are signs that the scalp may be experiencing inflammation. Anti-inflammatory oils are calming and can help reduce inflammation. Try giving yourself a scalp massage with an anti-inflammatory oil or product containing those oils. Products that include anti-inflammatory ingredients can help reduce inflammation and irritation. Here are ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties:

  • Lavender oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Rose oil
  • Bergamot oil


Oxidation is the loss of electrons. When this happens, this can produce free radicals. Free radicals can latch onto electrons in your body from other cells. Free radicals can also cause harm to your body, so consuming foods with antioxidants can help reduce free radicals in your body. It also helps eliminate toxins from the body if used daily. The use of antioxidants can improve your skin and the health of your body. Antioxidants include:

  • Pomegranate seed oil
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Carrot oil
  • Lemon oil


Antifungal is anything that kills fungi or prevents the growth of fungi. There are many antifungal creams and lotions that are offered over the counter and prescribed to treat many needs. Antifungal products can be used on your scalp to eliminate fungi (such as ringworm). Again, scalp massages with an ingredient that has antifungal properties can help treatment. Antifungal ingredients include:

  • Coconut oil
  • Clove oil
  • Sage oil
  • Tea tree oil

Now, the next time you are shopping for your favorite products or making your own products, you have a better idea of how to care for your hair and scalp. Also, remember to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to discuss if these oils will be the best way of treatment. Essential and carrier oils have properties that can help with your hair, skin, and nails.

What are your favorite essential and carrier oils? Are they antibacterial, antioxidant, antifungal, or antiflammatory? How do you use these favorite oils?