Alopecia areata is a scalp condition where one's own immune system attacks hair folicles, resulting in dramatic, patchy loss of hair. The following abstract is from the Archives of Dermatology, titled: 'Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment of Alopecia areata', performed by Hay I. C., Jamieson M. and Ormerod A. D.
Instructions in essential oil use and scalp massage were given to 84 patients with Alopecia areata, a disorder in which the hair falls out in patches producing areas of baldness. Randomly divided into two groups, the control group massaged a combination of jojoba and grapseed carrier oils into their scalps every night, occluding the area with a warm towel. The test group used the same technique but included Thymus vulgaris (88 mg), Lavandula angustifolia (108 mg), Rosmarinus officinalis (114 mg) and Cedrus atlantica (94 mg) essential oils within 23 ml of carrier oil. This procedure was followed for seven months and evaluated by various means, including photographic assessment by independent dermatologists and measurement of areas of alopecia by computerised image analysis. Although variable, the test group results showed a significant statistical advantage to the treatment regime with an improvement rate of 44%. This was comparable to conventional therapies. As it had no significant adverse effects, the essential oil treatment had a higher therapeutic ratio than some therapies. A relative lack of response in the control group indicated pharmacological activity of the essential oils as opposed to any effects arising from scalp massage alone.