How Peppermint Oil Is Scientifically Proven To Regrow Hair
One of the topics I recently posted on in-depth is how you can use essential oils to promote hair growth. Essential oils are awesome because they are 100% natural, have a long history of use, and can produce outstanding results without any of the drawbacks of commercial hair care products which are contaminated with unhealthy artificial additives.
Today I want to focus in detail on peppermint oil and its benefits for hair.
If you are not familiar with essential oils, they are commonly used in aromatherapy and perfume production, but also in a range of other applications for personal care and household use. They are made by distilling raw plant matter including roots, bark, leaves, flowers, peels, and seeds. What you end up with is a liquid product which contains the volatile compounds of plant matter. These compounds produce the distinctive aromas associated with each plant. They also offer a variety of health benefits.
Peppermint oil is one of my favorite essential oils, and also one of the most popular all around. Its scent is cool and refreshing, and always reminds me of the holidays. When you apply it to your skin, you get that same cool, invigorating sensation. In fact, I enjoy it so much that the soap that I use has peppermint oil in it.
What I did not know for a long time is that peppermint oil is really good for your hair. In fact, it actually has not only traditional use backing it up, but recent scientific research as well. I was excited to find that there are studies that demonstrate that peppermint oil not only can improve the texture and quality of your hair, but can also help it to grow thicker, longer, and faster.
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The Science Behind Hair Growth
Let's take a look at the study right now. This research trial was published in 2014 in Toxicological Research. Scientists randomized study participants into four different groups, and gave each group a different topical application for their hair. One group was given saline, another was given jojoba oil, another Minoxidil (Rogaine), and the last was given peppermint oil at a three percent dilution.
The results are quite exciting. Starting from the second week of the research trial, peppermint oil was found to stimulate hair growth more rapidly than the jojoba oil or the saline. During the third week, the results became even more promising. By this point, the peppermint oil was promoting hair growth much faster than either the saline or the jojoba oil, and even faster than the Minoxidil. When the results were measured at week four, Minoxidil was producing around 55% hair growth, whereas peppermint oil measured in at an astonishing 92%.
This is really quite remarkable, because this trial indicates that simply applying peppermint oil is significantly more effective for promoting healthy hair growth than using Minoxidil, which is currently one of the only FDA approved hair loss treatments on the market.
This is exciting for couple of reasons. Minoxidil costs more than peppermint oil, and either treatment needs to be used over an extended time frame to produce the best results. So using peppermint oil may provide you with the same results you're looking for from Rogaine, without the expense.
The other problem with Minoxidil is that it can have side effects. The pharmaceutical company which originally developed it as a hypertension medication warned that side effects can include a faster heart rate, problems with breathing, fluid retention, weight gain, and skin irritations such as an itchy, scaly scalp or dermatitis. With peppermint oil, as long as you are using the proper dilution, you are simply not going to encounter these problems. Remember, peppermint oil is completely natural and safe.
By this point, the peppermint oil was promoting hair growth much faster than either the saline or the jojoba oil, and even faster than the Minoxidil. When the results were measured at week four, Minoxidil was producing around 55% hair growth, whereas peppermint oil measured in at an astonishing 92%.
So, Can Peppermint Oil Stimulate Hair Growth?
As these studies show, yes, peppermint oil can stimulate hair growth. It’s actually already used in many hair products for the smell and tingly feeling that you feel on your scalp. These studies are still limited, but they do show some promise insofar.
Although peppermint oil has not been linked directly to hair growth itself, the better blood circulation under the skin is thought to cause more hair to grow in the affected area.
Just a few drops of peppermint essential oil can have a powerful effect on your hair growth - make sure to only use a few drops of it. Too much can cause irritation, and for some individuals, the concentration of menthol will only add to this irritating feeling.
Is Peppermint Oil Good for Thin Hair or Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, be extra careful with how much oil you use. Sara Panton, the co-founder of Vitruvi, says that “Peppermint oil helps to stimulate your scalp and hair follicles, but it should not be used for those with dry scalp or brittle hair. It works best if you have oil hair and scalp.”
As she says, “Peppermint oil stimulates blood circulation to the skin, which may help with increasing dermal thickness, follicle number, and follicle depth.” Just be sure that you’re safe when you use it, and that you’re very careful if you do have dry scalp.
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The conclusion here is that peppermint oil is better for people with greasier hair, since it clarifies, cleans, and invigorates the hair without getting rid of its natural oils. This balances the scalp’s sebum, leaving the hair nourished without weighing it down.
Is There a Better Essential Oil For Hair Growth?
There are alternatives to peppermint oil if you’re finding that the peppermint is just too intense for you. In that case, try out rosemary or lavender oil. They’ll have the same hair growth benefits, and can be applied in the same way, but with a gentler sensation.
Out of these three, there isn’t one that’s necessarily the best, although peppermint oil is the most used oil for hair growth, and has some basic research done
What Natural Oils Stimulate Hair Growth?
There are a few options for oil that will help stimulate your hair growth, and that are completely natural too. You can try anything from lavender, to horsetail plant, peppermint, rosemary, cedarwood, lemongrass, and more.
For natural growth, you can massage these into your scalp, but also be sure to clean your scalp once weekly with a clarifying shampoo to help this process along. You may also want to try a vitamin-B supplement.
What Are the Benefits of Pepperiment Oil?
Now you know that peppermint oil is great for promoting hair growth, and you've seen the evidence to back it up. But you still don't know how peppermint oil works its magic. So now let's talk about the benefits:
- Peppermint oil has a number of helpful qualities which can combat problems affecting your scalp. Researchers have found that it is anti-inflammatory, and that it is antimicrobial and antifungal. So if you have inflammation on your scalp, peppermint oil can provide a soothing treatment. If you have an infection such as ringworm which is causing you to lose hair, peppermint oil can fight the infection. It is also an antioxidant, and has demonstrated anti-allergenic properties.
- Peppermint oil is able to boost blood circulation in your scalp, drawing nutrients through your bloodstream to your hair follicles. Your hair needs nourishment to grow, so anything which helps to provide that nourishment can stimulate your follicles.
- If you use peppermint essential oil on your scalp, you can balance the pH, leading to a healthier environment which is more conducive to hair growth.
- Like many other essential oils, peppermint oil can moisturize dry hair and coat your hair with a beautiful shine. It can improve your hair’s overall texture and protect it against breakage. So not only will you be speeding up hair growth, but you will also be able to enjoy more beautiful hair.
Possible Side Effects
Like any essential oil, too much peppermint oil can be toxic if you use too much of it, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Any time you use your oil, it should only be in small concentrations, and never directly on your scalp. Be sure that it’s mixed into any hair product you’re currently using.
Of course, be careful not to get any in your eyes as well, since you will experience burning, pain, irritation, and pain. Wash out any oil immediately if this does happen accidentally.
Be Safe While Using Essential Oils
There are some important safety precautions to observe when using any essential oils. Essential oils are quite potent, which is why they should always be diluted before use. They are highly concentrated, and if you try to apply them to your skin without watering them down in some way, you can experience unpleasant side effects. This is particularly the case for “hot” oils, which is a group that includes peppermint oil.
Some people may be allergic to peppermint oil, diluted or otherwise, so it is usually a good idea to conduct a brief skin patch test before you make it part of your regular regimen. If you are allergic, you could experience dermatitis or a skin rash. It may also irritate your eyes.
Even if you are not allergic, peppermint oil can irritate your skin if it is too highly concentrated. While the sensation of properly diluted peppermint oil is cool and soothing, in too high of concentrations, it may cause a burning sensation.
See Also: Aloe Vera for Hair Growth
Also note that peppermint oil contains a compound called menthol, which contributes to its beneficial effects for your hair and scalp. You don’t want to inhale menthol, however, as this can cause you to feel dizzy and confused. It may also lead to nausea, double vision, and weakness in your muscles.
You won’t have to worry about any of these problems so long as you dilute peppermint oil in a carrier oil, aloe vera gel, vinegar, shampoo, or another hair care treatment. As with other essential oils, you want to aim for a low concentration, around 3% or less.
How Can You Apply Pepperiment Oil to Your Hair?
There are a number of different ways you can apply peppermint oil to your hair to boost growth. The best methods will put the oil into contact with your scalp and not just your tresses. Remember, you want to boost circulation.
I have seen some recommendations to dilute peppermint oil with water, but I do not recommend this as the oil is hydrophobic and will not mix or dilute well.
Applying Peppermint Oil Using Shampoo
Most hair care products already use peppermint oil, at least to give you the great scent. Unless there’s a concentration of oil on the label though, you won’t know how much your current hair care product has. If you want to use peppermint oil for hair growth then, it’s best to add a little bit to your shampoo or conditioner on your own. Usually, you’ll want a concentration of 3 percent oil, although this can be difficult for most of us to figure out.
Generally, however, only 1 to 2 drops of oil are fine when you have the product in your hand. Then apply your usual product to your hair. You should feel a slight tingling when you rub it in, but if the tingling is to much or you feel some burning, rinse right away. You’ve likely used too much in this case. Rinse off and try a little less oil next time, and be sure to see a doctor if the burning does not stop.
Peppermint Oil For Your Scalp
You can also use peppermint oil outside of your shower through a direct scalp massage. Just add a couple of drops of oil to about one tablespoon of your usual scalp massage oil. If you don’t have any scalp massage oil, use something like coconut, jojoba, or shea butter oil.
To do this, mix two or three drops of the oil with a carrier oil like olive oil, and then work it into your scalp. This is very soothing and will provide some relief from itching or inflammation.
You might feel some slight tingling, but keep the oil on your scalp for 15 to 20 minutes. After this, wash it out with shampoo. As with shampoo, if the tingling or burning is too much, wash it off right away.
Here are some better ideas:
- Use peppermint oil in your shampoo. You can even buy a shampoo which has peppermint oil already in it, like Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Peppermint Soap. This is a product I recommend personally. You may be thinking, "But this is a soap, not a shampoo," but it has actually been formulated to work as both. I actually prefer it as a soap. I have long hair, and it is hard to work through my hair effectively. I have known people with short hair who say it works great. If you want to go on using the shampoo you have now, you can always add a few drops straight into the bottle and mix them in well.
- Another option is to mix peppermint oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil or avocado oil, both of which have additional benefits for your hair. Because these are also oils, the peppermint oil will integrate evenly. Remember, you only need a few drops! More than that may irritate your scalp, face, and eyes. If you use only a small amount of oil, you can use this as a leave-in treatment. Do not leave oils in your hair too long, however, or your hair could get limp and greasy.
- If you prefer, you also have the option of using the oil treatment above in a different way. Instead of using only a tiny amount of your oil mixture, you can instead apply a large amount to your hair, starting at your roots and working it down to the ends. Cover your hair in plastic wrap and leave the treatment in for around 15 minutes to an hour. Then get in the shower and wash it off. If you want, you can also add in other essential oils which are good for your hair. Always dilute these other oils the same way that you dilute peppermint oil. You only need a few drops.
- You can also add peppermint oil to a hair rinse made of apple cider vinegar. Once again, you can add any other essential oils that you like, as well as any raw herbs you would like to use. This entire mixture needs to be diluted to be used effectively without irritating your scalp. You only need a couple of tablespoons of the ACV hair rinse mixed into about half a cup of water. What is great about this is that a little bit goes a very long way. A single batch will last quite a long time before you need to make more. Apple cider vinegar is among the most powerful natural conditioning agents you will find to improve the texture and appearance of your hair.
- Treat an itchy scalp or get rid of dandruff. Speaking of itching, the scalp massage above works pretty well, but another recipe is to combine two drops of peppermint oil with two drops of tea tree oil and two drops of vitamin E oil. Blend these in with a tablespoon of your carrier oil of choice, and then rub the mixture into your scalp. You should experience a reduction in your dandruff, itchiness, and dryness.
While there are a ton of different essential oils that can provide you with various hair and scalp benefits, few are as effective all-around as peppermint oil—especially for stimulating growth! While many natural treatments for hair care are anecdotal, this one has some impressive scientific evidence backing it up. So give it a try! It’s inexpensive, soothing, 100% natural, and may be even more effective than Rogaine for hair growth!