Essential oils have a long history of use in alternative, Eastern, and homeopathic medicines due to their effectiveness and low risk of side effects. They are often used to ease stress, boost mood, relieve pain from headaches and migraines, get a better night's sleep, quell nausea, and even repel insects.
There are many benefits to using it, but did you know that some essential oils can also affect your hair growth? That's why we're going to talk about peppermint oil today.
Peppermint oil is commonly used as a flavoring in foods, beverages and as a fragrance in cosmetics. From toothpastes and moisturizing face creams to hair care products, you can find it everywhere.
Lately, we have come across many studies that talk about its (in)effectiveness. So, what does modern research say about the benefits of peppermint oil for hair growth? Let’s find out.
What is peppermint oil?
Did you know that the first record of using mint plants for medicinal purposes goes all the way back to Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome?
Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family. It’s a hybrid mint that’s a cross between spearmint and watermint. It is an essential oil that contains over 40 different compounds, including menthol, which gives peppermint its refreshing qualities. It is also the most common oil in the world. Peppermint is generally best known for its taste, smell and cooling sensation, which are all thanks to menthol. Peppermint is a common ingredient in hair products such as shampoos and conditioners because of its tingling feel on the scalp and fresh scent.
Peppermint oil is available in several forms, including:
- pure peppermint essential oil, which is highly concentrated,
- peppermint extracts, which are much less concentrated,
- enteric-coated capsules, which contain a small amount of peppermint oil in a special coating.
Can peppermint oil stimulate hair growth?
Like many other essential oils, peppermint oil is often promoted as a remedy that can solve almost all of your problems and even stimulate hair growth. However, is that really true? According to a study from 2014, it was concluded that peppermint oil can improve blood flow in hair cells, causing hair to enter the anagen phase, i.e. growth phase of their growth cycle. So, it's true. Peppermint oil can promote your hair to grow.
Did you know that in addition to hair growth, peppermint oil can be useful if your hair is on the greasier side? Wondering why? This essential hair oil can clean and clarify hair without stripping it of its natural oils, and balance your scalp's production of sebum. This is great because it leaves your hair hydrated without weighing it down.
What about hair loss?
According to a 2014 study, peppermint oil is similar (if not more effective) in treating hair loss than minoxidil. This oil contains compounds called pulegone and mentone, both of which are known to strengthen hair roots. This in turn may prevent hair loss and promote hair growth.
Benefits of peppermint oil for hair
May promote hair growth
Another study proved that menthol, which is applied topically to the skin, increases blood flow. From this we conclude that more blood flowing to the scalp area could potentially stimulate hair growth. Keep in mind that peppermint essential oil may be useful in treating thinning hair from temporary hair loss conditions and not female or male pattern baldness.
Increases hair thickness
The same research confirmed that this essential oil for hair makes blood vessels widen, which may help with increasing dermal thickness, hair follicle count, and follicle depth.
Solves dry scalp problems
How often does dry scalp irritate you, especially at night while you sleep? Peppermint oil is the perfect solution to this problem. Since it has excellent moisturizing properties, regular use of peppermint oil will help in hydrating your dry scalp.
How to use peppermint oil?
If you’d like to try peppermint oil to see if it improves your hair growth, these are some of the possible ways.
How should it not be used?
Although it is completely natural, in some situations you should be careful.
Never apply peppermint oil straight to your skin
The use of concentrated / undiluted oil can be extremely dangerous as it can lead to rash or irritation. Keep in mind that for some people, even properly diluted peppermint oil can cause a problem. So, instead of applying it directly to the entire scalp, do a patch test first and see how your skin reacts.
Don’t consume peppermint oil
Oral consumption of peppermint oil has no effect on promoting the growth of your hair. Therefore, there is no need to drink it.
What’s the bottom line?
Natural oils contain a combination of vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants that help strengthen, moisturize and hydrate our hair. There is evidence that peppermint oil can promote hair growth, and it’s antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties might help encourage scalp health as stated in the cited studies. Be sure to inform us of the benefits you notice if you decide to try it.