Today, one of the most popular plants known to have effects on hair growth is peppermint. While peppermint is widely used as a flavoring in foods and as a fragrance in cosmetics formulations, its essential oil is believed to have multiple benefits for hair. Let’s see what research says about it, but first, for starters, what peppermint oil is?
What is peppermint oil?
Peppermint oil is basically the essence of the peppermint plant, also called Mentha piperita. It’s obtained using modern distillation and is generally used for beauty and personal care products. Among the benefits of peppermint, we count anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal activities as well as intense antioxidant activity. These are mostly attributed to menthol, which is found in the proportion of 42% in peppermint oil composition. In fact, menthol is the compound with the most benefits, which also gives peppermint its taste, smell, and cooling sensation.
How does peppermint oil help hair growth?
Because menthol is a vasodilator, peppermint oil affects the scalp muscles in the walls of your arteries and veins, preventing the muscles from tightening and the walls from narrowing. This will allow blood to flow easier through your vessels. As the scalp blood flow is increased, more minerals, oxygen, and vitamins will reach your hair follicles. Basically, peppermint oil’s main benefit for hair growth is to boost the scalp blood flow, allowing more nutrients to reach hair follicles, speeding up the transition of follicles from the resting stage to the growing phase. This in turn stimulates hair growth as well as increases the hair length, width, density, and strength.
Does peppermint oil work?
Unfortunately, there’s little to no data regarding the effects of peppermint oil to encourage new hair growth. There’s one study comparing the effects of peppermint oil with three other treatments, including saline, jojoba oil, and 3% minoxidil. For this study, a 100% pure and natural peppermint essential oil supplied by an organic product certification organization was used. By the end of the 4 weeks, it was found that out of the four experimental groups, peppermint oil showed the most prominent hair growth effects with “a significant increase in hair thickness.”
How to use peppermint oil for hair growth
There are a few ways you can use peppermint oil for hair growth. The first would be direct scalp massage. Just add about two drops of peppermint oil to one tablespoon of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil. Massage the mix into your scalp and leave for at least 20-30 minutes. I suggest doing a test on a small skin patch before to ensure you don’t get any irritation. If the menthol feeling gets too strong for you, add more carrier oil to immediately diminish the effects or wash your scalp. You can also add peppermint oil to your daily shampoo or conditioner. Make sure you use 100% pure oil for the best results.
Before you apply peppermint oil, dilute it with a carrier oil. Undiluted peppermint essential oils can cause a burning sensation on your skin.
Essential oils have been used for hair growth for decades. If you want to try something else besides peppermint oil, I highly suggest castor oil and jojoba oil. There’s nothing better for your hair than to nourish it with natural remedies. Trust me, your hair will thank you later!