It’s a relief to know that something natural can fix your hair issues. Let’s get in straight. Even if we are talking about hair loss, natural remedies can help you! In fact, traditional plant remedies have been used for centuries to treat hair loss, but only a few have been scientifically evaluated. Today, probably 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 and scalp. Although there’s not enough data to support the use of peppermint oil for hair loss, people love it and use it every day to regrow their 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. While there are many types of peppermint oil, the essential oil is believed to be the most powerful one. It’s obtained using modern distillation and is generally used for beauty and personal care purposes. Research actually found that peppermint holds anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal activities as well as intense antioxidant activity. Now you know why peppermint oil has so many applications — it simply does a lot! This is mostly happening thanks 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. So how does this actually stop hair loss?
How does peppermint oil work for hair growth?
Because menthol is a vasodilator, it 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 nutrients and vitamins will reach your hair follicles, which will greatly affect your hair loss condition. The whole process leads to the conservation of vascularization of hair dermal papilla, which may contribute to the induction of the early anagen stage (during which the hair grows). Experts agree that blood flow is the number one factor in hair growth because when the hair follicles don’t receive the necessary nutrients, they are unlikely to produce healthier hair at a regular rate. Studies actually found that a reduced nutritive blood flow to the hair follicles represents a major cause of early male pattern baldness. Besides, the ability of menthol to increase blood flow was demonstrated in clinical research.
Basically, the peppermint oil mechanism in hair growth is to boost the scalp blood flow, allowing more nutrients to reach hair follicles, which speeds up the transition of follicles from the resting stage to the growing phase. This may as well increase the hair length, width, density, and strength. Wow, that’s a lot, I know! But what about evidence? Is it peppermint oil clinically sustained to promote hair growth?
Do studies support peppermint oil use for hair loss?
As mentioned, there’s not enough scientific evidence to officially confirm that peppermint oil has effects on hair growth. Only one study was done in this regard, but it was performed on mice subjects and not on humans. The research examined the ability of 3% peppermint oil to induce new hair growth. For this study, a 100% pure and natural peppermint essential oil supplied by an organic product certification organization was used. Three other treatments, including saline, jojoba oil, and 3% minoxidil, have been separately administrated to test the efficacity of peppermint oil.
By the end of the 4 weeks, the study found that out of the four experimental groups, the peppermint oil group showed the most prominent hair growth effects with “a significant increase in dermal thickness, follicle number, and follicle depth.” Even though more studies on humans are needed, the existed research suggests that peppermint oil actually works for hair growth.
How to use peppermint oil for hair growth
There are a few ways you can use peppermint oil to stimulate hair growth. The first would be direct scalp massage. For this, you have to 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, as Healthline states.
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 us, your hair will thank you later!
You might also want to read:
- Do We Need Biotin for Hair Growth? What Experts Think
- Saw Palmetto for Hair Loss: Do We Need It?
- 14 Super Foods for Hair Growth & What to Eat to Combat Hair Loss
- 12 Best Organic Shampoos & Conditioners for Hair Growth in 2020