Cayenne Pepper For Hair Growth: Benefits, Usage, And Risks

The latest addition to the bizarre list of natural ingredients that benefit hair growth.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS
By Anjali Sayee

Cayenne pepper for hair growth is gaining attention slowly as it is said to promote hair health and growth. It is included in many hair care regimens as an effective remedy for improving hair growth. But what science says about it? How cayenne pepper promotes hair growth? Continue reading further to get an answer to these queries.

Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper For Hair: What Does Science Say?

Cayenne pepper is related to jalapenos and capsicum and has a moderately spicy flavor. It has been used for many medicinal therapies, including hair loss treatment. Some believe it may even stimulate hair growth.

  • The capsaicin in cayenne pepper may be used to treat alopecia areata as it works as a contact sensitizer. Some research suggests that capsaicin stimulates hair growth (1).
  • Capsaicin is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help treat painful inflammatory conditions (2). It may also help soothe any inflammatory issues associated with the scalp.
  • Capsaicin can trigger the vallanoid receptors in hair follicles and may boost hair growth (3). The spice may also stimulate hair growth by inhibiting substance P (a peptide). In a study, participants with alopecia showed hair growth in a 5-month period when they ingested capsaicin and isoflavone (4), (5).
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that cayenne pepper may also improve hair shine and feel. Some research shows that cayenne pepper may improve hair health in general (6).
  • Most peppers in the same family as cayenne pepper are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and folate (7). These vitamins are known to play a role in hair loss (8).

Using cayenne pepper for promoting hair health is simple. We have discussed the recipes below.

How To Use Cayenne Pepper For Hair Growth

1. Onion Juice And Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need

  • 2-3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder
  • 4-5 tablespoons of onion juice
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera (optional)

Processing Time

30 minutes

Procedure

  1. Combine the cayenne powder, onion juice, and aloe vera.
  2. Store the mixture in a jar and leave it in the sunlight for about 6-8 hours.
  3. Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp.
  4. Leave it on for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Wash with warm water and shampoo.

How Often

Twice to thrice a week, until you see substantial hair growth.

Why It Works

Onion juice can be used as an alternative treatment for hair loss (9), (10). It can also be used to stimulate hair growth and eliminate head lice (11). Aloe vera can prevent hair loss and protect the scalp from infections and dandruff (12).

2. Olive Oil And Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need
  • 5-6 cayenne peppers
  • 1 cup of olive oil
Processing Time

1 hour

Procedure
  1. Chop the pepper into tiny pieces and add olive oil to it.
  2. Pour the mixture into a jar and store it in a cool, dark place for 10-15 days.
  3. Ensure the oil is stored away from sunlight.
  4. Strain the oil and discard the peppers.
  5. Take 2-3 tablespoons of the cayenne-infused oil.
  6. Section your hair and apply this oil to your scalp and the whole hair length.
  7. Leave the oil in for an hour and shampoo and condition as usual.
How Often?

You can repeat this up to thrice a week.

Why This Works

Olive oil moisturizes the scalp and hair. It is known to penetrate hair follicles and nourish them from within (13). You can also try warming the olive oil to increase its penetrative properties.

3. Castor Oil And Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of castor oil
Processing Time

30 minutes

Procedure
  1. Combine the two ingredients and store them in a jar for two weeks, away from sunlight.
  2. Take 1 tablespoon of the oil mixture and apply it to your scalp while gently massaging it in with your fingertips.
  3. Let the oil sit for 30 minutes. Shampoo and condition as usual.
How Often?

Repeat this 3-4 times a week.

Why This Works

Castor oil is a well-known hair growth stimulant (14). It may also treat dandruff and hair luster.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar And Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 drop of liquid cayenne extract
Processing Time

1 hour

Procedure
  1. Combine the two ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture into your scalp with your fingertips. Gently massage.
  3. Leave the cayenne-cider mixture in your hair for an hour and rinse with water.
How Often?

You can repeat this up to twice a week.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar may help reduce hair issues like dandruff, head lice, scalp acne, alopecia areata, baldness, and hair loss (15).

5. Coconut Oil And Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need
  • ½ a cup of coconut oil
  • ½ a cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
Processing Time

1 hour

Procedure
  1. Mix the coconut oil and cayenne pepper in a jar and store in a cool, dark place for two weeks.
  2. Add the olive oil to the mixture.
  3. Take about 2 tablespoons (or more depending on your hair length) of the oil infusion and apply it to your scalp and hair.
  4. Leave it in for 30 minutes and wash with shampoo as usual.
How Often?

You can repeat this up to twice a week.

Why This Works

Coconut oil reduces protein loss in hair follicles. It also protects hair from UV damage (16).

6. Vodka And Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of vodka
  • 3-4 medium-sized cayenne peppers
Processing Time

5 minutes

Procedure
  1. Chop the peppers and put them in a jar. Pour the vodka into the jar, seal it shut, and store it in a cool, dark place. Leave it undisturbed for two weeks.
  2. Mix two parts of water with one part of the pepper-infused vodka.
  3. Apply the mixture to your scalp after every wash with shampoo.
How Often

Once a week.

Why This Works

Anecdotal evidence suggests that vodka balances the scalp pH levels. It also may unclog scalp pores.

7. Aloe Vera And Cayenne Pepper

You Will Need
  • 1 cup of aloe vera juice
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper
Processing Time

20 minutes

Procedure
  1. Mix the ingredients in a jar.
  2. Seal the jar and store it in a dark place for ten days.
  3. Once the mixture is ready, apply it to your scalp 20 minutes before washing your hair with shampoo.
How Often?

You can repeat this up to thrice a week.

Why This Works

Aloe vera is a good emollient. It also treats hair loss and can be used to reduce dandruff (12). It may also protect the scalp from infection.

8. Cayenne Pepper And Honey

You Will Need
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper
Processing Time

45 minutes

Procedure
  1. Combine the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to freshly washed hair.
  3. Wrap a warm towel around your hair.
  4. Leave it on for 40 minutes and rinse your hair with water.
How Often?

You can repeat this twice a week.

Why This Works

Honey is a good emollient. It also treats dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis (17). It can also be used to treat hair loss (18).

9. Cayenne Pepper And Egg Yolk

You Will Need
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
Processing Time

30 minutes

Procedure
  1. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and place it in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  2. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp.
  3. Leave the mixture on for 30 minutes and wash with shampoo.
How Often?

Repeat this twice a week for a month.

Why This Works

Lemon juice and olive oil can be used to treat scalp and hair disorders (19). Anecdotal evidence suggests that it may also eliminate dandruff and lice and reduce scalp acne.

Before you go ahead and start using cayenne pepper, note that it may also pose certain risks.

Risks Of Using Cayenne Pepper

While cayenne pepper may stimulate hair growth, its capsaicin can also cause a burning sensation on the scalp. While the burning sensation may reduce with time, it is advisable not to use a direct concentrate of capsaicin. You can instead pair cayenne pepper with other soothing ingredients like avocado or aloe vera or oils like coconut or olive.

Other side effects of cayenne pepper based on anecdotal evidence include allergic reactions, dry scalp aggravation, and changes in hair dye color. If you notice any of these signs, stop use and consult your doctor.

Cayenne pepper has been used for medicinal therapies. It offers several benefits to your hair. It may improve your hair health and boost hair growth. The anti-inflammatory properties of cayenne pepper make it an excellent remedy for treating scalp infections. You may use cayenne pepper for hair growth as a mask or hair oil by combining it with aloe vera, onion juice, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice. However, be wary of the potential side effects of the pepper. Always do a patch test before using it on the scalp.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for cayenne pepper to grow hair?

As with any natural hair growth remedy, you will have to use cayenne pepper continuously over a period of time to see substantial hair growth. Don’t stop using it once you notice hair growth. Keep using it until you reach the desired length.

Does cayenne pepper cause hair loss?

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which can burn your scalp and damage the hair follicles, leading to hair damage and hair loss. To prevent this from occurring, pair cayenne pepper with a soothing ingredient like avocado or aloe vera gel.

Does cayenne pepper regrow hair?

Cayenne pepper can help grow hair, but it cannot regrow hair if there is an underlying hair or scalp condition that needs medical attention. In some conditions, hair loss can be irreversible.

Is cayenne pepper good for your face?

The capsaicin in cayenne pepper soothes redness on the skin as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It may also reduce acne-induced discoloration. But, do not use cayenne pepper by itself on your skin. Pair it with a moisturizing or soothing ingredient.

Key Takeaways

  • Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which may treat alopecia areata and stimulate hair growth.
  • You can use the pepper with soothing ingredients such as avocado or aloe vera and oils such as coconut or olive.
  • However, Cayenne pepper’s capsaicin can also induce a burning sensation on the scalp.
  • In addition, allergic responses, dry scalp aggravation, and hair dye color alterations are other negative effects.

References:

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Autoimmunity: Alopecia Areata,
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15529862
  2. Capsaicin: Physicochemical Properties, Cutaneous Reactions and Potential Applications in Painful and Inflammatory Conditions,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6639979/
  3. A Hot New Twist to Hair Biology,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1602392/
  4. Cayenne, Capsaicin and Substance-p,
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268515427_Cayenne_Capsaicin_and_Substance-P
  5. Administration of Capsaicin and Isoflavone Promotes Hair Growth by Increasing Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I Production in Mice and in Humans With Alopecia,
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17569567/
  6. A Scientific Review on Clot Dissolving Activity of Cayenne Pepper, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325597241_A_Scientific_review_on_clot_dissolving_activity_of_cayenne_pepper
  7. The Suitability of Chili Pepper (capsicum Annuum L.) for Alleviating Human Micronutrient Dietary Deficiencies: a Review,
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/fsn3.790
  8. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: a Review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  9. Onion Juice (allium Cepa L.), a New Topical Treatment for Alopecia Areata, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12126069/
  10. Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: a Comprehensive Review, https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/492035
  11. Allium Cepa: a Traditional Medicinal Herb and Its Health Benefits,
    https://www.jocpr.com/articles/allium-cepa-a-traditional-medicinal-herb-and-its-health-benefits.pdf
  12. Aloe Vera : a Potential Herb and Its Medicinal Importance,
    https://www.jocpr.com/articles/aloe-vera–a-potential-herb-and-its-medicinal-importance.pdf
  13. Investigation of Penetration Abilities of Various Oils Into Human Hair Fibers, https://1.oliveoiltimes.com/library/olive-oil-hair.pdf
  14. Ricinus Communis (castor): an Overview,
    http://www.ijrpp.com/sites/default/files/articles/IJRPP_14_711_136-144.pdf
  15. Ethnopharmacological Survey of Home Remedies Used for Treatment of Hair and Scalp and Their Methods of Preparation in the West Bank-Palestine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5499037/
  16. Effect of Mineral Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Coconut Oil on Prevention of Hair Damage, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/
  17. Therapeutic and Prophylactic Effects of Crude Honey on Chronic Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11485891/
  18. Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Honey: an Overview,
    https://www.jocpr.com/articles/medicinal-uses-and-health-benefits-of-honey-an-overview.pdf
  19. Citrus Limon (lemon) Phenomenon€”a Review of the Chemistry, Pharmacological Properties, Applications in the Modern Pharmaceutical, Food, and Cosmetics Industries, and Biotechnological Studies,
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7020168/
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author
Anjali specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. Her philosophy... more

Dr. Shruti Chavan

(MBBS)
Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee... more

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