Cinnamon For Hair Growth: Benefits, How To Use And Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Anjali Sayee

Cinnamon is a condiment well known for its flavor, but did you know it can help treat certain hair issues too? Research shows that cinnamon can control hair loss and even potentially reduce the chances of balding (1). In this article, we will break down the many benefits of cinnamon for hair care, like hair growth, hair loss prevention, and improving hair quality. Scroll down to know more!

Cinnamon For Hair: Benefits

Cinnamon has been used since ancient times as a remedy for sinus infections and inflammation. Research shows that its rich nutrient composition could also promote hair health. Here is a quick review of its hair benefits.

  1. Prevents Hair Loss And Balding: Research shows that cinnamon can control hair loss and help prevent balding (1).
  1. Antioxidant And Antimicrobial Properties: Cinnamon’s polyphenols act as natural antioxidants. Their antimicrobial properties may help prevent scalp infections (1).
  1. Improves Hair Length, Density, And Growth: The topical application of cinnamon essential oil improved hair length and diameter in rat studiesCinnamon essential oil contains cinnamaldehyde that dilates blood vessels and boosts blood flow to the scalp. This may stimulate hair growth (2).
  1. Prevents Hair Damage And Increases Anagen Phase: Cinnamon contains procyanidins that possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antifungal properties. These may help protect the scalp and hair from free radical damage, irritation, and inflammation, and prevent dandruff. Procyanidins were found to induce the anagen (active growth) phase of hair in rats. They also showed significant hair growth in men with alopecia (3). 
  1. Reduces/Treats Head Lice: Research suggests that cinnamon oil mixed with shampoo can help reduce head lice (4).
  1. Contains Vitamins, Protein, And Minerals: Cinnamon also contains vitamin C and minerals that improve hair health (5). It has riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, vitamin A, and protein, which may also enhance hair health (6).
  1. Antifungal Properties: In a study, cinnamon oil showed antifungal properties against Malassezia furfur, which may cause seborrheic dermatitis or chronic dandruff (7).
  1. Alopecia In Chemotherapy Patients: Another study showed that cinnamon bark extracts taken orally in a capsule form (400mg) helped in alopecia in chemotherapy patients with breast cancer (8).

There are certain myths surrounding cinnamon and its relation to hair health. Check them out in the following section.

Cinnamon Hair Benefits: Common Myths

1. Cinnamon is a miracle cure for hair loss.

While research shows that cinnamon can help stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss, it does not happen instantly. The spice is not a miracle cure for hair loss. You need to use it for a certain period to see the results.

2. Cinnamon can be used to treat scalp acne.

Cinnamon is used in soaps and other products to treat acne and reduce acne blemishes (5). However, the spice is not proven to treat scalp acne.

3. Cinnamon helps reduce hair breakage and split ends.

Research shows that cinnamon may increase hair length and density. But no evidence suggests that it can prevent split ends.

In case you are wondering how to make cinnamon oil, here are some methods to try out!

How To Make Cinnamon Oil For Hair

Oil is extracted from cinnamon barks and infused with a base oil to form cinnamon oil. It not only reduces hair problems but also helps treat stress and skin inflammation. Here is how you can make cinnamon oil from the comfort of your home.

1. With Heat

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 250 g
  • Olive oil: 1 L

Note: The ratio of olive oil to cinnamon powder should be 4:1.

Procedure

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan.
  2. Add the ground cinnamon powder once the oil is heated enough. With the heat still on, mix the blend.
  3. Leave the blend to simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off once the smell of cinnamon is strong. Allow the blend to cool to room temperature.
  5. Strain the blend with a fine strainer and store the oil in an airtight container.

It is advisable not to reheat the olive oil more than what is required. You also can make cinnamon oil without using heat.

2. Without Heat

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon sticks: A bundle
  • Olive oil: 1 L
  • A cheesecloth
  • Mason jar

Procedure

  1. Place all the cinnamon sticks in the mason jar, fitting them in as much as possible.
  2. Pour the olive oil into the mason jar. Fill it well such that all the cinnamon sticks are covered in the oil.
  3. Seal the mason jar airtight.
  4. Place the jar near a window, under the sun.
  5. Keep it there for about three weeks. Shake the jar at least once every day to ensure the oil mixes with the cinnamon sticks and draws out their essence.
  6. After three weeks, strain the oil from the jar with a cheesecloth and place the blend in an airtight container.

Listed below are some recipes for cinnamon hair masks.

How To Use Cinnamon For Hair

Note: Perform a patch test with cinnamon powder to ensure no allergic reactions like itching, redness, or irritation occur.

1. Honey, Olive Oil, And Cinnamon Hair Mask

Cinnamon, paired with honey and olive oil, can reduce hair fall (4), (9) Olive oil contains triglycerides, tocopherol, carotenoids, and monounsaturated fatty acids that hydrate the hair. It also is rich in squalene that has antioxidant properties that prevent hair damage caused by UV rays. Research shows that olive oil can help strengthen the hair fibers and prevent breakage (10)

Honey is a well-known emollient. It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (11). It soothes inflammation, psoriasis, and scalp dermatitis and can help prevent dandruff. It also helps balance scalp pH levels.

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Honey: 1 tablespoon
  • Olive oil: 4 teaspoons

Procedure

  1. Heat the olive oil to make it warm.
  2. Add in the cinnamon powder and honey to make a paste.
  3. Apply the mixture thoroughly to your hair and leave it on for approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with water.

How Often

Once every week or as needed

2. Turmeric And Cinnamon Hair Mask

Turmeric oil is a well-known antiseptic often used to heal wounds and boils. A study showed that turmeric and coconut oil could reduce dandruff (12). Turmeric may also help treat hair graying. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

Ingredients

  • Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Olive or coconut oil: 2-3 tablespoons

Procedure

  1. Heat the coconut or olive oil to warm it.
  2. Mix in the cinnamon powder and turmeric.
  3. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp thoroughly and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Wash the mixture off with warm water and shampoo to make sure the turmeric is removed.

How Often

Once every week or as needed

3. Egg And Cinnamon Hair Mask

Eggs are a great source of lipids, carbohydrates, protein, and water (13). These nutrients are essential for good hair health and growth. Eggs also contain vitamins A and B12, riboflavin, choline, zinc, iron, and calcium. While the yolk and egg have equal parts of nutrients, the egg yolk contains concentrated amounts of lipids, minerals, and vitamins. Egg yolk was found to induce hair growth in dermal papilla cells (14). Egg white contains water, 150 proteins, and peptides that can strengthen and moisturize hair (13).

a. Egg Yolk

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Egg yolk: 1
  • Olive oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Yogurt: 2 tablespoons
  • Honey: 1 teaspoon
  • Shower cap 

Procedure

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your scalp and hair.
  3. Place the shower cap over your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Wash the paste off with warm water and shampoo (preferably organic). 

How Often

Once every week or as needed 

b. Egg White

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Egg white: 1
  • Honey: 1 tablespoon
  • Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Sage essential oil: 2-3 drops
  • Shower cap 

Procedure

  1. Mix the ingredients to make a paste.
  2. Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair.
  3. Put a shower cap on and leave the mix on your hair for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with warm water and shampoo (preferably organic).

How Often

Once every week or when needed

4. Coconut And Cinnamon Hair Mask

Coconut oil is a well-known hair care product. Research shows that coconut oil can penetrate hair fibers to nourish them from within and reduce protein loss (15). It also protects the hair from free radical damage caused by UV rays. Coconut oil also contains proteins that nourish and repair damaged hair (16). The oil also protects against damage due to hygral fatigue. It may also reduce dandruff and prevent head lice.

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil: 4 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon essential oil: 3-5 drops (or ½ tablespoon of ground cinnamon)

Procedure

  1. Warm the coconut oil in a pan.
  2. Add the cinnamon oil and mix well.
  3. Apply the mix to the scalp and hair, especially on the roots and the tips.
  4. Let the mask stay on for 30 minutes.
  5. Wash your hair with warm water and shampoo.

How Often

Once every week or as needed

5. Cinnamon And Clove Mask

Cinnamon and clove may improve hair color sharpness and shine (17). Cloves have antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties (18). Anecdotal evidence suggests that cloves can improve scalp and hair health. Cloves may also improve blood circulation and potentially stimulate hair growth. However, more research is needed in this regard.

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Clove powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Honey: 2 tablespoons
  • Burdock oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Cayenne pepper drops: 10

Procedure

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Apply the blend to your hair, at the roots, without rubbing it in.
  3. Keep it on for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash the blend off with warm water and shampoo.

How Often

Once every week or when needed

6. Cinnamon, Nettle, And Coffee Mask

Stinging nettle has been used in medicine and cosmetology for hair growth. Nettle contains a wide variety of rich nutrients that stimulate blood flow in the capillaries and induce hair follicle cell regeneration (19). This is why stinging nettle products are used in telogen effluvium prevention and treatment. Coffee contains caffeine, which prevents hair loss caused by the premature termination of the anagen hair phase. Caffeine inhibits certain enzymes (PDE) and stimulates follicle cell proliferation (20).

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon oil: 2-3 drops (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Coffee powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Coconut/Olive oil: 3 tablespoons
  • Nettle herbal infusion

Procedure

  1. Mix all the ingredients (excluding the herbal fusion) in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to the hair and leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  3. Wash your hair with warm water and organic shampoo.
  4. Rinse the hair with the nettle herbal infusion.

How Often

Once every week or when needed

7. Almond Oil, Banana, And Cinnamon Mask

Almond oil is contains vitamin E that prevents hair loss and may strengthen the hair (21). Bananas contain silicon compounds that strengthen the outer cuticle layer of the hair and reduce interfiber friction (22), (23). They also contain vitamins and minerals known to reduce hair loss.

Ingredients

  • Banana: 1
  • Almond oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Honey: 3 tablespoons (optional)

Procedure

  1. Break the banana into small pieces and blend it in a blender to make a smooth paste.
  2. Add cinnamon and almond oil to this paste and mix well (you can also add in the honey).
  3. Apply the blend to your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with warm water and shampoo

How Often

Once every week or when needed

8. Rice Water, Banana, And Cinnamon Mask

Bananas are beneficial for the hair as they have antimicrobial properties. They also condition the hair and repair damaged hair endings. Rice water is known to reduce hair surface friction and improve hair elasticity (24). It also contains inositol that gradually penetrates the hair and strengthens it from within (25).

Note: Using rice water alone may cause flaking on the scalp.

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Rice water: ½ cup
  • Banana: 1

Procedure

  1. Break the banana into small pieces and blend them in a blender to get a smooth paste.
  2. Mix the cinnamon into the banana paste.
  3. Add the rice water to the blended paste. The consistency should be smooth and slightly thick.
  4. Apply the mix to your hair without rubbing it into the scalp.
  5. Keep it on for 10-20 minutes.
  6. Wash it off with warm water and shampoo.

How Often

Once every week or when needed

9. Yogurt, Avocado, And Cinnamon Mask

Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria that can increase the hair density. The bacteria also increase the number of hair molecules in the anagen phase, thereby boosting hair growth (26). Yogurt is often added to hair masks to fight dandruff (27). Avocado is well-known for treating dry and damaged hair. It also has antioxidant properties and omega-3 fatty acids that help improve moisture retention.

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Yogurt: 5 tablespoons
  • Avocado: ½
  • Eggs: 2

Procedure

  1. Mash half an avocado until it has a smooth, paste-like consistency.
  2. Add in the eggs and mix well.
  3. Add in the yogurt and cinnamon powder.
  4. Apply this blend to your hair and leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Wash the mixture off with shampoo and warm water.

How Often

Once every week or when needed

10. Cinnamon, Calendula, And Onion Juice Mask

Research shows that onion juice can stimulate hair regrowth in alopecia treatment (28). Onions are known to help stimulate hair growth, reduce hair loss, and eliminate head lice (29). Calendula is used to treat dermatitis (30). It is also applied to the scalp to promote stronger hair growth as it boosts blood circulation and collagen production (31).

Ingredients

  • Cinnamon powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Honey: 1 teaspoon
  • Calendula infusion: 1 tablespoon
  • Egg yolk: 1
  • Onion juice: 1 tablespoon
  • Shower cap

Procedure

  1. Blend all the ingredients to form a thick, smooth paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your hair and scalp without rubbing it in.
  3. Put on the shower cap and leave it on for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with a mild shampoo and warm water.

How Often

Once every week or when needed

11. Rosemary And Cinnamon Mask

Rosemary may help stimulate hair growth and regrowth (32). An animal study showed that rosemary leaves could induce hair growth (33). Research also shows that rosemary can be used to reduce dandruff (34).

Note: It is unsafe to take rosemary if you are consuming lithium, are (or trying to get) pregnant, or if you show adverse reactions to rosemary (35).

Ingredients

  • Ground cinnamon: 2 tablespoons
  • Rosemary essential oil: 10-12 drops
  • Olive oil: ½ cup

Procedure

  1. Warm the olive oil in a pan or the microwave. Do not heat it too much.
  2. Add the cinnamon and mix well.
  3. Add the rosemary oil and blend it in.
  4. Apply the mixture to the hair roots and ends without rubbing it in.
  5. Wash the mixture off with shampoo and warm water. 

How Often

Once every week or when needed

Cinnamon has its benefits for hair health. However, it may cause adverse effects in some people. Take a look at the following section.

Side Effects Of Cinnamon

Using cinnamon powder or oil topically is considered safe. But it may cause allergic reactions, irritation, or redness in some people. It is advisable to perform a patch test before applying cinnamon for the first time.

Cinnamon consumption is safe in the right dosage. Over-consumption may lead to liver damage, low blood sugar levels, allergies, and issues during surgery.

Now you know that this wintery spice does more than simply add flavor to your food. There is much anecdotal evidence suggesting that the above hair masks can help improve overall hair health. You may start using cinnamon today. Should you have any major concerns, consult your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is cinnamon oil safe to be applied to the hair?

Cinnamon oil is safe to be applied to the hair, provided it is diluted with a base oil like coconut or olive oils. Do not rub cinnamon oil directly into the scalp without adding a base oil to it.

Can you leave cinnamon in your hair overnight?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that leaving cinnamon in your hair overnight can lighten the hair color. If you sense any irritation or redness, wash away the cinnamon immediately.

Does cinnamon lighten hair permanently?

While cinnamon is often used as a home remedy to lighten hair, its effects may not be permanent. The effects of lightening can mostly be seen on blonde or light brown hair.

How long should you leave cinnamon in your hair?

Cinnamon, when used with other ingredients as a hair mask, can be kept on the hair for at least 15 minutes to an hour.

Is eating or drinking cinnamon tea good for hair growth?

Cinnamon tea has many nutritional benefits for the body when ingested. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to show the effects of cinnamon tea on hair health.

Sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.