Peppermint is a popular medicinal herb and widely used as a flavoring agent in ice creams and chocolates. But did you know that the essential oil extracted from this herb could promote hair growth? Yes, it’s true. Studies on mice have found that peppermint oil can induce hair growth faster than minoxidil (1). Does it have the same effects on humans? Are there any other benefits of peppermint essential oil for the hair? Scroll down for the answers!
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What Is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint oil is the essence extracted from peppermint that is then turned into oil. Peppermint oils that are extracted through modern distillation techniques are stronger than their other counterparts. These kinds of oils are also known as essential oils.
Peppermint essential oils are useful for health, beauty, and cleaning purposes. The taste, smell, and cooling sensation of this oil are due to menthol, a compound present in the oil.
Peppermint oil has several skin care and hair care benefits and is included in many cosmetic products. Here’s why it is good for your hair.
Is Peppermint Oil Good For Your Hair?
Peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect. It can help soothe itching, thus relieving itchy and dry scalps (2).
It also helps promote hair growth (1). A study showed that 3% peppermint essential oil (PEO) could thicken the hair follicles in mice as compared to minoxidil, an FDA-approved drug for hair loss. Regular use of PEO increased the blood flow to undernourished and weak hair follicles.
The menthol present in the peppermint essential oil is a vasodilator that relaxes the blood vessels and enhances blood circulation to the scalp (3). Peppermint essential oil stimulates activity in the hair dermal papilla cells, which promotes blood circulation to the scalp and induces early anagen (growth phase) stage, leading to hair growth.
Peppermint essential oil also has antifungal and antibacterial properties (4). These may help promote scalp health.
Peppermint oil may cause skin sensitivity and itching on the scalp. Hence, do not apply it directly to your scalp. However, there are other ways of using this oil. Scroll down to know more!
How Do You Use Peppermint Oil For Hair Loss?
1. With A Carrier Oil
Using peppermint oil with a carrier oil reduces the chances of skin and scalp sensitivity. You can pair carrier oils like coconut, castor, and jojoba, and shea butter oils with peppermint essential oil. These carrier oils work great because they do not interfere with peppermint essential oil’s therapeutic properties.
You Will Need
- 1-2 drops of peppermint oil
- 5-6 drops of carrier oil
What You Have To Do
- Add a few drops of peppermint oil to the carrier oil.
- Massage the oil blend onto the scalp.
- Leave it on your hair for 15-20 minutes.
- Wash your hair with a good shampoo
Note: You might feel a tingling sensation while applying the oil. If the sensation is intense, add more carrier oil to balance it out or wash your hair immediately.
2. With Shampoo And Conditioner
You can also use peppermint oil with your shampoo and conditioner.
You Will Need
- 2-3 drops of peppermint oil
- Shampoo and conditioner
What You Have To Do
- Add 4-5 drops of peppermint oil per ounce of shampoo and conditioner.
- Use the products as you usually would.
Note: Products containing peppermint scent do not necessarily have peppermint oil in them. Such products will not give you the same result as the oil.
Here are a few points to remember while using peppermint essential oil.
Points To Remember
- Be careful while applying the oil to your scalp so that it does not get in the eyes.
- Avoid ingesting peppermint essential oil as it may cause nausea, heartburn and abdominal pain (5).
- Peppermint oil might cause allergic reactions on your skin. Thus, do a patch test before applying it to your scalp.
The Final Take
Peppermint oil might promote hair growth, although further studies are required to prove its effects on human hair. Diluted peppermint essential oil is topically safe for use, and you can go ahead and try it. However, remember that will not cure severe hair loss problems like baldness and alopecia.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How often should I use peppermint oil on my hair?
You can use peppermint essential oil 2-3 times a week.
Is it good to leave peppermint oil overnight in my hair?
Yes, it is safe to keep peppermint oil overnight in your hair. However, mix it with a carrier oil to prevent itchiness and rashes on your scalp.
What are the side effects of peppermint oil?
Peppermint oil, when not used with a carrier oil, might cause (6):
- Allergic reactions
- Burning sensation
- Skin sensitivity
Can I apply peppermint oil directly to my scalp?
No. Peppermint oil is highly concentrated, and applying it directly to the scalp might cause itching, burning, and allergic reactions. Hence, always mix the peppermint oil with a carrier oil.
- Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs
- Effectiveness of topical peppermint oil on symptomatic treatment of chronic pruritus
- Mechanisms and time course of menthol-induced cutaneous vasodilation
- Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L.
- A near fatal case of high dose peppermint oil ingestion- Lessons learnt
- Therapeutic Uses of Peppermint –A Review