Should You Try Vicks VapoRub For Hair Growth?

Take advantage of the beneficial ingredients of this medicinal salve to get luscious hair.

Reviewed by Ghanima Abdullah, Cosmetologist Ghanima Abdullah Ghanima AbdullahCosmetologist facebook_icontwitter_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years

There is a new hero in Hair Care town – Vicks VapoRub! Yes, people have started using Vicks VapoRub for hair growth. This medicinal salve, made with menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus essential oil, was created to relieve cold and soothe a cough. But people today are exploring its potential hair care benefits too. There are claims that the ingredients in the ointment have hair-strengthening properties.

What does the research say about these supposed hair care benefits of Vicks VapoRub? Continue reading to know if applying Vicks to your tresses does any good.

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Vicks VapoRub

What Is It?
A mentholated ointment containing camphor and eucalyptus oil for cold and cough relief.

What Are Its Benefits?
It may promote hair growth, add luster to hair, and may promote scalp health by preventing fungal and bacterial infections.

Who Can Use It?
It is safe for most people to apply Vicks on their scalp for hair growth except for people who might be allergic to it.

How Often?
It is best to use it twice a week for hair growth.

It is suffused with natural ingredients, but excessive application might lead to scalp irritation.

Does Vicks VapoRub Really Work For Hair Growth? 

According to many vloggers, Vicks, a topical gel applied to the chest, neck, nose, and temples to help with a blocked nose or headache, may also help in hair growth and maintaining good scalp health. There are a few trends going around the internet where people are adding a bit of Vicks to their natural remedies for skin and hair. Let’s take a look at their process of applying Vicks to their hair and the results they achieve.

  • Felicia Mesadieu tried the Vicks VapoRub treatment for 6 weeks and documented the before and after pictures that showed hair growth in her hairline.
Vicks VapoRub for hair growth
Image: YouTube @FeliciaMesadieu

She mixed Vicks with a rosemary mint cleansing conditioner by Renpure Solutions and applied it to the scalp once a week. However, she also used oil treatment every night by mixing rosemary, castor, lavender, and tomato oils.

  • Sonya Beonit tried the Vicks hair massage on her daughter for 4 months. She mixed Vicks Vaporub with 5-6 drops of black seed oil and massaged it onto the scalp. She applied some leave-in conditioner on the scalp and hair. The later treatments also included taking steam. And her hair length did grow a lot in 4 months.
Vicks VapoRub for hair growth
Image: YouTube @sonyabeonit
  • Conecia, a YouTube vlogger tried the Vicks treatment on the edges of her scalp for 5 weeks. She applied the Vicks directly and left it on for 15 minutes before washing. Here’s the before and after picture:
Vicks VapoRub for hair growth
Image: IStock
  • Keren, a beauty vlogger, shared her experience of using Vicks VapoRub for two weeks. She said, “It has only been two weeks. So, I can’t really say that Vicks has made my hair grow dramatically. However, I can say that Vicks has helped soothe my dry scalp (i).”

Many other vloggers have also tried the Vicks VapoRub treatment and witnessed hair growth. What is it in Vicks that makes the hair grow? Let’s find out in the next section.

protip_icon Did You Know?
American Pharmacist Lunsford Richardson invented Vicks VapoRub in 1894. It’s named after his brother-in-law, Dr. Joshua Vick.

Vicks Vaporub Ingredients That May Cause Hair To Grow 

The active or medicinal ingredients in Vicks are:

  • CamphorHas antimicrobial properties and helps heal wounds (1).
  • Menthol – May unclog the pores on the scalp. It also relieves pain (2).
  • Eucalyptus OilHelps enhance hair luster (3).

The inactive or non-medicinal ingredients in Vicks are:

  • Cedarleaf oil – Has antimicrobial properties.
  • Nutmeg oil – Helps relieve chronic inflammatory pain.
  • Petrolatum – May help lock in moisture.
  • Thymol – Helps heal wounds and stimulate hair follicles (4).
  • Turpentine oil – May prevent fungal infections (5).

The ingredients in Vicks may seem to be beneficial for hair growth, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that it works. Vicks VapoRub is formulated for topical application for colds, headaches, and sore throats.

If you are curious to know how to apply Vicks, check out the following section.   

Ways Beauty Vloggers Have Used Vicks For Hair Growth 

Note:  There is no guarantee that it will help your hair grow. Also, it might tingle, so avoid applying it in excess.

  • Method 1 Massage Vicks directly onto your scalp. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash with a shampoo.
  • Method 2 Mix Vicks with black seed oil and massage onto the scalp. Leave it in for 15 minutes before washing your hair and scalp.
  • Method 3 – Mix Vicks with a conditioner and apply it to the scalp. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and wash your hair with a shampoo.

While people are gushing over this new hair growth hack, there are some significant concerns. Check out the next section for the complete picture.

What Are The Concerns Of Using Vicks On Your Scalp? 

  • Regular use of petrolatum or petroleum jelly is related to adverse health effects with estrogenici  The property of a substance that increases the activity of the sex hormones in charge of the female reproductive system. or antiandrogenici  A chemical that prevents androgens (male sex hormones) from attaching to proteins known as androgen receptors. activity, which may lead to prepubertal gynecomastiai  A rare condition in which prepubescent boys develop detectable breast tissue without other typical markers of sexual maturation.  (6).
  • Turpentine oil is linked to renal failurei  A fatal condition in which the kidneys are incapable of adequately balancing fluids and eliminating waste. , gastroesophageal hemorrhagei  Any type of bleeding in the digestive system that can result in bloody vomit or stools due to ulcers, cancer, or inflammation. , vomiting, chest pain, and loss of vision. (7).
Regular use of turpentine oil on the scalp may cause chest pain
Image: Shutterstock
  • Leaving Vicks on the scalp for too long can irritate it.

All the vloggers used other hair products like hair oils and hair serums and followed a regular hair routine while applying Vicks to it. Thus, it cannot be concluded that Vicks contributed to their hair growth. Moreover, why apply Vicks when it can harm in the long run? Do the following instead. Scroll down!

What Is The Best Way To Boost Hair Growth? 

  • Take Care Of Your Nutrition: Consume omega-3 fatty acids, legumes, nuts, green leafy veggies, carrots, beetroot, fruits, seeds, and dates for healthy hair growth.
  • Have A Hair Care Routine: Oil your hair once a week, shampoo your hair twice a week, apply a hair mask once a week, and comb your hair daily to improve the blood circulation of your scalp. Oil your hair once or twice a week, with a thorough massage of the hair roots for a boost of nourishment and enhanced hair shine. You can use coconut oil for its moisturizing, antifungal, and antibacterial effects, castor oil for its ability to improve hair texture and germicidal quality, and olive oil for photoprotection and promoting scalp health (8).
  • Reduce Stress. Stress can also prevent hair growth and cause excessive hair shedding. Take deep breaths whenever you are stressed out. Listen to music, take a walk, talk to a confidant, or seek professional advice. Adequate sleep is also recommended to reduce stress-induced body inflammation.
Adequate sleep boosts hair growth
Image: Shutterstock
  • Tie Your Hair While Sleeping. Keep your hair protected from chafing on the pillow while asleep. Comb your hair, tie it into a braid or bun, and cover it with a satin cap.
protip_icon Quick Tip
A few minutes of scalp massage every day may help increase blood circulation and boost hair health and growth.

Infographic: Important Ingredients In Vicks That May Aid Hair Growth

Vicks for hair growth may sound surprising, but people have started adding them to home remedies for hair regrowth. It is going viral in the world of social media influencers as part of their hair care and beauty tips. As discussed in the article, you may have learned how to use Vicks on hair and its possible concerns. But to know about the important ingredients in Vicks that make it effective in stimulating hair growth, check out the infographic below!

important ingredients in vicks that help hair to grow (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Vicks Vaporub contains active and inactive ingredients that may improve hair health. But there is no scientific evidence that backs using Vicks Vaporub for hair growth or hair thickening. Much proof of this remedy comes from vloggers you can find on YouTube. We would not recommend solely using Vicks Vaporub to try and stimulate hair growth as it also contains petroleum jelly and turpentine oil, which are not beneficial for long-term hair health. Hair experts and doctors recommend eating healthy and following a good hair care regimen to really promote increased hair volume.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Vicks cause hair loss?

Vicks may cause the scalp to dry out and become irritated. If you scratch your scalp aggressively, it can lead to hair follicle damage and breakage, causing hair loss.

Can I use Vicks on my scalp?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is safe to use Vicks on your scalp. You can mix it with a carrier oil or a hair conditioner. If you apply it by itself, wash it off after 15-20 minutes as it may dry out your scalp.

Does Vicks get rid of dandruff?

Vicks contains active and inactive ingredients that have antimicrobial properties, which may help manage dandruff.

Can I use menthol instead of Vicks for hair growth?

Yes. Menthol can unclog the scalp pores. If your hair loss is caused by clogged pores, then menthol may help resolve the issue. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor first as menthol may dry out your scalp.

Can Vicks help with alopecia?

Possibly not. There is a lack of scientific evidence suggesting that Vicks may help regrow hair or assist in alopecia treatment.

Key Takeaways

  • Vicks VapoRub contains camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil, which may improve hair growth.
  • People use it directly on the scalp or mix it with black seed oil or conditioner before applying it.
  • Excessive use of VapoRub may cause scalp irritation.
Vicks VapoRub For Hair Growth

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Are you looking for a way to make your hair grow? Check out this video to see if Vicks Vaporub can help!

Personal Experience: Source


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. Camphor Induces Proliferative and Anti-senescence Activities in Human Primary Dermal Fibroblasts and Inhibits UV-Induced Wrinkle Formation in Mouse Skin
  2. The role and mechanism of action of menthol in topical analgesic products
  3. Changes in hair properties by Eucalyptus extract.
  4. Effects of Carvacrol, Thymol and essential oils containing such monoterpenes on wound healing: a systematic review.
  5. Influence of different oils on penetration of human hair by fungi.
  6. Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity of off-the-shelf hair and skin care products.
  7. A lethal danger in the home: turpentine poisoning
  8. Hair Oils: Indigenous Knowledge Revisited
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Ghanima Abdullah

Ghanima AbdullahCosmetologist

A cosmetologist from Chicago, IL, Ghanima lives in the Caribbean. As a beauty consultant and stylist with 40 years of experience, she has been in the beauty industry for a few decades, doing makeup and hair. Being a formulator, she has her eye on new ingredients in the market and their uses. She stays on top of new scientific full bio

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