Peppermint Oil For Hair Growth
There is no doubt that peppermint essential oil smells great, but can it really promote hair growth?
We've taken an in-depth look at the scientific evidence, and it isn't exactly what it seems on face value.
Let's dive right in and uncover the truth...
What claims are made about peppermint oil for hair?
We've seen a lot of claims made about peppermint oil for hair growth.
The most popular claims are that peppermint oil promotes hair growth, increases hair thickness, stimulates your hair follicles and fights hair loss.
Here at The Soapery, you can be sure that we’ll never make wild claims about natural ingredients. We'll always be open and honest with you
The claims that peppermint oil can stimulate hair growth are usually based on two studies; one from 2014 that was published in Toxicology Research and the other study published in Microvascular Research in 2016
There is only one way to find out more about whether these claims stand up to scrutiny. Let’s dive into the studies…
Peppermint oil hair growth - the first study
This study was on mice, not on people.
That says a lot about the study and how useful it will be to your hair growth. Unless you’re a mouse…
Looking at the photos of the study, it looks like they used 20 mice, which is a small number to run a study on. That does make the results even less reliable.
They used a 3% peppermint oil dilution in jojoba oil, which seems pretty sensible.
The researchers applied a small amount of this treatment to the mice, once a day, six days a week for four weeks.
They compared the hair growth results against a control group, a group receiving jojoba oil only, and a minoxidil 3% treatment. Minoxidil is a common hair loss treatment that is known to be effective.
The study found that the peppermint oil promotes hair growth when compared to minoxidil. The group receiving the peppermint oil treatment experienced prominent hair growth effects after 2 weeks, and at 4 weeks.
However, all this study really proves is that if you’d like to regrow hair on mice, or design a mouse hair growth product then peppermint oil is a great option.
KEY TAKEAWAY: At best this study shows that benefits of peppermint oil for hair are worth studying. Further research needs to be done on humans before anyone can claim that peppermint oil makes your hair grow.
Peppermint essential oil - the second study
This study actually involved people, not mice. However, there only 30 people took part. That does make it quite unreliable.
This study was all about whether menthol increases blood flow to the region it is applied to.
However, peppermint essential oil and menthol are not the same thing. You can't take the results for a study on menthol and apply it to peppermint oil.
Peppermint oils contain 36-46% menthol, but also contains lots of other compounds too.
This study used a 4% dilution of menthol, but if you try to make that solution with peppermint oil you'd need to use a 13% dilution.
This is beyond the maximum safe level that we’d suggest. So trying to replicate this study is not a good idea.
Also, this research focussed on whether menthol increases blood flow, not hair growth.
The theory is that increasing blood flow will help promote hair growth in that area. But that’s a theory, there’s no evidence that hair growth really works like that.
KEY TAKEAWAY: This study has very little to do with peppermint oil or hair growth. Any claims based on this study should be ignored.
If nothing else, we love to add a few drops of peppermint oil to our shampoo recipes (take a peek at our shampoo bar recipe) as it gives a lovely tingly cooling feeling, and if it also helps with hair growth, then fantastic!
There is no evidence that peppermint oil will help prevent hair loss, increase hair thickness, stimulate hair follicles or promote healthy hair growth.
There is evidence that it is worth studying peppermint essential oil for hair growth, but more studies needed before anyone can make claims that peppermint oil promotes hair growth.
We hope that puts the whole peppermint oil hair loss debate in context.
I strongly believe in using natural ingredients for many areas of our lives, from skin and hair care to wider health benefits.
However, there are many wild claims being made about the benefits of peppermint oil.
We will always be honest about the evidence, and its shortcomings, so you can make an informed decision.
Just remember that pure peppermint essential oil should never be applied directly to your skin, hair or scalp. Always dilute it in a carrier oil
Now that you've learned about whether peppermint essential oil can promote hair growth, why not keep reading more about natural beauty?