As a hair loss treatment that’s 60% more effective than Minoxidil and with no toxic effects, peppermint oil is a necessary addition to your hair care routine if you want to stop any further thinning and receding and even regrow your hair.
In this guide, I’ll discuss the use of peppermint essential oil (PEO) to grow back lost hair. This will include an in-depth look at recent scientific research, as well as ways you can use the ingredient most effectively.
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What is Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint is a plant hybrid of spearmint and watermint, and it’s used in a variety of industries.
In addition to its place in the kitchen (where it’s added to tea, gum, ice cream, and more), it’s also been used quite recently for its many healthy benefits.
Due to its cooling effect, it’s used commonly in the temporary treatment of muscle and nerve pain, as well as in the relief of itching. In addition, its aroma is frequently used to induce alertness.
As an oil, this amazing herb has a strong concentration of natural pesticides. This means it’s used in gardens and homes to keep pests (such as mice and spiders) at bay.
Can PEO Be Used for To Regrow Hair?
There’s no doubt that PEO is a highly versatile ingredient. But where does it stand when it comes to treating hereditary baldness?
As will be discussed further below, PEO has a variety of properties that make it an excellent addition to anyone’s hair regrowth routine. However, it has been proven to treat alopecia, and it may even be beneficial in the treatment of individuals with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) and Alopecia Areata (AA).
In fact, current research claims it to be more effective than Minoxidil!
More Effective Than Minoxidil?: The Scientific Proof
In 2014, Korean researchers studied the effects of PEO on hair growth. Comparing the essential oil to Minoxidil, a popular FDA-approved hair loss treatment, the results were certainly stunning.
In the beginning of the study, 6-week-old male mice were shaved on their dorsal area so as to start telogen phase for all.
The mice were then split into four separate groups, with each group receiving a topical application of either
- Saline (SA)
- Jojoba oil (JO)
- 3% Minoxidil (MXD)
- 3% peppermint essential oil (PEO)
The application was done six days per week for a total of four weeks.
Throughout the study, photographs were taken to visually track hair growth. Each photograph was categorized, and the categories were as follows: 0: no hair growth; 1: less than 20% growth; 2: 20% to less than 40% growth; 3: 40% to less than 60% growth; 4: 60% to less than 80% growth; and 5: 80% to 100% growth.
In addition, skin biopsies were taken at conclusion of the study, and a number of RESULTS were tested.
As mentioned, photographs were taken every week throughout the 4-week study. Let’s take a look:
As clearly depicted, saline and jojoba oil had minimal visible results throughout the course of the study. However, minoxidil and PEO saw positive hair growth from week 2, and this continued through the entire four weeks.
Further, PEO was clearly dominant when compared with minoxidil and growth was still ongoing. This means that both groups of mice were in the anagen phase of hair growth even after four weeks.
Now, while visual results can be helpful, let’s get a better understanding of the scientific results obtained by biopsies and samples.
First up is a chart that graphs the effectiveness of all four groups over the course of the study. The results were the mean hair growth score of five mice in each group:
While PEO and MXD were close in the first week, PEO quickly took the lead in terms of hair regrowth scores. In fact, the gap between the two treatments only continued to widen as the weeks passed.
Next, let’s look at the biopsy results as obtained by researchers. Here, we see the a vertical histological view depicting the quantity quality of hair follicles.
Only minoxidil and PEO showed clear hair growth, as depicted by the elongated hair follicles and hair shaft.
Last, researchers compared the number of hair follicles in all four groups, as well as the depth of said follicles.
At week 2, the number of hair follicles in the PEO group was 473% and 218% greater than the SA and JO groups, respectively. By week 4, the PEO group had 740% and 307% more hair follicles than SA and JO groups, respectively.
In addition to all of the above results, PEO was also shown to increase blood circulation to the scalp. This was determined by monitoring Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) activity.
When ALP activity is increased, the relaxation of vascular smooth muscle occurs. This enables improved blood flow, and enables your hair follicles to receive the nutrients and oxygen it needs to stay healthy.
As concluded by researchers, “PEO effectively stimulated hair growth in an animal model via several mechanisms and thus could be used as a therapeutic or preventive alternative medicine for hair loss in humans.”
Implications for Thin Hair Sufferers
While the above study was performed on mice, the results can have serious implications for the future treatment of hereditary baldness. How so?
As shown, PEO plays a key role in the initiation of anagen phase and hair follicle proliferation. Both of these are necessary for the growth of healthy, strong hair.
In addition, it also markedly increased IGF-1 mRNA expression at week two, where it took minoxidil until week four to do. What does this mean?
The IGF-1 gene is one that promotes cell growth and survival, and also increases the thickness of hair. An increased expression of this gene means directly relates to improved hair growth.
In individuals with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) and other such forms of alopecia, this can mean that the use of PEO can “reboot” the hair growth cycle.
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Additional Benefits of PEO
While the above study does show some promising results, PEO is beneficial to thin and receding hair sufferers in a number of others ways, too.
First and foremost, this nice smelling herb is within the same family as rosemary.
This is another oil that is beneficial in the treatment for regrowing hair, and this connection may indicate more positive benefits for PEO than just what the above study shows.
In addition, PEO has benefits that aren’t just related to scalp health. However, these benefits can still provide your scalp and hair with positive effects.
It Cleanses the Scalp and Follicles
This can lead to irritation and inflammation, and it can also encourage the growth of bacterial and fungal infections.
PEO is an effective antimicrobial, fighting both bacteria and fungi.
This means you can provide a clean and healthy environment for your hair follicles, and this in itself is a necessary step when looking to regrow your hair.
It Soothes an Irritated Scalp
The conditions mentioned above – such as dandruff and folliculitis – can cause irritation and inflammation. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can also lead to hair follicle miniaturization and permanent bald spots.
This occurs when the hair is unable to grow as nature intended. With an inflamed or infected follicle, the hair growth becomes stunted. Over time, the follicle itself will begin to miniaturize and, eventually, die.
PEO’s main component, menthol, is a known anti-inflammatory. This oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, then, can sooth an irritated scalp and prevent further irritation and inflammation from reoccurring.
How to Use PEO in the Treatment of Thinning Hair
If you’re ready to jump on the PEO bandwagon, I have two great recipes to get you started.
Both of these can be used on a regular basis, and this means you can get the maximum benefits from the use of this beneficial oil.
Make a PEO Shampoo
- Apple Cider Vinegar (1 cup)
- Water (1 cup)
- Rosemary (1 bunch)
- Jojoba Oil (1/4 cup)
- PEO (10 drops)
Boil one cup of water, and then add the rosemary bunch and remove from heat. Allow to steep until cool, and then remove and discard the rosemary and pour the water into the bottle of your choice. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir well.
Lather the combination onto wet hair, and massage into your scalp for 1-3 minutes. Allow to sit for an additional 3 minutes so all ingredients can be properly absorbed, and then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
As a gentle cleanser, the apple cider vinegar removes buildup from your scalp and stabalizes the pH, among other things.
Both rosemary and PEO soothe the scalp, while PEO also cleanses it.
Last, jojoba oil acts as a moisturizer, protecting the hair’s necessary oils from being stripped and ensuring that the scalp stays hydrated.
This combination, when used three to four times per week, is an effective way to keep your hair follicles clear from inflammation or obstruction and prevent irritation or infection.
Make a PEO + Magnesium Oil Scalp Spray
While an unlikely pairing, the combination of magnesium oil and PEO to make a scalp spray is one of the easiest ways to incorporate PEO into your daily routine.
- Magnesium oil (100 mL)
- PEO (10 mL)
Combine the two ingredients in a spray bottle, and spritz your hair and scalp nightly before bed. You don’t want to soak your hair, but enough to dampen.
Gently massage the mixture in, and leave it on overnight.
Magnesium is an underrated mineral that many adults lack within their bodies. This can lead to an excess of calcium.
Since calcium is an essential mineral, this may not seem so bad. However, excess calcium can lead to calcification, and this can cause hardening of the scalp and irreversible loss of hair.
This combination, then, offers a soothing and healthy solution to a critical problem.
The Dermaroller – A Natural Way to Boost Peppermint Oil’s Effects
I’ve used the dermaroller with great success, and I recommend that you combine this technique with a hair growth boosting ingredient, such as PEO. This will improve the absorption of the oil and, therefore, boost the results.
But make sure you leave at least 4 hours between microneedling and applying the oil – otherwise it will sting really badly!
You can see a professional to have this treatment done. However, it’s also possible to do it your own.
A few tips for successful use:
- Apply the right amount of pressure. You want to apply enough pressure so the needles penetrate the skin to the dermal layer, but you don’t want to cause pain or excess bleeding. Press just until you feel a slight tingling.
- Use a multi-directional method. For best results, you want to cover as much of your scalp as possible. This is why it’s recommend to use a multi-directional method, including vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.
- Wash and sanitize after each use. Allow the dermaroller to sit in an antibacterial wash for at least one minute after each use. Then, rinse, dry, and put away in a clean container. Doing this each and every time will reduce the chances of an infection and improve the tool’s effectiveness.
NOTE: The dermaroller should be used prior to application of the oil, but allow the scalp to rest for at least 12 hours before applying the oil. While this may seem like a long time, the effects of microneedling are present even days after the procedure.
Costs and Availability
As a common plant, the oil is widely available and very affordable.
This oil can be purchased in grocery stores, health food stores, and even chemists. In addition, you can purchase the oil online from a wide variety of retailers, including Amazon.
Other Oils to Use with PEO + Alternative Uses
To boost the effectiveness of PEO, you can pair it with a few other essential oils. Some common combinations include:
- Cedar wood
To utilize these combinations, here’s a few things you can do:
- Add them to your shop-bought shampoo. While I always recommend you make your own shampoo, you can also add the above essential oils to stop-bought shampoos for improved results.
- Apply them directly to your scalp (in combination with a carrier oil). Just as with the PEO and magnesium oil combination above, you can combine a number of your favorite oils above and add them to a carrier oil (such as olive, canola, or coconut).
- Create a hair mask. If you’re in need of a deeper treatment, I recommend you make your own PEO hair mask. Masks are thicker and meant to be worn longer, so they can deliver potent results in a shorter period of time when compared to shampoo.
If you’re in need of a soothing, cleansing all-natural product, then peppermint oil may be just what you’re looking for.
This is because not only is it effective at treating hairfall caused by AGA, but it can also treat and prevent thin-hair-causing infections and conditions (such as seborrheic dermatitis) and reduce inflammation.
Dr Axe also seems to be a fan of this amazing oil:
Of course, I understand this is a lot of information to absorb. That’s why I recommend, before anything else, you take the six-question hair loss quiz below.
Is Your Hair Loss Reversible?