Peppermint Oil For Hair Loss – 60% MORE Hair Growth Than Minoxidil!

peppermint leaves and oil on a table

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 hair loss and even regrow your hair.

In this guide, I’ll discuss the use of peppermint oil as a hair loss treatment method. This will include an in-depth look at recent scientific research, as well as ways you can use the ingredient most effectively.

IMPORTANT! Take the hair loss quiz at the end of the article to receive your hair loss score (out of 100). This score will help you to better understand your hair loss, and what you can do to stop it.

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.

Peppermint leaves on a wood table

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, peppermint’s aroma is frequently used to induce alertness.

As an oil, peppermint 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 Peppermint Oil Be Used for Hair Loss?

There’s no doubt that peppermint oil is a highly versatile ingredient. But where does it stand when it comes to treating hair loss?

As will be discussed further below, peppermint oil has a variety of properties that make it an excellent addition to anyone’s hair loss routine. However, it has been proven to treat hair loss, 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 peppermint oil on hair growth. Comparing the essential oil to Minoxidil, a popular FDA-approved hair loss treatment, the results were certainly stunning.

Method

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

  1. Saline (SA)
  2. Jojoba oil (JO)
  3. 3% Minoxidil (MXD)
  4. 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.

Results

As mentioned, photographs were taken every week throughout the 4-week study. Let’s take a look:

The effects of saline, jojoba oil, minoxidil, and peppermint oil on mice

As clearly depicted, saline and jojoba oil had minimal visible results throughout the course of the study. However, minoxidil and peppermint oil saw positive hair growth from week 2, and this continued through the entire four weeks.

Further, peppermint oil 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.

The 3 hair growth phases of anagen, catagen and telogen.

The three hair growth phases.

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:

A chart depicting the growth of hair in four mice groups, including one group that received topical peppermint oil

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.

A vertical view of mice skin biopsy showing hair follicle growth

Only minoxidil and peppermint oil 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.

Charts shown the increase in follicles and depth after the use of peppermint oil

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 Hair Loss Sufferers

While the above study was performed on mice, the results can have serious implications for the future treatment of hair loss. How so?

As shown, peppermint oil 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 hair loss, this can mean that the use of peppermint oil can “reboot” the hair growth cycle.

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Additional Benefits of Peppermint Oil

While the above study does show some promising results, peppermint essential oil is beneficial to hair loss sufferers in a number of others ways, too.

First and foremost, peppermint is within the same family as rosemary. This is another oil that is beneficial in the treatment of hair loss, and this connection may indicate more positive benefits for peppermint oil than just what the above study shows.

In addition, peppermint oil 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

Scalp buildup – including sebum, sweat, dead skin, hair product, and even chemicals such as DHT – can create an unhealthy environment for your hair.

This can lead to irritation and inflammation, and it can also encourage the growth of bacterial and fungal infections.

Peppermint oil is an effective antimicrobial, fighting both bacteria and fungi.

Whether you suffer from tinea capitis, dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, or folliculitis, peppermint oil can cleanse the scalp and treat the issue at its source.

Scalp Folliculitis from Malassezia

Scalp folliculitis is a common fungal infection.

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 stop hair loss and grow 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 hair loss.

Infected hair follicle

Infection and inflammation of the hair follicle, if left untreated, can lead to hair loss.

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.

Peppermint oil’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 Peppermint Essential Oil in the Treatment of Hair Loss

If you’re ready to jump on the peppermint oil 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 your peppermint oil supplementation.

Make a Peppermint Essential Oil Shampoo

Ingredients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (1 cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Rosemary (1 bunch)
  • Jojoba Oil (1/4 cup)
  • Peppermint Essential Oil (10 drops)

Directions:

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.

Hair Benefits:

As a gentle cleanser, the apple cider vinegar removes buildup from your scalp and stabalizes the pH, among other things.

(Learn more about the benefits of apple cider vinegar use here.)

Both rosemary and peppermint oil soothe the scalp, while peppermint oil 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 Peppermint Oil + Magnesium Oil Scalp Spray

While an unlikely pairing, the combination of magnesium oil and peppermint oil to make a scalp spray is one of the easiest ways to incorporate peppermint oil into your daily routine.

Ingredients:

  • Magnesium oil (100 mL)
  • Peppermint essential oil (10 mL)

Directions:

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.

Hair Benefits:

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 hair loss.

This combination, then, offers a soothing and healthy solution to a critical problem.

The Dermaroller – A Natural Way to Boost Peppermint Oil’s Effects

The dermaroller is a microneedling tool that inflicts tiny wounds onto the scalp. These wounds are deep enough to stimulate new cell production and boost blood circulation, but cause no pain.

Stimulate new hair growth with a dermaroller.

I’ve used the dermaroller with great success, and I recommend that you combine this technique with a hair growth boosting ingredient, such as peppermint oil. This will improve the absorption of the oil and, therefore, boost the results.

Hair count increases dramatically by using a dermaroller.

Dramatically increased hair count after 12 weeks using the dermaroller compared to minoxidil alone. And when we consider that peppermint essential oil is more effective than minoxidil, it becomes clear that PEO + dermaroller would be a powerful combination.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Dermaroller directions

How to use the dermaroller on your scalp for best results.

NOTE: The dermaroller should be used prior to application of peppermint 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.

A bottle of peppermint oil with a liquid dropper

Costs and Availability

As a common plant, peppermint essential 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 Peppermint Oil + Alternative Uses

To boost the effectiveness of peppermint oil, you can pair it with a few other essential oils. Some common combinations include:

Vials of essential oil surrounded by plants and herbs

To utilize these combinations, here’s a few things you can do:

  1. 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.
  2. Apply them directly to your scalp (in combination with a carrier oil). Just as with the peppermint oil 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).
  3. Create a hair mask. If you’re in need of a deeper treatment, I recommend you make your own peppermint oil 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.

Conclusion

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 hair loss caused by AGA, but it can also treat and prevent hair loss-causing infections and conditions (such as seborrheic dermatitis) and reduce inflammation.

Dr Axe also seems to be a fan of peppermint essential 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?

Question 1 (of 6)

How many years have you had hair loss for?
Select the number of years below.

Leave a Comment:

11 comments
Jason CC says June 20, 2017

Thank you Will, this is a really good article and I like how you’ve used scientific studies to backup your claims. It is quite encouraging that PEO beats minoxidil. And much less side-effects I’m sure.

Reply
    Will Hartfield says June 20, 2017

    Thanks for your comment Jason. Yes I’d much rather use PEO over minoxidil even if they were equally as effective. Given PEO is actually better, now there’s 0 reason to use Rogaine anymore.

    Reply
Kos says June 10, 2017

Hey do you reckon I could mix peppermint oil in with an organic shampoo base and make my own mix – leave it on for about 10 minutes?

Was also thinking of adding caffiene powder to the shampoo.

Reply
    Will Hartfield says June 20, 2017

    Yes you certainly could. But make sure whatever shampoo base you use, it needs to be very gentle if you plan to leave it on for 10 minutes. The last thing you want to do is strip away too many of the protective oils from the scalp using a harsh cleansing agent. I personally just use apple cider vinegar once per week to wash my hair. I use PEO along with magnesium oil in a scalp spray.

    Reply
Max says May 28, 2017

I thoroughly enjoy using peppermint oil on my scalp, I do this daily and my hair has grown much thicker and there is more of it. It smells nice and fresh and would recommend it to anyone who’s having hair loss problems.

Reply
yannick says May 24, 2017

Great information ok so too early to tell i do not have full blown MPB i have thinning and a not so bald spot on the scalp, i used lots of fat burners ephedrine base and stims to lose weight so that is partially due to this. I bough peppermint oil apply twice per day with jojoba oil, also leave in conditioner herb, magnesium oil and i am waiting for melatonin oil. I also take saw palmetto and pumpkin seed oil, i tried dutastiride and minoxidil with terrible side effects, gained lots of weight water etc,,, i also use DIM this time around for estrogen control so far so good no weight gain.

Reply
    Will Hartfield says June 20, 2017

    Hi Yannick, I hope it goes well with your mixture. But remember, any topical treatment will have only a limited effectiveness. To truly reverse MPB over the long term you will need other approaches such as diet and lifestyle changes, otherwise you will continually be fighting a losing battle.
    Regards
    Will

    Reply
Justen says March 16, 2017

Great website!!

I’ve never heard of using Peppermint Oil. Is this something I can put in before bed and wash out in the morning?

Thank you,

Reply
    Will Hartfield says April 17, 2017

    Hi Justen. Yes probably your best option is to add 15ml of peppermint oil to 200ml of magnesium oil (you can also add rosemary oil if you want) and then massage a small amount into the thinning/receding area of your scalp before going to bed. You’ll then have to rinse it out in the morning otherwise your hair will look greasy but that’s the most simple and effective way to use it.

    Reply
      Estelle says May 6, 2017

      Hi Will
      This is the most informative website that I have found too. Just to follow Justen’s comment – how many times a week would you need to apply the above ? I’m a 44 year old female that has recently had an ovary removed and seen an immediate effect on my hair, though it has been thinning for sometime ):

      Reply
        Will Hartfield says May 23, 2017

        You can use it every night. If you also use a dermaroller then skip it on the day you use the roller (or it will sting!)

        Reply
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