What is peppermint essential oil?
Peppermint (mentha piperita) essential oil is the result of steam distillation of peppermint leaves. To make 1 liter of peppermint essential oil we need around 1000 kg (1 ton) of peppermint leaves.
Peppermint is one of the most common and widely used essential oils since it has so many benefits at an affordable price. It’s easy to find in pharmacies around the globe and should always have an indisputable place in any essential oil starter pack kit.
The main compounds of this precious extraction is menthol, flavonoids, vitamin C, which are responsible for most of the benefits of this essential oil.
What are the benefits of peppermint essential oil for hair growth?
Have you noticed most shampoos for hair loss have a minty and fresh scent? Peppermint essential oil not only feels great on the scalp and helps with dryness and itchiness, it also smells great!
The menthol in peppermint essential oil is a vasodilator and vasodilators increase blood flow. In many cases, hair loss occurs because of bad circulation into the hair follicles. This is why peppermint is great to get all the juices flowing onto your scalp.
Another reason for hair loss is the accumulation of sebum in the follicles which makes them smaller and smaller making it difficult (or impossible) for new hairs to grow in full width inside the follicle. I´m sorry, but not washing your hair to prevent your hair from falling is an urban myth. Hair is constantly renewing itself and it falls. When it does, the follicles must be open and clean for new hair to grow strong and healthy. A dirty scalp will make your new hairs suffocate resulting in weaker thinner hair which falls and breaks faster.
Last but not least, it is known that stress is also a major cause of hair loss. The aromatherapeutic properties of massaging peppermint essential oils onto your scalp before bed can give you a deep sound sleep, improving your rest, diminishing anxiety and therefore, promoting wellbeing in general.
Other benefits of peppermint essential oils can be described as: antimicrobial, insecticidal, vasodilating and anti-inflammatory.
Does science support peppermint for hair loss?
The only products sanctioned by the US FDA for hair loss treatment are oral finasteride and topical minoxidil. In 2014 a study was conducted on mice showing a 92% of effectiveness of peppermint oil in growing hair back against a 55% effectiveness of the minoxidil.
While minoxidil was originally created as hypertension medication with possible side effects including increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, rapid weight gain, scalp irritation and more, peppermint essential oil turns out to be a natural solution for hair loss coming from delicious peppermint leaves.
This study showed that peppermint essential oil can grow hair faster and, instead of ugly side effects, it will also provide emotional relief and invite you to take long deep healthy breaths thanks to its inviting scent full of aromatherapeutic benefits for your body and your mind.
You can read the full study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289931
Real cases (alopecia areata)
Reading emails everyday at I´m Immortelle we see lots of comments and reviews on how peppermint and helichrysum has helped even with alopecia areata cases, but I want to talk about Sasha Kalem (founder of I´m Immortelle).
When I met him he had 5 alopecia areata patches in the scalp with zero hair on them. After he started using the Immortelle (Helichrysum) + Peppermint + Rosehip combo everyday, his hair started growing back and after a few months the hair was back, looking better than ever.
To me this was shocking, since after reading lots of forums on the topic, I found not a lot of people, especially men, can recover from alopecia areata after 40.
I’ve also been using peppermint on my scalp and, although I don’t suffer from severe hair loss, it has definitely helped me when hair was falling more than it usually did. Also, you need to try it before bed. It smells so good that it helps me relax and have better dreams.
How to use peppermint oil for hair growth
There are a few ways you can use peppermint to try to prevent hair loss:
The best one is a direct massage on the scalp. After a shower, while the hair is still wet, apply a few drops of peppermint (5-6) using a carrier oil like jojoba or rosehip. While massaging the scalp make sure you try to “separate” or give some air to the space between the skull and the scalp.
Try to move it back and forth until you feel it loosens up. There you promote circulation and you will also benefit from the properties of the mint and the carrier oil you choose according to your needs.
You can also ask someone to do it for you.
Another way is to add a few drops into your shampoo or conditioner.
Try both and see which one is best for you.
Reccommendations before using
All essential oils are highly concentrated. Peppermint essential oil can make your skin itchy and cause a burning sensation when applied directly or on very sensitive skin. It´s always better to try in first on a small skin patch, see how it reacts and go little by little trying to feel how it goes.
Always avoid contact with the eyes, keep it away from infants and do not ingest it until its pure, certified, and you checked with a professional first.
Although it would be great to have more research on the topic to call it “the definite cure for hair loss” or the definite natural solution to promote hair growth we can say peppermint definitely helps promote hair growth. It´s the best natural solution known so far to prevent hair loss.
Apart from smelling amazing and having many benefits and almost no side effects, we must remember that science has proved Peppermint essential oil is more effective than pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to treat hair loss issues.
There is no risk known so far in trying diluted peppermint essential oil. Be consistent, try it out and write to us to share your experience! Me and the team can´t wait to read you.