Peppermint oil has gained significant attention for its potential benefits in promoting hair growth. Many studies have explored the effects of peppermint oil on hair follicles, highlighting its positive impact on growing new hair as well as hair regrowth. This natural oil possesses properties that stimulate blood circulation in the scalp, expansion of blood vessels, leading to improved nutrient delivery to hair follicles and enhanced hair growth.
Studies also show that the menthol component in peppermint oil can increase the number and thickness of hair strands. With its scientifically proven properties, peppermint oil emerges as a promising and accessible solution for those seeking to boost hair growth and achieve healthier, fuller locks.
What makes peppermint oil good for hair growth and scalp health?
While peppermint oil may have some advantages for skin care, it also improves your hair and scalp. Scalp health is key for growth of healthy hair: starting from the blood circulation in the scalp being the cornerstone of hair growth – to dry and flaky scalp potentially clogging hair follicles that can prevent hair from growing. Only healthy scalp can grow healthy hair and peppermint oil is an excellent remedy for that.
The following are some advantages of peppermint oil for scalp health:
- analgesic and anesthetic
Peppermint oil comes from peppermint (Mentha × piperita), a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widely present and cultivated in many regions around the globe. Peppermint oil has two main constituents: menthol and menthone.
Menthone for a distinct aroma
Menthone is an organic compound commonly found in plants and insects to deter predators, including herbivore animals, with the minty flavour. It is a type of turpentine, same compound that you find in painting supplies, that has a characteristic, pungent smell, though admittedly, menthone has a much better smell than paint! Menthone, is what gives peppermint its fresh and invigorating aroma.
When applied to the scalp, menthone exhibits vasodilatory properties, meaning it helps widen blood vessels and improve blood circulation in the scalp.
The enhanced blood flow induced by menthone promotes better nutrient delivery to the hair follicles. This increased supply of essential nutrients, oxygen and various vitamins carried by the blood itself, nourishes your hair follicles and supports their optimal growing function. The effect can also help maintain hair follicle in the anagen stage. As a result, the hair follicles receive better support in growing healthier and stronger hair strands for longer periods of time.
In addition, menthone in peppermint oil has been found to possess antimicrobial properties. It helps maintain a healthy scalp environment by inhibiting the growth of certain microorganisms that can cause scalp issues like dandruff or inflammation. A clean and healthy scalp is essential for optimal hair growth.
Menthol for soothing of the scalp
Menthol is a crystalline organic compound with a well-known and researched local anaesthetic and anti-irritant qualities. It is commonly added to anaesthetic gels applied topically to relieve muscle tension and pain. It is also a common ingredient in skin-soothing balms and ointments. In fact, it is menthol in toothpaste that tingles your mouth and gums, while menthone is what makes your breath smell fresh.
Menthol plays a crucial role in promoting hair growth. It is a naturally occurring compound known for its cooling and soothing properties. When applied to the scalp, menthol creates a refreshing sensation and stimulates the hair follicles. But one of the primary benefits of menthol for hair growth is its natural ability to increase blood circulation in the scalp by. It acts as a vasodilator, meaning it helps widen blood vessels and promote better blood flow to the hair follicles. This improved circulation ensures that essential nutrients and oxygen reach the hair follicles more efficiently, promoting their growth and overall health.
The exact mechanism of peppermint oil effect for scalp blood flow is yet to be studied in greater detail, but it supposedly interacts with receptors and channels in the blood vessels, leading to vasodilation and increased blood flow.
Menthol and scalp muscle relaxation
Another possible mechanism involves the modulation of calcium channels in smooth muscle cells that line blood vessels. Menthol may inhibit certain calcium channels, leading to smooth muscle relaxation and, as a result – vasodilation.
As a result of improved blood flow to scalp and overall scalp relaxation, menthol can increase the diameter and thickness of individual hair strands. This effect gives the appearance of fuller, more voluminous hair. This is also why combining peppermint oil with a relaxing scalp massage is an excellent addition to your hair growth routine.
Furthermore, menthol, similar to menthone, has a soothing effect on the scalp, reducing itchiness and irritation. By maintaining a calm and healthy scalp environment, menthol helps prevent conditions that can hinder hair growth, such as scalp inflammation or excessive dandruff.
While both menthone and menthol contribute to improved blood circulation, menthol is generally considered to be more effective in this regard. However, it’s important to note that the overall benefits of peppermint oil for hair growth come from the combined actions of multiple components, including menthone, menthol, and other constituents.
Peppermint oil vs minoxidil
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved topical medication commonly used for treating hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia (pattern baldness). It works by dilating blood vessels in the scalp, improving blood flow to the hair follicles, and prolonging the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. Initially discovered as a drug for regulating blood pressure, minoxidil has since gained a status as a popular remedy for hair loss. However minoxidil has side effects. A proportion of users have to stop using it because of scalp irritation, increased hair shedding (though temporary), facial hair growth and cardiovascular effects affecting blood pressure.
Vasodilation, or expansion of blood vessels, has a direct effect on blood flow. An improved blood flow increases activity in the hair follicles and therefore directly impacts by increasing hair growth. Which can be one of the main reasons why in a recent, notable study, peppermint oil outperformed minoxidil. The graph shows the difference in performance between peppermint oil, minoxidil, jojoba oil and a placebo, showcasing peppermint oil as the best performer.
The role of peppermint oil in helping hair growth can be attributed to its ability to promote healthy blood flow in scalp. The latter ensures the nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the hair follicles, therefore feeding the hair shaft and supporting the function of the hair root.
Peppermint oil and blood vessels in scalp controversy
Some people believe menthol’s cooling sensations and anaesthetic properties induce a vasoconstrictive effect, in other words shrinkage of blood vessels. However, an overwhelming amount of scientific research repeatedly shows a vasodilatory effect, i.e. expansion of blood vessels.
When you apply a menthol-based product topically, it increases blood flow, while also numbing and cooling the skin or scalp. While it “feels” cooling, it doesn’t actually make it so. This is what leads some people to think of it as a vasoconstrictor.
The “root” of peppermint oil for hair growth
These hair growth promoting qualities of peppermint oil made it one of the active ingredients in The Hair Fuel, our signature, all-natural hair growth mask. Coupled with refreshing smell, as well as its blood flow improving, a.k.a. hair growing, properties – made it an invaluable contributor to your hair growth journey.
How to use peppermint oil for hair growth at home
Important to mention that peppermint oil needs to be on the roots of your hair to promote hair growth – and let it stay on your scalp to maximise absorption.
You can easily incorporate peppermint oil to your hair oiling routine:
- Simply mix 10-15 drops of essential peppermint oil with 2 tablespoons of your favourite carrier oil.
- Apply the mixture onto your scalp with gentle massaging movements
- Give yourself extra 10 minutes of massaging time – as scalp massage is excellent in stimulating blood flow as well!
- Take a moment to relax and inhale its soothing aroma
- Leave it for 30-60 minutes or overnight
- Wash off with your usual shampoo and conditioner
Adding peppermint oil to the conditioner might produce some nice smells in your shower. But, given that you apply conditioner on the lengths of your hair and not the roots – you shouldn’t expect its hair-growing qualities as a result of adding it to your shampoo.
Peppermint oil with dermarolling
Another powerful method is applying essential peppermint oil 10-15 minutes before dermarolling, or 60-90 minutes after dermarolling. You can even follow up with peppermint oil sooner, if there was no significant bleeding afterwards. Using peppermint oil in combination with the dermaroller increases the blood flow to the area.
A perfect travel companion
We thought to include a bonus: its blood vessel expanding abilities and anaesthetic properties can aid various other health conditions, including providing relief for headache, nausea, as well as relieving itching and burning sensation from sunburns and mosquito bites. Peppermint oil and menthol are commonly added to anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners due to its soothing properties. Its aroma has been known for centuries for the calming effect – which can help in the times of stress and overwhelm associated with travel. Just a few drops on wrists and forehead can help you ground and centre yourself in a stressful situation!
Who we are:
The Hair Fuel is an all-natural hair growth mask created by Laura Sagen, who lost a third of her hair after a terrible visit to a hairdresser while suffering from a life-long condition of PCOS associated with androgenic hair thinning. She developed the formulation rooted in the science of scalp blood flow, which has become The Hair Fuel growth mask. Since then, her company has helped thousands of people like you to start growing healthy hair.
We work closely with our lab and manufacturers to ensure the highest quality product. But a product alone is never enough – so we hold your hand throughout your own, unique hair growth journey. Our flagship product, The Hair Fuel mask coupled with tailored advice, digital tools, and online support is there to help you grow the best hair you can. It’s a big claim – but we’re unafraid to make it. Check out our starter bundles >>
Essential plant oils and headache mechanisms, (1)
Topical menthol increases cutaneous blood flow (2)
Blood vessels hold key to thicker hair growth (3)
Mixture Toxicity of Methylisothiazolinone and Propylene Glycol at a Maximum Concentration for Personal Care Products (4)
1. I feel tingling, warming, burning sensation when I apply The Hair Fuel, is it normal?
Yes! This is normal and expected. You might feel a tingling, warming or even burning sensation on your scalp once you applied Hair Fuel. It is the sign of that The Hair Fuel is activated and working.
2. Will my hair be greasy after The Hair Fuel?
No, as long as you follow up with your shampoo + conditioning routine after using it – your hair will not be greasy. The combination of the components actually helps with oily scalp and regulating sebum production.
3. What’s in the box?
First month subscription box contains a full kit: welcome card, 4 powder sachets, 4 oil sachets, measuring tape, shower cap, mixing bottle, instructions card and science card. Subsequent months boxes only contain 4 powder sachets, 4 oil sachets and a welcome card.