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4 July 2022 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Peppermint Oil for Hair: The Benefits and How to Use It

Discover how this refreshing and stimulating oil can boost your hair routine.

Drop of water on herb leaf

When we think of peppermint, we tend to think of freshness, energy and renewal.

 As time goes on, however, we're discovering that peppermint is actually so much more than a sweet and refreshing remedy. As well as its distinct mint aroma, it can help relax muscles, scare away spiders, and even relieve stress.

One of the most up-and-coming benefits of peppermint oil has been its effectiveness on hair, which in recent years has been being studied more and more to prove its success against common issues like hair growth, hair loss, and scalp health.
But how exactly is peppermint oil good for hair? How does it compare to all the other numerous haircare remedies out there? We've decided to dive deeper into what really makes this oil so great for luscious locks.

What is peppermint essential oil?

Peppermint essential oil is a member of the mint family of botanicals and is steam distilled from two common types of peppermint plants: Piperita and Arvensis.

Peppermint Piperita is most commonly used in aromatherapy, cosmetics, and other home products as it has a more distinctly minty aroma. Arvensis carries only slight differences, possessing a lighter, sweeter scent than Piperita. Both contain the same number of rich benefits for the skin, body and mind. 

How does peppermint essential oil benefit hair?

A common ingredient found in peppermint oil is menthol. Responsible for the cooling and refreshing effect of the oil, menthol is the driving force behind the many benefits of peppermint, with its presence helping to stimulate and soothe various ailments in the body.

Though menthol can also be found in other oils, peppermint contains one of the highest concentrations, meaning its effects are strongest when using this oil. Below are some of the top qualities of menthol that make it so great for hair health.

Peppermint oil benefits for hair:

It may help boost circulation

Though research on this is still fairly limited, a small 2016 study has shown the successful effects of menthol on circulation when applied to the skin.

This means that peppermint oil can help to boost blood flow, stimulating different areas of the body and improving overall health.

This ability creates a great argument for using peppermint oil in hair growth, as a boost in circulation can help keep the hair follicles healthy and recharged, facilitating a sound environment for thicker and longer hair over time.

It can improve scalp health

Peppermint oil is an anti-inflammatory, meaning it can help to reduce redness and irritation on certain points of the body. It is also an antimicrobial and an anti-septic, so is therefore great for fighting infections on the skin.

These factors combined make peppermint a good remedy for soothing and cleansing itchy and irritated scalps. In fact, a 2012 study found that, when diluted, peppermint can actually relieve itching caused by cases of pruritus.

Adding peppermint oil to your scalp can therefore increase the chances of achieving healthy hair.

It may be able to prevent hair loss

Not much is yet known about how effective peppermint can actually be against hair loss in humans, however a 2014 study conducted on mice confirmed that it may become a useful tool in the future.

This study found that a solution of diluted peppermint oil, when applied to the hair, created better results for hair growth than the common drug minoxidil, an FDA-approved hair remedy.

Lavender stem and vial with oil in. How do you use peppermint essential oil on your hair?

For the best results, application to the hair and scalp must be regular (preferably daily) and completed as part of your normal hair care routine. If you're not sure how to go about actually applying it, here are some common techniques to help get you started:

1. Create your own hair treatment

Like pretty much all essential oils, peppermint is a highly concentrated substance. Therefore, if you're going to put it in your hair, you must dilute it first. We recommend using a carrier oil like argon or jojoba, as these generally have some great benefits for hair too. Jojoba is a particularly good choice if you suffer from acne or an oily scalp as it won't clog up your pores.

Combine the peppermint essential oil with your chosen carrier oil and massage evenly into the scalp. Make sure you add no more than a couple of drops per teaspoon of carrier oil.
Leave in for a few minutes, and then wash out. It's normal to feel a slight tingle on your skin, so don't panic! But do be sure to wash it out immediately if it becomes too much or starts to hurt.
Alternatively, you can try your hand at making your own peppermint spray using water, witch hazel and rosewater. Find out how here.

2. Add to your shampoo and/or conditioner

This one's pretty self-explanatory. Simply add 5 drops into your existing shampoo or conditioner and shake well. Use as normal in the shower or bath.

It may take a little longer for results to show up by applying it this way, however it's a great choice for those of us who don't really feel like adding anything drastic to our routines.
Peppermint itself is a very common ingredient in many shampoos and conditioners, mostly for its refreshing smell as well as its soothing feeling. However, these products likely won't contain any actual essential oil in them, so the benefits to your hair would be limited in comparison.

 

Precautions

  • As with all natural products, always carry out a patch test before use on the hair and scalp and seek medical advice if required.
  • Never use peppermint essential oil undiluted, as doing so could result in irritation.
  • Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.

Even though the science behind using peppermint oil for hair is still fairly sparse, the results so far have shown great evidence to suggest its effectiveness.

Like many beauty and lifestyle treatments, results to your hair won't happen overnight, but don't give up! Your hair will ultimately thank you for it.

Shop our Peppermint Essential Oil here.

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