Beards have been on-trend for quite a few years, which has led to a dramatic growth in the number of products available to treat and sustain them.
Using peppermint oil for beard growth is one of the most popular methods used by many people, although how much is known about its benefits?
It’s an interesting question that needs answering, especially if you are already using the oil, or are thinking of making the switch. Here, we look at how it can help, some of the scientific research that’s been carried out and offer suggestions on the best way to use it on your beard.
Why do people lose their beard and facial hair?
People lose their beard and facial hair for many different reasons. Some causes are genetic, whilst others can be brought on due to hormonal changes or as a side effect of medication. Some of the most common reasons include:
1. Alopecia barbae
More commonly referred to as alopecia, this form of hair loss occurs when follicles are attacked internally. The exact reasons for the trigger still remain unknown, although it is believed to be linked to genetics and stress. It can cause a very sudden change in appearance, with small, circular patches often starting to appear in beard growth areas. In some cases, it can affect both your beard and the hair on your scalp.
2. Dietary habits
The food you take into your body can also affect the hair on your face and scalp. The intake of too much vitamin A, whether it’s through supplements or food, is a common cause. Crash dieting can lead to hair loss and thinning due to a sudden reduction in calories, as not enough vitamins are being received to sustain hair growth.
3. Lower testosterone & dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
When hair follicles start to shrink, this can be a trigger for hair loss. If the process continues, each strand becomes finer until it stops growing completely. When DHT starts to negatively affect hair follicles, shrinkage starts to occur, which then leads to loss of hair. Although research is ongoing, it is currently believed that this happens due to the sensitivity of hair follicles, rather than how much DHT is present at the time.
4. Stress levels
Consistently raised levels of stress can lead to various forms of hair loss. Alopecia is one, as we mentioned above, whilst telogen effluvium can be responsible for pushing follicles into a resting phase, which invariably leads to loss of hair. In many cases, hair loss caused by stress is only temporary, although you should always consult with your doctor, as beard hair loss could be the sign of a more serious medical condition.
Does peppermint oil grow beard hairs?
When diluted and applied correctly, peppermint oil could help you to grow a thicker and healthier looking beard.
If you have been using beard oils and beard growth products for a while, you may have noticed that peppermint oil is quite often featured as an ingredient. And that’s not only due to its wonderfully fresh fragrance.
Studies have shown that peppermint oil can grow thicker hair fibres and a larger number of active follicles at a faster rate, compared to the likes of saline control, Minoxidil and jojoba oil.
Granted, these tests were conducted on rodents, but due to our reproductive and digestive system similarities, it offers a good indication of how peppermint oil could help to ease hair loss issues in humans.
Peppermint oil beard benefits
Using peppermint oil for beard growth can offer a host of benefits, such as:
1. Encouraging the growth of a thicker, longer beard
The aim for many people when they first start to grow a beard is to cultivate a long, thick beard that offers plenty of options when it comes to shaping and designing it. Animal studies have been carried out to compare how peppermint oil stands up against established hair growth supplements such as Minoxidil.
The results were surprisingly positive, with a 3% application of peppermint oil encouraging about the same amount of growth as Minoxidil. Of course, more research is required to further these claims of the oil’s hair growing abilities, but it is a very positive start point.
2. Stimulating better blood circulation
Menthol is the key ingredient in peppermint, which when applied to the skin can help to increase blood circulation. When more blood is moving around the body, particularly in areas of hair growth, it allows key nutrients to be delivered as intended, which can help your follicles to work as efficiently as possible.
You stand a much better chance of growing a healthy, thriving beard when everything that needs to happen below the surface of your skin is in good working order.
3. Keeping dandruff at bay
Beard dandruff is pretty common, and it can be just as annoying and embarrassing as the type you can develop on your scalp. This is where peppermint essential oil’s hydrating properties can come to the forefront, helping to keep the skin and pores moisturised so it becomes less of a concern. Dilute with a carrier oil such as argan oil or jojoba oil and massage into your beard and skin to see the best results.
4. Minimising unwanted itching
Your facial hair relies on the sebum produced by your skin to keep it naturally hydrated. However, the longer your beard becomes, the harder it is for the skin to produce the amount of sebum your beard needs, which often dries it out. You will become aware of this when your beard starts to get irritated and itchy, which then creates further side effects for your skin.
The use of peppermint oil offers two big benefits: firstly, when combined with a carrier oil, it can help to keep your skin and hair hydrated. Secondly, the anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint oil can help to reduce the itchy feeling and reduce any raised skin caused by existing irritation it has caused.
5. Enjoying more focus and concentration
According to existing research, inhaling peppermint oil can do wonders for your cognitive performance. From boosting your problem solving IQ to improving your memory, all you need to do is apply diluted peppermint oil to your skin and beard and inhale. This means, that not only can you enjoy the many skin benefits peppermint oil has to offer, but as a positive side effect, you may also experience higher levels of focus and concentration whenever you use it.
How to make your own peppermint oil for beard growth
If you want to test the benefits of peppermint oil for beard growth, you can easily make your own mixture at home by following the instructions below.
Before you get started, make sure you have the following to hand:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Jojoba oil
- Argan oil
- Mixing bowl
- Dark glass bottle
Step-by-step instructions on how to make peppermint oil for beard growth
- Measure 5 ml of argan oil and 5ml of jojoba oil using the pipette.
- Place into the mixing bowl.
- Measure 20 ml of sweet almond oil using the pipette.
- Add this into the mixing bowl and slowly stir to combine the oils.
- Place 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil into the bowl (depending on your strength preference).
- Mix the oils until they are fully combined.
- Carefully pour the oil into a small, dark glass bottle and store in a cool, dry place away from direct heat and light sources.
The bottle should ideally only be large enough to contain the amount of oil you need. This helps to minimise the amount of trapped air at the top of the bottle and will help it to remain in a usable condition for longer.
How to use peppermint essential oil on your beard
Now that you have the instructions on how to make your own peppermint oil for beard growth, it makes sense to have some guidance on how to use it.
Use the steps below to give you the best chance of helping your beard to achieve its full potential:
- Using the bottle of peppermint oil you have just made, fill the bottle dropper with as much oil as possible.
- Carefully transfer the oil from the dropper into your hand (not your beard) as this will help to reduce wastage and give you maximum application coverage.
- Rub the oil around the palm of your hands, making sure to push it through your fingers, as this will help with the application to your beard.
- Slowly massage your hands into your beard, taking time to cover every strand so it receives an even spread.
- The last thing to do is to gently comb through your beard to ensure the oil has been fully distributed, allowing it to work its magic.
What other essential oils are good for beard growth?
1. Lavender essential oil could produce a fast growing, thicker beard
Many people use Lavender Essential Oil to relax and de-stress, with the calming floral fragrance a favourite with those who struggle to sleep at night.
But studies have shown the oil may also possess some helpful hair growth properties. A mice study conducted in 2016, found that when applied to their skin, it resulted in hair growing faster and thicker than normal.
Lavender’s antimicrobial properties may also be able to stop fungi and bacteria from growing and damaging hair follicles.
2. Add more moisture to your skin with rosemary essential oil
A study conducted in 2015 suggests that Rosemary Essential Oil could act as a powerful agent in promoting hair growth. Not only can it help to improve blood circulation, which encourages growth, but it also moisturises the skin beneath the beard. This reduces the appearance of dry, patchy skin, giving your follicles every chance of regrowing lost hairs.
3. Tea tree oil could keep your beard dandruff-free
Beardruff (beard dandruff) is a result of small, flaky pieces of dead skin that have shed too quickly. Whilst Tea Tree Essential Oil hasn’t been found to be directly responsible for hair growth, it can play an important role in helping your beard hair to stay healthy, creating the right environment for new hairs to grow. Its properties can help to unclog pores, which could prevent infections or conditions such as dandruff from appearing in your beard.
What are the risks of using peppermint beard oil?
If you have liver or gallbladder issues, it is advisable to avoid using peppermint oil, as it can negatively interact with some medications. Make sure to speak with your doctor if you need further clarification.
The other main risk to be aware of when using peppermint beard oil, is that it can cause irritation and even allergic reactions on some skin types. Most people will not experience any issues at all, but to avoid any unwanted surprises, it is advisable to complete a skin patch test before applying it to your beard in large quantities.
You can do this by simply diluting a small amount of the oil and applying it to the inside of your elbow. Cover with a plaster and leave for 24 hours to monitor for any reaction.
If you notice any skin irritation, redness or inflammation, wash the oil off your skin with warm water and discontinue use of the oil.
For anyone looking for a natural solution to hair loss in their beard, peppermint oil could provide the ideal solution. It offers benefits such as improving blood circulation, which can encourage hair growth, encouraging the development of thicker, healthier beards, reducing itchiness and also keeping dandruff at bay. If you have liver or gallbladder issues, speak with your doctor before using the oil and always ensure it is properly diluted before applying to your beard and skin.