Peppermint is one of those herbs that everyone knows of. But do you also know how it can benefit your hair and boost hair growth? Well, read on about the cool minty tonic.
Peppermint plant grows without much effort. If you water it enough, it grows and grows and takes over the neighbouring plants. And then you need to interfere to curtail its growth or else it will take over your garden. But does peppermint produce the same effect on hair growth? Make hair grow non-stop. We will find out in a bit.
In Greek mythology, the birth of the peppermint plant is a result of a love story.
Myth has it that Pluto, the god of the underworld, fell in love with a beautiful nymph by the name of mentha. On finding out, Pluto’s wife Persephone was enraged and crushed mentha to the ground. Devastated by his loss, Pluto restored the spirit of mentha by bestowing upon her amazing fragrant and healing powers to soothe and mend. And that is how the mint plant was born.
Of course, that’s a fictional tale, but what’s not fictional is its healing and restorative powers. Peppermint is well-known for its ability to soothe itchy and inflamed skin. Moreover, peppermint has analgesic action and is thus beneficial in reducing headache, muscle pain as well as joint pain. Plus, it helps in relieving cough, cold, sore throat, sinusitis and bronchitis.
Okay, and what about the hair and scalp issues? Well, the same healing properties benefit our scalp and helps with hair growth too. Let’s find out…
If you got itchy, flaky scalp, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the scalp. It could be due to the use of harsh products, which strip it of its natural oils. But it could also be due to fungus or any other microorganism troubling your scalp. In normal circumstances, your body should be able to get rid of unhealthy microbes. If it is not, you may not be in the best of health. An unhealthy diet or stress could be the culprit. Whatever it is you need to sort it out.
In the meantime, you can take help of refreshing and tingly peppermint oil. It has excellent antifungal and antiseptic properties to help heal your scalp. As a bonus, peppermint oil reduces hair loss and promotes thicker growth. Here’s more on what peppermint can do for your scalp and hair…
That’s because of its antiseptic and astringent action. It helps to cleanse the accumulated build-up from the scalp and unclog the hair follicles. Along with this, peppermint stimulates the cold receptor on the skin, causing the sensation of coolness and slight numbness.
So if you have been itching constantly and have a red, angry scalp, peppermint oil will soothe and bring relief.
Fungal and bacterial overgrowth is often the cause of your scalp producing excessive flakes. Peppermint oil is an effective anti-microbial, fighting both bacteria and fungi. Besides, peppermint can also help relieve ongoing scalp inflammation.
And that’s good news for your hair too. Because constant itching and inflammation is disturbing for your hair roots. Whereas, a clean and refreshed scalp provides the right environment for your hair to grow and thrive.
So yes, peppermint oil promotes a healthy scalp. But peppermint also has a direct role in improving hair growth. The herb’s stimulating properties boosts blood flow to the scalp. This, in turn, brings more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles, so it grows strong and healthy hair.
Is there any evidence to prove that peppermint works?
A study was conducted in 2014 comparing the effects of peppermint essential oil, minoxidil, jojoba oil and saline solution on hair growth. And can you guess which of the four applications had the most positive effect on hair growth?
It was peppermint oil!
Peppermint oil promotes hair growth way better than minoxidil.
Right from week 2 of the study, peppermint oil grew hair rapidly. Whereas the saline solution and jojoba oil had minimal effect. At week 3, the same trend continued, peppermint oil producing remarkable effects on hair growth, even greater than minoxidil. By week 4, which was also the final week of the study, peppermint oil was clearly dominant when compared with minoxidil. In percentage terms, peppermint oil improved hair growth by 92%, whereas minoxidil about 55% (read more here).
In conclusion, the researchers found that peppermint oil improved blood flow to the hair follicles and caused elongation of hair follicles. As a result, the hair grew thicker and longer.
In conclusion, the researchers found that peppermint oil improved blood flow to the hair follicles and caused elongation of hair follicles. As a result the hair grew thicker and longer.
So yes, peppermint oil was a winner in this one study.
However, the big drawback of the study was it was done on mice and not humans. There are no human trials yet. And even if there was a study conducted on humans, there will be many confounding factors such as age, scalp health, diet, vitamin deficiencies etc. So if the oil works on one group of people, it may not work on another group.
The only sure shot way to know if peppermint works for you or not is to give it a try. Let’s find out more on that…
The popular way of using peppermint on hair is in the form of its essential oil. You can buy peppermint essential oil from a health food store or online and mix it with a carrier oil such as coconut and massage onto your scalp. And another way of using peppermint is in the form of herbal tea rinse. We will see the rinse first.
If you have peppermint tea in your pantry, you can make a herbal tea rinse. It’s rich in antioxidants and other phytonutrients that will boost hair growth as well as soothe an irritated scalp.
You will need:
How to Make:
How to Use:
You can use the rinse after shampooing your hair or use it in-between washes to refresh and nourish your hair.
Slowly pour the peppermint tea rinse over your wet hair. Massage it into your scalp and hair and let it soak in for 4-5 minutes and rinse it out.
Note: you can refrigerate the remaining peppermint tea for up to a week.
If you like head massages, you will enjoy the tingling sensation and refreshing fragrance of mint oil. You can use it with any base oil of your choice (coconut, olive). I like to combine peppermint oil with lavender and rosemary essential oil for added benefit. Here’s the blend I love.
You will need:
Place the oils in a bowl and mix well.
How to Use:
With your fingertips, massage the oil blend into your scalp and hair. You can also use wide-tooth wood comb to massage your scalp. Leave it on for an hour or overnight for it to work longer. Wash with a natural shampoo or a homemade egg shampoo.
How often to apply: you can do the oil mask once or twice a week.
So that was the tingly and therapeutic peppermint to boost hair growth.
Buying Peppermint Oil
There are several varieties of peppermint oils, and the right one to buy is Mentha piperita – this is the botanical name. You can buy the peppermint oil online here.
Are there any side effects of using peppermint essential oil?
To sum up:
Do you use peppermint oil on your hair? I would love to know how it works for you…