Peppermint Oil For Hair: Benefits & Uses

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Using peppermint oil for hair is a popular practice around the world, but before applying it to your locks, you should understand the benefits and possible side effects it could have.

What is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint oil is the essential, concentrated oil from the leaves, stems, and stalks of the peppermint plant, scientifically known as Mentha piperita. This potent oil is steam distilled from the flowering parts of this plant and possesses a fresh, spicy, and herbaceous aroma that makes it a popular addition to cosmetic products and at-home remedies for skin inflammation and hair health, among many others. The active ingredients in peppermint oil include menthol, menthone, cineol, pulegone, limonene, and other powerful organic acids and antioxidants.

Benefits

There are many great reasons to use peppermint oil for hair, such as its ability to protect against infections, increase circulation, reduce pain, and stimulate hair growth, among others.

Person using oil on hair length

Peppermint oil is best used in a more diluted form. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Antimicrobial

The scalp is a part of the skin and is therefore susceptible to microbial infection, some of which can cause dryness, itching, and inflammation. Applying this oil once every 2 weeks can keep your scalp clear of infections and free of dandruff.

Insecticidal and Pesticidal

In some parts of the world, insect and pest infestations of the hair are more common, but peppermint essential oil has insecticidal properties that will prevent them from taking up residence in your hair or scalp.

Analgesic and Anesthetic

If you have an injury or infection on your scalp, the anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effects of this oil can soothe the discomfort and speed the healing process.

Vasodilating Effect

Peppermint oil is known as a vasodilator, which can increase blood flow to the scalp and ensure that those cells get the nutrients they need for hair growth.

Hair Loss

Many people use this oil to prevent or slow down hair loss, which is often caused by inflammation or irritation on the scalp, leading to the poor health of the follicles and eventual loss of your locks.

Hair Growth

Not only can it stop the loss of your hair, but this oil can also stimulate the regrowth of new hair, thanks to its antioxidant content.

How to Use Peppermint Oil for Hair?

If you choose to use peppermint oil on the hair, the most common applications are as follows:

  • Scalp massage oil
  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners

Due to the potency of this oil, only 5-6 drops are needed in your shampoos or conditioners to deliver their nutrients to the scalp. When using this oil as a pure scalp massage, it is best to mix it with another scalp/carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, almond oil, or coconut oil. Rub the mixture thoroughly into the scalp, being sure to get it right down to the roots. Then, pull the oil through your strands of hair, trying to cover as much surface area as possible.

Side Effects

There are some side effects to be aware of when using this essential oil. Highly concentrated oils like this can cause topical inflammation on the skin, particularly in those who are allergic. Before applying to your entire scalp, use a small amount on a patch of skin and check for redness, inflammation or itchiness.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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