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