Peppermint oil is an infused oil that some naturals apply to their hair to promote healthy hair goals. An infused oil is oil that you get when you dilute herbs with a carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, etc) to draw out its scent and flavor. Peppermint leaves are used to add flavor to food but as a natural, you know by now some of the things we eat, we include in our hair regime as well. Peppermint oil is no exception, it is extracted from peppermint leaves, and has menthol and menthone as its major chemical components.
Can Peppermint Oil Grow My Hair?
In 2018, researchers of the Korean Society Of Toxicology carried out a study where they compared the effectiveness of minoxidil - a medication used for hair regrowth, and peppermint in growing hair. The result of the study was that peppermint oil performed better than minoxidil in (re)growing hair. So, this means that the peppermint oil is good for hair growth.
Also, Dr. Sunitha Posina, a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, confirms that "peppermint oil can stimulate hair growth due to vasodilation of the blood vessels and help (with) hair loss."
Is Peppermint Oil Safe for My Natural Hair?
While pepermint oil is safe to apply to your natural hair to stimulate hair growth, you shouldn’t apply it directly to your skin or scalp.
Sara Panton, co-founder of Vitruvi, warns that peppermint oil should not be used by people who have allergies. She also cautions that it should not be used on a dry scalp or hair that is dry and brittle.
"It works best if you have oily hair and scalp," Panton advises.
So, I recommend that you do a skin patch test and observe your skin's reaction to the oil before you apply it to your hair.
Benefits of Peppermint Oil
1. It promotes hair growth and thickness
As I showed you earlier, the 2018 study conducted by researchers showed that peppermint oil is effective in promoting hair growth. Dr. Posina also states that peppermint oil can help in overcoming hair loss. When used to massage the scalp, peppermint oil can increase follicle depth and dermal thickness which helps to add thickness to your natural hair.
2. It is rich in nutrients
Peppermint oil has iron, calcium, potassium, folate, vitamins A and C, omega-3, manganese, and magnesium which help to promote overall healthy hair. It also helps to balance the Potenz Hydrogen (PH) level of your scalp, which produces oil and provides overall moisture to your scalp and hair.
3. It contains antiseptic properties
Peppermint oil contains antiseptic properties that help to get rid of dandruff and return a damaged, irritiated scalp damaged to its healthy state.
4. It contains antibacterial properties
The antibacterial properties found in peppermint oil helps to fight any bacteria that may be present in your natural hair and scalp. This way, your natural hair grows and stays healthy.
5. It helps to reduce inflammation
Peppermint oil contains menthol which when applied, provides the scalp with a cooling sensation. This is great for you if you are dealing with itchiness or dandruff.
Different Ways You Can Use Peppermint Oil
Note: Applying peppermint oil directly onto your scalp or skin can cause a burning sensation. You can dilute it with any carrier oil of your choice such as jojoba oil or coconut oil.
1. Use it as a scalp massager
Whether you have an itchy scalp, a damaged one, or a healthy scalp, you can use peppermint oil to massage your scalp. It will provide your scalp with a cooling sensation to help relieve pains or itchiness. It also helps to increase the flow of blood in your scalp. Simply apply a few drops to your fingers or directly on your scalp and massage it all over your scalp.
2. Use it as a prepoo treatment
A prepoo is short for preparing your natural hair before shampooing. A prepoo treatment helps to moisturize your natural hair and scalp, thus preventing it from being stripped of its natural oil after you must have shampooed.
To prepoo your natural hair with peppermint oil, simply add a few drops to your scalp, massage it, and leave for between 15 - 25 minutes. After that, go ahead and shampoo your hair.
3. Use it with your shampoo or conditioner
You can add a few drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo or conditioner to boost their effectiveness.
4. Use it as a hair mask
You can DIY your own hair mask with peppermint oil to provide your hair and scalp with moisture and promote overall hair growth. To do this, add a few drops of coconut oil to your peppermint oil. Next, warm the oils over low heat until it gives you a near-thick consistency. After that, let it cool and apply it to your hair. Leave it in for 10 - 15 minutes and then wash off with your shampoo.
How to Make Your Own Peppermint Oil
You can purchase peppermint oil in the cooking ingredient section of your local store or you can DIY yours. To help you DIY your own peppermint oil, this helpful video tutorial by OnyiUnique will show you two methods she uses to make peppermint oil: