Peppermint oil is an infused oil that some people use to promote healthy hair goals. An infused oil is made by diluting herbs with a carrier oil (such as olive oil, coconut oil, etc.) to draw out its scent and flavor.
Peppermint leaves are commonly used to add flavor to food, but as a natural, you might also use them in your hair regimen. Peppermint oil is extracted from peppermint leaves, and its major chemical components are menthol and menthone.
Can Peppermint Oil Grow My Hair?
In 2018, researchers from the Korean Society of Toxicology carried out a study comparing the effectiveness of minoxidil - a medication used for hair regrowth - with peppermint oil in growing hair.
The results showed that peppermint oil was more effective than minoxidil in promoting hair growth. Therefore, peppermint oil can be considered a good option for those looking to improve hair growth.
Dr. Sunitha Posina, a board-certified physician in internal medicine, also confirms that peppermint oil can stimulate hair growth due to vasodilation of the blood vessels and helping with hair loss.
Is Peppermint Oil Safe for My Natural Hair?
Peppermint oil is safe to apply to your natural hair to stimulate hair growth. However, you should avoid applying it directly to your skin or scalp.
Sara Panton, the co-founder of Vitruvi, warns that people with allergies should not use peppermint oil. Furthermore, she cautions that it should not be used on dry scalp or hair that is dry and brittle.
"It works best if you have oily hair and scalp," Panton advises.
Therefore, it is recommended that you perform a skin patch test and observe your skin's reaction to the oil before applying it to your hair.
Benefits of Peppermint Oil
1. Promotes hair growth and thickness
A 2018 study conducted by researchers showed that peppermint oil is effective in promoting hair growth. Dr. Posina also states that peppermint oil can help overcome 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. Rich in nutrients
Peppermint oil is rich in iron, calcium, potassium, folate, vitamins A and C, omega-3, manganese, and magnesium which help promote overall healthy hair. It also helps to balance the pH level of your scalp, which regulates the production of oil and provides overall moisture to your scalp and hair.
3. Contains antiseptic properties
Peppermint oil contains antiseptic properties that help get rid of dandruff and return a damaged, irritated scalp to its healthy state.
4. Contains antibacterial properties
The antibacterial properties found in peppermint oil help fight any bacteria that may be present in your natural hair and scalp. This way, your natural hair grows and stays healthy.
5. Helps reduce inflammation
Peppermint oil contains menthol which, when applied, provides a cooling sensation to the scalp. This is great if you are dealing with itchiness or dandruff.
How to Use Peppermint Oil for Hair
Note: Directly applying peppermint oil to your scalp or skin can cause a burning sensation. To avoid this, you can dilute it with a carrier oil of your choice, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil.
1. Use it as a scalp massager
Peppermint oil can be used as a scalp massager whether you have an itchy, damaged, or healthy scalp. It provides a cooling sensation that helps to relieve pain or itchiness and increases blood flow in your scalp.
To use peppermint oil as a scalp massager, apply a few drops to your fingers or directly onto your scalp and massage it all over.
2. Use it as a pre-poo treatment
A pre-poo treatment moisturizes your natural hair and scalp, preventing it from being stripped of its natural oil after shampooing.
To pre-poo your natural hair with peppermint oil, add a few drops to your scalp, massage it, and leave it for 15 to 25 minutes before shampooing..
3. Use it with your shampoo or conditioner
Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your shampoo or conditioner can boost their effectiveness.
4. Use it as a hair mask
You can create your own hair mask with peppermint oil to provide moisture and promote overall hair growth.
To do this, add a few drops of coconut oil to your peppermint oil. Warm the oils over low heat until they reach a near-thick consistency. Let it cool, then apply it to your hair. Leave it in for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off with 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 make it yourself.
To help you make your own peppermint oil, watch this helpful video tutorial by OnyiUnique. She demonstrates two methods for making peppermint oil.