Why You Should Try Using Peppermint Oil In Your Hair

Although the haircare industry is constantly throwing new products in our faces, sometimes it's best to stick with the natural stuff. When you opt for natural, you avoid combinations of random chemicals, many of which most of us can't even pronounce, and you go directly to the source. Peppermint oil is a perfect example of a natural product that isn't gussied up with things that are meant to give it a long shelf life and, because of this, it's the oil that keeps giving. 

"This essential oil has wide-ranging health benefits including decongestant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial properties," co-founder and medical director of the Lam Clinic Carrie Lam, M.D. tells Prevention. Not every essential oil can boast such a laundry list of benefits, which is why it's such an asset when used in your hair. As long you never forget to dilute it with a carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut oil, peppermint oil just might become your favorite hair product for more than one reason.

It promotes hair growth

If you're looking for thicker hair or even regrowth, peppermint oil may be able to take care of that for you. According to a 2014 study published in the Toxicological Research journal, when peppermint oil was applied to mice, it helped with hair regrowth. Of the four studies conducted, the group of mice that were given peppermint oil in jojoba oil (as a necessary carrier oil) ended up with thicker hair, and greater follicle numbers and depth. Granted, humans aren't mice, but the researchers felt it was enough to conclude the studies were definitely onto something in regard to the positive effect of the essential oil.

"Research is limited, but peppermint oil could help hair growth," board-certified dermatologist Craig Ziering, D.O., F.A.A.D. told Shape. "Menthol, the main component in peppermint oil, has been shown to increase blood flow to the area where it is applied. Better blood circulation to the skin could encourage more hair to grow in the affected area." If you feel your hair could use a boost in the follicle area, then give peppermint oil a try. 

It can help with scalp issues

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, itchy scalps are common and can be the result of anything from dandruff to psoriasis to contact dermatitis. Although there are medicated hair products that can swoop in and help, when peppermint oil is rubbed into the scalp, it can make a big difference for some people. Peppermint oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is also an anesthetic and insecticide, per Healthline. But while peppermint oil may be bursting at the seams with benefits, it doesn't mean that it's a fit for everyone or every type of hair.

"Peppermint oil helps to stimulate your scalp and hair follicles, but it should not be used for those with a dry scalp or brittle hair. It works best if you have oily hair and scalp," board-certified internist Sunitha Posina, M.D. told Byrdie. "All hair types can use peppermint oil when used correctly and safely. People should avoid applying peppermint oil directly as it can be very irritating, and those with allergies to essential oils or sensitive skin/scalp should avoid it or try a patch test prior to using it."

Although peppermint oil won't solve all your hair issues (because nothing will), it's still an option worth investigating when looking into hair growth remedies and products to help itchy scalps. As long as you properly patch test and never (ever!) forget the carrier oil, you might be singing the praises of peppermint oil to your friends at brunch this weekend.