Peppermint oil is an essential oil widely known for its pleasant smell and stimulating effects. It is used to treat headaches, stomachache, nausea and even cold symptoms. When used as an oil on the skin, peppermint oil acts as a vasodilator and increases blood flow to the area of application. This ability to encourage circulation makes peppermint oil a potential hair growth enhancer when used on the scalp.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are distilled, highly concentrated liquids that come from plants. They typically are used several drops at a time. Most essential oils are mixed with heavier carrier oils, such as jojoba, sweet almond or grapeseed oil, to reduce irritation. The mixture is then applied to the skin for therapeutic benefits.
Peppermint oil can be administered in a capsule or oil form. The oil may also be inhaled. When used to increase hair growth, peppermint oil is typically mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to the scalp. The oil is potent and just a drop on bare skin can cause irritation and intense tingling.
Though there is little research to support peppermint oil as a proven hair growth stimulant, there are well documented benefits for the hair and scalp associated with the oil. Peppermint oil acts like an astringent and helps remove excess sebum from the scalp. It also produces a cooling effect when placed on the skin because it contains menthol. This tingling effect is why peppermint oil is so popular as a hair growth stimulant among its supporters.
Where to Purchase
Peppermint oil can be purchased from an herbalist or natural foods store, local pharmacy, or from online vendors like Fromnaturewithlove.com. Peppermint oil is typically sold in small, dark-tinted bottles to help preserve its shelf life. As with most essential oils, a little peppermint oil goes a long way. Just a few ounces of the oil will often last for several months.
Before using any essential oil, please consult an experienced herbalist or aromatherapy specialist. If you are pregnant, you should avoid using peppermint oil entirely. Before applying oil to your skin, please conduct a skin test to check for allergic reactions or problems.