Menthol is an active ingredient that is often included in hair products and other cosmetic preparations for its cooling and scalp-stimulating effects. Mentholated hair shampoos, ointments and creams, like most medicated hair products, are formulated to soothe and treat conditions of the scalp.
What is menthol?
Menthol is a clear or white organic compound that is derived from peppermint oil. It creates a cooling effect by penetrating the skin and stimulating the skin's nerve endings.
Mentholated products increase blood flow to the skin. Increasing blood flow to the scalp skin encourages healthier hair growth.
Menthol is used in hair products to alleviate common scalp problems like itching, dryness, and tightness associated with scalp conditions like psoriasis.
Hair Oil Regulation
Menthol is often included in hair preparations to help reduce scalp oiliness from excess sebum production. Sebum is the oil that is naturally produced by the skin.
While most people experience few side effects from using mentholated hair products, severe allergic reactions can occur. If you notice scalp irritation after using a hair shampoo, ointment, or lotion containing menthol, see a physician immediately.
Audrey Sivasothy, a Houston-based freelance writer, specializes in writing health, beauty, science, and policy pieces. She has published content for Turner and other clients for 4 years. She is currently writing a comprehensive hair care book on black/textured hair. Sivasothy holds a Bachelor of Science in health science/policy studies from Rice University.