If you’re looking for a natural way to boost hair growth and fight hair loss, pumpkin seed oil may be the answer. This powerful oil has been shown to improve hair health in a number of ways. For women who have PCOS, pumpkin seed oil can be an especially effective treatment for hair loss.
Let’s find out the best oil for hair growth and how to use pumpkin seed oil to strengthen your hair and stop hair loss.
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What is pumpkin seed oil?
Pumpkin seed oil is pressed from pumpkin seeds, and is a healthy source of essential fatty acids. You’ll see it often used in cooking for its light and nutty flavor, and in cosmetics and personal care products. It also contains nutrients that have been shown to improve hair growth.
Pumpkin Seed Oil For Hair Growth: Is It Effective?
Pumpkin seed oil may come from an ordinary plant, but studies show it does actually have some effectiveness when stacked against some popular ingredients in commercial hair growth products.
In one study, pumpkin seed oil was compared to a 5% minoxidil foam to compare effects on female-pattern hair loss. What researchers found was that both pumpkin seed oil and the minoxidil increased hair regrowth and hair thickness (1). The minoxidil 5% did stimulate hair growth better than the pumpkin seed oil but participants still saw an improvement in hair growth with the pumpkin seed oil.
Pumpkin seed oil also has a ton of nutrients to support hair growth. Specifically, pumpkin seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, like oleic and linoleic acid, as well as vitamin E and phytosterols—all of which have the potential for hair growth promotion.
Does pumpkin seed oil block DHT?
DHT is a known culprit in hair loss caused by high androgens, which is common with hormonal conditions like PCOS. DHT binds to hair follicles and inhibits their ability to produce new hairs. But, pumpkin seed oil may have the power to block DHT from doing its damage.
A pumpkin seed oil supplement may function as a DHT blocker mainly due to its phytosterol content. Phytosterols have been shown to alleviate baldness associated with hair loss as a result of high androgens (2).
In most studies looking at PSO for stopping hair loss and promoting hair growth, participants took 400 mg of a pumpkin seed oil supplement.
Benefits of pumpkin seed oil for hair
In addition to halting hair loss and supporting hair growth, there’s a number of other benefits pumpkin seed oil has for shinier, stronger, and healthier hair.
Moisture: Pumpkin seed oil has essential fatty acids to help lock in hydration.
Adds strength & protection: Protect from free-radical damage, environmental pollution, and other stresses that can damage the health of your hair.
Healthy hair growth: When massaged into the scalp it can reduce irritation and encourage the regrowth of healthy hair follicles
Shine: Using hair oils adds moisture and shine to each hair strand.
Are there other oils that work on thin hair?
Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil is popular among natural hair growth experts, and rightly so! Just like pumpkin seed oil, one randomized comparative trial found that rosemary essential oil was just as effective as commercial hair growth products containing minoxidil (3).
Peppermint essential oil stimulates blood flow and circulation to the scalp, supplying hair follicles with nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong (4). It can also help balance the pH of the scalp and reduce an overly oily scalp. Peppermint oil is most effective for those who have an oily scalp, and may not be suitable for those who have a dry or flaky scalp.
To use these oils for hair growth, make sure to always add them to a carrier oil, and never apply the oil alone directly to your skin as it will likely cause irritation. Try adding 3 to 5 drops of each oil to your shampoo before massaging it into your scalp. Leave it on while you’re in the shower, then rinse and finish your conditioning routine as normal.
How to Use Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair Growth
There are a few different ways you can use pumpkin seed oil to promote hair growth. Whether you’re looking for topical pumpkin seed oil, or pumpkin seed oil supplements, I recommend choosing a cold-pressed product, and preferably one that is organic, and GMP-certified if you’re taking it as a supplement.
Pumpkin seed oil scalp massage
Massaging the scalp actually increases blood flow to hair follicles, which means they have access to more nutrients with which to grow. The best way to do this is with a pumpkin seed oil massage. To prepare, grab 6-oz amber colored glass bottle with a squeeze or pump top, and combine:
- 4-6 ounces of cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil
- 3-5 drops rosemary essential oil
Shake to fully combine the oils (and before subsequent uses). Then, apply a sufficient amount to coat your scalp, or about an ounce, and massage for 10 to 15 minutes.
You can leave on as an overnight treatment, and wash your hair as normal in the morning, or wash it out after you’re done massaging your scalp.
Other options for stimulating hair growth
Eat a hair-healthy diet
Your hair needs nutrients! But many of us eat a diet that depletes the body of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your hair so desperately needs to grow. For longer, thicker hair, make sure you include these foods in your diet:
- Eggs for choline, B vitamins, and biotin
- Naturally-raised or grass-fed animal protein for minerals like heme-iron and a healthy serving of complete proteins
- Kiwi, papaya, citrus, and foods rich in vitamin C to protect against free radical damage and promote collagen production
- Salmon, fish, or ground flax & chia seeds for omega-3 fatty acids
Consider a balanced hair growth supplement
Hair loss is part of what propelled me to study integrative medicine, and why I created Lush Locks for women who are struggling with hair loss.
Lush Locks is full of B vitamins, magnesium, biotin, iron, and L-cysteine, as well as a variety of organically sourced herbs. Lush Locks’ blend of herbs and nutrients supports healthy hair growth. It’s my go-to for hundreds of my patients who are trying to grow healthy, luscious hair.
When to talk to a doctor about hair loss
If you’re noticing hair loss or thinning hair mainly around the crown or top of your head, you may be dealing with PCOS symptoms or other hormonal imbalance.
What to watch for when you notice hair loss is new or increasing hair loss, as this can indicate more serious problems brewing beneath the surface. For example, many of my patients experience hair loss due to stress, or underlying hormone imbalance.
Learn more about the root causes of hair loss here, and begin your journey back to a healthy, full head of hair completely naturally.