Hair loss is often an incubator for insecurity because having luscious locks is a source of pride for many people. Adding to the sense of anxiety is the feeling that there is nothing you can do about it – it is simply one’s lot. Evidence suggests you should abandon this fatalistic mindset.
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Remedies drawn from the earth’s natural resources have been shown to have a restorative effect on hair loss and one of the most promising is peppermint oil.
Peppermint oil, which is derived from the leaves of the peppermint plant, has been shown to alleviate various complaints, from gastrointestinal problems to migraines.
Increasingly, researchers are also linking the herbal extract to hair growth.
In one notable study, peppermint oil was shown to outperform minoxidil, a commonly prescribed drug for hair loss.
The study, published in the journal Toxicological Research, studied the effect of saline, jojoba, minoxidil and peppermint oil (PEO) on hair growth in mice.
Jojoba oil is a seed extract linked to treating dry scalp and dandruff issues, factors that may make hair loss more likely.
After four weeks, the peppermint oil group showed the most predominant hair growth with increase in the depth of the dermis, increased numbers and increased depth of hair follicles.
The dermis is the inner layer of the two main layers of the skin – this is where the hair follicles are found.
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At week four peppermint oil was shown to cause 92 percent hair growth compared to minoxidil which caused 55 percent.
How does peppermint oil stimulate hair growth?
According to Dr Deborah Lee, Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, peppermint oil seems to affect the anagen phase – the active growing phase – of hair growth.
“Peppermint oil has many beneficial properties – it is an antioxidant, as well as having antimicrobial and antifungal activity, along with anti-allergy and anti-tumour effects,” she explains.
In this study a 100 percent pure natural peppermint oil was used.
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What the study researchers believe
The dermal papilla is a collection of stem cells within the hair follicle which regulate the growth and development of the hair follicle.
The authors propose that peppermint oil helps conserve the vascularisation (the formation of new blood vessels) of the dermal papilla and in this way, facilitates hair growth.
Other ways to treat hair loss
Another viable solution is to wear a wig.
According to the NHS, some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
There are two types of wigs to choose from but both come with pros and cons, notes the health site.
- Last six to nine months
- Are easier to look after than real-hair wigs
- Can be itchy and hot
- Cost less than real-hair wigs
- Last three to four years
- Are harder to look after than synthetic wigs
- Look more natural than synthetic wigs
- Cost more than synthetic wigs
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