Harvested from the sweet-smelling Peppermint plant native in North America and Europe, Peppermint oil is created through steaming the leaves, flowers, and stems of the herb. It’s popularly used for scenting cosmetic and cleansing products. Although it can also be used to flavor food.
But unknown to many, peppermint is also packed with lots of beauty benefits that are good for the hair and scalp. If there’s one job Peppermint oil does extremely well, it’s to fight off dandruff.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the amazing ability of peppermint to cleanse the scalp and treat notorious hair problems like dandruff. Similar to rosemary and other herbs, peppermint provides a soothing sensation when it comes in contact with the skin. Because of this ability, it calms itchy scalp and eliminates inflammation and flakiness.
How Does Peppermint Oil Fight Off Dandruff?
Treating dandruff can be a major challenge especially when most commercial products today do a poor job moisturizing and balancing the scalp. Without proper moisture and balance in your scalp’s pH level, various unpleasant conditions can occur, including dandruff.
Dandruff is a scalp problem characterized by the excessive shedding of dead skin cells. There are many causes of dandruff. One is an allergic reaction to fungi found on adult scalp. Some people get dandruff because they have overly dry skin while some have serious skin disorders such as eczema or psoriasis. But the most often cause of dandruff is simply over-washing or using an extremely strong shampoo for your hair. Using shampoo every day can strip away natural oils produced by your scalp leaving your hair dry and prone to breakage.
One important factor to maintaining the health of your scalp is its pH balance. Abnormal pH levels caused by allergic reactions due to harsh products, stress, or weather can cause dryness and flakiness resulting to dandruff.
Peppermint oil is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help prevent dryness by removing dead skin cells and bacteria. Most shampoos only remove dead skin cells, but peppermint oil targets bacteria which is the ultimate culprit for overproduction of skin cells. It also brings back your scalps normal sebum production giving your hair the best condition for healthy growth.
Peppermint contains menthol which is responsible for its aromatic and healing qualities. However, people with overly sensitive scalp may find peppermint‘s soothing abilities too strong, so much that it causes a burning sensation when applied to the scalp.
When mixed with other essential oils, peppermint oil can be a great moisturizer. If your hair is in need of more glow, you can create a moisturizer to bring back its shine. Because of its ability to oxidize the scalp, peppermint oil can also help your hair grow to its full potential.
DIY Peppermint Oil Recipe
Creating your own peppermint oil isn’t so hard. Store bought peppermint oil are simply extracted from peppermint plant through heating at low temperature. If you’ve got lots of peppermints and enjoy creating your own a concoction. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:
What you need:
Fresh peppermint leaves
Glass jar with tight lid
Grapeseed or Olive Oil
- Buy a whole jar worth of peppermint leaves from a nearby garden or supermarket.
- Wash peppermint leaves in cold water. Chop or crush the leaves into a sealable glass jar. Stuff the jar with leaves and leave only 1cm of free space to create a strong mixture.
- Bathe the leaves with a carrier oil. This oil should dilute the peppermint. Choose something that doesn’t have a strong smell like almond or olive oil. Close the lid and shake.
- Leave the mixture alone for 2 days (summer) and a month (winter) shaking occasionally. It’s best to store the jar in a dark place before straining into a bowl and throwing the leaves away.
- Pack the jar with another set of fresh leaves and pour the oil back. Repeat the steps if you want more oil.
How To Use Peppermint Oil on Scalp
Peppermint is very cooling to the skin. It activates cold-sensitive TRPM receptors on our tissues and skin which brings the refreshing minty sensation. For children and people with sensitive skin, this can cause a tingling sensation.
- First, clean your hair by washing with your favorite shampoo.
- Mix seven drops of peppermint oil with any appropriate carrier oil.
- Massage evenly on scalp. Be careful not to rub your peppermint-oil smeared hands on your eyes.
Important Note: Peppermint oil should not be applied undiluted to skin, especially for women with sensitive scalp. It should be accompanied with an appropriate carrier oil. If you want to go on the safer route, you can simply add peppermint oil to your favorite shampoo or conditioner.
Other Benefits of Peppermint Oil
Not just a good solution to itchy scalp, peppermint oil has lots of great uses. It has been used across the world for various kinds of hair treatment. Here are some:
Lice Prevention: Peppermint oil can be used to protect the hair from head lice infestation. It contains high concentration of pulegone, a natural pesticide.
Hair Growth:If you want long, glamorous locks use peppermint oil with your beauty care routine. When peppermint oil is applied directly to hair, it binds with hair follicles shielding them from dust and germs. It promotes healthy follicle growth and stimulates them to grow faster.
Sinus Care: Use peppermint oil to unclog blocked sinuses and relieve itchy throat.
Chest Rub: Many chest rubs sold today contain toxic chemicals that have negative side effects. Peppermint oil is an effective chest rub that’s cheap and easy to make.
Natural Energizer: Before you reach for an energy drink or a cup of coffee, try taking a few whiffs of peppermint. It can boost your energy as well as improve your concentration and focus.
Muscle Pain Relief: Peppermint oil can be an effective muscle relaxant. It can soothe aching back, sore muscles and headache.
Cough Control: Peppermint can be used to clear your throat of bacteria causing cough and phlegm. Mixing peppermint oil with lemon and lavender can create a suitable aroma for a portable handy inhaler.