Hair Growth Oil

Hi. I am working on an oil based formulation for Hair treatment and Hair Growth using Essential Oils and Extracts. Kindly help me fining the right and effective ingredients for the purpose.


  • Is this just for your personal use? I don't really know if hair growth falls under cosmetic or drug category, and I wouldn't expect very substantial results with extracts and oils that are probably not standardized. 

    That said, a couple products that are used for these types of requests:
    Pisum Sativum (Pea) Sprout Extract
    Vitis Vinifera Fruit Meristem Cell Culture (and) Hydrolyzed Eruca Sativa Leaf (and) Hydrolyzed Walnut Extract
    Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract
    Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract
     Larix Europaea Wood Extract 

    all I did was search "hair growth" on UL prospector.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Hair growth is a drug product. If it works, it's a drug.  It doesn't matter whether the materials are natural, plant extracts or advanced, synthetic compounds. 

    Here is the monograph for hair growth products.

    The only proven ingredients are Minoxidyl and Propecia. 

    If you want to create a product that doesn't work but makes you feel like it's working follow the suggestions by @EVchem

  • There's a study that suggests that 2% peppermint oil helps with baldness.
    Google it.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    For the curious, here is a link to the mouse study demonstrating an effect of peppermint oil on hair growth.  There is another study that seems incredibly similar suggesting 3 - 5% Lavender oil could have an effect. 

    This research is interesting, but it was done in mice which doesn't always translate to effects in humans. 

    It seems weird to me that Minoxidil which only works in about 66% of people, showed 100% effectiveness in these mouse models. This shows that the research model clearly exaggerates the effect.
  • DavidDavid Member
    edited December 2018
    I agree the peppermint oil paper/research has flaws, but what buggles me is: who would spend vast resources to really prove that something that you can buy in the supermarket works as good as a patented molecule for a given medical application?
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @David - Universities would do that or maybe some governments.

    I suspect all the big companies have already done this type of research and haven't published anything. Most likely because they haven't found something that really works.

  • @Perry -yeah, that makes sense I guess. It would however be great if people could publish also "negative" results. This would correct the bias.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited December 2018
    @David - it would be nice but this is actually a common problem in all science.  It's even got a name : the file-drawer effect

    This is why I am skeptical of any single study that shows some dramatic effect. There could have been dozens of studies that looked at the same compound which showed no effect and just weren't published.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    This is a frustration for many Formulators. When discussing a raw material, the client will cite one of these small studies. Unfortunately, they submit these small studies as "proof" that they can make claims. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Exactly. Remember when I discovered that study on hair loss in rats, and made an experimental project to see if I could develop a new depilatory product. It didn't work. If anything it promoted hair growth. Rats are not people.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • SibechSibech Member, Professional Chemist
    The hair cycle growth is so complicated that you cannot reasonably expect hair to grow based on a single molecule. Some of the hormones/signalling molecules are important for growth but just as important for halting the same growth, depending on the phase of the hair cycle.

    The actual mechanism of action for Minoxidil is still to be properly elucidated. Current knowledge indicates an increase in cellular calcium influx and vasodilation as the major causes of effectiveness. Of course, I cannot exclude other mechanisms of action to be, at least partly, responsible for the effect. However stipulating on these effects being of importance, I would expect to see the same effect from the high-concentration essential oils as they would probably cause local irritation which can induce the same two responses.

    DHT is one of the key factors in androgen alopecia (male pattern baldness). The active of Propecia compound Finasteride is a 5alpha-reductase II and III inhibitor, meaning that it stops the enzyme responsible for the production of DHT from testosterone. However, it is worth noting that Finasteride needs to be taken orally, not topically to actually function and it has a 3 month period of use before any results are expected to be observed.

    Now, it is conceivably plausible to inhibit 5alpha-reductase using phytochemicals and a myriad of articles citing phytochemicals as hair growth promoters would suggest the same. Usually, the studies are performed on rats or in vitro and commonly the studies report polyphenols (chalcones and flavones usually) as the active principle. However, most of the extracts/phytochemicals have about 1-2 studies supporting the notion in rats or in vitro. Few if any, of these studies, have been repeated in human models and as many have commented, rats are not humans.

    Entertaining the notion that polyphenols should reliably reduce DHT production and halt hair loss, you might wonder why healthy men eating plenty of fruit and drinking green tea daily, might still lose their hair?

    Granted, there are raw materials on the market touting effect here, but clinical significance in vivo/in vitro does not necessarily mean any noticeable effect.
    Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
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