A lot of men struggle to grow their beard and want a quick solution to the problem. Whether they're hoping for faster hair growth, a way to fill in patchy or bald areas, or just want a thicker, fuller beard, some guys turn to essential oils to solve the problem. But can essential oils actually help with beard growth or is this just another myth?
We wanted to investigate claims that essential oils might aid in beard growth and we looked for evidence from credible sources to get a definitive answer to this question. In this post, we reveal our findings.
Before we get started, we need a disclaimer: We are wary of unsubstantiated health claims from people selling essential oils.
Distributors have been known to make wild claims, asserting that these oils prevent infection, cure acne and even heal herpes sores. The FDA recently sent letters to Young Living and doTerra, two multi-level marketing companies that sell essential oils. The FDA warned of distributors claiming that essential oils can prevent or cure the Ebola virus.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are pure plant and flower essences obtained through processes involving distillation or cold pressing. The resulting oils have been used in various cultures for thousands of years and are renowned for a variety of healing properties.
Peppermint itself has been used for treating digestive and gastric issues, but it has also been used in skin conditioners and beard oils.
In a recent study published by NCBI, scientists analyzed whether peppermint oil had any effect on hair growth. The study used mice, divided into four different groups with different topical "stimulants" such as jojoba oil, saline, minoxidil and peppermint oil. Of the four, peppermint oil proved the most effective resulting in, "...a significant increase in dermal thickness, follicle number, and follicle depth." Furthermore, the study concluded that peppermint oil could be used as a "practical agent for hair growth."
Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender, and Cedarwood Oil
Scientists investigated the effects of lavender oil on subjects with alopecia areata. This condition is an autoimmune disease that results in bald spots. While these bald spots normally appear on the scalp, the disease can also affect facial hair. The study concluded that lavender oil was a safe and effective treatment for the disorder. Most beard oils contain carrier oils like jojoba oil, but few contain essential oils. This particular study concluded that subjects benefited more from a combination of lavender oil and a carrier oil versus those subjects treated with carrier oil only.
There is some evidence that the use of essential oils can promote beard growth. However, this does not mean you should drain a bottle of lavender oil on your chin. People have reported mild to severe allergic reactions resulting from skin contact with these oils.
As with all things, moderation is a good thing. In your quest to grow an amazing beard, choose your products carefully and measure your progress. What works for one person may not work for you.