Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair Loss: Effectiveness and Application

Bonnke Arunga, MBBS

By    – Updated on July 13, 2020

pumpkin seed oil and pumpkins

The issue of hair loss is a touchy subject because hair is an essential part of people’s identity. With that said, one can understand why losing it can be such a big deal. Even though some people suffer temporary hair loss, it can still feel like they are losing a part of themselves.

There are many products used to treat hair loss and a number of oils – one of them, being purported as effective is pumpkin seed oil.

Is there any truth to these claims of pumpkin seed oil for hair loss? Can it really help one-stop hair loss and grow back their hair when the follicles begin to drop? Before these questions are answered, let us look into what pumpkin seed oil is in a little more detail.

What is pumpkin seed oil and what are its benefits?

pile of pumpkins

Pumpkin seed in its extracted form has an orange-red hue and a nutty taste; the latter has earned it a good reputation in the culinary industry as an excellent salad dressing.

Besides that, its high nutrient profile and anti-inflammatory properties give it a number of health benefits. Here are a few of the health benefits that it provides:

  • Heart health: Pumpkin seed oil is said to contain phytosterols, which are compounds with a similar composition to cholesterol. When consumed, they block the absorption of cholesterol into the digestive system. This lowers cholesterol levels and improves heart health in the process;
  • Depression: When the British Journal of Psychiatry tested pumpkin seed oil on children with depression in a study, they found some promising results. They concluded that oil is an effective mood booster that can help with depression;
  • Protects against disease: Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids, that can prevent free radical damage. They are able to do the work of anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing disease without any of the adverse side effects.

Now that you know why this oil is such a big deal, we move on to discuss pumpkin oil benefits for hair.

Does pumpkin seed oil help with hair loss?

balding mans head

When it comes to using pumpkin seed oil for hair loss, just like all the other benefits mentioned above, there is scientific backing. In fact, there are a couple of studies that have shown that pumpkin seed oil is effective for the regrowth of fallen hair.

Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness, is one of the most dreaded forms of hair loss among men. This hair loss happens when hair starts thinning on the top of the head until the affected area becomes completely bald.

Scientists believe genetic factors, androgens, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) play a big part in the process.

This type of hair loss is permanent. And by the time men reach 50 years old, 70% of them would have been affected by male pattern baldness.

However, a study, conducted in 2014 by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, showed that pumpkin seed oil could help these men. This is one of the biggest and most comprehensive studies to date regarding pumpkin seed oil for hair growth. And the results showed that oil has potential.

Results of representatives after 24 weeks of treatment with pumpkin seed oil.

pumpkin seed oil results for alopecia
Note: created by Hairverse, using images from Cho, Y. H., Lee, S. Y., Jeong, D. W., Choi, E. J., Kim, Y. J., Lee, J. G., Yi, Y. H., Cha, H. S. (2014)

Men who took 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil every day for 12-24 weeks experienced increased hair growth. The men were divided into two groups: those who took the oil and those who took a placebo: The first group experienced an increase in hair growth by 40% while the other group only experienced 10% hair growth.

Although the study was conducted on a small group of men (less than 100) and the oil wasn’t used alone, it highlighted the importance of pumpkin seed oil in the regrowth of hair. Plus, the men reported no adverse effects.

How does pumpkin seed oil help regrowing hair?

Earlier on, we mentioned what are known as phytosterols. And these are the compounds that researchers believe play a considerable role when using pumpkin seeds for hair growth.

Phytosterols are known as natural DHT blockers. As you recall, DHT is one of the key players in causing Androgenetic Alopecia, and it is produced when the enzymatic action of 5-alpha converts it from testosterone. As such, pumpkin oil has the ability to trigger the regrowth of hair.

Even if your hair loss levels aren’t as extreme as male pattern baldness, you can still use pumpkin seed to reduce hair loss. Phytosterols have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce inflammation in the scalp. An inflamed scalp is not a conducive environment for hair growth, and by reducing inflammation, you can reduce hair loss significantly.

How to use it

woman holding pumpkin seed oil bottle and dropper

If you decide to use pumpkin seed for hair loss, you will want to know how to use it. Luckily, this is an easy thing to do.

Consumption of pumpkin seed oil

Throughout central Europe (countries include Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Poland), oil is used in many culinary applications. In fact, many manufacturers of pumpkin seed oil recommend adding it to your food as one of the best ways to consume it.

The most preferred way is to use it is as a salad dressing. Other forms include marinades, sprinkled over ice cream, or just dropped in the mouth (people say its nutty flavor is a treat). Also, they recommend not using it for cooking or frying as it will start losing its stability at higher temperatures (320 degrees Fahrenheit and above).

Topical application of pumpkin seed oil

If consumption is not preferred, you can apply pumpkin seed oil on the scalp directly. Follow the instructions below:

  • Start by washing your hair with shampoo;
  • Place the pumpkin seed oil in a double boiler and warm it up a little;
  • Check to make sure the oil isn’t too hot by placing a few drops on your hand. When you are sure the oil won’t burn your scalp, proceed to the next step;
  • Wet your hair and gently massage the oil onto your scalp;
  • Wrap your head with a warm towel and leave it there for about 20 minutes;
  • Remove the towel and then wash your hair with shampoo again. Condition and style the hair afterward;
  • Do this at least once a week. Any more than that, you risk having an oily scalp, which is another recipe for hair loss.


As you can see, pumpkin seed oil has shown potential when it comes to stopping hair loss and regrowing hair. And the beauty of it is that it is easy to consume as well.  Furthermore, there are no significant side effects to worry about.

Despite that, it is always a good thing to enhance your hair loss treatment regime. If you want to avoid the possibility of side effects of topical solutions like minoxidil and finasteride, trying out a laser hair growth cap or similar device might be a viable option for you.

  • Cho, Y. H., Lee, S. Y., Jeong, D. W., Choi, E. J., Kim, Y. J., Lee, J. G., … & Cha, H. S. (2014). Effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine, 2014. DOI:

Was this article helpful?

Similar Posts