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 that can be 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?
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 few of the health benefits that it provides:
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?
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 the oil has potential. (1)
Results of representatives after 24 weeks treatment with pumpkin seed oil.
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 experience 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 seed 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
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), the oil is used in many culinary applications. In fact, many manufacturers of pumpkin seed oil recommend adding it into your food as one 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 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 tremendous potential when it comes to stopping hair loss and regrowing hair. And the beauty about it is that it is easy to consume as well. Furthermore, there are no nasty side effects to worry about.