Peppermint Oil for Hair Side Effects: Are You Prepared?

Amoha Jha
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Peppermint Oil for Hair Side Effects

If you have hair problems, you must be searching for solutions to help you with hair issues. 

You probably stumbled upon the idea of using Peppermint oil for hair growth and health.

You may have seen your fellows using it and getting good results. 

But you can be contemplating using Peppermint oil because of the side effects it may cause.

It’s nothing unusual; everyone gets worried before using any new product, especially when it’s related to hair.

As of Jan 17, 2023, Peppermint essential oil is classified as ‘generally recognized as safe’ by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It’s true that although Peppermint essential oil is given this recognition, it may have some side effects.

You may have topical as well as systemic side effects due to the application of Peppermint essential oil.

This article will discuss the potential side effects of using Peppermint oil.

Topical application side effect

Using Peppermint oil in the proper doses is primarily safe for people. 

Still, some people may be sensitive to it and face mild to severe side effects on hair.

Scalp rashes and irritation

Side effects of peppermint oil on hairSource: freepik
Women having an itchy scalp

Rashes, also known as Dermatitis, are primarily red; they are itchy, painful, and may cause a lot of irritation. 

It can appear on the scalp and other parts of the body.

When Peppermint essential oil is topically applied to hair, it may cause the scalp’s skin to get rashes and irritation. A research study published in the National Library of Medicine confirms the same in their clinical trials.

Seborrheic Dermatitis is a common type that generally affects the scalp, and it becomes red, dry, and flaky.

Dandruff, fine powdery pieces of dead skin,  is a common symptom when you get Seborrheic Dermatitis.

Fact
The prevalence of Seborrheic Dermatitis is estimated to be 5% worldwide, but dandruff, its non-inflammatory variation, is probably closer to 50%.

Headache

Most essential oils are used to provide relief and calming effects. But its over usage is not suitable for your health.
Overusing or having an allergic reaction to Peppermint oil can result in headaches.

Oral consumption side effects

Peppermint oil capsules are mostly given to people with stomach cramps, bloating, and farting (flatulence), particularly if one has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 

It works by helping the muscle of the bowel wall to relax.

However, certain brands in the market sell Peppermint oil capsules for hair growth and health. But, the FDA has not reported on this medication.

If you consume Peppermint oil orally, you may have these side effects:

Heartburn

As the name suggests, heartburn is when you have a burning sensation in your chest. 

It is caused by stomach acid traveling up toward the throat (acid reflux). 

You may have a sour taste in your mouth, which can be highly unpleasant. 
Peppermint oil capsules relaxing the sphincter muscles could result in gastric acids flowing backward into the esophagus.

Nausea and other complications

When Peppermint oil is consumed with over-the-counter medicines, it may cause unwanted complications, like nausea.

Medicines that can potentially interact with peppermint oil:

  • Zofran
  • Mobic
  • Bilagog
  • Amphojel
  • Tagamet
  • Pepcid
  • Prilosec
  • Prevacid

Slows down the heartbeat rate

A study conducted by Abbas Meamarbashi to note the instant effects of peppermint essential oil on the physiological parameters found that Peppermint seems to have a slowing effect on the heart rate.

The slow heartbeat rate is known as Bradycardia. This condition is primarily seen in older people, so they should avoid or be cautious about using Peppermint essential oil.

Warning
If you have any cardiovascular conditions, using Peppermint oil in any form is not advised.

Precautions to avoid side effects

There are some preventative measures that you make take to avoid the side mentioned above effects of using Peppermint oil on hair.

Patch test

To see if you are allergic to the Peppermint essential oil, you can first do a patch test on your skin or hair.

Take the Peppermint oil on a cotton ball and apply it to the desired area.

If no side effects like rashes, burning, or itching are noticed, you may use them on your whole scalp.

Dilute the oil

Diluting Peppermint oil is the best way to prevent the severe effects it may cause after direct application.

A carrier oil is mixed with highly concentrated essential oils to dilute it.

You may use mild oils like wheat germ, grapeseed, almond, and olive.

Proper dosage

If Peppermint oil is consumed orally, the dosage must be correct. The over-dosage is one of the root causes of most side effects.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 0.2 to 0.4 ml of Peppermint oil three times daily in enteric-coated capsules is recommended.

If you topically apply Peppermint essential oil, you should also use it appropriately after diluting it.

Avoid medicines interaction

If taking other medicines along with Peppermint oil is necessary, you may need to space the timing between the drugs.

In addition, always check with your doctor if you can use medicines with peppermint oil.

You may take two to four hours after consuming one medicine and then take the other medicine.

Takeaway

Peppermint oil is primarily safe for a majority of people. However, some people may still be sensitive to it and experience side effects.

This essential oil can be applied topically; however, some bands sell it in capsule form for oral consumption.

The topical application may cause scalp irritation and rashes. It may result in Seborrheic Dermatitis. 

The oral consumption of Peppermint oil can have severe effects like slowing down the heartbeat rate, nausea, heartburn, etc.

You may take some preventative measures to avoid these side effects, like taking Peppermint oil in the proper dosage, patch testing before full use, diluting the oil with a carrier oil, etc.

Recommended Reading:
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved drug for hair growth. Read Peppermint Oil vs Minoxidil: Understanding the Differences to know the difference between Minoxidil and Peppermint oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Peppermint essential oil safe for hair?

Mostly Peppermint essential oil is safe for hair. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies it as ‘generally recognized as safe.’ However, it must be diluted before topical application and taken in proper dosage if orally consumed.

Can Peppermint oil have side effects?

Usually, Peppermint oil doesn’t have many side effects. However, if consumed orally, it may sometimes cause heartburn, slow heartbeat rate, nausea, etc. If you topically apply this essential oil, it may cause rashes and irritation on the scalp.

What happens if you put too much Peppermint oil in your hair?

Putting more than the required amount of Peppermint oil on your hair may cause burning, tingling, and irritating sensations on your scalp. You may also see rashes on your scalp. It mostly happens when you put too much Peppermint oil, especially undiluted.

Can Peppermint oil damage your hair?

Peppermint oil usually doesn’t damage your hair. The only requirement is that you must use it in diluted form. Mix it with a carrier oil like wheat germ, grapeseed, almond, or olive, and apply it topically to your scalp. 

Citations:
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