There are a lot of products on the market that promise hair growth. Pills, shampoos, and other over the counter substances that are available for reversing hair loss can get expensive—and they may take up a whole lot of room in your bathroom cabinet.
Conversely, some herbalists are suggesting that using cayenne pepper will help reverse the hair loss process as well. Cayenne pepper, a popular spice found in many spicy dishes, has a long history of being an effective home remedy for varying ailments; but can it really be trusted to help rejuvenate hair growth? Let’s find out what the researchers are saying.
According to a health and wellness website, Live Strong, the idea that cayenne pepper could be a hair growth remedy “was first discovered by Samuel Thompson in the early 1800s.” Samuel Thompson, a botanist and herbalist who used cayenne pepper for many remedies, believed that the warming tendency of the spice could cure diseases as well as rouse hair growth. Live Strong explains that “capsaicin, a chemical in cayenne pepper, stimulates the hair follicles and […] another chemical, quercetin, increases blood flow to the scalp.” The increase in blood flow is beneficial to hair growth by speeding up the hair growth process. While many herbalists will back up cayenne pepper, there is limited research actually validating its effects.
Despite the lack of evidence, Live Strong concludes that the most effective way to gain results with cayenne pepper “is to create a paste by mixing cayenne pepper and olive oil and massage it deep into the scalp.” The hair mask allows for the hair follicles to become “coat[ed] with the cayenne pepper” which will increase the likeness of results, Live Strong states.
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It is then recommend to leave the mask on for about 30 minutes before rinsing it out. A home remedies website, My Natural Hair, states that “Capsaicin creates a tingling sensation on the scalp and in the hair follicle.” This feeling is actually “the papilla (the hair root) located at the base of the hair follicle [which] has [a] dense network of blood capillaries, My Natural Hair explains. When applied to the hair, “the capsaicin […] works by jump-starting the blood flow from the papilla to the follicle […which] transports nutrient-rich blood to the hair follicle.” While this logic sounds reasonable, there is not enough research to prove it to be fully effective.
Verdict: Fiction. Although many herbalists agree that cayenne pepper can help stimulate hair growth there is no solid evidence to support the idea. It is important to remember that, in order to help stop hair loss, it is necessary to speak to a doctor about why the hair loss is occurring in the first place. After speaking with a doctor and getting the okay, try applying the hair mask once a week as well as incorporating dishes with cayenne into your summer meals. Even though the pepper doesn’t promise to cure hair loss, it does have many health benefits and is worth enjoying this summer!
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What are some other cayenne pepper benefits you’ve heard about?