6 Best Oil For Hair Growth, Healthy Strands & Thickness 2023

Meghan Novoshielski

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

best oil for hair growth

Looking to boost the volume and health of your hair and prevent hair loss without resorting to harsh chemicals or expensive treatments? Natural hair growth oils may be the perfect solution.

Many people use natural oils to stimulate hair growth, add thickness, decrease breakage, and boost moisture and shine.

While hair oil treatments have recently surged in popularity, they’ve been used for centuries to help promote strong, lustrous, and beautiful hair. But how effective are they?

In this article, we’ll review the best oils for hair growth, where to find them, and how to incorporate them into your hair care routine.

Best Oil For Hair Growth And Thickness

Known for promoting thicker, stronger strands that resist hair loss, these six options are some of the best hair growth oils available. 

  • Rosemary Oil.
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil.
  • Avocado Oil.
  • Peppermint Oil.
  • Castor Oil.
  • Green Tea Oil.

Do Hair Growth Oils Promote Hair Growth?

Hair oils[1] can’t make hair grow, but they can boost your natural ability to grow longer, thicker, and healthier hair by nourishing your scalp and strengthening existing strands.

The benefits of these oils stem from their robust nutrient composition, which includes:

  • Fatty acids that penetrate the hair shaft, plumping your tresses to make them thicker, smoother, and more manageable. 
  • Vitamins and minerals that nourish your hair and scalp and stimulate skin cell turnover. 
  • Antioxidants that protect your scalp from damage and prevent hair breakage.  
  • Amino acids that strengthen each strand, eliminating brittle hair, so your hair grows longer and thicker.

The exact nutrient profile of each oil will vary, so your best natural oil for hair growth will depend on your hair goals. 

While some scientific evidence supports the idea that natural oils help promote healthy hair growth, much of the buzz around these treatments are based on personal anecdotes rather than solid research. Nevertheless, there’s little risk in trying them and seeing if they work for you.

Ultimately, you’ll have the best chance of success using these oils consistently.

What Oils Are Good For Hair Growth?

Let’s explore in-depth the six oils most renowned for promoting hair growth.

Rosemary Oil

best oil for hair growth

This essential oil has promising scientific evidence supporting its use for hair growth. A 2015 study showed that rosemary oil was just as effective at treating male pattern baldness[2] as minoxidil — otherwise known as Rogaine.

Patients in this study massaged rosemary oil lotion into their scalps twice daily. After six months, rosemary oil was equally as effective as minoxidil at preventing hair loss and stimulating hair regrowth.

Notably, those who used rosemary oil experienced less scalp itch than those who received Rogaine.  

Scientists suspect rosemary oil helps increase blood circulation to the scalp, delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles to promote growth. It may also help prevent premature greying.

The anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary oil may additionally help improve scalp health, creating an optimal environment for hair growth.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

best oil for hair growth

This nourishing hair oil may help improve the appearance of your hair and prevent hair loss.

Rich in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc, pumpkin seed oil can restore scalp health[3] while moisturizing and strengthening hair follicles.

Research also suggests pumpkin seed oil supplements can effectively treat androgenic alopecia — the most common form of hair loss in men.  

One study reported a 40% increase in hair growth in men with androgenic alopecia[4] after taking a pumpkin seed oil supplement for 24 weeks.

The study had some limitations that make it difficult to know for sure whether these improvements were due to the pumpkin seed oil, but researchers believe the phytosterols in pumpkin seed oil block the production of DHT.[5] 

DHT is a hormone linked to androgenic alopecia-induced hair loss.

Avocado Oil

best oil for hair growth

Avocado oil[6] contains monounsaturated fatty acids, making it excellent at restoring moisture and shine to dry, damaged locks.

Monounsaturated fatty acids can penetrate the hair shaft deeply, locking in moisture and plumping dried-out tresses. They also repair damaged hair cuticles and soften hair strands, making them less prone to breakage. The result is healthier, longer, and stronger hair.

Avocado is also a great source of biotin which may prevent hair loss[7] in people deficient in this nutrient.   

Best of all, avocado oil is a lightweight dry oil that won’t weigh down your hair. This feature makes it preferable to heavier oils like olive or coconut oil.

Peppermint Oil

best oil for hair growth

Peppermint oil is an essential oil, similar to rosemary oil, that stimulates hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp.

Animal studies[8] have shown peppermint oil is as effective as minoxidil at preventing hair loss and encouraging growth. However, no human studies have corroborated these results.

Still, lab studies[9] have demonstrated peppermint oil has potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial[10] benefits, which may help soothe your scalp and protect it from infections that interfere with healthy hair growth.

Avoid applying peppermint oil directly to the scalp, which can cause irritation. Instead, add it to a carrier oil — like avocado oil — to create a holistic natural hair treatment.

Castor Oil

best oil for hair growth

Castor oil has a reputation for being the best hair growth oil, faster at producing results than other oils, despite having no clinical evidence to support its effectiveness. 

Nonetheless, castor oil has unique properties, making it one of the better hair oils for growth. Specifically, it’s rich in ricinoleic acid – a fatty acid that moisturizes and nourishes dry hair and scalps. It is also high in vitamin E, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids.

A healthy scalp leads to better hair growth, and moisturized strands grow longer, thicker, and stronger. 

Proponents recommend applying this hair-strengthening oil directly to your roots, rejuvenating your scalp and deeply penetrating hair follicles. 

While all hair types have raved that castor oil is the best oil for hair growth, black hair may significantly benefit from this ultra-moisturizing hair treatment.

Green Tea Oil

best oil for hair growth

If you’re looking for the best essential oil for hair growth, green tea oil should be at the top of your list. 

This hair growth oil delivers potent antioxidants to protect your scalp and hair from damaging outside factors — like ultraviolet rays.

Research[11] has shown that green tea can stop hair loss by preventing shrinkage and damage to hair follicles, helping them remain active and productive. 

By delivering the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, or  ECGC, that is present in green tea to your hair strands; you provide protection from breakage, ensuring your hair remains strong enough to grow to its full potential.

Why Should You Use A Hair Growth Oil?

Achieving healthy and beautiful hair is a goal for many people. In addition to boosting confidence, treating dry, flaky, and itchy scalp conditions can make you feel more comfortable in your skin. 

Like every other body part, your hair and scalp require proper nourishment to function at their best. Natural oils are known for delivering many of the essential nutrients for hair health. 

While a few medications are available to help promote hair growth, they often have side effects, like scalp itch. For this reason, many people have turned to all-natural options, like hair oils, to get results with less discomfort.

Benefits And Risks Of Using A Hair Growth Oil

Before deciding on any new treatments, it’s vital to understand the benefits and the risks.

Benefits Of Using Hair Oils

  • Improves hair texture and shine.
  • Reduces frizz and split ends.
  • Rejuvenates scalp, calming inflammation, and irritation.
  • Protects hair, strengthening strands, so they grow longer and thicker.
  • Stimulates blood circulation to the scalp, delivering nutrients and oxygen to promote hair growth.

Risks Of Using Hair Oils

  • Can cause build-up if used too frequently or if you’re not washing it out properly. The excess build-up may lead to dandruff, scalp itch, and other scalp conditions. 
  • May weigh hair down if you use heavy oils that don’t match your hair type. 
  • Can cause allergic reactions in some people. Consider patch-testing any oil before you add it to your hair care routine.

How To Use

Due to their popularity, many hair products on store shelves now contain natural oils. You can use these as directed, pairing them with the hair device of your choice. 

However, there are numerous ways to reap the benefits of these oils by applying them directly to your hair. Consider the following options. 

  • Use as a pre-shampoo treatment. Liberally apply hair oil to dry hair, saturating each strand and massaging into your scalp. Wrap hair in a warm towel and let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing and shampooing. 
  • Use as a styling product. After styling your hair, apply a small amount of hair oil to your fingertips. Work into the lower half of your hair to smooth hair cuticles, increasing their softness and shine. 
  • Use as a leave-in conditioner. Towel dry, freshly washed hair. Apply a generous amount of hair oil to damp hair, spending time massaging the oil into your scalp. Wrap your hair and leave-in overnight. In the morning, thoroughly rinse your hair and style it as usual.
  • Use as a heat protectant spray. Add a cup of water to a spray bottle. Mix in a tablespoon of a high-smoke point oil, like avocado oil. Lightly spray on damp tresses before using heat tools to style them. 
  • Add to Existing Hair Care Products. A few drops of essential oils — like green tea oil, rosemary oil, or peppermint oil — can be directly added to your current hair care products to boost their hair health benefits.

Summary

There may be limited scientific evidence supporting the use of hair oils for hair growth. Still, many people credit these natural remedies for improving the appearance and health of their hair. 

The six hair growth oils mentioned — rosemary, pumpkin seed, avocado, peppermint, castor, and green tea — are top-rated options since many oils deliver essential nutrients to nourish and protect your hair and scalp. In contrast, others have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory actions.  

While each oil has its unique benefits, they all offer a natural alternative to popular hair growth medications. Plus, they are extremely versatile to use. The best oil for hair growth, fast results, and improved appearance will depend on your specific hair goals. 

Whether you’re struggling with hair loss, thinning hair, or just looking to improve your hair’s overall health, a product for hair care that incorporates one or more of these oils could be a great solution.

When regularly used, oils can help you achieve the strong, healthy hair you’ve always wanted.


+ 11 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Gavazzoni Dias, M.F. (2015). Hair cosmetics: An overview. International Journal of Trichology, [online] 7(1), p.2. Available at: https://www.ijtrichology.com/article.asp?issn=0974-7753;year=2015;volume=7;issue=1;spage=2;epage=15;aulast=Gavazzoni.
  2. Panahi (2015). Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Skinmed, [online] 13(1). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25842469/.
  3. Shaban, A. and Sahu, R.P. (2017). Pumpkin Seed Oil: An Alternative Medicine. International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research, [online] 9(2). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8681145/.
  4. Cho, Y.H., Lee, S.Y., Jeong, D.W., Choi, E.J., Kim, Y.J., Lee, J.G., Yi, Y.H. and 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, [online] 2014, pp.1–7. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4017725.
  5. Daniels, G., Akram, S., Westgate, G.E. and Tamburic, S. (2019). Can plant-derived phytochemicals provide symptom relief for hair loss? A critical review. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, [online] 41(4), pp.332–345. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ics.12554.
  6. Bhuyan, Alsherbiny, Perera, Low, Basu, Devi, Barooah, Li and Papoutsis (2019). The Odyssey of Bioactive Compounds in Avocado (Persea americana) and their Health Benefits. Antioxidants, [online] 8(10), p.426. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826385/.
  7. Şen, O. and Türkçapar, A.G. (2021). Hair Loss After Sleeve Gastrectomy and Effect of Biotin Supplements. Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques, [online] 31(3), pp.296–300. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32762597/.
  8. Oh, Ji Young, et al. “Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs.” Toxicological Research, koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201402755363070.pdf.
  9. ‌Zhao, H., Ren, S., Yang, H., Tang, S., Guo, C., Liu, M., Tao, Q., Ming, T. and Xu, H. (2022). Peppermint essential oil: its phytochemistry, biological activity, pharmacological effect and application. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, [online] 154, p.113559. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35994817/.
  10. Mahboubi, M. and Kazempour, N. (2014). Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) Essential oil. J. Sci. Technol, [online] 36(1), pp.83–87. Available at: https://www.thaiscience.info/Journals/Article/SONG/10968285.pdf.
  11. Arya, Preeti, et al. “Green Tea: Chemical Composition, Biological Effects and Health Benefits.” Asian Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol. 5, no. 2, Jan. 2019, pp. 227–34, doi:https://doi.org/10.31024/ajpp.2019.5.2.3.
Meghan Novoshielski

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Meghan is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master's degree in Nutrition Science and over 15 years of experience in clinical nutrition, product development, and content marketing. She's a sought-after health writer and brand ambassador passionate about helping people pursue their healthiest lives through engaging, high-value nutrition content.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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