Pumpkin may not be just for lattes, pie, and Halloween anymore.
Enthusiasm for the oils from these flattened seeds is increasing due to their potential as a healthy hair booster.
But, can pumpkin seed oil really give you the hair growth and luster you are hoping for?
Below, we will cover the potential benefits of pumpkin seed oil for hair, review any studies that have used pumpkin seed oil, go over the usage if you want to give it a try, and take a look at any potential downsides to using pumpkin seed oil for hair.
Pumpkin seed oil is just that, the oil that can be extracted from crushed or pressed pumpkin seeds.
This delicate oil may be found in specialty grocery stores as a gourmet cooking ingredient, or in the supplement section in oil capsules or bottles.
But, if you are looking for more of a daily supplement to rinse down with breakfast for hair health and not just a delicious oil drizzle on your salad, we recommend going with the pumpkin seed oil meant for supplementation as they may have been processed to contain higher levels of the active chemicals and are more likely to be stored in a way to protect any delicate phytosterols and micronutrients.
The potential benefits of pumpkin seed oil are said to be increased nourishment and moisturization of hair, increase hair thickness and density, or even increased hair growth rate or the slowing of losses from male pattern hair loss.
Needless to say, these purported effects seem pretty great, but is there data to back up these claims gleaned from a simple online search?
There have been two stand-out studies looking into the hair benefits of pumpkin seed oil. One is in a mouse animal model, one is in men only, also one used a topical application of pumpkin seed oil while the other directed the men to take oil capsules of pumpkin seed oil.
One mouse model study shaved some mice and then applied either nothing, topical testosterone, topical testosterone and pumpkin seed oil, or topical testosterone and minoxidil. These were applied 6 days a week for 3 weeks, and the growth was analyzed at the end of 3 weeks. The mice with just topical testosterone showed significant growth inhibition as compared to the mice with nothing applied. But, the mice that had both testosterone and pumpkin seed oil applied showed much better growth than the testosterone-only group. This may suggest that pumpkin seed oil applied topically may be able to help suppress some of the growth inhibition of DHT, an enzyme that is derived from testosterone and is known to play a role in male pattern hair loss.
A randomized controlled trial in 76 men with androgenetic alopecia looks into the effects of taking 400mg of pumpkin seed oil by mouth daily as compared to taking a placebo daily. At the end of 24 weeks, the researchers analyzed hair photographs, hair thickness, hair counts, and collected self-assessment scores. The group that took the pumpkin seed oil had significantly better satisfaction scores and more hair increases from baseline as compared to the placebo group. The treatment group had mean hair count increases of 40% as compared to only 10% in the placebo group. It is also worth noting that there were no differences in reported side effects between the treatment group and placebo group.
If you want to try using pumpkin seed oil for your hair, you can go with either a topical application massaged directly into the scalp, or an oral supplement.
For the scalp application, you can use the amount needed to cover the scalp adequately and massage it in. You may want to leave this “hair mask” on for at least 20 minutes before shampooing and conditioning your hair as usual.
For oral pumpkin seed oil supplements, you can take 400mg of pumpkin seed oil daily (as in the study mentioned above), or follow the instructions on your supplement.
There are likely no downsides to using pumpkin seed oil for your hair as part of a well-rounded approach to general hair health if used in normal amounts as suggested by the studies or on your supplement package.
Although, it is important to note that you are unlikely to get the same results as using FDA-approved and thoroughly studies male pattern hair loss treatments like Finasteride or Minoxidil. For some men, pumpkin seed oil may fit nicely into a combination regimen along with these hair loss medications.
Always be sure to let your doctor know before starting on a new supplement to make sure it works with your current conditions and other medications.
Do not use pumpkin seed oil if you are allergic to pumpkins or pumpkin seeds.
Here at Strut, we carry a range of hair loss medications for men including ingredients like Finasteride, Minoxidil, Dutasteride, and Tretinoin. We offer oral as well as topical formulations.
If you are interested in seeing if prescription treatment options are a good route for you, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today. For most people, this only takes 10-15 minutes.
If you are a good candidate for prescription hair loss treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our fast and free shipping.
If you have any questions or concerns during your treatment, our staff and doctors are standing by for free unlimited follow-ups.