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Pumpkin seed oil, also known as pepita oil, is a great remedy for several health issues. It is filled with nutrients such as vitamins, antioxidants, zinc, and magnesium. It promotes urinary health, heart health, and also hair growth. (1)
Pumpkin seeds have a high content of zinc, which helps increase hair strength and growth. Pumpkin seed oil can be used as a natural cure for hair loss.
Hair Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil can be a great remedy for multiple hair issues:
1. Fights scalp inflammation
Pumpkin seed oil emits anti-inflammatory properties that fight the symptomatic discomfort associated with dandruff and other scalp infections such as dryness, redness, and irritation.
The same holds for other inflammatory scalp disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.
2. Treats dry hair
Dry hair may lead to frizz and hair loss. When your hair strands get brittle and dry, hair oils such as pumpkin seed oil can moisturize the hair and get rid of the dryness.
3. Strengthens the hair shaft
Pumpkin seeds are filled with vitamins such as vitamin A and zinc, both of which help strengthen your hair strands. The amino acids in pumpkin seed oil aid keratin production and make your hair strong.
4. Fights hair loss
You may be suffering from hair loss if you tend to lose more than 100 strands of hair in a day. Androgens such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) cause alopecia. (5)
DHT acts on the hair follicles and reduces nutrient flow, thus leading to hair loss and male-pattern baldness. (7) As many as 50% of men tend to suffer from some degree of male-pattern baldness in their lifetime. (8)
The phytosterol present in pumpkin oil blocks androgen action and decreases hair loss. A recent study showed that men suffering from male-pattern baldness reported increased hair growth after taking 400 mg pumpkin seed oil capsules for 24 weeks. (5)
5. Aids in hair growth
Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamin B7, also known as biotin. It helps increase keratin levels in hair strands, making them stronger.
Pumpkin seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as oleic acid and linoleic acid, (9) that are quite lubricating and credited with strong anti-inflammatory effects. They increase blood flow to the hair follicles. All these properties contribute to increased hair growth and strength.
Ways to Use Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair
Pumpkin seed oil can be applied topically or ingested. (9)
a. Oral consumption
Nowadays, pumpkin seed oil capsules are widely available. A single 400 mg capsule can be taken once a day or 1–3 teaspoons of oil can be directly consumed daily.
b. Pumpkin seed oil massage
Applying pumpkin oil topically to your scalp can help rejuvenate the hair follicles to increase hair growth. It increases blood flow to the scalp, blocks androgen activity, etc., to strengthen your hair.
How to use:
Ingredients: 5 tbsp pumpkin oil
- Lightly heat the oil on a stove and then cool it down to a lukewarm temperature.
- Massage the oil into the scalp and all over your hair while they are still moist.
- Cover your head with a heated towel over and leave it on for half an hour.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and condition it.
- Repeat the process once in 2 weeks for at least 6 months.
c. Pumpkin seed oil hair serum
The pumpkin seed oil contains vitamins and nutrients necessary for hair growth and strength, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, fatty acids, and minerals. Use this serum every day to help your hair become soft, shiny, and strong.
How to use:
Ingredients: 1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil, 1 tsp shea butter, and 1 tsp coconut oil
- Melt the shea butter and mix all the ingredients well.
- Apply this serum to your scalp and hair and gently massage it in for a few minutes.
- Let it rest for half an hour before washing it off.
d. Pumpkin seed oil hair mask
How to use:
Ingredients: 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp honey, and 2 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
- Mix all the ingredients well to form a paste.
- Massage this paste onto your scalp and hair and wear a shower cap.
- Wash your hair after an hour.
- Try this hair mask at least twice a week for a couple of months.
Side Effects of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Disclaimer: Always consult your dermatologist/doctor before using pumpkin seed oil in topical or oral form to rule out the risk of allergies.
Since pumpkin seed oil is a completely natural extract, side effects are rare. When used in adequate quantities and diluted, the pumpkin seed oil is usually safe to use.
A few side effects of pumpkin seed oil include:
- Skin irritation: Pumpkin seed oil is very potent and can cause mild to moderate itching and irritation on the scalp.
- Allergies: Pumpkin seed oil may cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include headaches, sneezing, rash, itching, and difficulty breathing.
- Blood pressure reduction: Pumpkin seed oil is known to reduce blood pressure. If you suffer from low blood pressure, consult your doctor before consuming it.
- Quality issues: Pumpkin seed oil is sensitive to sunlight and high temperatures. It may degrade easily compared to other oils, and consuming spoiled oil may lead to stomach aches.
- Stomach issues: Pumpkin seeds have high fiber content and excessive consumption can cause constipation or bloating.
- Increased weight: Pumpkin seeds are high in fatty acids and may cause weight gain.
How Pumpkin Seed Oil Is Made
Pumpkin seed oil is extracted from Styrian pumpkins native to Austria and Slovakia. Its production started in 17th-century Austria and involves an extensive process. The hull-less pumpkin seeds are dried and roasted before extracting the oil. (2) The oil itself can range in color from green to red or brown. (1)
The pumpkin seed oil has a wide variety of health benefits. It contains anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-diabetic properties, along with antioxidants and essential fatty acids. (3) Thus, they have several medicinal uses and also help promote hair growth.
Science of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin oil helps curb hair loss while also stimulating hair growth.
Studies published in reputed journals have shown that pumpkin seed oil has shown great potential to treat male- and female-pattern baldness. It helps block the action of 5-alpha reductase, which causes androgenetic alopecia.
A 2014 study claimed that men who suffer from alopecia reported 30%–40% increased hair growth after taking pumpkin seed oil supplements. (4)(5)(6)
Most-Asked Questions About Pumpkin Seed Oil
How long does it take for pumpkin seed oil to cause hair growth?
Pumpkin seed oil starts to show effects after nearly 3–4 weeks of topical application. It has anti-inflammatory properties, enhances blood flow, and blocks the action of certain hormones called androgens to increase hair growth.
What is the best way to store pumpkin seed oil?
Pumpkin seed oil should be stored in an airtight container or refrigerated if you plan to keep it for a long time.
What is the shelf-life of pumpkin seed oil?
Pumpkin seed oil can last for a few months or as long as a year if stored properly. Avoid exposing the oil to direct sunlight and refrigerate it.
Pumpkin seed oil has great potential as a natural hair loss remedy. Although more research is definitely needed to prove its benefits, trying pumpkin seed oil is worth a shot if you are suffering from hair loss.
Always make sure you are not allergic to pumpkin oil by performing a patch test first before use.
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