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If you’ve ever searched online for hair loss treatments, you may have seen articles that discuss the use of jojoba oil for hair growth.
Jojoba oil is a liquid wax often used in skin and hair care products thanks to the wide range of skin-friendly vitamins and minerals it contains.
At the moment, we don’t have a lot of high-quality, reliable scientific information about the effects of jojoba oil on hair growth.
However, a few small studies suggest that this type of oil may offer some minor benefits for your skin, scalp and hair in general.
Below, we’ve discussed what jojoba oil is and how it might provide benefits for preventing fungal infections, reducing inflammation and promoting good scalp health.
We’ve also covered what we don’t know about jojoba oil — namely, if it’s an effective and reliable treatment for male pattern baldness or other types of hair loss.
Finally, we’ve shared a few proven, evidence-based treatments that you may want to consider if you’re noticing the early signs of balding and feel like it’s time to take action.
Jojoba oil is a type of liquid wax produced from the seeds of Simmondsia Chinensis, commonly known as the jojoba plant. It’s made up of almost 98 percent pure waxes. Because it’s typically sold in liquid form, jojoba oil is referred to as an oil despite being composed primarily of wax esters.
The jojoba plant is a shrub that’s native to desert regions of the Southwestern United States. The seeds of the jojoba plant have a long history as a form of medicine, with Native American tribes using oil produced from the plant to promote wound healing and treat a variety of skin issues.
Today, jojoba oil is often used by the cosmetics industry in nourishing skin creams, body oils and lip balms. It’s an especially popular ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and many other natural hair care products.
Like with many other natural substances used in skin and hair care products, scientists have spent considerable time and effort studying the potential benefits of jojoba oil.
Over the years, studies have found that jojoba oil may offer benefits for skin and hair, including:
Improving skin elasticity. Jojoba oil has proven to be an effective emollient, meaning it softens and smooths the skin. Studies suggest that jojoba oil helps to make skin more supple and that it assists human skin in repelling surface water.
Reducing skin inflammation. Jojoba oil has been linked to improvements in psoriasis, acne and both acute and chronic skin inflammation. Other research suggests that the use of jojoba oil may have a protective effect against inflamed skin and certain rashes.
Inhibiting bacterial growth. Jojoba oil and jojoba alcoholic extracts may help to reduce the growth of several types of bacteria such as Tubercle bacilli, leprosy bacilli, Brucella and others.
Strengthening hair strands. Jojoba oil is frequently used as a conditioning agent due to its ability to reduce protein loss inside the hair shaft, increase protection against hair breakage and promote good overall hair health.
Research shows that jojoba oil can offer real benefits for your hair and skin, including improving elasticity and protecting against broken hairs or an irritated, itchy scalp.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that jojoba oil impacts healthy hair growth or that it shields your hair follicles against hormones and other substances that can cause damage and contribute to hair loss.
Before we get into the specifics of jojoba oil and hair growth promotion, it’s important to go over the basics of how your hair grows and the factors that can prevent growth and contribute to hair loss conditions.
Every hair on your body — from your scalp to your legs — goes through a multi-stage process called the hair growth cycle.
Each hair follicle passes through several stages as it grows a new hair — from the anagen phase, during which hair actively grows, to the telogen phase, during which old strands of hair begin to rest and eventually shed, allowing new hairs to replace them.
Most types of hair loss occur when this process is interrupted or stopped. For example, telogen effluvium — a common form of stress-related hair loss — occurs when a specific event shifts hair follicles into the telogen phase of the growth cycle, causing abrupt hair loss.
Male pattern baldness — the type of hair loss that causes a receding hairline or bald patch near your crown — occurs when the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) damages your hair follicles, shortening the anagen phase of the growth cycle and resulting in smaller, weaker hairs.
Treatments for hair loss usually work by either blocking DHT or lengthening the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, allowing your hair to grow for longer.
For example, the medication finasteride works by reducing DHT levels within your body, while the topical medication minoxidil works by shortening the telogen (resting) phase of your hair’s natural growth cycle and moving hairs into an extended anagen phase.
These effects — reducing DHT levels and extending the length of the anagen phase — are what allow these treatments to produce improvements in hair growth.
Currently, no studies show that jojoba oil reduces DHT levels within your body or at the scalp level, meaning it’s unlikely to prevent hair loss from male pattern baldness.
There’s also no research that shows jojoba oil having any measurable impact on inactive hair follicles or the length of the anagen phase of your hair growth cycle.
In other words, research has yet to identify any significant way in which jojoba oil could help to stimulate hair growth, treat common hair loss issues or increase hair thickness.
In fact, when it comes to research on jojoba oil and hair growth, there isn’t much of anything at all.
In one animal study published in the journal Toxicology Research in 2014, researchers treated four groups of mice using either 3% minoxidil, peppermint oil, jojoba oil or saline solution.
They found that the jojoba oil was less effective at stimulating hair growth in the mice than the minoxidil or peppermint oil.
Currently, there’s no clinical scientific research (meaning studies carried out in humans) on the effects of jojoba oil on hair growth. This means that we don’t know enough to determine whether or not it’s effective — or even safe — as a hair loss treatment.
As such, it’s best not to rely on jojoba oil as a treatment for stimulating hair growth, increasing the activity of hair follicles or reversing the effects of male pattern baldness.
Instead, it’s better to enjoy it for what it is — a good natural hair care ingredient for keeping your hair smooth, minimizing frizz and reducing your risk of dealing with dry hair or a flaky, dry scalp.
Jojoba oil is widely used in shampoos, conditioners and other hair products, making it easy to add to your daily hair care routine.
The easiest way to get started with jojoba oil is to purchase a shampoo, conditioner or hair care product that contains it as an ingredient. You can find jojoba oil products in many supermarkets, drug stores and online.
You can also add a few drops of jojoba oil to your preferred shampoo or hair conditioner before applying it to your scalp and hair.
Because jojoba oil is a waxy substance, it’s best to avoid applying it directly to your scalp. Many oily, waxy substances can mix with dead skin cells and clog your hair follicles, which may cause you to develop pimples on your scalp.
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“I’m a 34-year-old father of two and have been using Hims for over a year now. My hair is back to what it was in my mid-twenties.”
Currently, we don’t have any reliable scientific evidence to suggest that jojoba oil promotes hair growth or reverses the effects of male pattern baldness.
The good news is that several evidence-based, FDA-approved hair loss treatments are already available that you can use to boost hair growth and stop your receding hairline from becoming more severe baldness.
The most effective treatments for hair loss are the two medications we mentioned earlier — the prescription medication finasteride and the over-the-counter medication minoxidil.
Finasteride stops your body from converting testosterone into DHT. In a study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy in 2015, researchers found that 80.5 percent of men affected by hair loss who used finasteride showed improvements after one year.
Minoxidil moves your inactive hairs into the anagen (or growth) phase of the hair growth cycle. In the same study, researchers found that 59 percent of men with hair loss who used minoxidil for one year displayed improvements.
Interestingly, the same study found that 94.1 percent of men showed improvements when both medications were used together.
In addition to medication, healthy habits can often help with hair growth. These include eating a balanced diet that’s rich in hair-friendly nutrients, using a shampoo that’s formulated for optimal hair growth and limiting your exposure to stressful situations.
Generic for Rogaine®, this FDA-approved over-the-counter version of topical minoxidil is used for regrowth on the crown of the head.
This is the FDA-approved dynamic duo. When used together, men saw better results in clinical trials compared to using either alone.
If you’re looking for something effective but don’t want too many steps in your routine, this once-a-day pill could be right for you.
Clinically proven to regrow hair in 3-6 months, no pills required.
Jojoba oil appears to offer several potential benefits for your hair and scalp, including increasing skin elasticity, controlling inflammation and strengthening your hair strands to lower your risk of dealing with damaged hair.
Adding a product or two with jojoba oil to your hair care regimen could be a good idea, especially if you’re prone to an itchy scalp or hair damage.
However, you should keep a few important things in mind before you rely on jojoba oil to treat hair loss:
First, we don’t know if it actually works. At the moment, the only study available on jojoba oil and hair growth is a small one that features rodents, and it doesn’t exactly look promising for jojoba oil as a hair growth ingredient.
Second, the fact that jojoba oil is natural doesn’t mean that it’s safe. Because there’s so little data available on jojoba oil and hair growth, we don’t know if it’s actually safe to use this oil on a daily basis if you’re starting to develop hair loss.
Considering these points, it’s better to stick to proven hair loss treatments than to rely on jojoba oil for hair loss prevention if you’re beginning to develop a receding hairline, a bald patch or diffuse hair loss.
If you’re interested in dealing with your hair loss for good, you can begin today by taking part in an online hair loss consultation with a licensed healthcare provider.