From the kitchen to the bathroom, CBD oil is cropping up all over the place.
There is clearly an appetite for CBD products. But are some companies simply guilty of capitalising on a trend?
From CBD shampoo and hair oil to TikTok trends incorporating our favourite cannabinoid, the questions must be asked.
Can you really use CBD for hair care?
Does CBD help us grow and maintain luscious locks, or are CBD-infused hair products just the latest fad?
This article covers everything you need to know about CBD and hair.
- Is CBD oil good for your hair?
- Does CBD oil help hair growth?
- Does CBD oil help thicken hair?
Let’s take a look.
In this guide:
Is CBD oil good for your hair?
It’s the million-dollar question.
Is CBD oil good for your hair? Does research back up this concept? Are we being sold a dream, or should we slather the good stuff on our heads each night?
Thankfully, evidence points to some serious benefits of using CBD. Including for hair! Firstly, CBD contains all 21 known amino acids.
It’s full of antioxidants and helps boost collagen and elastin. All of this results in CBD being excellent for use on hair – helping with breakage and loss, and contributing towards thicker, healthier, luscious-looking hair.
What does CBD oil do for your hair?
CBD is loaded with fatty acids, which can help protect the hair shaft and prevent breakage. It also protects the hair follicle from harmful toxins, which can inhibit growth.
CBD can also be effective for treating a dry scalp. CBD oil’s fatty acids could help moisturise your scalp and reduce inflammation.
But how does CBD do this?
Firstly, the cannabinoid optimises sebum production. This is the natural oil responsible for keeping your hair moisturised, soft and lubricated.
One study investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD directly related to skin cells and found that CBD blocked the release of various inflammatory factors. So, if you have a dry scalp caused by an inflammatory condition, such as eczema, incorporating CBD into your haircare routine may offer relief.
CBD may also offer aesthetic benefits!
If you regularly colour your hair, CBD might be able to retain your colour for longer. This is because ridding your haircare routine of nasties like sulfates and alcohol will help your hair dye stick around. In turn, fewer regular hair colouring sessions are likely to equal healthier and better-looking hair in the long run, too.
Can you use CBD oil for hair loss?
What about CBD oil for hair loss? Can CBD prevent baldness or stress-induced hair loss?
Happily, science says yes! Or at least some scientific evidence supports this notion.
One study conducted in 2021 found that people who topically applied CBD oil to their hair and scalp for six months experienced successful regrowth. Notably, men experienced better results than women in this study.
One way CBD can also indirectly impact hair loss is by supporting stress management. Hair loss and stress are intrinsically linked: stress can cause hair loss or contribute to it. Stress can trigger or worsen three types of hair loss: alopecia areata, trichotillomania and telogen effluvium.
In one cross-sectional study, a majority of respondents reported they found CBD to be effective for reducing stress (as well as problems with and feelings of anxiety). Other research also supports the notion (to varying degrees) that CBD can help reduce stress levels.
So, if CBD can prevent or help minimise stress, it’s likely that consuming CBD products, such as CBD oil, could prevent stress-related hair loss too.
Does CBD oil help hair growth?
Can I rub CBD on my bald patch and expect to wake up in the morning with luscious long locks?
Unfortunately, it’s not a magic potion. But there is some good evidence that CBD can help generate and encourage hair growth.
Human hair follicles (HF) “exploit a CB1-mediated endocannabinoid signalling system for negatively regulating their own growth. Clinically, CB1 agonists may help manage unwanted hair growth, while CB1 antagonists might counteract hair loss.”
So, CBD can help with both regulating unwanted hair growth and preventing baldness or hair loss.
A more recent study conducted in 2021 also found that CBD has a significant positive impact on hair regrowth in participants with alopecia.
Participants with AGA used a daily topical hemp oil formulation, averaging around 3-4mg daily. On average, results were impressive: showing a 93.5% increase in hair after six months, with all participants experiencing some regrowth and none reporting adverse effects.
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How to use CBD for hair
So, how do you apply CBD most effectively for hair? In general, there are two methods of application: either using a CBD shampoo or rubbing CBD oil directly on the scalp.
The CBD shampoo market is booming, with many brands offering CBD haircare lines.
CBD shampoo is available in liquid or bar form, which is perfect if you’re hoping to limit the single-use plastics in your home.
A shampoo bar will last much longer, so it’s great if you’re on a budget. Use CBD shampoo as you would regular shampoo. But do also check the amount of CBD in any given product.
Some brands will make a fuss about including CBD for marketing purposes but then contain very little of the actual good stuff!
Doing some research to find your perfect product is never a waste of time.
CBD oil on scalp
The other option is to use CBD oil directly on your scalp.
There’s no standard technique for this, but studies which have shown the most clear-cut results (in particular, the 2021 study showing hair regrowth in alopecia sufferers) all required participants to massage CBD oil directly into the scalp.
Again, it’s really important you are using good quality CBD here, ideally an organic product.
Tips for choosing the best CBD for hair care
CBD oil isn’t cheap, and high-quality shampoo isn’t cheap, so a quality CBD shampoo won’t be cheap, either.
Look for a company with a commitment to sourcing high-quality CBD oil. The amount of CBD in the product should be demonstrated as a percentage or as mg.
Read more: CBD oil strength explained.
This should also be backed up with a certificate of analysis.
If you’d rather stick with specific hair products, look for a shampoo specific to your haircare concerns.
For example, if you have oily hair, a shampoo with aloe vera, essential oils or apple cider vinegar will help to clarify without the sulfates. Look for a shampoo that is free from sulfates, parabens, alcohol and synthetic fragrance.
And if you have dry hair, ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and argan oil will help restore moisture.
You should also choose organic products as much as possible. For example, making CBD shampoo with organic hemp will help limit pesticides and contaminants.
And by choosing a reputable company that values transparency, you’ll also have some reassurance that your shampoo doesn’t contain any unknown nasties.
Frequently asked questions:
Yes, CBD oil might help thicken your hair. It helps with hair regrowth and contains all 21 amino acids, which provide essential nutrients for healthy hair.
Yes, you can massage CBD oil directly into your scalp. This might improve hair health and encourage hair regrowth.
Final thoughts on CBD oil for hair
CBD isn’t a magic cure-all, even for hair. And it’s important that if you want to improve your hair quality, growth or appearance with CBD, you choose a good quality product – whether it’s shampoo or neat CBD oil.
Whatever product you choose, CBD isn’t going to be a one-stop shop for hair regeneration.
Disclaimers aside, CBD oil does look like an excellent addition to your haircare routine. As well as directly working to reduce hair loss, strengthen follicles and combat breakage, CBD can help manage some of the causes of unhealthy hair, such as stress.