Pumpkin seed oil has been found to improve hair growth for people suffering from androgenetic alopecia which occurs in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness which begins above both temples. Hair also thins near the top of the head, often progressing to partial or complete baldness. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head but rarely leads to total baldness.
This form of hair loss affects about 35 million men in the United States and can start as early as a person’s teens, then increase with age. Women most likely experience hair loss after menopause.
A variety of genetic and environmental factors likely play a role in causing androgenetic alopecia. This condition in men has been associated with other medical conditions including coronary heart disease, enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Health conditions associated with androgenetic alopecia in women would be polycystic ovary syndrome.
The common pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) has been around since about 10,000 BC, give or take a few hundred years.
Since then, the vegetable has not changed much, and so the thick shelled seeds you find in today’s North American pumpkins are similar to those in the original pumpkin.
Although the shell makes it a bit difficult to eat these nutritious seeds, the hard coating protects the inner kernel, which is pressed to make the oil. This oil contains healthy omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E and K, several B vitamins and various minerals.
The Pumpkin Seed Oil Study
Researchers after deciding on one of the essential oils for hair growth, pumpkin seed essential oil, investigated what effect it would have on hair growth among balding men. They enrolled 76 male patients with moderate androgenic alopecia and none of the patients had tried any previous medication, supplement, or topical therapy for at least three months prior to the study. The patients were divided into two groups – one group was given a placebo while the other group was given 400 milligrams of pumpkin seed essential oil per day in capsules. They were given two capsules before breakfast and two capsules before dinner. After three months and at the end of the study at six months, the patients were assessed and given a point score.
Each scalp was photographed using phototrichography, a special piece of equipment that allows the hair loss region to be targeted and measured from the center. Hair counts were also conducted by the researchers using two different lenses. Also, the patients rated their own hair gain using a special scale.
In the photographic analysis, the findings were that 44% of the group taking the pumpkin seed oil moderately improved hair growth, 51% were unchanged and 2.7% (actually only one patient) had slightly more baldness. On the other hand, the placebo group had only 7.7% moderately improved hair growth, 28% increased baldness and 64% were unchanged. As we can see, the pumpkin seed oil group had significantly higher hair counts – as matter of fact over three times more. The pumpkin seed oil group saw 30-40% increased hair counts while the placebo group showed only 5-10% more hair count.
The researchers confirmed that pumpkin seed essential oil does increase hair growth. They also found the treatment to be safe with no adverse effects. Isn’t this news absolutely wonderful! Looks like pumpkin seed oil turned out to be one of the best essential oils for hair growth.