Disclaimer: Consult with a doctor before deciding on a treatment plan for any disease or injury.
Introduction to the Use of DMSO and Essential Oils for Hair Loss
Both men and women suffer from hair loss. Both androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata are a common problem and unfortunately pharmaceutical treatments like Finasteride (Propecia) and Minoxidil can cause serious side effects and life-time debilitation with prolonged use.
While essential oils can definitely help increase hair growth and decrease hair loss, you may need more than just a topical treatment to lessen the amount of hair that you’re losing every day. Dietary changes, herbal treatments, and nutritional supplements like Lugol’s iodine and magnesium can take your at-home hair loss treatment to the next level.
Read These Rules Before Using DMSO for Hair Loss!
DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) is a substance that’s derived from trees. It is FDA approved, but rarely used in modern medicine because this medicine has the power to transform the pharmaceutical industry and put medicine into the hands of the people. But in the spirit of being concise, I’m only going to explain some basics about how to combine DMSO with essential oils.
DMSO makes medications, including the active ingredients in essential oils, stronger. Additionally, it takes these active ingredients directly into the cells. It has its own “intelligence” in that it seeks out and finds the cells most in need of the treatment that it carries. When you combine DMSO with essential oils, the DMSO will take the active ingredients in the essential oils deep into the hair follicles. But use it sparingly, especially if you plan to use it daily on your skin. It is very drying, so it can actually burn your skin if you use too much of it, too often without the proper balance of water mixed in with it.
WARNING: Do NOT combine DMSO with anything other than essential oils. DMSO has the ability to combine with many things. And it also has the ability to permeate (pass through) cell walls very easily. So if you combine DMSO with the wrong things, either on purpose or accidentally, it can lead to negative consequences.
For example, if you wash your hair with a shampoo that contains phthalates, acetates, acrylates, fragrances (even if the product says that it is UNSCENTED, it still contains fragrance ingredients that cover up the scent of the other chemicals), or any number of other harmful ingredients, when combined with DMSO, these substances end up not just on your skin, but inside your cells, deep in the tissues of the body. This is not something to be taken lightly! When you combine DMSO with water, be sure the water is clean and filtered. Use only the soaps we recommend on this site with DMSO, or go to the EWG’s skin deep cosmetics database to find a non-toxic skin or hair care product.
Soap that you can use with DMSO:
Shampoo that you can use with DMSO:
NOTE: Check the ingredients list on these products whenever you buy them. If the company starts to include non-plant-based chemicals, stop buying the product and find a new plant-based product.
Let the DMSO soak in completely before you touch it with fabric. In other words, do not put a hat on your head if you’ve recently applied DMSO. The dye can combine with DMSO and end up inside your cells. Don’t spray your head with hair spray or any other hair care or cosmetic product for at least 30 minutes after you apply DMSO to the skin.
DMSO is very drying, so you may notice that your skin gets red and even itchy after you use DMSO. Put water on your skin if this happens and let the water soak in. If you find that the DMSO is overly drying to your skin, add some water to the mixture that you’re using. Start with at least a tablespoon of water and 1 drop of the essential oil of your choice with 1 drop of DMSO. Increase the amount of essential oils and DMSO to achieve the effects you desire.
Finally, be sure to purchase a No Odor DMSO product. Regular DMSO can make your breath and body smell like rotting oysters. The No Odor DMSO product does not cause this problem.
So the basic takeaways here are:
- DMSO is FDA approved for use even in pregnant women. It is a very safe substance when it is used properly, but make sure that you use it properly and you understand HOW IT WORKS before getting started.
- DMSO is a STRONG SOLVENT. It combines with both good and bad molecules. Make sure that you control which substances are combining with your DMSO when you use it on your skin. Think about your soaps and shampoos when using it. Think about clothing and fabrics that you might put against skin that’s been treated with it.
- DMSO makes medications STRONGER.
- DMSO takes medications DEEP INTO THE CELLS. It penetrates the skin and the organs quickly and more deeply than what would otherwise be possible without the DMSO.
- DMSO is DRYING. Put it with water as needed to avoid redness and itching. Do NOT burn your skin with the DMSO by applying too much too often. Be aware that the DMSO can dry out the hair if you don’t combine it with enough water, which would be counterproductive when trying to boost hair growth!
- Buy NO ODOR DMSO. Regular DMSO will make you smell like an oyster.
FINALLY: DMSO itself is related to MSM and may, by itself help reverse and prevent hair loss.
Below are essential oils for hair loss that you can use by themselves or with DMSO:
Cold-pressed, virgin, hexane-free Castor Oil mixed with DMSO is an excellent choice for hair regrowth. Make a 1:1:1 mix of Castor Oil : 99.99% Pharmaceutical Grade DMSO : Filtered Water and apply it at night before bed. Wait for 15-30 minutes before you go to sleep after applying this mix so that the DMSO can soak in. Wait for the DMSO to soak in because you don’t want the dyes from your pillowcases to mix with the DMSO as you’re falling asleep. Consider adding a few drops of Rosemary and some of the other essential oils in the list below to your mix.
If you have an infrared light that you can shine on the treated area for 5 minutes at a time after applying the Castor Oil + DMSO mix to your hair, that would add another layer of help to your treatment protocol to spur hair regrowth.
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) has been studied for its effectiveness at treating hair loss. It performs at about the same level as Minoxidil 2% for Androgenic Alopecia according to research that was done in 2015 in Tehran, Iran. Don’t expect to see immediate results using rosemary though. It starts working right away, but you won’t see dramatic results until you’ve used it daily for at least 6 months.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) helps increase blood flow to the scalp. It is particularly helpful at promoting hair growth during the anagen phase (when the hair shaft is growing). Studies have shown that peppermint oil increases the number of follicles, the depth of the follicles, and overall hair growth.
ROSEMARY + PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HAIR GROWTH:
Add organic rosemary essential oil drops to your shampoo or conditioner along with peppermint essential oil. NEVER ADD DMSO to shampoo and conditioner because most shampoos and conditioners contain toxic ingredients like parabens that easily combine with DMSO such that the DMSO-paraben mix easily enter cells.
You can put both the peppermint essential oil and rosemary essential oil in a carrier oil such as castor oil, apricot kernel oil, or grapeseed oil and massage them onto the scalp daily.
Thyme stimulates the scalp to prevent hair loss. It is particularly helpful for treating Alopecia Areata, but it may also help Androgenic Alopecia too. Perhaps you already have some thyme essential oil on hand. If so, you can add a few drops of thyme to your hair regrowth mixture.
Lavender essential oil has recently been studied scientifically because of its ability to grow hair faster and thicker. Adding a few drops of lavender essential oils for hair regrowth to a mixture is a good idea if you plan to apply it before bed. Lavender smells great and it has a relaxing effect on the body.
Cedarwood essential oil can reduce hair loss by balancing the oils on the scalp. And it has antifungal and antibacterial effects, so if the hair loss happens to be caused by an infection, it can help treat the problem. Cedarwood essential oil is well known for its ability to boost hair growth, so this is definitely a good addition to your at-home hair regrowth treatment.
Baobab oil is readily absorbed into the hair follicles and it has a great nutrient profile for boosting hair growth. It has anti-inflammatory properties and it can also help strengthen the hair. Use it to enhance skin health too. And remember…infrared light therapy is another great addition to your at home hair regrowth treatment particularly if you create a mixture that contains a little castor oil (discussed above), which soaks into the skin more readily when combined with a little heat. Red light by itself is sometimes used to spur hair growth.
FINAL NOTE: I once experienced profound hair loss that came on very suddenly due to a parasite infection and iodine deficiency. These two problems went together and taking iodine supplements and anti-parasitics led to total hair regrowth. My hair today is thicker than ever and as a forty-something, I have hair down to my waist. Iodine deficiency is a very common problem and parasite infections are too. So if you’re having hair loss, consider supplementing with iodine as well as taking anti-parasitics once a month for 6 months.
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