We asked a dermatologist if CBD helps with hair loss. Learn more inside. Cannabidiol (CBD) has antidepressant & anti-anxiety effects, making it potentially great for the treatment of stress and associated hair loss. Read on for more!
Can CBD Help With Hair Loss? We Investigate
Bianca is a contributing writer for Byrdie specializing in natural hair and skincare. You can find her work in xoNecole, The Everygirl, POPSUGAR, Travel Noire, and more.
Karen Kagha, MD, FAAD, is a Boston-based board-certified dermatologist. She is currently a Cosmetic and Laser Fellow at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital.
CBD is the darling of the beauty industry at the moment. If you’re like us you’re intrigued by the hemp plant-derived cannabidiol. We know that CBD can benefit those with anxiety. There are also claims that CBD can smooth wrinkles, hydrate, and even get rid of acne. The scientific jury is still out on substantiating those claims, but what we do know is that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So how can those properties benefit hair? To get more information on how CBD might be able to benefit our hair and help with hair loss, we talked with Michelle Henry, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon, and Cantu Partner.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of using CBD for hair loss. We want to share the differences between CBD and hemp seed oil. These are two variations of Cannabis sativa that are both hitting the skin and hair care market. They each have anti-inflammatory properties, but they are created differently. On the one hand, CBD oil is derived from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant which means there are higher concentrations of CBD in its makeup. On the other hand, hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant.
Now that we’ve given you that tidbit of information, it’s time to talk CBD for hair loss.
Meet the Expert
is a board-certified dermatologist, Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon, and Cantu Partner.
Type of ingredient: Hydrator and anti-inflammatory
Main benefits: Soothes the scalp, regulates oil production, and anti-inflammatory
Who should use it: In general, anyone can benefit from using CBD in their haircare routine. However, if you are dealing with excessive hair loss or scalp issues, you will want to check in with a healthcare practitioner before use.
How often can you use it: It’s safe to use as needed.
Works well with: Most hair care products and can even be dropped into masks and treatments for added benefits.
Benefits of CBD for Hair
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CBD is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, so much so that it is proven to help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. But, how does that benefit translate to our scalp? For starters, CBD naturally boasts a high concentration of antioxidants like vitamins A, C, making it an antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory option. “The actual active (cannabinoid) is anti-inflammatory and can help psoriasis and eczema,” Henry tells us. “For scalp and hair issues that are triggered by inflammation such as psoriasis, dermatitis especially in women who have hair loss in women. If women patients don’t want to use traditional medicine. CBD oil can help with those issues.”
Hemp seed oil has also entered the haircare chat, but because hemp seed oil is derived from seeds it doesn’t carry as many anti-inflammatory benefits as CBD oil. However, for those that are looking to moisturize a flaky or irritates scalp, Henry tells us hemp seed oil does just that. “Hempseed oil is going to help lock in moisture in the hair and scalp. What people forget is that the scalp is an extension of the face. What’s become more popular is the skifinification of the scalp and extension of skincare, so we should use similar ingredients. Do all the things we would do on the face (moisturize, nourish) on the scalp to help with hair loss and stimulate hair growth.”
Because hair loss and irritation can be attributed to many other factors, talking with your healthcare provider about your unique concerns is the best option.
Hair Type Considerations
CBD can benefit a range of hair types. However, Henry notes that research on CBD’s ability to promote hair growth is limited. “I have not seen any studies about [CBD oil] directly stimulating hair growth. However, reducing inflammation is encouraging hair growth and protecting the hair.” We can thank Phytocompounds —antioxidant effects and antimicrobial properties— for that. When applied to our skin, the hemp plant can molecularly connect to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies and reduce inflammation—this includes our scalps. Before you run out and purchase a CBD product for your hair, there are a few things to keep in mind. As we noted at the start of the story, CBD and hemp seed oil are different. Hemp seed oil does offer up fatty acids, which are excellent hydrators of the hair and scalp. However, CBD has a higher level of anti-inflammatory benefits. So when looking at the label of products, you’ll want to be mindful of your needs and the ingredients in your product of choice. The labeling can be a bit confusing, but we hope our breakdown helps.
How to Use CBD for Hair
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When using CBD oil on your hair and scalp, you’ll want to follow the same practices you would with any other hair care ingredient if you’re using a CBD-infused shampoo, conditioner, or styling product used as recommended or as often as your hair type calls for. When it comes to applying CBD oil to the scalp, six to eight drops are typically more than enough for any oil you plan to use on the scalp, and we’d apply that same cadence here.
The Best Products with CBD and Hemp Seed Oil
Made with a blend of 100 mg CBD oil-enriched, arnica flower, hemp, and tamanu seed oils, this oil calms and moisturizes the skin and scalp.
Formulated with cannabis Sativa seed oil, ginseng root, and horsetail extract, this formula moisturizes and softens each strand to encourage thicker, healthier-looking hair.
Made with a 3:1 broad-spectrum cannabinoid complex with a blend of baobab and castor oils, rosemary, cedarwood, and other herbal extracts, this rich multitasking formula can be used as a scalp treatment, leave-in, or as an addition to any hair mask.
With a blend of three natural, raw ingredients: 100% pure and certified organic hemp seed oil, pure shea butter, and coconut oil, this hydrating formula can be used on the hair, scalp, and body.
CBD oil is an anti-inflammatory hydrator that soothes the scalp and regulates oil production.
CBD can benefit a range of hair types. However, Henry notes that research on CBD’s ability to promote hair growth is limited. “I have not seen any studies about [CBD oil] directly stimulating hair growth. However, reducing inflammation is encouraging hair growth and protecting the hair.”
When it comes to applying CBD oil to the scalp, six to eight drops are typically more than enough for any oil you plan to use on the scalp, and we’d apply that same cadence here.
Does CBD Help to Slow or Stop Hair Loss?
When the uses for cannabidiol (CBD) seem endless, you might feel skeptical about considering it as an option in preventing hair loss. But there is evidence to show that CBD oil can be beneficial in hair care and could even prevent certain types of hair loss . Cannabis and CBD products may also help treat hair loss or an itchy scalp associated with pso riasis .
Discover how CBD can help with hair loss and which CBD products may be best for male pattern baldness and similar conditions.
Download Free Guide to CBD
What Causes Hair Loss?
Numerous factors can contribute to hair loss :
- Genetics – hereditary hair loss is the most common reason people go bald.
- Hormonal changes in women that occur during pregnancy and/or menopause.
- Natural effects of aging.
- Inadequate nutrition, especially a lack of vitamin D.
- Chemical hair treatments and toxic hair care products.
- Rare autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata.
- Cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy.
- Certain medications, like doxorubicin, used to treat cancer.
- Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like syphilis.
- Scalp psoriasis.
- Thyroid issues.
Some of these factors are preventable, while others are beyond our control. If your hair loss is due to a reversible factor, like diet or stress, then you may be able to strengthen your hair follicles and even stimulate regrowth.
Effectiveness of CBD for Hair Loss
Hemp and cannabis oil are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 , contributing to hair growth. The plant also contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, linoleic, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), essential fatty acids for healthy hair growth.
One study using CBD-rich hemp extract showed that people who topically applied CBD oil to their hair and scalp for six months saw successful regrowth. It is suggested that, as stimulating CB1 receptors can result in slowed hair growth, negative allosteric modulators (i.e., they desensitize CB1 receptors) like CBD can help speed up hair growth.
Another study on hemp seed oil showed similarly positive results. Even if CBD hasn’t been proven to reduce hair loss, it still has other benefits for your hair. You can use CBD and hemp shampoos and conditioners to hydrate dry hair. CBD oil may also reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation, encouraging healthy hair growth .
Potential Side Effects
Most side effects associated with CBD products are mild. When using CBD products for hair loss, you may experience:
- Slight skin irritation (which is more likely attributed to other ingredients than CBD)
- Dry mouth
- Diarrhea or constipation
Most of these side effects are rare. Consult with your doctor if you experience any adverse side effects after using a CBD oil or other product.
How to Use CBD for Hair Loss
The topical application of CBD products is ideal when treating hair loss. You have many CBD hair loss products to choose from to accomplish your goals, but here are a few that we recommend:
Steam Active Botanicals Shampoo
Steam Active Botanicals is a cannabis-based shampoo that stimulates healthy hair growth and removes dirt and buildup without stripping the hair of its natural oils. The shampoo features cannabis, sage, horsetail, calendula, and ginseng to help strengthen and restore hair. It is also beneficial to anyone suffering from dry or itchy scalp and is used like any other shampoo when washing your hair.
Fitish Hair Plumping Serum
This CBD hair plumping serum is dual purpose, meaning it strengthens your hair and promotes healthy hair growth. It features green tea and oleanolic acid to encourage growth, while CBD and aloe provide volume, thickening the roots and softening your hair. This CBD product should be applied more than once throughout the day, and you should not rinse the serum out as it is meant to be left in your hair.
Raincry Rebuild Bond Repair
Another leave-in hair treatment, Raincry Repair Rebuild Bond, contains rich CBD oil, lotus flower, and collagen peptides. The treatment works by bulking up the hair strands to appear healthier with each use while protecting the hair from environmental damage.
Of course, health begins on the inside, and there are other CBD hair loss products on the market that are not topicals. For example, GRO+ Advanced Gummies are vitamins that promote healthy hair growth. Using broad-spectrum hemp along with biotin, folic acid, zinc, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals, the gummies are 100% vegan, have 20 milligrams (mg) of CBD per gummy, and come in natural fruit flavors.
Remember that there is no miracle cure for hair regrowth for whichever product you choose. Genetics play a pivotal role in hair loss and overall hair health, as do your diet and other lifestyle factors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can CBD stimulate hair growth?
Research is emerging, but it is possible that CBD can stimulate fresh blood circulation in the scalp. Massaging CBD oil into the scalp gets the blood flowing near your hair follicles, thus potentially encouraging hair growth.
What does CBD do for hair?
CBD oil is deeply moisturizing and can help treat dry scalp conditions like dandruff. The antimicrobial properties of CBD work to reduce scalp infections, which may be the root cause of dandruff flakes. Amino acids and other beneficial compounds in CBD boost hair health and may make your tresses feel thicker.
Which CBD product is best for hair loss?
The best CBD products for hair loss contain a full spectrum of nourishing ingredients. Look for vitamin E, essential fatty acids, zinc, and folic acid in CBD products.
Incorporate cannabis into your health and beauty regimen with a medical marijuana card. Leafwell’s physicians are ready to meet with you in our virtual clinic and get you started on your path to natural wellness.
Article written by
Tina Magrabi Senior Content Writer
Tina Magrabi is a writer and editor specializing in holistic health. She has written hundreds of articles for Weedmaps where she spearheaded the Ailments series on cannabis medicine. In addition, she has written extensively for the women’s health blog, SafeBirthProject, as well as print publications including Destinations Magazine and Vero’s Voice. Tina is a Yale University alumna and certified yoga instructor with a passion for the outdoors.
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