When you are suffering from hair loss, you’re probably willing to do just about anything to restore your hair to its long, luscious state.
This probably means that you’ve already done a lot of research into all the different ways that you can encourage your scalp to start growing healthy hair again and you have probably stumbled on some natural products which are growing in popularity.
One such ingredient that seems to be catching the attention of many people who are experiencing hair thinning or the loss of hair is pumpkin seed oil – but is it really effective for your hair?
We will explore some of the benefits of pumpkin seed oil for hair health and whether it has any scientific evidence to back up the claims.
Pumpkin seed oil is a natural oil that is made from roasted pumpkin seeds. It contains essential fatty acids and contains a high vitamin and mineral content which makes it good for many uses, most commonly as a cooking oil or dietary supplement.
This oil isn’t too hard to find in health food stores, or you can find it in capsule form if you’re looking to take it as a supplement.
People are now also starting to use pumpkin seed oil as part of their haircare routine to maintain their healthy locks. But, just what benefits can you experience from using this natural oil in your hair?
Many people will spend hundreds on fancy shampoos, conditioners, and other treatments to make their hair as healthy as possible, yet forget one of the easiest things they can do which is to improve their diet.
Our hair needs the right nutrients to grow, which is why ingredients such as this oil work so well on the hair – pumpkin seed oil is packed with vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that our hair follicles love. This is why some people notice that when they take pumpkin seed oil, their hair starts to grow stronger and thicker.
Pumpkin seed oil contains something called linoleic acid. This is an omega-6 fatty acid that is supposed to contribute to healthy hair while promoting shine and radiance.
Linoleic acid is commonly found in many natural oils, like olive oil and sunflower oil, but you can find a much higher content of linoleic acid in pumpkin seed oil . Learn more about olive oil for hair.
Some studies have also found that linoleic acid can have a positive impact on activating hair cell growth factors .
Hair oils are used by the majority of people, one of the key reasons why they are so popular is because of how they can keep your hair feeling soft and moisturized.
Pumpkin seed oil is a medium-weight oil, which is perfect for use in the hair when using it topically. It provides enough moisture to keep your hair looking glossy, without being heavy enough to weigh down your locks or make them look oily.
Hair oils are commonly used as emollients  to seal in moisture and protect your hair from external aggressors like the sun, pollution, the cold, etc.
Thanks to the range of vitamins and minerals in pumpkin seed oil it can prevent oxidative damage, which can often cause your hair to change colour.
It creates a natural amber colour when used topically, a unique tonal colour that you won’t be able to get from any box dyes that you find in stores.
Pumpkin seed oil has anti-inflammatory fatty acids that can help protect hair from damage and other external aggressors that can cause it to look dry and unhealthy.
Fatty acids that can be found in pumpkin seed oil include linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid.
Not only can pumpkin seed oil colour your hair to a new amber tone, but it can also mask existing hair colours.
Pumpkin seed oil can enhance your hair colour, either highlighting or toning down the shade. This means that whatever dye you’re using on your hair will be able to penetrate deeper and be more noticeable once you’ve washed it out.
Most importantly, some introductory studies suggest that using pumpkin seed oil can have a positive impact on people suffering from hair loss.
Although there isn’t a lot of evidence that back up the claims that pumpkin seed oil can prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth, the early results look promising.
Keep on reading to find out more about the science behind pumpkin seed oil for hair loss.
One study, which was published in 2014 , orally administered pumpkin seed oil and a placebo to men who were experiencing male pattern baldness.
The outcome was that the men who were taking the pumpkin seed oil in supplement form experienced 30% more hair growth than those who were taking the placebo.
Although the outcome of this study makes it seem like pumpkin seed oil is effective at promoting hair growth, it did leave out the fact that the supplement didn’t contain just pumpkin seed oil, there were a number of ingredients that may have played a role in helping to promote hair growth. These ingredients were:
The study also only occurred over a small timeframe (just 24 weeks) and involved a small number of participants (100 men), which completely disregarded female pattern baldness.
One theory as to why pumpkin seed oil is thought to be so successful at encouraging hair growth is because of the phytosterols that can be found within the oil.
Phytosterols are abundant in plants and may be able to block enzymes and hormones in the scalp that would normally cause hair loss, which one 2017 study , on phytosterol-rich plant-based oils and omega-3 fatty acids, was able to find.
Similarly, there was another study in 2016  that looked at treating androgenetic alopecia using topical products with ingredients that contained phytosterols.
Ultimately, like other natural remedies, there are some early studies that show that pumpkin seed oil may be a solution for those suffering from hair loss. But, we do not believe that there is enough evidence – yet – for us to be able to encourage people to use it for hair loss.
Although it is primarily oil, there are a number of different ways that you can take pumpkin seed oil – especially if you are taking it with the hopes that it can help with hair loss.
One of the easiest ways to use pumpkin seed oil is to apply it directly to your scalp, either by using an oil treatment or switching to hair products that contain the ingredient.
If you are using straight pumpkin seed oil for a hot oil hair treatment, you should be careful not to use too much in your hair as this can quickly turn things into an oily mess.
In some studies of topical pumpkin seed oil on rats , the treatment was able to increase hair growth in 3 weeks, so will require some patience before you’re able to see any results.
Similarly, in a 2021  study conducted on all-female participants, topical pumpkin seed oil was compared to another popular hair loss treatment, Minoxidil. Although the pumpkin seed oil wasn’t as effective as Minoxidil, it did make a difference in hair shaft diversity, the number of vellus (immature) hairs, and the number of terminal (mature) hairs.
You can also get pumpkin seed oil in the form of a dietary supplement from many supermarkets and health food stores.
You’ll normally find these supplements in the ‘prostate support’ section and it’s important to double-check the dosage and instructions on the packaging before taking the supplement as things can differ from product to product.
Dosages of pumpkin seed oil in these supplements can range from 500 to 1000 mg, depending on the brand. Although there is no established recommended dosage for the ingredient, we’d recommend starting at 500 mg to start with, then increasing your dosage if needed.
Finally, you can also consume regular pumpkin seed oil orally, without having to take it via a supplement.
Most people who choose this method take around one to three teaspoons of the ingredient a day or try to incorporate it into their cooking.
Most of the studies that have explored the benefits of pumpkin seed oil have only selected men to be participants, which can make drawing conclusions on the ingredient’s effectiveness on women slightly difficult.
Any man who is suffering from hair loss will benefit from taking pumpkin seed oil and, early studies into female pattern hair loss, would suggest that women would also benefit from introducing this ingredient.
A very small percentage of people who take pumpkin seed oil may experience side effects such as sexual or ejaculation dysfunction, as well as irritation on the scalp if you are using pumpkin seed oil in a topical form.
Pumpkin seed oil isn’t the only solution for those suffering from hair loss, there are plenty of other treatments and medicines that you can use if you’re worried about a receding hairline or hair thinning
Some of the main solutions to hair loss that are FDA-approved include medicines like Finasteride, Dutasteride, and Minoxidil.
Finasteride and Dutasteride are two oral medicines that work by blocking DHT, one of the common causes of hair loss in men. They come in a tablet form that must be taken daily then, after 12-24 weeks of treatment, you should be able to notice an improvement in hair growth.
Minoxidil, on the other hand, is a topical solution that can be used by both men and women. Unlike the other popular drugs, it doesn’t block DHT, but speeds up the hair growth cycle and increases the blood supply to your hair follicles.
If you’d like to learn more about hair loss and the various ways you can prevent it, get in touch with a member of our team.
Simply fill in your details in the form below and we'll get in touch with you shortly.