After a certain age, thinning hair is something many of us worry about. It can put a damper on our spirits and make us feel less confident. Even though there are many ways to combat the problem, sometimes it may feel like finding one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg is impossible. Enter: pumpkin seed oil — a cheap and all-natural hair loss remedy.
You may only think about pumpkin in the fall (Mmmm pumpkin spiced lattes), but the reddish or greenish oil extracted from pressed pumpkin seeds is touted as a great natural solution for thinning hair all year round. In one 2014 study, those suffering from hair loss who took pumpkin seed supplements (in which pumpkin seed oil was the main but not the only ingredient) experienced 30 percent more hair regrowth than the placebo group after 24 weeks.
Pumpkin seed oil is thought to prevent hair loss and promote hair regrowth by lowering the androgen (male hormone, DHT) activity, taming inflammation, decreasing the constriction of blood vessels in the scalp, and replacing the elements necessary for hair regrowth. It's also said to block DHT — a hormone responsible for hair loss, especially in menopausal and postmenopausal women. Additionally, it is rich in nutrients like zinc, manganese, and Vitamin E, as well as phytosterols (plant alcohols which are good for cholesterol) and linoleic acid (an unsaturated fatty acid).
You can incorporate pumpkin seed oil into your routine as a supplement, like with this one from Now Foods ($8.92, Amazon). The great thing about taking it orally is that it's also beneficial for heart health, brain health, and even menopause symptoms! Or you can apply actual pumpkin seed oil, like this from Leven Rose ($13.97, Amazon), topically to your scalp. Simply wash your hair normally, then massage oil that you've warmed up a bit in the microwave, directly onto your scalp. Leave on for at least 30 minutes or overnight, then wash thoroughly. You can repeat this process once per week, or as often as desired.