CBD for Hair: Can It Help With Hair Growth and Reduce Hair Loss

CBD (cannabidiol) has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity for its potential ability to treat several medical conditions, such as seizures, arthritis, and mood disorders. Recent studies indicate that CBD may combat hair loss when used topically. Read on to learn if CBD can improve hair growth, how to use it, and what the side effects are.

Key takeaways:

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the numerous chemical compounds present in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or weed. It differs from cannabis because it does not contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol ), the psychoactive compound that gives people the "high." Therefore, using CBD will not make you "high," and it is completely legal to purchase over-the-counter as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.

What promotes hair growth?

Not all hair loss can be reversed, such as from genetic causes. There are several interventions that may help some cases of hair loss. If these fail, there are some medical treatment options available, such as topical minoxidil, oral finasteride, laser therapy, hair transplants, and PRP/PRF (platelet-rich plasma/platelet-rich fibrin) with or without micro needling.

Here are some ways to promote hair growth:

  • Treat underlying medical conditions
  • Good diet and exercise routine
  • If possible, change medications to ones that do not lead to hair loss
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Protect from sun damage
  • Reduce stress
  • Proper hair care practices

Causes of hair loss

Hair loss is multifactorial in nature, which can make it challenging to treat. There are intrinsic and extrinsic forces that play a role in hair loss.

  • Intrinsic. Intrinsic causes of hair loss are the causes that stem from internal issues, such as medical conditions (thyroid dysfunction or anemia), genetics, or autoimmune problems (lupus).
  • Extrinsic. Extrinsic causes stem from forces outside the body, such as medications, sun exposure, infection, stress, poor diet, and improper hygiene.

CBD benefits for hair

Several small studies using topical CBD have shown promise in combating hair loss and thinning in some patients, while also promoting hair growth. While these initial studies show positive results, more research, and larger randomized controlled trials are required to prove conclusively that topical CBD is beneficial for hair, what the side effects are, and the exact dose needed to maximize hair growth. Research should also include studies comparing the results of topical, ingested, and vaped CBD on hair loss and growth.

May reduce hair loss

Many factors play a role in hair loss. CBD may help combat some of them, such as bacterial infections and hair breakage. By helping to kill the bacteria and treat the infection, hair will potentially grow back. Dry, brittle hair is susceptible to breakage, damage, and hair loss. Hydration softens and strengthens the hair to reverse hair loss.

May help with thinning hair

Hair thinning can be the result of inflammation and free radical damage, and CBD may help combat these forces. CBD contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation may help prevent hair thinning. Antioxidants, which scavenge free radicals, will help prevent free radical-induced hair thinning.

Might promote hair growth

Hair growth requires nutrients, and CBD provides them in the form of amino acids by increasing circulation. Amino acids are the essential building blocks of proteins, like keratin. Keratin is the main component of hair. With more amino acids, more hair can potentially grow. Increased circulation will deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the scalp to nourish and promote hair growth.

How to use CBD for hair

CBD can be ingested, vaped, or applied topically to get the effects. If systemic effects are needed, then ingestion of CBD or vaping is preferred. Many ingest CBD in beverages, supplements, gummies, or liquid used under the tongue, while others prefer vaping CBD because it has a faster onset of action. Transdermal patches can also deliver systemic effects of CBD. There are no studies utilizing these forms of CBD for hair loss.

Topical formulations of CBD include:

  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Creams
  • Pills
  • Masks
  • Leave-in treatments
  • Serums
  • Oils
  • Detanglers
  • Lotions

Preliminary small studies used daily topical CBD to treat hair loss effectively. Further research is needed to determine if that is the ideal route of delivery for CBD to promote hair growth. There is no evidence to support using more than one CBD product will increase hair growth results, so proceed with caution. It could increase the risk of side effects. It is best to discuss this with your doctor.

Side effects of CBD

Topical CBD is relatively safe with few side effects, such as redness, itching, rash, allergic reactions, or irritation. Ingestion or vaping of CBD may cause dry mouth, fatigue, diarrhea, increased appetite, and weight gain. It is best to discuss using CBD with your doctor before starting it.

Who should not use CBD?

While CBD is safe for most people, some should avoid using it, such as patients with liver disease or who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Topical CBD is the safest form of CBD to use. It may also interact with certain medications if it is ingested or vaped.

Proper dose of CBD for hair

There are no studies comparing the dose of any formulation of CBD for hair, so the proper dose is unknown. More research is needed to ascertain the exact dose and formulation to give the maximum results with minimal side effects. For now, stick to the directions on the product's label and do not exceed the stated recommendations. Otherwise, you could experience untoward side effects.

What hair types benefit most from CBD?

Topical CBD can potentially benefit all hair types since it promotes hair health. However, it potentially has the best effects on certain hair types, such as people with fragile, damaged hair, curly/coily hair, thinning hair, and dry hair. The fatty acids in CBD can hydrate hair and give it strength. CBD also has nutrients, anti-inflammatories, and antioxidants to promote hair growth.

When selecting topical CBD products for the hair, look to see if they have other hair-nourishing ingredients. Hair treatments with a combination of ingredients often work better than single-ingredient products. Coconut oil can help hydrate and nourish hair to promote growth. Argan oil can help moisturize and repair frizzy hair. Rosemary and lavender oil can also help promote hair growth.

Recent small studies have demonstrated good results in promoting hair growth when applied topically. Many may use CBD with other hair loss treatments to augment the results. Combination treatment is often more successful when treating hair loss because the causes are multifactorial. If you are considering using CBD, talk to your doctor to see if it is the right treatment for your hair loss.



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