is cbd oil good for hair loss

CBD Oil for Hair Loss and Alopecia – Does it Work?

Hair loss can be incredibly frustrating. It can have devastating consequences for self-confidence and ultimately, mental health. Sufferers of hair loss or alopecia can often feel at a complete loss as they come to terms with the condition and the idea that there is no cure. The good news is, however, that there is something that could help. CBD oil could be a suitable solution for hair loss, due to its nourishing ingredients and stress-relieving properties.

In this article, we want to take a more detailed look at the relationship between CBD oil and hair loss and conclude whether CBD oil can be a suitable treatment for people suffering from hair loss conditions.

Ordinary Hair Loss vs Alopecia

Ordinary hair loss is usually a genetic condition. 1 The condition causes hormonal changes that shrink the hair follicle. This is usually permanent and can be difficult to treat. Often, however, hair loss can be linked to stress or emotional upheaval. 2 It can happen in different ways. Some people might experience a thinning of the hair whilst others might lose their hair completely. It can also happen gradually or can happen suddenly.

Alopecia, on the other hand, refers to hair loss that is caused by a medical condition or by other factors. The most common form is known as alopecia areata. This is an auto-immune condition 3 that causes the sudden loss of patches of hair on both the head and the body. This happens because the immune system is actually attacking healthy hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. There are other forms of alopecia but these are often caused by external aggressors, such as damage to the hair or because the body has been put through physical trauma. It is thought that CBD oil can help treat alopecia and we will take a look at these claims.

Does CBD Oil cause hair loss?

No, there is currently no clinical evidence suggesting that CBD can lead to hair loss. On the contrary, studies have shown CBD’s effectiveness to promote hair growth.

Is CBD Effective For Hair Loss?

Studies have shown that CBD oil increases blood circulation and therefore happens to have an effect on hair loss when used directly on the hair follicles because it delivers nutrients right to the source, which stimulates the hair growth and health.

When it comes to CBD and hair health, there is some evidence that applying the oil topically to the scalp can actually promote the growth of the hair, mainly because of the vitamins that the oil contains. 4 . It is also rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which are known to be essential for healthy hair and to stimulate growth. The omega fatty acids, which are contained in CBD oil, have shown reduced hair loss and increased hair density. 5

Furthermore, CBD Oil is a great source of Vitamin E, which according to a medical trial by the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Malaysia, can greatly stimulate hair growth and help manage conditions such as alopecia. 6 Applying it topically to the scalp can help make the hair that is already there appear healthier and fuller whilst also stimulating those follicles that have been damaged.

Is CBD Effective for Alopecia?

While alopecia is a medical condition caused by an auto-immune disorder it is worth understanding the underlying factors behind the disorder. Auto-immune conditions are often linked to stress and anxiety, with flare-ups often occurring at difficult emotional times. It seems, sadly, that anxiety and hair loss go hand in hand. Luckily, CBD for stress-induced alopecia is a treatment that many people are turning to and with some success.

Studies show that the use of CBD oil can really improve outcomes for those suffering from anxiety and stress-related disorders. 7 8 CBD oil is known for helping those who suffer from stress deal with the rigors of daily life, so it stands to reason that it could help when it comes to anxiety and hair loss 9 and help the body get back to other important functions, such as maintaining healthy hair growth.

It is also worth noting that CBD oil can reduce inflammation. 10 Since alopecia is caused by an inflamed immune system, it is easy to see how CBD can help sufferers of the condition. Following these findings, it is safe to assume that CBD oil may be a suitable solution for hair loss or stress-induced alopecia.

There are more information to be found about CBD and anxiety on our post: CBD for Anxiety.

How to Use CBD Oil For Hair Loss

If you are trying to combat ordinary hair loss, you will need to apply the CBD oil topically to the scalp so that it can get to work on repairing and strengthening those hair follicles directly. The oil can also be mixed with a cream or gel.

Using CBD oil for medically-induced alopecia

If you are experiencing hair loss because of medically-induced alopecia you will need to ingest the CBD oil so that it can get absorbed by your system. This way it can work in helping with anxiety symptoms or reducing the inflammation. You could choose to take CBD oil orally, by dripping it under the tongue and keeping it there until it gets absorbed.

CBD Dosage Guide for Hair Loss

While CBD can be effective for most people, there isn’t a fixed dosage. We encourage everyone to experiment with the dose and look for signs of improvement. As a starting point, it might be helpful for many to look through the dosage guide created by Leinow and Birnbaum. In their book “CBD: A Patient’s Guide To Medical Cannabis” 11 , the authors recommend the step-up approach which suggests to start low, such as 1 drop, 3 times a day and gradually increase the dosage every 3 days, until you reach 3 drops, 3 times a day.

To find out how to correctly dose CBD according to your condition, read our post on CBD oil dosing.

Bottom line

The world is just starting to open up to the benefits of CBD and hair health and we are finding new uses for it every day. Backed up by medical evidence, it turns out that using CBD oil to fight hair loss can, in fact, be effective. From the nourishing properties of the vitamins to really stimulate hair growth, to the way that the product can help with anxiety disorders and reduce inflammation to help with alopecia, the benefits of CBD oil are endless.

Using CBD Oil for Hair Loss & Thinning Hair

I’ve tried lots of hair loss treatments in my 20+ years of alopecia. A few of them worked, temporarily, although there’s no miracle cure for alopecia. BUT by changing up your lifestyle (lowering stress, following an anti-inflammatory diet and taking extra supplements if you’re deficient in certain minerals/vitamins), you can minimize hair loss and even regrow what’s lost – especially if you find a treatment that provides the right scalp environment. CBD oil for hair loss is a treatment that’s new on my radar and one I’m keen to try – especially as it’s a far more natural alternative to things like minoxidil or steroid injections, which I really wouldn’t recommend!

Still, with a third of women experiencing hair loss at some point in their lives , many of us are desperate for anything that will help. And while Nioxin’s hair loss system has worked for me , I appreciate a chemical-filled shampoo isn’t for everyone. That’s why I’m on the hunt for a more natural hair growth product. Could CBD oil be it? Let’s find out!

LA Says: Psst… In a hurry? Then check out my Top 3 CBD products for hair loss and thinning hair here!

Emma’s ‘not a doctor’ disclaimer

Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is however reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

My Top 3 CBD for Hair Loss Products

BEST OIL

Envy CBD

BEST EDIBLE

Avida Gummies

TOP SHAMPOO

Revita CBD

Intro: What is CBD Oil?

CBD stands for “cannabidiol” and it’s derived directly from the hemp plant – which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. But in case you’re wondering if you can get high on your oil supply…you can’t. That’s because the stuff that’s extracted from agricultural hemp has super-low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol. Also known as THC, that’s the part of psychoactive cannabis (marijuana) which causes controversy.

So unlike THC, CBD has no intoxicating effects . It does, however, offer up a bunch of physical and psychological benefits.

Luckily, the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp (and as a result, hemp-based CBD) from the clutches of the Drug Enforcement Authority – which, if you’ve watched enough Breaking Bad , you’ll know simply as the DEA. Meaning CBD is perfectly legal. And anyone can enjoy its many benefits, whether it’s to sleep better, to lower stress… or even tackle autoimmune conditions like alopecia.

LA Says: A word of warning: quality is REALLY important when buying CBD oil. Don’t take cheap shortcuts and only go through a reputable source. Because not only do low-grade CBD oils miss out on the main health benefits, they could even contain harmful toxins. Now, I’m no CBD expert but I have researched over 20 brands to bring you ones I trust. And if you want to shop further, CBD Solutions is an online marketplace with a good rep.

CBD for hair loss: does it really work?

Nowadays, CBD in all forms – gummies, tinctures, vapours, topical creams – is used to treat anxiety and depression, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder, and to manage chronic pain. There are PLENTY of articles, studies and dedicated websites about CBD oil and its health benefits already, so I won’t go in detail here. (You could get started with this NCBI article about CBD and anxiety/sleep disorders or this post about its role in treating chronic pain.

As you research, try to see beyond the gimmicky marketing and, if you want to try CBD oil, read in-depth reviews on different brands – even beyond the scope of this post. I won’t be offended; like I said, I’m no CBD oil expert

What I will focus on, in this post, is whether CBD could treat hair loss . And how exactly it could help you with thinning or shedding hair – even to regrow the hair you’ve lost. Because while it doesn’t magically sink into your hair follicles to make your hair longer and thicker, it does work with your body to provide the optimal conditions for healthy hair.

These body-focused benefits include:

  • Better sleep: When we sleep more, we’re less stressed. Meaning the body produces less cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone commonly linked to hair loss.
  • Lower inflammation: Chronic inflammation can lead to acne, weight gain, mood swings, digestive disorders, menstrual problems and hair loss, among other nasty things. CBD oil suppresses inflammation in the body to keep these symptoms of chronic inflammation at bay.
  • Homeostasis: Our endocannabinoid system in the body regulates biological processes like our ability to deal with pain, our moods and our appetite. CBD oil has been shown to positively affect this system, achieving homeostasis: a state of balance between physiological and biological processes, including hair follicle growth.

3 more ways CBD oil helps your hair

I’ll be honest and say there aren’t enough clinical studies focusing specifically on the benefits of CBD for hair loss and scalp health. Sure, it’ll positively impact your general health, reduce stress levels and help you sleep better…but can it directly help hair growth, or stop hair fall in the first place?

Well, according to hair experts, CBD oil has a super-impressive nutrient profile. And so far, anecdotal evidence suggests great results.

Here are just a few hair-specific benefits of CBD oil:

1. Boosts scalp health

At the risk of repeating myself yet again , let me say: A healthy scalp = healthy hair . There’s no two ways about it. If you’ve got an itchy, flaky or irritated scalp, if you’re prone to things like dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, if you’ve got inflammation or fungal problems leading to a dry scalp – or excess sebum leading to an oily one – that’s not going to help hair growth.

In fact, these conditions will result in damage and brittle hair snapping – the kind of hair loss you might experience even without an autoimmune condition like alopecia to contend with. This immune response leads to more inflammation, so your hair follicles shrink to protect themselves. And any further scalp problems makes them shrink faster, increasing the rate of hair loss.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a clean, healthy scalp that’s free from inflammation and bacteria… that’s the sort of foundation for hair to take root. Sure, you mightn’t be able to stop your autoimmune response – but you can minimize damage and encourage hair growth again once the “attack” has passed.

CBD contains lots of essential vitamins and minerals to nourish the scalp: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and vitamin E, to name a few. Plus, it’s a natural anti-inflammatory with antioxidants (vitamins A, C and E) that ward off bacteria.

Finally, CBD oil is an “adaptogen”. That means it regulates scalp sebum production (i.e. balances your oil levels), bringing a healthy scalp to all hair types. Yay!

2. Protects & Repairs

Ever heard of keratin? Probably, all those swishy-haired ladies in shampoo ads can’t stop gushing about the stuff. Well, your hair is made up of this protein, which is less vulnerable to tearing or scratching than other proteins. At least, it should be.

When we’re deficient in certain proteins, our poor skin, hair and nails (made up of keratin) are often the first to suffer. One way around this is to take biotin-rich supplements – because biotin improves keratin infrastructure, limiting chances of breakage and damage.

Another is to use a protein treatment designed for weak or broken hair. CBD oil contains all 21 amino acids, known as the “building blocks” of protein. Just like your childhood Lego games, enough of these blocks, stuck together frequently through dedicated practice, can make a masterpiece – a strong and impenetrable protein fortress.

Not only do these amino acids make CBD particularly good for dry hair, its fatty acids and antioxidants provide a protective layer around the cuticle to reduce environmental or styling-related damage. So it’s great for chemical or color-treated hair, too! Even more exciting, studies show how natural oils can actually reverse cuticle damage and other effects of environmental stress on the follicle. So even if your hair seems hopeless…there’s hope for you yet!

3. Encourage hair growth?

I have a question mark on this one because there’s a limited amount of scientific evidence out there. BUT it looks promising, especially considering the factors above: CBD oil improves scalp health and prevents/reverses damage. It also increases cerebral blood flow: boosting circulation and delivering the oil’s vital nutrients to the scalp.

These proven hair growth nutrients include Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 – which “accelerate the transition to the anagen phase” of the hair-growth cycle. I’m no scientist but when I started taking fish oil supplements for digestive problems, happy side effects were: better mood (apparently, omegas reduce inflammation/anxiety), longer nails, glowing skin and – yep – thick, shiny and healthy hair!

Finally, CBD contains gamma linoleic acid (GLA) – an unsaturated Omega-6 fatty acid that’s a clear contributor to hair growth. For instance, one study showed that a mixture of coconut oil and the nigella sativa plant (which is rich in GLA) was more effective for hair growth than either coconut oil alone or coconut oil mixed with other herbs.

So even though there mightn’t be tonnes of clinical trials purporting CBD’s hair growth effects, I’m working from that handy adage: “It’s what’s inside that counts.” And what’s inside CBD counts for a lot.

Best CBD for Hair Loss – February 2022

Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss that affects both men and women (6) . Scientists believe that a range of genetic and environmental factors cause this condition.

The main distinguishing factor that differentiates male and female alopecia is their pattern of hair loss.

Men generally lose their hair around the temporal region and in the front. In contrast, women tend to experience hair loss around the center of their scalp (7) .

A study published by the journal Dermatology and Therapy reveals that hair loss may be improved by consuming the right vitamins and minerals the body needs to encourage its growth. Researchers found that supplementing low levels of vitamin D, C, and iron can contribute to healthy hair (8) .

In 2015, a study on hair loss was conducted to analyze the effects of a six -month nutritional supplementation on women with alopecia. The researchers of the study learned that regular intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including antioxidants, effectively improved their subjects’ hair density (9) .

There are only a few treatments that have been approved for alopecia. Although many over-the-counter hair loss solutions are readily available for purchase in pharmacies, the efficacy of most of these treatments is questionable (10) .

Cannabidiol (CBD) is growing in popularity, with CBD manufacturers producing cosmetic products in the form of shampoos and lotions. CBD is one of the primary compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa plant and is known for its numerous therapeutic applications (11) .

Several studies show that CBD oil contains specific vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and is a potent antioxidant (12-13) . A patent by the U.S. government states that cannabinoids , like CBD , act as free radical scavengers used in preventive healthcare and the treatment of disease (14) .

Research data also reveals that CBD is even better than vitamin C and vitamin E with regards to its neuroprotective activity (15-16) .

How CBD Oil Works to Help with Hair Loss

Compounds, like CBD, interact with a biological system in the human body , called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is known to regulate a wide range of biological systems, influencing aspects , such as mood, memory, and the body’s immune response (17) .

A study in 2009 suggested that the ECS might also play a role in skin care, noting that its primary function is to ensure balance in the cells present in the skin (18) . Data from the study further mentioned that a disruption of this balance might result in multiple pathological conditions and skin diseases, one of which is hair growth disorders (19) .

Two main types of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are present in the ECS. These receptors engage with cannabinoids, such as CBD, to bring about its biological effects in the body.

Based on a study published by the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology , inflammation plays a role in hair loss, especially with regards to male pattern baldness (20) .

Studies show that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may inhibit overactive immune responses in the body (21) .

By administering CBD, the compound supposedly engages with the ECS receptors to reduce inflammation, which may be useful for individuals suffering from hair loss.

Furthermore, the studies mentioned earlier stated that cannabidiol as CBD oil contains the essential nutrients that the hair needs.

The amino acids present in CBD oil help contribute by providing the essential building blocks that hair follicles need to remain healthy. These acids also play a role in red blood cell production, which is vital since the cells provide the necessary nutrients for healthy hair.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are found in many nutritional supplements to help in hair growth. CBD oil can also contain these essential fatty acids, which show potential use in preventing hair loss (22) .

Finally, the use of CBD for its antioxidative effects may protect against free radical damage that could cause damage to hair.

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Hair Loss

The Pros
  • Studies show that CBD is a potential natural anti-inflammatory agent that may inhibit inflammation in the body, which may be the leading cause of hair loss in specific individuals.
  • There are CBD hemp oil formulations that contain the essential nutrients that the hair needs to grow strong.
  • CBD hair products are available in the form of CBD shampoos and creams, which can be applied directly to dry scalp to maximize its purported benefits to the hair.
  • According to the World Health Organization, CBD is relatively safe for human consumption, with no adverse side effects identified concerning its use (23) .
The Cons
  • There is no direct evidence that proves CBD to be an effective treatment for hair loss. The therapeutic benefits of the compound are merely suggestions that may help with the said condition.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only allows the use of one CBD product, Epidiolex, a prescribed drug for epilepsy (24) .
  • Labeling inaccuracies are common among CBD products due to the industry’s lack of regulation (25) .
  • The FDA does not allow CBD products to be sold as dietary supplements.

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Hair Loss

There are several forms of alternative treatments that experts suggest can help with hair loss. Some of the most prevalent include consuming supplements containing ginseng, iron, selenium, and zinc.

Massaging the scalp is also a well-known approach with people recommending the use of aloe vera, coconut oil, fish oil, and onion juice for the therapy.

Aloe vera, for instance, has long been used as a solution for hair loss (26) . Likewise, coconut oil contains properties that can prevent hair damage (27) .

Similarly, CBD has shown to have characteristics that can encourage the healthy growth of hair.

There are CBD products sold as nourishing CBD shampoos and creams that contain herbal extracts, like aloe vera and essential oils.

CBD can be combined with these natural treatments to maximize its effectiveness in combating hair loss.

How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Hair Loss

CBD oil from the hemp plant is available in three variations, which are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant to bring about the synergy known as the entourage effect. It also contains trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive substance from marijuana.

Broad-spectrum CBD also possesses all of these chemical compounds except for THC. People that are allergic to THC, or prefer not to consume it, may opt for the broad-spectrum variety.

Cannabidiol isolates contain only pure CBD and are often sold in crystalline form.

Individuals planning to use CBD oil for their beauty routine should first consult a doctor to avoid complications.

The following are a few tips that can help users find the most effective CBD products for hair loss:

  1. Before buying CBD, ensure that the laws in the state where one plans to purchase it are fully understood to avoid legal repercussions.
  2. Only purchase CBD products made with natural ingredients, as other chemicals and artificial additives may lessen its effects or even cause adverse reactions.
  3. Look for CBD products with a certificate of analysis (COA) , as this document proves that the item has undergone proper testing and manufacturing processes.

CBD Dosage for Hair Loss

Medical experts have not identified the proper CBD dosage to alleviate the symptoms of hair loss or thinning hair.

A person may respond to CBD oil products based on several factors, including their tolerance, age, and weight.

Unless recommended by a trusted doctor, it is best to start with the lowest CBD dose possible. Users should then observe its effects in their body and can slowly increase their dosing until they experience the desired results.

Keep in mind that CBD oil is not a cure for alopecia. However, its properties may help slow down hair loss and improve the overall appearance of existing hair follicles.

How to Take CBD Oil for Hair Loss

CBD in the form of topical is perhaps the most popular form of the compound suggested for hair loss. Today, some brands sell CBD daily hair care lines , such as shampoos and serums , that are said to contribute to scalp health and provide it with the necessary elements to stay healthy.

Topical CBD products for hair loss are said to have moisturizing effects that can encourage hair growth and help with split ends and dandruff.

One can also find CBD for hair loss sold as tinctures, capsules, gummies , and edibles for sublingual applications. CBD tinctures are known to take effect faster than the other edibles since they are applied under the tongue.

Although there are also CBD vape and aromatherapy oils, these products may not be the best for hair loss, especially since their effects are short-lived.

Conclusion

Several studies show that CBD possesses characteristics that may prevent hair loss in individuals.

There are CBD and hemp seed oil products available containing the necessary nutrients that the hair follicles need to stay healthy.

However, these studies do not prove that CBD can indeed cure hair loss in both men and women. Research data are severely lacking, and more clinical trials are needed to fill in the knowledge gap.

It is crucial to seek medical advice from a health expert experienced in CBD before purchasing and consuming the extract for hair loss.