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Can Hair Grow Faster With Cayenne Pepper?

There has been a lot of buzz in the beauty industry lately about the purported benefits of cayenne to hair growth. Is there any truth to the hype?

There has been a lot of buzz in the beauty industry lately about the purported benefits of cayenne to hair growth. Is there any truth to the hype?

What's the Deal With This Pepper?

Cayenne pepper has been used as a natural medicine for centuries. The active ingredients in it include capsicum and capsaicin and they are both said to have beneficial health properties.

  • Capsicum has been proven to relieve pain from things such as rheumatoid arthritis and nerve pain due to diabetes as well as some other ailments when applied to the skin of the affected area—it's approved by the FDA to be used for these purposes. It's also used for (though not proven to treat) heartburn, IBS, and lots of other illnesses, aches, and pains.
  • Capsaicin is similarly used to relieve pain when applied topically. This is the substance that causes your skin to sting after you cut peppers. Capsaicin, however, has not been scientifically proven to relieve pain.

Does It Really Work?

Though it has not been scientifically proven to do so, there are some reasons that using a cayenne pepper moisturizing treatment might promote faster-growing hair.

  1. When you apply an oil-based moisturizing treatment to your scalp and massage it in, this increases blood flow and clears away debris that may have been clogging your follicles.
  2. The mixture moisturizes your hair, which is key to preventing breakage and helps keep your hair long.
  3. Washing out the treatment also helps keep your hair follicles free from gunk and other residues that might be preventing growth.

Long story short, using a cayenne pepper oil regularly can be good for your hair. However, it's unclear if it is better than using any other kind of oil or deep moisturizing treatment. It's certainly worth a shot, however (especially if you're recovering from a bad haircut).

There are many methods of using cayenne pepper for your hair. Most of them involve making a cayenne pepper oil that you apply to your hair and washing it off between three and eight hours later. Check out the recipes below.


Olive or Coconut Oil and Cayenne Tincture Recipe

This is one of the most common mixtures. It only has two ingredients: oil and cayenne. Coconut, olive, argon, and castor oil are all popular for use on hair. Though the recipe below is for olive oil, you could replace it with any of the other ones.

Stovetop Preparation

  • Pour one cup of extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan at low heat.
  • Gradually add one tablespoon of cayenne powder into the oil, stirring to avoid clumping.
  • Continue to stir for a few minutes until the mixture is hot.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • After it cools, pour a small amount of the oil onto your scalp and massage through your hair. Make sure you are wearing gloves and that you don't get it in your eyes.

Leave the mixture on your hair for at least three hours. Some people opt to leave it in their hair overnight, but it's up to you. Regardless of how long you choose, make sure you wear a shower cap since it will dribble.

Rinse it out afterwards with shampoo. You might have to shampoo twice to get all of it out.

Infusion Preparation

  • Mix one tablespoon of ground pepper into two cups of olive oil and let it stand for one to two weeks in a dark bottle in a cool place.
  • After infusing, rub a liberal amount onto your hair and scalp and keep it on overnight (remember your gloves!)
  • Shampoo as usual in the morning.

What Happens Next?

After you apply the mixture, you will feel a tingling sensation on your head. That's a sign that blood flow is increasing, which is key for hair growth. It is important to be careful with the spice, though, since cayenne pepper can be very painful on the face and eyes.

Try a treatment once a week for three months and see if you have any progress with your hair length, texture, and shine. Below is more information about hair growth and some tips to make sure you're getting your best chance at long locks.

Castor Oil and Cayenne Pepper Recipe

Factors That Affect Hair Growth

The rate of our hair growth depends on a number of factors. Some we can control, while others we are born with. Here are a few things to look at if you want to know why your hair is grows the way it does.


Everyone has a genetically-pre-determined optimal hair growth rate, which means that if everything is going well in your body, your hair will max out growing at a certain speed. Some people's hair simply grows faster than others. According to WebMD, the hair on your scalp will grows about .3 to .4 mm/day or about 6 inches per year. It's the same amount no matter if your hair is relaxed or natural.


Do you exercise? Do you eat vegetables and healthy proteins? Do you drink enough water? Get enough sleep? Are you stressed out? All of these can have a big impact on your hair growth.

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Hygiene and Hair Habits

Are you kind to your hair? Do you use lots of heat to style or dye it? Do you relax it frequently? Do you put it in hairstyles that are rough on it? Common hair practices and treatments can make your hair more brittle and prone to breakage. Alternately, if you don't wash your hair frequently, you might have build-up on your your scalp that is impeding hair growth.

13 Natural Ways to Grow Your Hair Faster

1. Eat Better Food.

What you eat should (more often than not) be fresh, green, and home-cooked.

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, almonds, flax seed, and avocados), biotin, folic acid, vitamins A, D, C, B12 and other B vitamins, and calcium are all crucial to hair growth. If you find it hard to get all the nutrients you need from the foods you eat, take a multi-vitamin.

Biotin is the only supplement that has been proven to have a positive effect on nail and hair growth.


2. Drink More Water.

Water is the best moisturizer for your body and chances are that you're not getting enough of it. Try to increase the amount of glasses you drink a day.

3. Exercise.

This will increase circulation in your body (and in your scalp), boost your metabolism, and help increase your overall health.

4. Get More Sleep.

Sleep is crucial to every part of the body's function, including hair growth. Without enough sleep, nothing in your body works optimally.

How can I control my life when I can't control my hair?

— Author Unknown

5. Stress Less.

Mind stress can have a real negative physical impact on your body. Find ways to de-stress like taking some me-time, getting more sleep, asking for help, or even changing jobs in the long term.

6. Treat Your Scalp.

You should wash your hair at least every four to seven days (no matter what kind of hair you have), which this includes giving your scalp a good cleanse and rubdown.

If you have the time, massage your scalp for 30 minutes, or divide that up into smaller time increments. If you like using lots of products in your hair, this is especially important.

7. Trim Your Ends.

It might seem counter-intuitive that you need to cut your hair in order to grow it, but damaged ends have the tendency to split and break. Keep them from breaking, and you'll keep your hair longer.

Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.

— Author Unknown

8. Be Gentle to Your Hair.

Here are some tips for being kinder to your hair:

  • Use a wide-tooth comb and do not over brush your hair.
  • Don't yank or pull and try hairstyles that aren't too harsh on your hair.
  • Consider a protective hairstyle to keep your ends out of harm's way. Ask your stylist about some looks that might work for you.
  • Comb your hair in the shower or before you shower. Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair.
  • Remember that coarse hair is not stronger. Quite the opposite in fact, so if your hair is very kinky you need to be extra nice to it.

9. Moisturize Frequently.

This is especially important if you have very kinky hair since the oil from your scalp can't reach the ends. Supplement your body's oil in the form of light, daily moisturizers as well as deep-conditioning every other week or every week. The above cayenne pepper masks works well, as do other types of oil masks.

10. Avoid Heat or Chemicals.

This includes hot water, heat-styling, or other heat or chemical treatments.

  • If you relax your hair, you should avoid doing it more than five or six times a year. Space out the time between relaxers from once every 6 weeks to once every 12 weeks.
  • Straighteners and blow driers also strip moisture from your hair and make it break more easily. Try to adopt hair habits and hairstyles that stay away from these things.
  • Rinse your hair with cold water.
  • Avoid harsh dyes if you have previously relaxed your hair.
  • If you relax your hair at home, follow the directions and do not keep chemicals on longer than the recommended time to try to get your hair extra straight.

11. Protect Your Hair.

  • Wear a silk scarf at night to keep the natural hair oils from being absorbed into your pillowcase.
  • Also, if you're using a moisturizing treatment at night, a covering will help the moisturizer stay on your head instead of on your pillow.

12. Apply Protein Up to Once a Week.

Protein treatments can help restore keratin that was lost in chemical treatments.

13. Be Patient.

Hair growth takes time, and seeing a noticeable improvement in your hair will take anywhere from three to six months, so start a new routine and stick with it. Share your tips in the comments and good luck!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Hopeful on July 17, 2019:

Yes, I will try this.

Ann810 from Sunny Cali on September 22, 2016:

I will try this Cayenne pepper treatment before I shampoo my hair. Great article, thanks.

Need hairs on August 01, 2016:


I have questions for those who used the recipe.

Would you tell if you used the infusion or the stopstove one? you used it every day? left it all night and washed hairs in the morning? What you experienced after using it for a week, then 10 day?

Your results sound very encouraging. I am trying the recipe.

Thanks so much.

DeeDee on July 29, 2016:

It works, my son used it and his hair is study growing.

Dave on April 04, 2016:

I was almost bald in the front of my head,now after using it for 3 weeks and leaving in all nite.becareful washing it out in morning,over half the bald spot is gone.And starting to see growth all over,very encouraging.At this rate by 12 months,the whole bald spot should be gone.Thank God.

the_dreamer82 on February 26, 2016:

Umm, no, the last thing you want to do is apply cayenne pepper ingredient to the actual hair, you only should apply the paste or oil to the scalp, and the scalp only! Hot pepper powder will scorch your hair dry! I don't know why the article repetitively mentions it's use for emollient purposes. So bizarre. Capsicum is nature's miracle for increased hair thickness and growth. Within weeks you will see many little fine hairs poking through the scalp and longer hairs. I love it. If you can bear going through w/it overnight, you'd see that the temporary discomfort is more than worth it. Alternate with weekly aloe vera leaf gel/ raw egg hair mask mixture. You will be amazed.

Vanessa Esprit on February 16, 2016:

Okay so I have been trying to find something to grow my hair faster and thicker..I tried these pills called the mane choice and I'm not really good at taking pills so that was a struggle for me so I quit..I am a little nervous to try this but I think I'm gonna try it ..

Marlene Bertrand from USA on January 21, 2016:

I haven't tried using cayenne pepper for hair growth yet, but you provide a lot of good information here. It's worth trying. I hope it works!

deleesa on June 18, 2015:

Im trying it right now and my head Is on FIREEE!!!! Hope it wrks!!

Tanya on June 11, 2015:

can you use chili powder too?

Marilyn on June 09, 2015:

I'm trying to go natural and I'm planning on adding the Cayenne pepper to the hot oil treatment and see how that turns out

hannah on May 11, 2015:

gonna try this tommorrow

Annie on March 16, 2015:

How often do you do this treatment?

Clarice on March 11, 2015:

I had a quarter sized bald spot towards the front of my head. I tried everything and nothing worked. It's week 3 and I have a half inch of hair in that spot now. Thank you so much for this! I no longer have to act like a guy and do a comb over.

alicia on February 09, 2015:

I used this method but tinkerd with it a little I used a mixture of cumin seeds,cayanne pepper,vanilla yogurt,honey,evoo and vanilla extract and thickened it with some flour to make it more like a hair mask. I left it in for 5 hours and washed it out. I didn't experience any irritation my hair is now very shiny,soft,long and healthy and not to mention the vanilla extract made it smell amazing.

Anne on January 03, 2015:

How often do I have to do this? I'm thinking of doing it once a month.

latoya on December 21, 2014:

Im about to try this, i wash it out after three or overnight

Latoya babb on December 21, 2014:

I going to try this, but after the 3 hour up do i just wash my hair.

Latoya Babb on December 21, 2014:

Im going to try this but when the 3 hours up so i just washed my hair then...I know its grows your hair but would this stop the brekage too. What about the hair its self

Ms Dee on October 20, 2014:

I know that over stimulation can cause burns to your scalp so please take precautions when trying home remedies some methods may be too sensitive and cause irritations and can harm your scalp proceed with caution as with everything else.

Also be mindful of taking herbal supplements especially if you are getting these nutrients in your daily food consumption, it is important to get an understanding of how supplements affect you, it depends on many factors and ones health especially if you are on any kind of medications or drugs. There can be major side affects from consuming products that offer solutions and claim increase or promote hair growth please be mindful products may not be suitable for everyone use. I would suggest that you find a holistic specialist and confidentially consult with them about what would be healthy and safe for what you are desiring to use it for. I wish you all well in your natural or relaxed hair experiences.

From a licensed cosmetologist, since 2001 and I 've been wearing my hair in its natural state since 1998 #happy2Bnappy

vickram on June 15, 2014:

hey guys...its simply amazing u can see wonderful results within few simply crush down the hot cayenne baby on your scalp and get the hair coming out for you...for any details simply come to facebook @vickram srm

marie on January 15, 2014:

I never try it .Well after seeing the results in the picture. I'll gave it a try. I'm very anxious!!!

jo on October 27, 2013:

this work work

Nathan on September 09, 2013:

Great video thank you! What song is that? haha. I really like it

Jazmyn on June 12, 2013:

Its the ghetto kind and is red ...

Hair Porn on January 23, 2013:

yall gotta be careful with this "the irritation" is just that! If overly used or if too much cayenne is used you will have scalp burns(skin peeling and all) like no bodies business. Please, please do a sample patch first to check potency and reaction. Other than that, it does grow hair slightly faster than normal.

MrsFord2012 on January 16, 2013:

Just made the mixture up in now I am letting it cool so I can get started will keep you guys posted.

curlicoo on December 24, 2012:

Just tried cayenne and castor/evoo mixture. Can't wait to see if it works

Chimeeka on September 09, 2012:

I use this once a week as a hot oil treatment and honestly my hair grows about an inch a month sometimes plus another half. The inly thing is I do it while my hair is wet and the pores are open. I also use Indian Hemp, tea tree oil, and cayenne pepper together in a dark grease container. I put cinnamon in the conditioner I use and I cowash daily unless I have my hair braided or whatever else. i use a silk bonnet every night. I love this! I wonder how long she used it? I cut my hair May for the last relaxed ends so I'll see what happens by the end of this year. Right now my hair is Bra-Strap length.

michelle12 on June 06, 2012:

I think i'm goin to try this out and see how it works

belle23 on May 27, 2012:

Fantastic! I recently had the stylist go crazy and cut my bra strap length hair all the way to my ears! I miss it so much, I am gonna try this...right after I buy leave-in conditioner spray!

tori on May 24, 2012:

This looks like an excellent experiment to try i think i will try it tomorrow

Robin Amig on April 19, 2012:

Very interesting , my hair grows at rapid speed already , hearing this is making me wonder if jalapeños may also work the same by ingesting them. I eat a lot of them on my omelets daily!

Daisha on April 12, 2012:

I am so anxious to try this... Dr.Oz even had talked about it on his show today so I had to research it for myself and will start using it tomorrow. And everyday from then on to see if it actually works for me.

My hair used to be near my butt but every year I cut off some for a new hairstyle and last year I shaved off a side and its growing slower than I had thought... so I hope this works :)

Robbie on March 12, 2012:

I heard about this method sometime ago, but I never considered trying it until now. I plan to start using cayenne tomorrow and I can't wait to see the results!

Tia on March 08, 2012:

I've tried cayenne pepper for hair growth and it really works fast. Also Im taking msm for continous hair growth.

Charlene on February 26, 2012:

I'm currently taking Cayenne supplements. I understand that not only does it get the blood circulating, but it also enhances the effects of other herbs as well. I use it everyday with my "boatload" of supplements lol.

michelle on April 13, 2011: there any updates for the lady in the photo...awesome growth...and can u tell how long before she saw progress?

African-Empress on January 03, 2011:

wow i stumbled upon this and i have hair growth problems. i appriciate this method and i cant wait to try it out and see the results. :)

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