For many people, hair problems such as hair loss, brittle hair, dandruff, or hair breakage, are the reality of their lives. Everyone who has ever faced hair problems knows that they end up trying every hair treatment they hear about, yet nothing seems to work. In such cases, have you ever considered trying Arnica hair oil? It is a different, herbal remedy that is used as a homeopathic treatment for scalp, skin, and hair conditions. Arnica is a flowering herb that is also known as the mountain daisy. Let’s take a closer look at whether arnica oil can make your hair healthy.
What is Arnica Oil?
Arnica is an herb that can be found in Eastern Europe and Siberia and also in some places of South Asia. It is sometimes also referred to as the mountain daisy, and the flowering herb often resembles daisies. This perennial herb belongs to the family of sunflowers and produces yellow and orange flowers during peak summer time till autumn.
Some of the other names of Arnica include:
- Wolf’s bane
- Mountain daisy
- Mountain Tobacco
- Leopard’s bane
The flower heads of arnica are used in many herbal medicines and also in homeopathic medicines.(1) The oil is prepared from the CO2 extraction process or through steam distillation of the arnica flowers. The oil is then further mixed with another carrier oil, usually coconut oil or olive oil, to create the commonly available arnica oil which is ready to use.
Using arnica essential oil in aromatherapy is usually not recommended because pure arnica oil is powerful and can be toxic when inhaled.
Benefits of Using Arnica Oil for Hair
Arnica is known to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are highly beneficial for not just your hair, but for your health as well. Research published in the American Journal of Therapeutics confirmed that arnica helps reduce the pain that is caused by inflammation and also helps bring down the healing time for any type of inflamed bruising on the skin.(2)
Since arnica oil is known to decrease inflammation, and also helps clear out any built-up oils and helps kill any bacteria present on the scalp, many medical experts believe that arnica oil can also treat hair and scalp issues.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of arnica oil for hair problems.
Arnica Oil and Hair Loss
The hair strands that are visible on your scalp are typically just collections of dead cells. It is possible to increase the life of your hair by strengthening the proteins that are present in your hair and also help improve the health of your hair follicles.
The topical application of arnica oil many help clear away sebum oil and other debris present on your scalp and are blocking the hair follicles. The oil will also help decrease inflammation that is responsible for causing irritation and itching and leads to hair loss.
However, more research is still needed to understand and study these potential benefits of arnica oil for hair loss.(3)
Dandruff and Arnica Oil
Arnica oil is also a popular treatment for dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff is caused due to dry scalp skin, scalp irritation, or even a fungal infection. By applying arnica oil to the scalp will help improve the scalp’s texture, reliving the symptoms of inflammation and itching.
Split Ends and Arnica Oil
Arnica oil is a powerful essential oil that works wonders in strengthening the hair strand – right from the tip all the way to the root. Arnica oil works by coating the entire hair strand and infusing healthy proteins into the hair strands. This helps reduce the appearance of split ends.
However, besides anecdotal information, there is actually very little evidence to support this theory.
Arnica Oil and Premature Graying
Premature graying of hair is not something you can prevent. The timing of when your hair starts turning gray is usually dependent on your genes as well as some environmental factors.
However, preserving the health of your hair and at the same time strengthening the hair follicles will help extend the life of your hair strands.
When the lifespan of your hair strands gets extended with the application of arnica oil, it becomes possible to ward off premature graying.
Are There Are Any Side Effects Of Using Arnica Hair Oil?
The topical use of arnica oil is considered to be safe for most people, but there could be some side effects.
People who suffer from ragweed allergy might have an allergic reaction from using arnica oil. Some of the signs and symptoms of such type of allergy may include:
If you experience any of these symptoms after applying arnica oil to your hair or scalp, then you should discontinue using the oil and wash your hair immediately.
If ingested, arnica can increase your blood pressure and also increase your heart rate. This is why you should never ingest arnica in any form.
Arnica is also not safe for pregnant women. In fact, some homeopathic medicines make use of arnica to induce abortions. Arnica is also not recommended for mothers who are breastfeeding, and one study has shown that it can cause complications in newborn babies whose mothers ingest arnica.(4)
Just like other herbs, arnica affects different people in different ways. So while some people experience side effects, others do not.(5)
Arnica oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These properties of arnica oil cause people to believe that this oil is an effective treatment for split ends, dandruff and even prevent premature graying of your hair. It is believed that arnica oil helps your hair look and feel healthier, though there is not much research to back up these claims.
Arnica oil is considered to be safe for most people, but if you are using it for the first time, then it is better to first test it on your scalp before you start applying it to your entire scalp and hair. Remember to never ingest arnica oil.
- Kouzi, S.A. and Nuzum, D.S., 2007. Arnica for bruising and swelling. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 64(23), pp.2434-2443.
- Iannitti, T., Morales-Medina, J.C., Bellavite, P., Rottigni, V. and Palmieri, B., 2016. Effectiveness and safety of Arnica montana in post-surgical setting, pain and inflammation. American journal of therapeutics, 23(1), pp.e184-e197.
- Haihaywanshi, M.S., Gouri, T., Gupta, A. and Jain, S., 2017. Arnica hydrogel: an oil replacement for hair loss treatment. Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics, 7(7), pp.23-25.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (2019). Arnica. [online] Available at: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/arnica [Accessed 3 Jul. 2019].
- Ernst, E., 2000. Adverse effects of herbal drugs in dermatology. British Journal of Dermatology, 143(5), pp.923-929.