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Pumpkin Seed Oil Is so Much More Than a Festive Fall Ingredient for Your Hair

Fall has officially arrived and that means pumpkins are taking center stage in every form. So, we wanted to take this time to discuss a potent pumpkin byproduct that isn’t often given the spotlight—pumpkin seed oil. The oil is cold-pressed from pumpkin seeds and thought to promote hair growth, though it offers a number of additional hair benefits. We spoke with New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King to discover everything there is to know about this oil, including whether or not it actually helps with hair growth. Read more below!

What Are the Biggest Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil?

Pumpkin seed oil offers a number of benefits for the skin, scalp, and hair. Dr. King notes this is due to the fact that the “oil is rich in zinc, vitamin E, omega-3, and -6 fatty acids and carotenoids, which are antioxidants.” She explains, “That means it not only moisturizes but also fights damage from free radicals. The high amounts of zinc and vitamin E are thought to improve skin tone, help wounds heal more rapidly, fight acne and help with skin renewal. It also contains vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.”

All these ingredients are known to potentially help “stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. When applied to the scalp, these ingredients may benefit the health of the scalp, which helps foster healthy hair follicles and healthy hair.”

But, Can Pumpkin Seed Oil Be Used for Hair Growth?

The most sought-after benefit of pumpkin seed oil is its ability to help with hair growth. However, Dr. King is quick to point out that more research needs to be done to determine whether or not the oil can boost growth. She shares that while “pumpkin seed oil has been shown to block the action of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, more studies would be necessary to prove hair growth benefits.”

The research that does exist does not focus on the topical benefits of pumpkin seed oil. Rather, it highlights the advantages of ingesting the oil orally. There is no harm in using the oil to see if it will ramp up hair growth, but don’t be surprised if you don’t notice a difference.

Which Hair Types Benefit the Most From the Oil? Which Types Should Avoid It?

Before you apply the oil, it’s important to note whether or not it will work for your hair type.

Though the oil has been known to combat acne, it may not be for those with oily scalps or scalp acne. “Pumpkin seed oil is rated a two on the comedogenic scale, which means that it has a moderately low likelihood of clogging pores,” shares Dr. King. “So it is possible that in acne-prone skin, large amounts of pumpkin seed oil could contribute to clogged pores. And those with an oily scalp may feel that topical use on the scalp makes the scalp too oily.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

If you struggle with a dry scalp or dry strands, Dr. King notes pumpkin seed oil may very well benefit you. “The fatty acid content makes pumpkin seed oil an effective moisturizer. This may promote skin health of the scalp, and help keep the hair shafts moisturized and healthy too,” she notes. Pumpkin seed oil could be the missing moisture your hair and scalp crave.

What’s the Right Way to Use the Oil in the Hair?

When it comes to applying the oil to your strands, it depends on the benefits you’re hoping to gain. “For scalp and potential hair growth benefits, apply the oil to the scalp and massage it,” Dr. King shares. “To address dry/damaged hair shafts and ends, apply it to the shafts and ends.”

Best Pumpkin Seed Oil-Based Hair Products

Now that you’ve determined whether or not the oil is right for you, it’s time to figure out which products to purchase. Dr. King raves about her favorite and we have a few we enjoy, which we’ve shared below.

1. Collective Laboratories Activating Serum: $39

This is Dr. King’s preferred pumpkin seed oil product. “It also contains ginseng root, which stimulates scalp microcirculation and helps to inhibit the production of DHT, the main hormone responsible for androgenetic hair loss,” she notes. “Additionally, it contains burdock root, which can be helpful for dandruff because of its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and malabar kino bark, which also has antifungal properties. And it contains biotin to help prevent breakage.” Talk about a powerful product.

Collective Laboratories Activating Serum
(via Collective Laboratories)

2. Innersense Organic Beauty Color Awakening Hairbath: $28

Made for medium texture, colored, and chemically-treated hair, this gentle cleansing shampoo preserves color, nourishes, and moisturizes your strands.

Innersense Organic Beauty Color Awakening Hairbath
(via Ulta)

3. Pura D’or Hair Thinning Therapy Shampoo: $24.99

This shampoo contains 15 key active ingredients that help increase hair thickness, strength, volume, and shine while reducing hair thinning, breakage, limpness, and dullness. Stronger, healthier hair is one wash away.

Pura D'or Hair Thinning Therapy Shampoo
(via Ulta)

4. Acure Ultra Hydrating Conditioner: $6.99

Pumpkin seed and argan oils are a powerhouse duo in this conditioner. Dry, damaged, and frizzy hair is replenished with moisture to leave behind nothing but shine.

Acure Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
(via Ulta)

Hoping to incorporate pumpkin spice in your fall haircare routine? HERE are five ways to do just that!


Hey, mane muse! We wanted to give you a heads up that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that Mane Addicts will collect a small share of the sale from any purchase you make from the products we recommend.


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