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!
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 a tiny affiliate commission. Learn more here.
Psst… In a hurry? Then check out my Top 3 CBD products for hair loss and thinning hair here!
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. 🙂
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:
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:
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!
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!
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. 🙂
Like many hair growth products that aren’t FDA-approved – aloe vera is just one example – there’s lots of room for CBD scam artists and snake oil peddlers. Fakes that prey on vulnerable people who just want to reduce anxiety, or in this case, hair loss.
The difference between pure CBD and cheap imitations is vast, and it’s a hard landscape to navigate. But having scoured hemp blogs and read dozens of expert articles, I’ve narrowed down the 3 main factors to look out for when shopping for high-quality CBD oil. I’ve linked to the manufacturer’s site in each case, but CBD Solutions has some great brands, too.
LA Says: The strength/potency of the oil itself is another matter – I’ll leave that up to you! And if you’re new to CBD oil, do your own research to find out a recommended potency of CBD. Then use this checklist to find a reputable brand with a pure product.
Good brands will tell you where their hemp is cultivated – where the farms are located and whether these areas have been tested for components like heavy metals. Without knowing where it comes from, you don’t know what’s in the resulting oil and you shouldn’t risk it.
High-quality brands use alcohol (or pharmaceutical-grade ethanol) to process CBD. This method yields a higher number of cannabinoids, while removing toxins from the base hemp plant. Another extraction process is “supercritical CO₂ extraction” – using carbon dioxide under high pressure in a cold environment. A more expensive process that guarantees pure CBD oil.
Can’t find a brand’s extraction method? They may use a cheap process with lower yields – maybe even with toxic solvents like propane, hexane, pentane or butane, which can be damaging to your health.
Trusted brands test each batch in a 3rd-party lab. Check their reports out on their website and make sure they refer to the advertised product – as some phoneys just copy others!
The most transparent brands include both CBD and THC levels on product labels and in 3rd-part lab reports. THC levels should be under 0.3% to be classified as hemp – although this differs by country.
When looking for pure CBD oil for your hair, always check where it’s grown, how it’s extracted and the transparency of its ingredients. Also consider:
LA Says: I know, it’s a lot to consider – and when I first fell down the CBD rabbit hole, it felt really overwhelming! But before long, I could spot a salesy, glitzy brand without any real depth. I could skip over the grandiose medical claims and realise: “But they don’t actually say how it’s extracted…hmm…” These warning signs led me to skip off their website, and onto the next.
Bearing all this in mind, let’s look at 3 brands I’d recommend. I haven’t tried their CBD oils for hair growth myself – but I’ve vetted them against the above factors and they tick every box.
This New Hampshire-based brand is all about transparency. Straight up on their website you’ll see a banner displaying things like: “CO₂ Extracted” and “Lab-tested” so you know they’re legit. They have a wide range of broad and full-spectrum CBD tinctures, topical creams, isolate powders and edibles, in addition to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory hemp seed oil capsules. Plus, their gummies are recommended by Forbes magazine – not too shabby!
Their full-spectrum oils contain traces of THC – but it’s under 0.3%, perfectly legal and non-psychoactive. Each oil is made by blending 99% CBD isolate with keto-friendly MCT oil (coconut oil) as a carrier – this improves the taste and offers even more health benefits!
Eden’s Herbals lab report is readily available on their website (although they just have the one, instead of one for each product) and they source industrial hemp from certified farms in Colorado. Their products are very reasonably priced (but not “too cheap”!) and they offer great deals through their site, too. Customer reviews are really positive and agree that in terms of purity and variety, Eden’s Herbals are one of the best CBD brands on the market.
✓ 3rd-party tested
✓ CO₂ extraction method
✓ Grown locally
X Doesn’t ship outside US
X Only one lab report
The Lady recommends...
This family-run company grows its hemp on certified organic farms. Their lab reports show no harsh pesticides, heavy metals or solvents – just the highest standards of pure CBD.
What I love about Green Roads is that their CBD oils have been developed by a pharmacist called Laura Fuentes (who wanted to help a friend with ongoing health problems). Having seen its success, the pair set out to bring CDB to the masses – and as the company expanded, their focus remains on creating the purest, safest products for optimal health: including a range of sleep aids. They don’t use a carrier like MCT or olive oil – rather, they make a blended carrier themselves.
Green Naturals pride themselves on being an “original manufacturer” rather than simply a “white label provider” – which is actually what most CBD companies are, buying up quantities of finished products and slapping a label on them.
With Green Roads, you can be assured that the entire process is under their control. Still, they’re not super-clear on their extraction method, stating they: “use the most advanced extraction technologies, including CO₂ extraction”. What other methods do they use? I’m not sure.
Although Green Roads started out simply making CBD products for family and friends, it’s achieved massive success since, snapping up numerous awards and appearing in Cosmopolitan, Forbes and on NBC and CBS, to name a few.
✓ 3rd-party tested
✓ Pharmaceutical background
✓ End-to-end manufacturing process
X Not super-clear on extraction methods
The Lady recommends...
Topping my list is Envy CBD. Largely because it’s the only one of these three oils that uses ethanol as an extraction method. Cold ethanol extraction is said to be even purer than CO₂, with a higher yield – because the alcohol easily dissolves both water-soluble and fat-soluble molecules.
Also, Envy sources their hemp from organic farms in Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon – and while they don’t own these farms, they do extract the CBD oils themselves and control the entire process, from farming to formulation. They even use the term “farm-to-table” to describe their approach.
Where Envy really shines, however, is in its safety tests. These guys provide potency tests for every single product AND contaminant results for every SKU. Basically, that means they go above and beyond the usual standards to deliver a high-quality product that’s fully transparent and that people can trust. The amazing reviews it gets – e.g. “magic in a bottle” – are a reflection of that.
✓ Ethanol extracted
✓ Rigorous 3rd party testing
✓ “Farm-to-table” process
✓ Customer favorite
X Smaller product catalogue (but less choice can mean more quality!)
The Lady recommends...
From my research, I’ve also found these brands to be massively popular, with great customer feedback. The only reason they’re not in my Top 3 is because they’re not 100% transparent about their operations – or because they seem a little too slick. But by all means, check them out if you like!
You can try CBD in two different ways: rubbing it on your head (either as a pure oil, a shampoo or a serum) or ingesting it. The latter option is great for reducing anxiety and improving your sleep, both of which can lower cortisol/stress levels. But if you’re new to the world of CBD and would rather try it topically, keep reading for extra tips.
Topical use of CBD is the best way to increase blood circulation to your scalp. It delivers vital nutrients and amino acids, removes toxins and bacteria linked to itching or dandruff and overall, stimulates growth.
If you’re using CBD to treat small bald patches, just apply a few drops directly to the scalp. If you want to treat thinning hair or shedding, you might prefer to try it in a shampoo – or check out my DIY recipe below! Otherwise your hair might end up greasy…and it may get expensive. 😉
This homemade mask includes pure CBD with other hair growth ingredients: coconut, peppermint and rosemary oils. Make sure the essential oils are pure and therapeutic grade – I’ve linked to ones from my favourite brand, Pura D’Or, below. 🙂
What you’ll need:
What to do:
Don’t fancy rubbing pure CBD oil on your hair, or ingesting it? Then this is the next best way to use CBD as a hair growth treatment. Cosmetic brands are jumping on the wagon and you’ll likely see more hair thinning shampoos containing CBD over the next few years.
But my favorite is the same brand that makes my favorite hair loss shampoo – the shampoo I’m using right now and whose special CBD shampoo I’m waiting on to arrive in Vietnam!
I’m talking about Revita from DS Laboratories: first in the market to employ broad spectrum CBD in its formula.
Revita CBD Shampoo includes a potency of 150mg, said to “fortify hair to support growth and fight thinning.” It also inhibits scalp inflammation and along with ketoconazole, blocks DHT (the hormone linked to hair loss) via cannabinoid receptors in hair follicles. Revita CBD shampoo uses 4% caffeine as another natural DHT blocker and contains a powerful antioxidant called procyanidin B2, which protects cells against free radicals. Check out the shampoo’s other great ingredients here!
DS Labs link to studies on their website which “suggest that the lipostatic, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD offer tremendous potential for hair regrowth.” Most excitingly, after using Revita CBD shampoo continuously, studies show an increase of almost 80% in hair diameter – PLUS an increase in the number of hair strands – without any side effects.
I already love Revita’s regular shampoo. And after reading the hugely positive reviews about its CBD version – not to mention the benefits of CBD oil for hair in general – I’m SO excited to try it!
The Lady recommends...
This hair loss brand is new on my radar but one that seems to be scooping up praise for its CBD-based products – particularly, how they can help hair loss.
According to Vegamour, most CBD oils cannot penetrate your follicles sufficiently to effect visible change. They claim this is because the particle size is too large (when not “micro-encapsulated”) so the formula just remains on the surface.
Vegamour, however, utilizes this micro-encapsulation process for its serum: storing the CBD in such a way that it “produces small particles to deliver a controlled amount of the compound in the target area.” For their CBD hair serum, they break down CBD from 1,200 to 2,000 nanometers: a much smaller amount, which allows CBD to penetrate the upper layer of the skin and sink right into your hair follicles – getting to the “root” of scalp issues, so to speak.
I’m hearing great things about these guys and their range of hair loss products – they’ve even come up with the first CBD-infused multivitamin for hair. Basically, they’re CBD gummy drops but specifically for hair growth, with ingredients like zinc, folic acid and biotin. Yay!
The Lady recommends...
The main thing to be wary of when shopping for CBD oil is that it’s not regulated – so quality can vary. And while the pure stuff comes with all kinds of health benefits, with no side effects, cheaper versions can lead to nausea, fatigue, irritability, even toxic effects. Plus, apparently cannabidiol can raise levels of other medications in your blood (similar to how grapefruit juice works). But in good news: CBD oil shows zero potential for abuse or dependency, according to WHO. Phew.
My advice? Be sensible. Check with your healthcare provider before ingesting CBD (although you should be fine to try the shampoos, serums or gummies) and make sure you’re buying from a reputable brand. You can use this article from guidance and do extra research, too! 🙂
Unlike many products I link to on Lady Alopecia, I would avoid buying CBD through Amazon if possible. There’s just too much potential for cheaper or fake products: don’t risk it! Instead, buy directly through the manufacturer’s site.
If you already have a preferred brand – or you’ve no idea and want to shop yourself – there are a few online wholesalers, like CBD Oil Solutions, that you can trust. They only stock high-quality brands and they’re all the real deal.
No. The levels of THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) are too low to have any effect. And some CBD oils don’t even contain THC.
Yes, it’s perfectly safe for topical use – because tinctures already use a carrier (like coconut, MCT oil or olive oil). If you buy the pure isolate powder, however, you’ll need to dilute it first.
It’s early days but studies are showing positive results so far – DS Labs claims its Revita CBD shampoo boosts hair density by 80%.
No it cannot. In fact, CBD oil can do the opposite – by providing a healthy scalp environment and reducing body/mental stress to stimulate growth.
I’m still a newbie to this entire area but I’ve been fascinated by the positive reports of CBD oil so far. During researching this article, I’ve come across countless articles – anecdotal and scholarly – which reveal how beneficial it is for health, particularly for those with chronic conditions and who suffer from stress.
As alopecia is a chronic, stress-related condition it just makes sense to me that CBD would help hair loss! Not to mention all the vitamins and minerals it could bring to nourish and cleanse your scalp.
Still, it’s early days – more hard evidence is needed to really show its effects. I’m going to start off with Revita’s version anyway. And maybe I’ll graduate to pure CBD oil, too!
Have you tried CBD oil? Has it helped your hair loss, or other ailments? Please share your experiences/recommended brands below – I’d love to hear them!
Treating female pattern hair loss
Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill
Stress and the Hair Growth Cycle: Cortisol-Induced Hair Growth Disruption
The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain
Mackerel-Derived Fermented Fish Oil Promotes Hair Growth by Anagen-Stimulating Pathways
Gamma Linoleic Acid Hair Growth Research Findings
International Hemp Industry Hopes to Change U.S.’s 0.3-Percent THC Limit
Efficacy and Tolerability of a ShampooContaining Broad-Spectrum Cannabidiol in theTreatment of Scalp Inflammation
Get free, semi-regular alopecia-related news things and musings.
Psst… If no welcome email shows up, check your spam.
Alopecian. Yoga Teacher. Copywriter. Here to share information, offer support and show people the adventures that can lie in hair loss. I’m proud to have alopecia and I want to help others embrace their baldness, too!