Howdy! The cayenne pepper for hair growth results have been way overdue so let’s just jump into it, shall we? Cayenne pepper oil and capsules facilitated my hair growth wonderfully. For those who may not be familiar with this experiment, refer to the cayenne pepper oil for hair growth post to catch up on what this update is about.
I should have gained slightly over an inch for the four months between September and December 2013 but as seen in these shots, I gained about 2.5 inches where I should have gained 1 inch. This places my growth rate at 0.5 inches/month give or take. That’s certainly good news because it challenges my previous belief that my genetic growth rate is 0.25inches/month.
It should be noted that I will not be winning any awards for hair measuring, I am not inclined to be 100% accurate with measurements and I haven’t the foggiest idea how to actually measure hair so these images are for reference to give an idea of growth rate. I doubt it’s possible to accurately measure hair because the strands are at different stages of growth. The angle of the scalp, tape placement and strand stretch are other variables. I did the best I could for a visual reference.
I began using the cayenne pepper oil at the end of August 2013. Because I assumed my growth rate was 0.25inches/month (6.35mm), it would take four months to see an inch of growth. That means I can only grow about 3 inches per year. In reality my growth has been more like 3.5 inches per year so the real monthly rate is slightly above 0.25 inches. I use 0.25 because:
1. Makes calculations a whole lot easier
2. There’s a margin of error (a give or take padding)
3. I am no hair measuring expert so I prefer to round down (and be pleasantly surprised when I see it’s longer than my projections)
4. I can!
Back to the cayenne pepper experiment… I used the oil lightly on my scalp every other day and did not rinse it out. On Friday/Saturday when I prep for the muds, I used the cayenne pepper oil heavily on my scalp (it stung but was bearable for me) then I used my regular herbal oil (see recipe here) instead on the strands because the strands fall on my face so using cayenne oil on the strands would magnify the chances of cayenne pepper making an unwelcome acquaintance with my eyeball.
Originally I was taking two capsules in the morning but that gave me severe heartburn. My nutritionist figure out the heartburn was because my stomach reacted to cayenne pepper as food and began to produce acid to break it down. Because it was early morning, there was virtually no food in my stomach for the acid to break down, hence the heartburn reaction. We switched to taking the cayenne capsules during meals (breakfast when I could since that’s my biggest meal) and the heartburn was gone.
I used the oil and capsules continuously for four months between September and December 2013. In January I began to cut back and have stopped now (as of Feb). I might repeat the same process again in September, but no commitments yet.
- It is important to understand that cayenne pepper oil did not make my hair grow. It rectified a deficiency (in this case blood flow). The increased blood flow is what encouraged growth.
- Temper your expectations. There are no magical products that can make your hair grow and everything takes time. Best you can do is be as healthy as possible and try to correct deficiencies then be patient and let your body call the shots.
- Not everyone has sluggish blood flow. For example if you are a yogi, the inversions in the practice reverse blood flow to enhance circulation. So a yogi may not see much of a change with cayenne pepper since they are already doing the same measure with their yoga practice.
- Blood is critical to hair growth because it supplies nutrient rich blood to the hair root. If you use cayenne pepper to stimulate blood flow but your blood is toxic, the hair will only get worse, not better. Ensure there are plenty of nutrients and water in the blood (by eating healthy). That alone might be enough to significantly impact your hair growth.
- Your DNA inherited from parents is the molecule that encodes your genetic instructions. Embedded in genes which then make up chromosomes, DNA dictates every function in your body, including production of the protein keratin that eventually becomes different parts of your body like nails, skin and hair. Similar to eye color, height and skin color, hair growth rate instructions are wired in your genes. Meaning if at your healthiest your hair grows at 0.5 inches/month, there is nothing in the world you can do to change that. Well, unless you change your genes.
- Hair growth is not critical like bodily functions that keep you alive so keratin production is sacrificed if necessary to re-route nutrients, water and oxygen rich blood to vital organs. Most of us experience a stall in hair growth but in some cases keratin production is completely forgone to where there’s no growth at all depending on the person’s health.
- I froze the left-over cayenne oil for use later. After finishing the capsules in December, I didn’t encapsulate any more cayenne pepper powder so I stopped taking them.
- You could just infuse cayenne pepper along with other herbs in an oil and temper the intensity of heat if you find using cayenne oil alone is too uncomfortable. Stimulating blood flow does not have to be unbearably painful because that defeats the purpose by sending your cells into panic mode. At some point the vibration (extreme stimulation) from cayenne pepper ends up literary burning off the cells (at that point most of us would be screaming in pain). The cells then have to focus on regenerating themselves before they can go back to making keratin. In essence, more is not always better with cayenne pepper stimulation.
- Cayenne pepper is alkaline and the capsaicin (the component that gives the pepper it’s heat) is partially soluble in water. Do not use water (neutral ph) if the pepper gets in membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth. Water will only spread the heat. Use cold milk (acidic) with a cotton ball or directly to rinse eyes. This will neutralize the alkaline capsaicin.
In conclusion, if hair growth is your goal, you need to give your body, both inside and outside, all the ammunition it needs to create keratin. That means reaching for optimal health. Cayenne pepper oil aids a small fragment in a complicated biological machinery. Alone, it’s not enough to keep the machine running efficiently.
The realistic conclusion in regards to my hair is that my growth rate is definitely higher than 0.25inches/month. It remains to be seen if I will experience a similar surge in growth rate or more of an equilibrium growth rate if I repeat the same experiment later this year. My guess is at some point blood flow is sufficient and the growth surge will even out. Hopefully then I can pinpoint my genetic growth rate, which would help determine my terminal length (how much my hair can possibly grow in my life time).
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor and my experiments should not be taken as medical advice of any kind.
Here are some options for cayenne capsules for those who are asking. Be sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist before you start taking these. And if you have any kind of stomach or gastrinal problems stay away from cayenne or take it with supervision from your healthcare provider. Cayenne pepper heat units range from 30,000 – 110,000 scoville units. I was taking 35,000 with 495mg of cayenne pepper in each capsule
Now Foods, 500mg at 40,000 heat units:
Nature’s way, 450mg at 40,000 heat units:
Spring Valley, 495mg at 40,000 heat units: