This article will discuss how to use magnesium oil for hair loss, in a way you have probably never heard about before – but could have a powerful effect on hair growth.
This will include a discussion of the benefits of using it, why and how it works, and how to use it in a homemade shampoo recipe that is designed specifically for people with hair loss.
The Benefits of Magnesium and Magnesium Oil
Magnesium is a mineral that is heavily presented on Earth and in our bodies. It is one of the seven macrominerals responsible for us to function normally, including regulation of over hundreds of enzymatic reactions and biochemical activities.
At any point, the normal human adult contains over 25 grams of magnesium. Most of it is found in the bones of our skeletal system, though it is used throughout the entire body.
Magnesium contributes to building strong bones, maintaining normal cardiac rhythm, supporting nerve and muscle function and aiding healthy immune system.
However, magnesium has one more amazing function – it may be a viable solution to stopping hair from falling out and stimulating regrowth in individuals afflicted with male-pattern baldness!
Background of Magnesium Oil
Despite magnesium as an essential mineral, an analysis performed using the data from a 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that at least half of the U.S. population across all groups had inadequate intakes of magnesium.
But even though it is present in a wide array of dark leafy greens, nuts, grains and fruits, magnesium is surprisingly poorly absorbed if consumed orally. Because of this, magnesium oil is becoming an increasingly popular and effective method of adding more magnesium into the body.
The oil is a natural substance that is applied and absorbed through the pores of your skin and straight into your bloodstream. A pilot study by Watkins and Josling showed that this method of intake resulted in an average increase of over 60% in magnesium absorption at the cellular level.
So why does a healthy intake of magnesium matter to the hair? Many of us are aware of the potential effects of DHT and free radicals on impeding hair growth, but what about calcification? This specific mineral has shown to be a large contributor to the lack of hair growth – and it can be the reason for yours.
Here is a detailed explanation of the harmful effects of calcification, its link to hair loss, and how magnesium oil can counteract these factors contribute to its regrowth.
What is Calcification?
Calcification is the accumulation of calcium in an area of the body tissue where excessive calcium would not normally be present.
According to the Institute of Medicine, about 99% of the calcium in your body resides in the bones and teeth while the other 1% is present in the blood and muscle.
While calcification is normal for bone formation, it is not normal elsewhere. If calcification occurs in the scalp region, it will thicken the tissues. Eventually, those tissues will harden.
This will not only obstruct the hair follicles from producing hair, but it also affects the quality and strength of your current hair strands. There are many and all-too-common ways calcium can enter your scalp region and lead to calcification.
Calcium Build Up from Water Sources
One potential source of hair loss may come from the calcium ions in your shower water, referred to as ‘hard water’.
Depending on where you live, there are two main sources of the water used in our house that determine its mineral content – groundwater and surface water.
Theoretically, underground water would have more calcium concentration, as this water interacts with many natural minerals found in different layers of the earth. On the other hand, surface water taken from rivers and lakes would not have as high of a mineral concentration as groundwater source.
However, when surface water goes through treatment plants, chemicals such as chlorine are added to kill foreign microorganisms like bacteria. Lime, which is an inorganic material that contains calcium compound, is then added to counteract the effects of chlorine.
When you shower, the calcium ion in the hard water chemically reacts with your soap and shampoo and causes a curd. This is called soap scum.
Ever noticed the white clumps and streaks that cling onto the wall of the bathroom appliances? That same film is also clinging onto your skin and scalp. This causes problem for your hair in several ways.
First, the calcium salt deposits dry out the scalp, which is further intensified from the chemicals in commercial shampoo. This causes the dry and itchy scalp to become scaly and start flaking off, thus the formation of dandruff.
A study performed by Pierard-Franchimont et al. looked at eight men with scalp conditions and examined each subject at regular intervals for five consecutive years. The hairs associated with the dandruff-affected area were taken and tested. The researchers found that the presence of dandruff is positively correlated with the shedding of the hair and further exacerbated alopecia.
More current studies also support the understanding that dandruff and hair loss are connected.
Second, the calcium particles can enter into the pores of our hair follicles and cause existing hair to break off from its shaft. As it continues to occupy the follicle space, it will constrict the blood flow and block the hair from growing.
This is especially aggravated by the fact that we normally shower with hot water, which will enlarge the pores of the scalp and introduce more calcium deposits.
Third, it decreases the strength and integrity of the hair. A recent study used two water samples – one with the most degree of hardness and another that is stripped of all mineral ion contents.
Hair samples taken from 75 male individuals, with each sample divided into two halves, are then separately tested with hard water and distilled water.
Analysis of the result showed that the tensile strength of the hair that is treated with hard water was significantly weaker than the hair treated with the de-ionized water.
The possible scientific explanation for this conclusion is that these metal ions, including calcium, are generally positively charged, which means that they have lost one or more electrons. Hair, on the other hand, is normally negatively charged, or one or more extra electrons. These positively charged minerals attach themselves to the negatively charged hair, slowly resulting in dry and heavier hair strands.
Inflammation and plaque from calcium deposits
Inflammation has been identified as a culprit for many individuals with hair loss.
When there is local tissue damage, the cells trigger signals that start a series of cellular actions to attempt to heal the injury and defend the site from infections. Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism, but inflammation that lasts for a long time (aka chronic inflammation) is not normal.
Many studies, including this one conducted by Magro et al, have shown that chronic inflammation eventually leads to the death of your cells in the scalp, resulting in hair falling out and poor regrowth thereafter.
Current studies continue to support the inflammation and hair loss connection and are exploring treatment approaches.
This problem can be further aggravated when there is too much calcium in blood circulation.
Let say you have chronic inflammation at the vessels located in your scalp. Over time, as your body continues to fend off foreign particles from the site of the inflammation, it will accumulate fat, platelets, cholesterol, and calcium that are present in the blood. Eventually, calcification will lead to the formation of a plaque. This will ultimately constrict normal blood flow to the scalp.
Excess calcium in the bloodstream can be caused when calcium from the bones move into the bloodstream. The more calcium that is present in the blood, the more accumulation of calcium at the inflammation site. Bigger plaques will leave your hair follicles to suffer, amongst other health issues.
Even if the extra calcium never makes it to the inflammation site, too much calcium in the bloodstream can be dropped off in the hair follicles of the body’s tissue and causing calcification.
Overall, the combination of chronic inflammation and calcium build up in the scalp will result in reduced blood flow to the hair follicles, effectively limiting the removal of free radicals, DHT and other build up of waste products.
This also affects the amount of nutrition that can reach and nourish the hair follicles, which is needed for healthy hair to grow.
How Magnesium Oil Can Help
Luckily, magnesium oil can address all these problems associated with alopecia.
Magnesium oil applied on the scalp has the benefit of nourishing the tissues, which reduces problems related to dandruff. It also can enter the pores and dissolve the calcium ions that are blocking the hair follicles.
Magnesium plays a large role in regulating the calcium imbalance. Magnesium is essential for the production and use of energy in the body. Cells with extra energy can accomplish many things, which include pumping excess calcium out from the cells of the scalp.
Magnesium can aid in removing excess calcium from the bloodstream. It does this by stimulating a hormone called calcitonin, which helps regulate the level of calcium by encouraging it to stay in the bones and away from the scalp. Magnesium also converts Vitamin D into an active form that helps absorb calcium.
A study by Kircelli et al found magnesium’s amazing effect on calcification in the blood vessels. The researchers did a series of tests that involved adding magnesium in cell cultures that have been calcified.
Results showed that increasing magnesium concentration caused a decrease, and even stopped the progression, of calcium deposits on the vessel walls. After a while, additional magnesium even led to the reversal of calcification.
This means that magnesium oil can promote blood flow going in and out of the scalp, bringing essential nutrients and removing harmful waste from the hair follicles!
The same study by Kircelli et al also revealed magnesium’s ability to prevent cell death due to stimulation of these calcium-sensing receptors (CaSR) on the cells.
These receptors led to the restoring number of healthy cells and decreasing number of damaged cells, which translates growth to the hair cells.
Magnesium is also a powerful anti-inflammatory mineral.
A study from the Women’s National Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS) that involved data collected from 3,713 postmenopausal women across all multiethnic groups showed that subjects who had a regular intake of magnesium had decreased indicators of inflammation.
Magnesium & Calcification
While DHT plays a large role in male-pattern hair loss, researchers have recently pinpointed another potential cause: calcification.
Calcium is a mineral that accounts for 1 to 2 percent of adult human body weight. Over 99% of the body’s calcium resides in the teeth and bones, though it can be found in trace amounts throughout the body (particularly, in blood and muscle).
Calcification is a process where calcium accumulates in body tissues. In bone, this is natural and necessary; however, when this occurs in other tissues, such as the scalp, issues can arise.
Essentially, calcification hardens tissue. This is why it is necessary in bone formations, but it can lead to toughening of the skin and other tissues where calcification is not natural. In the scalp, this can lead to thickening of the skin to the point where hair follicles can no longer produce hair. It can also impact the quality of hair that is already present on your scalp.
There are a number of reasons why this happens to some individuals and not others. Two common causes are the use of hard water and calcium deposits.
So, what is the answer to combatting calcification of the scalp? Magnesium.
Magnesium chloride, also referred to as magnesium oil, is a chemical compound that is a known calcium combatant. This compound not only slows calcium production, but it also breaks down calcium deposits throughout the body (including blood vessels).
The best way to improve magnesium levels and reduce calcium is to apply the compound transdermally (through the skin). In fact, a small scale-study (2 men and 7 women) tested the impact that transdermal application of magnesium chloride had on cellular magnesium levels and the results were favorable.
As predicted by researchers, the majority of participants (7 out of 9) had low cellular magnesium levels prior to application. After the 12-week study, however, all but one patient saw a significant increase in levels:
But what does this increase in magnesium levels mean for hair loss sufferers?
As mentioned, magnesium breaks down calcification and improves blood circulation (through dilation of the blood vessels). With increased magnesium levels, blood flow to the follicles will increase. This will improve delivery of essential substances – such as oxygen and nutrients – and support the growth of healthy, strong hair.
How to Add Magnesium Oil to Your Hair Regimen
You can directly apply the oil onto the scalp after your shower. Be sure to have your scalp completely free of any other oils or lotions, as this will interfere with the magnesium oil.
Massage the oil into the scalp thoroughly for at least 10 minutes, as this will promote blood flow and create better absorption. Leave the magnesium oil on for at least 30 minutes before washing or wiping it off.
One fluid ounce (30 ml) should be enough for an adult, which will deliver approximately 2400 mg of the magnesium directly.
It is common to experience a tingling and itching sensation initially from the oil, which should eventually disappear. If you have sensitive skin, dab a diluted form of the oil to test before applying a thicker coating.
Depending on various conditions, including the body’s initial composition in calcium/magnesium ratio, it may take as little as a few weeks to as much as a couple of years to start seeing results. However, many people have reported amazing outcomes from regular use, with noticeably less hair falling out and more luscious growth in stubborn areas.
There are several forms in which magnesium oil can exist as. If in doubt, magnesium chloride, which are the ones found on the seabed, is a good choice. If possible, look for the ones in spray bottles, which will help evenly distribute the liquid over a larger surface area.
You can also follow this simple recipe to make your own. It only requires these two ingredients:
- ½ cup of Magnesium chloride flakes
- ½ cup of distilled water
- Boil the distilled water
- Place the magnesium flakes in a bowl and pour the boiling water
- Stir until the flakes completely dissolve
- Cool down completely before transferring it to a spray bottle.
- Store it at room temperature for up to six months
Using Magnesium Oil Hair Tonic & Dermaroller
The best way to use magnesium oil to regrow your hair is with a homemade hair tonic that you rub on your scalp. However, to make this even more effective, first you will want to stimulate your scalp using a dermaroller.
The dermaroller is a small metal roller with metal pins attached. As you roll it over the skin the tiny metal pins penetrate the skin causing mild damage to the skin cells.
The cells react by boosting circulation and increasing cell production to the affected area. This stimulation of cell growth and blood circulation has the effect of stimulating hair growth as well, when used along the hairline where hair follicles have been miniaturised by DHT.
Once the scalp has been stimulated by the tiny pricks then you’ll want to rub the mixture containing magnesium oil onto your scalp.
But make sure you wait at least three hours between using the dermaroller and the tonic. This special mixture that you rub on your scalp contains essential ingredients that stimulate hair growth directly.
- Emu oil (forms the base of the mixture and blocks DHT)
- Saw palmetto (blocks DHT topically around the hair follicle)
- Borage Oil (blocks DHT, provides nourishment to the hair follicles)
- Nettle leaf extract (blocks DHT, provides nutrition, cleans the pores)
- Magnesium oil (reduces calcification)
These ingredients when mixed together form a powerful hair growth mixture which is posted by the effects of the magnesium oil.
3 weeks into using the dermaroller and scalp elixir I’m noticing the fine wispy hairs on my hairline are getting longer, darker and thicker – Miraculous. – Jay, Omaha
In addition to using magnesium oil in the elixir, you should also add a good magnesium supplement to your diet. This will help with the decalcification process even more.
Most people are deficient in magnesium anyway so it will be good for your overall health and hair health to take a supplement.
If you take a magnesium supplement just before bed then it will help with restful sleep, which can reduce stress and tiredness (which contributes to hair loss).
There are a few different types of magnesium supplement available, but magnesium-orotate and magnesium chloride are the best forms to take. Take around 300mg per day before bedtime during the months when you are using the peel, dermaroller and elixir method.
How To Use Magnesium Oil In A Homemade Hair Loss Shampoo
Here is a great shampoo recipes that you can make at home which is extremely beneficial for hair loss. It will gently clean the scalp and hair without striping away oils or using harsh chemicals.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (1/2 cup)
- Baking Soda (1 tablespoon)
- Water (1 cup)
- Rosemary (1 bunch)
- Grapeseed Oil (2-3 teaspoons)
- Tea Tree Oil (6-8 drops)
- Magnesium Oil (2-3 drops)
Boil the water and steep the rosemary bunch until the water is cooled, then strain and throw away the rosemary. Add the other ingredients to the rosemary tea in a container and shake well. Apply to wet hair and rinse out thoroughly.
The vinegar in combination with the tea tree oil works wonders for any itchy scalps, minoxidil can be a cause of this, or any dandruff as they heal and clean the scalp.
Remember though, diet comes first when it comes to the health of your scalp, whether that is dryness or too much oil, your diet is the root cause.
Grapeseed oil (used effectively to treat alopecia areata) and the rosemary tea add moisture and sooth flakiness. Tea tree oil contains eucalyptol, which is a powerful antiseptic and antiviral, it is also a great choice to stimulate hair growth by increasing the amount of blood flowing to the hair follicles.
You can learn how apple cider vinegar can be used for hair loss here.
Other Ways to Use Magnesium In Your Hair Care Routine
Use It As Part of Your Scalp Massage
If you are not already using scalp massages in your daily hair care routine, you should be.
Scalp massage is the mechanical stimulation of the scalp using either your fingers or a specialized massage tool. It helps to gently stretch the skin and hair follicles, which stimulates blood flow to the area and improves elasticity.
In 2016, researchers from Hong Kong studied the effects of scalp massage on nine men. Their goal was to understand what role, if any, massage had on hair density and thickness.
The results showed that the participants who received four minutes of scalp massage per day for 24 weeks saw an increase in hair thickness (though not density) when compared to their baseline measurements:
The researchers determined that the cause of these results was the mechanical stress applied to the Dermal Papilla Cells (DPCs). This stress induced gene expression within the DPCs, some of which were linked to hair growth.
Fortunately, the technique is simple and it can be performed anywhere and at anytime.
Using your thumb, middle, and index fingers, place each hand on the sides of your scalp. Apply gentle pressure, and begin to move your fingers in a circular motion.
Continue these movements on the sides of your scalp for one to two minutes, and then slowly make your way towards the crown.
Continue on the crown for one to two minutes, and then move towards the hairline. Begin at the center, and slowly work out to the sides (temples). You can go back and forth between the center and temples for one to two minutes, and then return to the sides of the scalp.
Finally, bring your hands to the back of the scalp.
As you perform this technique, you can always backtrack to previous areas if you’d like.
You can do this in addition to using the magnesium oil shampoo, or rub magnesium oil into your fingertips and massage it into your scalp during the process.
Apply It After Microneedling
Scalp massages are not the only way to increase blood flow to the scalp. Another way to do so with with microneedling.
Microneedling is a technique that involves the use of a specialized tool (such as a dermaroller or dermastamp). These tools contain tiny needles which are pressed into the scalp to induce wounding.
As the wounds heal, they go through a three-stage process which involves:
- Proliferation; and
This can aid in the production of new skin cells, as well as the development of collagen.
Most importantly, microneedling has been proven to be effective in inducing hair growth in humans. One particular study even showed that microneedling (in addition to minoxidil) worked better than minoxidil alone:
If you would like to add microneedling into your routine, here is how.
First, you will need to choose a tool. The two most popular are the dermaroller and the dermastamp.
The dermaroller is used by most scientists in their research, and it’s perhaps the best known microneedling tool. Just be aware that the roller can increase your risk of injury.
The dermaroller is contains needles placed on a rolling pin. You roll these over the scalp, and the needles puncture as you go along. If not careful, this can dislodge nearby hairs, and it may even penetrate too deeply.
You may experience a bit of discomfort, but the process should never be painful. If it is, you qre either using a needle too large or are applying too much pressure.
To begin, cleanse the scalp with a salicylic acid peel which will remove any layer of build-up that is present.
Next, using the tool of your choice, apply it to the area of hair thinning and apply pressure. If you are using a roller, roll over the area in different directions (horizontal, vertical, and diagonal) four to five times. If using the stamp, place the tool in different directions upon each pressing.
Repeat this on all areas of hair loss.
You should then clean the tool (using an antibacterial wash and boiling water) so it is ready for your next session.
So, where does the magnesium oil come in? If you want to boost the efficacy of magnesium oil, you should apply magnesium oil eight to 12 hours after your microneedling session. This will give your scalp time to heal, but the wounds will still be delicate enough where oil can easily penetrate.
Magnesium oil may be a useful topical in some cases. But there is currently little evidence that is can be used to improve hair growth outcomes. More studies are needed in this area.
For now, the first step is to talk to a qualified medical professional and focus on FDA approved treatments.