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 against hair loss
- the various ways you can apply it
The Benefits of Magnesium and Magnesium Oil
Magnesium is a very common mineral on Earth and in our bodies. It is one of the microminerals necessary for normal human functioning. This includes regulation of hundreds of enzymatic reactions and biochemical activities.
A healthy human body 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
- aiding a 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 its importance for human health, an analysis performed with data from a 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that at least half of the U.S. population had inadequate intakes of magnesium.
Even though it is present in a wide array of dark leafy greens, nuts, grains and fruits, oral magnesium is surprisingly poorly absorbed.
Because of this, magnesium oil is becoming an increasingly popular and effective method of increasing one’s levels.
What Is Magnesium Oil?
Magnesium oil is simply magnesium chloride in water. The term “oil” is slightly misleading, as it is not strictly an oil. However, like many other therapeutic oils, users can apply it directly on the skin.
After application, it is absorbed through the pores of the skin and goes straight into the 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.
What is Calcification?
Many of us are aware of the negative effects of DHT and free radicals on hair growth, but what about calcification? Calcium may contribute significantly 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 it.
Calcification is the excessive accumulation of calcium in tissue.
According to the Institute of Medicine, about 99% of the calcium in your body resides in the bones and teeth. The other 1% is in the blood and muscle.
These numbers suggest that while calcification is normal and necessary for bone formation, it is not normal in the rest of the body.
Calcification most often occurs in blood vessels. As the calcium builds up around the inside of the vessels, it impedes the normal flow of blood. This can cause problems like heart disease and stroke.
In other parts of the body, the effects of calcification are not as deadly. When calcification occurs in the scalp region, it merely thickens the tissues. Eventually, those tissues will harden.
This obstructs 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’.
Ground vs Surface Water
Depending on where you live, there are two main sources of house water that determine its mineral content – groundwater and surface water.
Theoretically, underground water would have more calcium concentration, as it interacts with many natural minerals in various layers of the earth. On the other hand, surface water from rivers and lakes would not have as high of a mineral concentration.
However, when surface water goes through treatment plants, they add chemicals like chlorine to kill microorganisms. Lime, which is an inorganic material that contains calcium compound, is then added to counteract the effects of chlorine.
Calcium Deposits on Hair
When you shower, the calcium ion in the hard water 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 problems for your hair in several ways.
First, the calcium salt deposits dry out the scalp. The process is further intensified by the chemicals in commercial shampoo. This causes the dry and itchy scalp to become scaly and start flaking off, forming dandruff.
A study performed by Pierard-Franchimont et al. looked at eight men with scalp conditions. The researchers examined each subject at regular intervals for five consecutive years. They took hair samples from dandruff-affected areas and tested them. The researchers found that the presence of dandruff is positively correlated with hair shedding and the worsening of 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. This enlarges the pores of the scalp and introduces 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 stripped of all mineral ion contents.
Hair samples taken from 75 male individuals, with each sample divided into two halves, were separately tested with hard water and distilled water.
The results showed that the tensile strength of the hair treated with hard water was significantly weaker.
One possible explanation is that these metal ions, including calcium, are generally positively charged, meaning they have lost one or more electrons. Hair, on the other hand, is normally negatively charged (one or more extra electrons). These positively charged minerals attach themselves to the negatively charged hair, slowly resulting in drier 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. Their function is to heal the injury and defend the site from infections. Inflammation is therefore a natural defense mechanism. However, inflammation that lasts a long time (chronic inflammation) is not normal.
Many studies, including this one conducted by Magro et al, have shown that chronic inflammation can damage cells in the scalp, resulting in lost hair and weak regrowth.
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.
Chronic Inflammation & Calcification
Let say you have chronic inflammation at the scalp vessels. Over time, as your body fends 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 plaque. This will ultimately constrict normal blood flow to the scalp.
Excess calcium in the bloodstream can happen when calcium from the bones finds its way into the bloodstream. The more calcium 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 cause calcification.
Overall, the combination of chronic inflammation and calcium build-up in the scalp will result in reduced blood flow to the hair follicles. This effectively limits the removal of free radicals, DHT, and other build-ups of waste products.
It 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, which is simply magnesium chloride in water, can address these problems.
Magnesium oil applied on the scalp can nourish the tissues, reducing 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 calcium imbalance. Magnesium is essential for the production and use of energy in the body. Cells with extra energy can accomplish many things, including 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. Calcitonin 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.
Effects on Calcification
A study by Kircelli et al examined magnesium’s effect on calcification in the blood vessels. The researchers did a series of tests that involved adding magnesium in calcified cell cultures.
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 in 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 Oil & Systemic Magnesium Levels
The best way to improve magnesium levels and reduce calcium is to apply magnesium oil 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, most 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:
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 the delivery of essential substances – such as oxygen and nutrients – and support the growth of healthy, strong hair.
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. 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. This will deliver approximately 2400 mg of magnesium directly.
It is common to experience a tingling and itching sensation initially from the oil. This will soon go away. If you have sensitive skin, dab a diluted form of the oil to test before applying a thicker coating.
Depending on various factors, including individual differences, it may take as little as a few weeks to several months to start seeing results. Regardless, many people have reported positive outcomes from regular use. These include noticeably less hair falling out and more luscious growth in stubborn areas.
Many companies produce magnesium oil, which can come in several forms. If possible, look for the ones in spray bottles. These allow for easier application, evenly distributing the liquid over a large surface area.
An Easy Recipe
Rather than purchasing ready-made magnesium oil, you can also make your own. Here is a simple recipe that 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
As 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.
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 boosted by the effects of the magnesium oil.
To make this even more effective, you can stimulate your scalp using a dermaroller.
The dermaroller is a small handheld roller with metal pins on the surface. As you roll it over the skin, the tiny metal pins penetrate the skin and cause mild damage.
The skin reacts by releasing growth factors to the affected area. This has the effect of stimulating hair growth as well. (You can learn more about microneedling and hair growth here).
Once you have stimulated the scalp with the tiny pricks, you can rub the hair tonic onto your scalp.
Wait at least three hours between using the dermaroller and the tonic.
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 A Homemade Hair Loss Shampoo
Here is a great shampoo recipe that you can make at home and is extremely beneficial for hair loss. It will gently clean the scalp and hair without stripping 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. These can be due to minoxidil, dandruff or other causes.
Grapeseed oil (used effectively to treat alopecia areata) and rosemary tea add moisture and soothe 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.
With Scalp Massage
If you are not already using scalp massages in your daily hair care routine, you should seriously consider them.
Scalp massage is the mechanical stimulation of the scalp using either 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. The participants received four minutes of scalp massage per day for 24 weeks. The researchers’ goal was to understand the effect of massage on hair density and thickness.
The study participants saw an increase in hair thickness (though not density) when compared to their baseline measurements. You can see this in the graph below.
The researchers determined that the cause of these results was the mechanical stress applied to the Dermal Papilla Cells (DPCs). The DPCs are a group of cells in the hair follicles that are critical to the growth of the hair strand. The mechanical stress-induced changes in gene expression within the DPCs, some of which were linked to hair growth.
How to Perform Scalp Massage
Fortunately, the technique is simple. You can perform it anywhere and at any time.
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. 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.
In addition to using magnesium oil in the elixir, you can also add a good magnesium supplement to your diet. This will help with the decalcification process even more.
Most people in the general population are deficient in magnesium as it is. If you are like most, the magnesium supplement will be good for your overall health, including your hair.
If you take a magnesium supplement just before it can also help with restful sleep.
There are a few different types of magnesium supplements available, but magnesium-orotate and magnesium chloride are the best forms to take. Take around 300mg per day before bedtime. Combining this supplement with the peel, dermaroller, and elixir method will give the best results.
Magnesium oil may be a useful topical in some cases. As promising as it may be, however, it remains almost unknown within the hair loss community. Since it cannot be patented, there is no incentive for large companies to conduct clinical research.
As a result, there is currently little hard evidence that it can improve hair growth outcomes.
Until more evidence is available, you should best view magnesium oil as an adjunctive treatment to your hair loss regimen.