Essential Oil

An essential oil is a very concentrated liquid derived from plants. In the beard spectrum of things, essential oils are “known” to be helpful for beard health and growth. While not entirely untrue, it's best to keep in mind that anti-androgens that inhibit the production of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, should be avoided. Quite a few essential oils are anti-androgenic, but many are not.

Unlike the name may imply, essential oils are not essential in the sense of being nutritionally required. Instead, its meaning is that the essence of the plant had been extracted to make the oil (normally through the use of steam distillation). Along that line, essential oils each have their own scents. Beyond the smell, and depending on the plant that the essence was extracted from, the oil may yield additional effects.

Essential oils can be found in a variety of products, ranging from soaps and shampoos, to beard oils, to mouthwashes.

When purchasing essential oils for skincare, or anything really, always opt for therapeutic grade oils. These will be able to be used safely after dilution into a carrier oil. Always dilute essential oils, for every purpose other than aromatherapy. Because of their potency, essential oils can cause damage or become toxic at high amounts. Most of them will be caustic, so be careful when handling the oil and never put it directly onto your skin without diluting it.

So long as you handle with care and remember to dilute, essential oils are generally safe around children and pets, barring allergy.

These essential oils can be found in many beard oils, balms, washes and other products. Thanks to the Essential oil Wikipedia page for the list.

Bark Berries Flowers Leaves Peel Resin Rhizome Root Seeds Wood
Cassia Allspice Cannabis Basil Bergamot Benzoin Galangal Valerian Anise Camphor
Cinnamon Juniper Chamomile Bay leaf Grapefruit Copaiba Ginger Buchu Cedar
Sassafras Clary sage Buchu Lemon Frankincense Celery Rosewood
Clove Cinnamon Lime Myrrh Cumen Sandalwood
Scented geranium Common sage Orange Flax Agarwood
Hops Eucalyptus Tangerine Nutmeg oil
Hyssop Guava
Jasmine Lemon grass
Lavender Melaleuca
Manuka Oregano
Marjoram Patchouli
Orange Peppermint
Rose Pine
Ylang-ylang Rosemary
Spearmint
Tea tree
Thyme
Tsuga
Wintergreen

As a beard requires androgens for its existence, avoiding oils that inhibit the conversion of testosterone into DHT is highly recommended. While avoidance is technically not a necessity, this notion is misunderstood by many beardsman and beard companies that sell oils with DHT-blocking compositions. Topical DHT inhibitors are not as effective as oral inhibitors, but may still pose some harm when it comes to growing the fullest beard genetically possible.

Many men have expressed no hindrance in beard progress due to beard oils with DHT inhibiting ingredients, which comes down to the topical not successfully stopping 5-alpha-reductase from completing its conversion. Even with oral blockers such as finasteride, which is a very potent DHT blocker, men may see no perceived delay in beard progress. Normally, men with heightened androgen sensitivity have little to worry about when it comes to over-the-counter and prescription DHT blockers, but this does not mean that DHT blockers are not, at the same time, thinning other men's facial hair. Knowing this, men should take this precaution as nothing more than that: a precaution.

At the end of the day, remember that dihydrotestosterone is essential for beard production; it may be merely a helpful note for those that already possess a strong beard, but it is even more important for those that struggle with growing a full beard at all — such as those using minoxidil for beard growth. DHT itself is important to every man looking to grow a beard to his fullest potential, but androgen sensitivity is a major factor in whether or not one should worry about the blockers of DHT.

Examples of DHT Blocking Essential Oils to Avoid

Some anti-androgenic essential oils include:

  • Rosemary Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  • Saw Palmetto Oil
  • Emu Oil

Some oils don't block DHT. Some of the recommended oils to use on men's faces is included below.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil, often abbreviated as PEO, is an essential oil commonly used to help promote beard growth. Along the same vein as minoxidil, PEO has been shown to start early anagen and increase overall hair follicle density.

PEO Study

In a mouse study, peppermint essential oil showed the potential to be greater than a 3% minoxidil solution. It causes hair to go into the anagen phase and showed a “remarkably increased IGF-1 mRNA expression at week 2,” opposed to minoxidil's week 4.

In addition, PEO increased the activity of the follicles, increasing the number of follicles which produced hair.

Purchase Peppermint Essential Oil

Amazon Region Peppermint Essential Oil
United States / Global
United Kingdom
Germany
France
Canada