The Best Carrier Oils for Hair Loss and Growth: A Complete Guide

side by side image of pumpkin seed and grapeseed oils

Can carrier oils really do anything for hair growth, and if so, which ones are the best? The best carrier oils for hair loss and hair growth.?

Well, in this article we are going to dive into this topic by looking at:

  • studies that have been done on carrier oils and hair growth.
  • some of the best oils to consider using.
  • how to incorporate these oils into your hair care routine.

Let’s do it!

Note: This post contains some affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.


whole pumpkin seeds and oil in bowls

The first category of oils that can help with hair growth are those that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids (collectively known as polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs).

To get started, let’s first talk about omega-6 fatty acids:

  • This subcategory includes linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which are associated with the promotion of hair growth (1, 2).
  • One study found that topical application of pumpkin seed oil (rich in linoleic acid) increased hair growth in mice that had been treated with testosterone. If you are wondering why testosterone was used, it is because the conversion of testosterone to the DHT hormone is what contributes to hair loss. The study concluded that pumpkin seed oil could be a good remedy for male pattern baldness (source). Having said all this, we need more studies, particularly human studies, to confirm that this remedy is indeed reliable.
  • The body needs linoleic acid to make arachidonic acid, which is a fatty acid that plays an important role in hair growth. In fact, one study found that the topical application of safflower oil (also rich in linoleic acid) improvement of alopecia, scalp dermatitis (eczema) and loss of hair color. Additionally, another study conducted with mice found that arichidonic acid lengthens the anagen (also known as active) phase of hair growth (source).

Now let’s take a look at Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • This subcategory has also shown promising results in human studies. However, most of the studies focused on oral intake of omega-3s, rather than topical application. So while topical application of these types of oils certainly has its benefits, there is no research to help us understand the effect on hair growth.

Now that we’ve covered the basic research on fatty acids and hair growth, here’s a small selection of oils you can add to your hair care routine.

safflower – 55-77% linoleic acid.
– Light weight.
rosehip – 54% linoleic acid
– Light weight
Pumpkin seed – 42.1–48.5% linoleic acid.
– Rich consistency.
Prickly pear – 61% linoleic acid.
– Slightly viscous.
Grapeseed – 66–75.3% linoleic acid
– Very light weight
hemp seed – 55.64% linoleic acid.
– Medium weight/consistency.
Borage – 26-38% GLA and 35-38% linoleic acid.
– Said to be the richest source of GLA.
– Light weight.
Sunflower – 44–75% linoleic acid.
– Light weight.
Nut – 49-63% linoleic acid.
– Medium weight consistency.
blueberry seed – The only oil with a good balance of omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids.
– 35–40% linoleic acid, 30-35% alpha-linolenic acid, 20-25% oleic acid.
– Medium weight/consistency.
This table lists the carrier oils that help with hair growth.

In addition to the oils listed above, other oils that are commonly used to maintain a healthy scalp and hair include castor oil and jojoba oil.

In the case of castor oil, Jamaican black castor is very popular in hair growth products and there are anecdotal reports of people relying on it to grow or thicken their hair.


If you are new to using carrier oils, start by mixing just two oils. You can combine them in equal parts, or you can use a larger amount of one against the other.

As you get more comfortable blending oils, feel free to create your own unique blend with 3, 4, or oils.

To further increase the potency of the oils, you can also:

  • Add a few drops of essential oils such as rosemary, thyme or mint. They have all been shown to help with hair growth. For a full guide on which oils to use, read this guide on mixing essential oils for hair growth.
  • Infuse your oil(s) with herbs like amla, nettle or horsetail. These herbs not only contain many nutrients, but also inhibit 5-alpha reductase (the enzyme that drives the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which contributes to alopecia). Use this guide on how to infuse oils into herbs for hair growth to learn about the various herbs you can use.

Once you have your oil(s) ready, there are two ways to use it:

  • Warm the oil in the palm of your hand, then massage into the scalp for a few minutes.
  • Gently heat the oil to a comfortable temperature and use as a hot oil treatment. Leave on for at least an hour or overnight. Then wash off with shampoo.


1. EssyNaturals Advanced Hair Growth Oil

This blend keeps things simple by focusing on four popular hair growth ingredients:

  • Beaver oil.
  • caffeine.
  • Rosemary oil.
  • biotin (vitamin B5).

Based on the stellar reviews, it’s clear that this mix hits the mark.

Get this EssyNaturals hair growth oil here.

2. Donna’s Recipe Strength Hair Oil

Created by popular influencer Tabitha Brown, this hair oil has 1,076 reviews, with 1,033 of them 5 stars (as of this writing).

It contains 18 oils and powders that are said to prolong the hair growth cycle. These include:

  • jojoba oil.
  • avocado oil.
  • thyme oil
  • bhringaraj.
  • Chew powder.
  • Grape seed oil.
  • Rosemary oil.

The oil also comes in two versions: a standard version (heavier oil) and a nut-free (and lighter) version.

Get Donna’s Recipe Hair Oil here.


Research on carrier oils and hair growth has focused primarily on polyunsaturated fatty acids like linoleic and gamma-linolenic acid.

Furthermore, some of these studies have been conducted only on animals or have focused exclusively on internal consumption.

Therefore, carrier oils alone may not be enough to treat hair loss. They may be best used with other natural remedies, such as herbs and essential oils.

You might also like:

Everything you need to know about castor oil vs rosemary oil for hair growth

Tea Rinses For Hair Growth: A Beginner’s Guide To The Best Herbs And Recipes

Homemade lavender essential oil recipes for hair growth and thickness

What to mix with shea butter for skin and hair: tips and recipes

Rose Oil vs Rosehip Oil for Skin and Hair: Benefits | which is better | How to use

4C Lightweight Hair Oils: Reduce breakage and promote growth

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