If you're just now delving deep into the supplement world, you've likely learned that magnesium is very, very good for you and your body. The mineral helps keep your blood pressure regulated, builds strong bones, and is great for your heart health. And if you're getting into supplements, it's likely you're aware that a lot of people don't get the recommended amount of magnesium in their bloodstream. There are plenty of foods that are high in magnesium, like green leafy vegetables or nuts.
What you might not know, however, is that magnesium can be great for your hair and your scalp. Because it's a mineral, magnesium can help break down calcium deposits caused by hard water, support hair growth, and it's considered an anti-inflammatory. Wondering how you can integrate magnesium in oil form into your haircare routine? We consulted with Nava Greenfield, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Brooklyn, NY, to find answers to all the things you've been wondering.
Meet the Expert
- Nava Greenfield, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology Group in Brooklyn, NY.
Magnesium Oil for Hair
- Type of ingredient: Enzyme and mineral regulator.
- Main benefits: Aids in protein production, regulates calcium movement and buildup, anti-inflammatory.
- Who should use it: In general, you may decide to consider using magnesium oil after you have confirmed with your dermatologist that you have androgenic or female pattern alopecia. Together you can decide whether this is a safe and effective option.
- How often can you use it: Once a week is preferred use, but twice a week may also be recommended.
- Works well with: Mixing it with soothing ingredients, like tea tree oil, for the hair and scalp would be beneficial.
- Don’t use with: If you have a sensitive scalp, abrasions, or any other scalp conditions.
Benefits of Magnesium Oil for Hair
- Aides in protein production: If your body is lacking magnesium, protein synthesis, or production, is hindered—and protein is essential for all living beings. Magnesium is essential in helping your body create protein, which helps with hair growth.
- Regulates calcium movement and buildup: Calcium deposits in the hair follicles can cause hair loss, and magnesium oil dissolves the calcium deposits and buildup that can occur due to hard water.
- Anti-inflammatory: As a mineral, magnesium is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- May trigger hair growth: A German medical study showed that applying magnesium oil may aid in hair growth, with participants showing a 59.7% increase in hair growth.
- Prevents hair loss: Using magnesium oil in scalp massage helps increase blood flow and can prevent hair loss.
- Reduces dandruff: Calcium salt deposits can dry out the scalp, which can result in dandruff. Applying magnesium oil can help break down those calcium deposits.
Hair Type Considerations
Greenfield recommends anyone dealing with androgenic or female pattern alopecia consult with their dermatologist before beginning to use magnesium oil. While a lot of the oil's benefits are theoretical, it can be recommended for those with hard water in their homes, to help assist with breaking down calcium deposits on the hair caused by hard water.
How to Use Magnesium Oil
Some of the best ways to use magnesium oil are to mix it with soothing ingredients for the hair and scalp, like apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil, and using it after a mild chelating shampoo. Magnesium oil can be hard to find, but it's very easy to make!
You'll need 1 cup of magnesium chloride flakes, which you can find here, as well as 1 cup of distilled or purified water. You'll also need a glass measuring cup or bowl, a saucepan, and a glass spray bottle. To start, bring your water to a boil—this extends the shelf life of your DIY oil—and pour the magnesium chloride flakes into your bowl. Once your water comes to a boil, carefully pour it over the flakes and stir until they're completely dissolved. Set aside to cool, and then pour it into the spray bottle. This oil will last up to six months without exposure to sunlight and can be used anywhere that may be inflamed and need some love. Or you can mix it into your favorite shampoos and conditioners.