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.
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.
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, 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.
Benefits of Magnesium Oil for Hair
While it's important to eat magnesium-rich foods, research states it may be better absorbed when it's applied to your skin. That's because it can bypass our digestive system, and instead, head straight to our blood stream to be utilized. Adding magnesium oil to your scalp and hair care routine can be an effective way to boost magnesium levels and reap the benefits.
- 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
While magnesium oil can be beneficial for a variety of hair types, it may be especially useful for women who deal with severe hair loss. 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 also 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
Magnesium oil can be hard to find, so making your own might be the best option to then add to existing hair products. 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.
- Create your own magnesium oil spray: making a DIY magnesium oil spray is perfect to have a product that can last upwards of 6 months and cost a reasonable price.
- 1 cup of magnesium chloride flakes
- 1 cup of distilled or purified water
- Pour magnesium flakes into a glass measuring cup or bowl.
- Bring water to a boil, then pour over the flakes.
- Stir until they're completed dissolved.
- Set aside to cool and away from sunlight.
- Pour into a glass spray bottle.
- Mix into shampoo and conditioner: since magnesium oil isn't found in many hair care products, adding it to your faves can give them that little extra benefit boost.
Do you have to wash magnesium oil off?
It's all about your preference. Magnesium oil is safe to leave on your hair and scalp without rinsing. If you do choose to rinse, be sure to leave it on for at least 30 minutes so it's absorbed.
Why does my skin burn when I use magnesium oil?
The pH of magnesium oil can differ from the pH of our skin, leading to potential irritation. Combining magnesium oil with anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as aloe or vitamin E, can help to combat that side effect.