Topical Cinnamon for Hair Growth: Warning -

Topical Cinnamon for Hair Growth: Warning

One published study has stated cinnamon increases hair growth by increasing blood vessel vasodilation and the growth factor IGF-1. However, another study has shown that it decreases the growth factor VEGF.

Cinnamon contains the active ingredient cinnamaldehyde. In one study cinnamon was found to have very similar hair growth stimulating results to 2% topical Minoxidil:

The application of topical cinnamon essential oil increases hair length and diameter size of male Wistar rat hair follicles as effectively as topical minoxidil 2%

Via Indonesian Journal of Anti-ageing Medicine

According to the researchers who published this study, the active ingredient in cinnamon stimulates hair growth by increasing blood circulation and increasing IGF-1.

The content of Cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon essential oil can prevent excessive hair loss in people with advanced age because Cinnamaldehyde increases vasodilation
of blood vessels causing an increase in blood flow, nutrition and oxygen to the hair roots, accelerating hair growth. Cinnamaldehyde can also stimulate IGF-1 metabolism in the papilla of hair follicles so that it can extend the anagen phase.


The study doesn’t detail how the chemical increases vasodilation. So I looked into whether it works by increasing VEGF, which is how several hair loss treatments increase blood circulation. According to one study, cinnamon decreases the growth factor VEGF. Since VEGF is actually required for hair growth (for keeping hair in the anagen (growth) phase), I’d be wary of using topical cinnamon for hair growth for this reason.

Consistent with these results, we observed significant suppression of VEGF expression, blood vessel formation, and tumor growth in a human ovarian tumor model in mice treated with CE

Via PubMed