Cayenne Pepper Oil Treatment: FAIL!

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I have been reading dozens of posts over the last several months about oil infused with cayenne pepper being used to grow hair. Of course, I was immediately intrigued. LOL! I did some research and there seemed to be mixed reviews. Proponents of the oil exclaimed that it helped to propel their hair growth and, in some cases, even grew hair where it once was bald.  Others claimed that it made their scalps burn, their hair shed excessively, and caused extensive breakage.

There also seems to be some confusion over the proper application. There are two opposing viewpoints: (1) apply the cayenne-infused oil to the scalp, massage the scalp for 1-2 minutes, leave the oil in for 2-3 hours, and co-wash it out, or (2) apply the oil to the scalp, massage the scalp for 1-2 minutes, and leave the oil in, without rinsing out until your normal wash day.

The negative testimonials really scared me. However, I couldn’t find many who had used the cayenne-infused oil  that had posted before and after pics. So, naturally, I was still curious! Well, curious AND cautious. In fact, it took me a month to garner the courage necessary to even take the oil out of the shoe box in my closet … and probably another 2 weeks to decide to use it!

I know what you’re thinking … that I’m a glutton for punishment. But, hey! Someone’s gotta test out these crazy hair growth methods! And, I just had to know if it would work for me. Here’s how I made my cayenne-infused oil …


  1. Add 4 tsp of cayenne pepper to any container with a lid. 
    • You can use a funnel to avoid wasting any cayenne or making a mess.
  2. Add 4 oz. (½ cup) of any oil(s) of your choice.
  3. Add ½ tsp. vitamin e oil (to prevent rancidity).
  4. Seal container and keep in a cool, dark area that won’t be exposed to light.
    • I kept my oil container in a shoebox in my closet.
  5. TIPS:
    • Shake the mix each day. (I shook mine 25 times over the course of 30 days.)
    • Let mixture cure for 2-4 weeks. (I let my mix cure for 30 days.)
    • When ready to use, strain the mixture into an applicator bottle.
    • Shake the applicator bottle prior to each use.
    • Apply sparingly but directly to the scalp every night and massage for 1-2 minutes.
    • Avoid contact with your eyes (unless you enjoy pain)!
    • Do a “patch test” prior to use to make sure that you ARE NOT allergic and can handle the potency level. For some, cayenne pepper can cause skin irritation. So, if you have sensitive skin, DO NOT use any oil infused with cayenne pepper.


To my surprise, the cayenne pepper oil DID NOT burn or irritate my scalp AT ALL. The first few days, I felt a very slight tingle that was barely noticeable. After that, I pretty much felt absolutely nothing.

I used the cayenne pepper oil for two weeks straight while using the GHE five nights a week. I left the oil in my hair each night until my weekly wash. My scalp and hair never felt oily. If anything, it felt like the cayenne pepper oil dried out my hair a bit. Week three, I didn’t use the oil or the GHE at all because I had family coming into town for a week, and I was worried that applying cayenne pepper oil every day and using the GHE would ruin my hairstyle (i.e., prevent it from lasting 7 days). Week 4, I used the cayenne pepper oil while doing the inversion method.





As you can see, I only received about a 1/2″ of total growth over the course of a month, and that’s with me doing the inversion method. I gained pretty spotty growth from the inversion method while using the cayenne pepper oil (my worst to date while using this method)! While I am grateful the cayenne-infused oil didn’t burn or irritate my scalp, or cause extensive breakage, it didn’t exactly encourage any hair growth either. In fact, I think it stunted (or at least stalled) my hair growth during the month. My hair in the front is about 1/4″ shorter than last month (from 9.25″ to barely 9.0″). So, I had some minor breakage there. However, I maintained my length on the side of my hair that I gained in the first three weeks of the month (at 9.25″). And, I gained a 1/2″ in the back of my hair from last month (from 8.5″ to 9.0″). 

Not sure if the cayenne pepper oil caused the stunted growth and minor breakage, or if the inversion method simply exacerbated the problem, or if it’s all of the above, but I’m convinced that the GHE saved my hair from breaking off excessively and becoming damaged. So, no more cayenne pepper oil for me!  Truth be told, I’m feeling a little silly for tripling the recipe and making 12 ounces of oil.  Sigh … But, I’m not one to be wasteful. So, I plan to add a teaspoon or two of cayenne pepper oil to my weekly cholesterol treatment when I deep condition my hair to help me use up my remaining oil. Waste not, want not!


Filed under Length Checks, Science Lab

14 responses to “Cayenne Pepper Oil Treatment: FAIL!

  1. Bernardo VB

    Who came up with the idea that “Cayenne pepper” was good for anything?
    Serrano pepper is what really works. It has a higher octane and it’s cheaper. No pain, no gain; it must hurt in order to give results. Mix 1 quart of extra virgin olive oil, 10 medium peppers (just wash them and cut the stem off) put it all in a blender, until well mixed. NO need to cure it; just use a piece of cloth as a strainer and start using it right away. Apply to areas where you still have some hair; leave it on the scalp for an hour each time. Use it every day. The results will be visible by the time you finish the mixture. If not, you’d have to have hair transplant, wear a wig or have a fake hair transplant at the tattoo shop. This is the only system that really worked for me. Good luck. Salute. Bernardo VB

  2. Reinity

    Can you tell me if it works on relaxed hair? Because I started the cayenne pepper treatment today, but I’m not sure whether to continue.

    • Your hair type should not affect the treatment. Many who have been relaxed or natural have claimed this treatment worked for them. But, it didn’t work for me! If you choose to stick with the treatment, be sure to let us know if it works for YOU. 😉

  3. Danyelle

    Great review! I don’t think the oil is supposed to be used and left on the scalp. I would only use that as a hot oil treatment! I used the oil and infused it in my conditioner. I had a bad allergic reaction to 007 glue after getting a quick weave, and it tore my whole hair line! It did work for me, but I would only co-wash and leave it on about 1 hr. After 3 months, my hair line filled in and was thicker.

    • Actually I’ve seen it used both ways with great results, but clearly leaving it in was way too much for ME. My scalp just wasn’t having it! LOL 😀 I’m glad adding the cayenne oil to your conditioner worked. If ever I summon the courage to try this again, I might do as you suggested and use it as a hot oil treatment. Thanks! 😉

  4. Sarah

    When doing this treatment it’s important not to use the cayenne from the grocery store, because it is very low in actual capsaicin (the active component in cayenne that gives it the medicinal “burn”). The hotness of cayenne is measured in heat units known as SHU, and if you want the scalp treatment to work you need to get real cayenne from an herbal store or online, with a minimum heat level of 35,000 SHU. The kind of cayenne you used may be why this did not work for you.

    • Hi, Sarah! Thanks for the info.

      As a cook, I am quite familiar with the Scoville scale. However, I have no intention of trying this hair growth method again as I experienced some hair breakage from it. So, if the cayenne pepper I purchased from my local market is indeed milder, I’m not taking any chances on anything with a higher SHU!

    • i agree with you about the strength of the pepper. As a child I so wanted to have hair healthy hair that didnt fall out so easily. I noticed in my adult years in this country that when I ate lots of sweet white sugar stuff and when I didn’t drink enough water MY hair would fall out. especially in the winter season.I went to Africa and sat in a class at the Africa Medical Missionary Institute (AMMI) that taught natural healthy ways and learned that sunlight and cayenne pepper are great for promoting hair growth along with a healthy diet of course. I had brought some with me intending to used it for that very purpose. so I was glad to learn that. So I did a treatment – the heat units were very very high but I cant remember how many. . I mixed some of the cayenne powder with first cold-pressed castor oil and then rubbed it on my scalp right away. and then I felt my scalp getting hot and pulsating very strongly VERY VERY strongly. I think it awakened anything that was dead on or in my scalp for sure! and my hair grew. after about 3 months I seemed to have grown about 3 inches I also ate a very healthy vegan diet. Got a lot of sunlight and fresh air on my scalp which is also great for hair growth. I drank more water than usual also. I also think its important to wet the scalp everyday with water just like watering a plant to also help hair growth. I stopped wearing wigs too which prevent air and sun which I think are so great for the scalp and hair.. I notice that If I don’t keep up with water especially on my scalp and drinking my hair breaks

      • Yes, it is so important to keep hair well-moisturized. I’ve learned that the hard way!

      • P. Shivers

        Are you still using the Cayenne mixture? Kind of nervous to try. Thanks for the review.

      • No! Lol. After my horrible experience, once was enough. It’s just not for me! I guess, it’s worth a try. Several people have told me they’ve had great success with it. If you decide to try it, let me know if it works for you. 😉

  5. Did you put the cayenne pepper on your hair? That probably caused the breakage.

    • I concentrated it mostly on my scalp, but it was kind of inevitable for some of it to get on my hair. Yes, I think that is what caused the breakage. Some people apply the cayenne oil and then rinse it out after a few hours, but I’m too scared to give that alternative a go. I think the cayenne oil was just too strong for my fine hair. Never again! Lol.

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