Is it time to spice up your hair routine? A spice rack staple, black pepper is something you might want to add to your styling checklist. Black pepper has long been used in Ayurveda, an ancient healing system that taps into the healing power of natural products such as spices and herbs.

Surprisingly, there could also be beauty benefits for hair and skin connected with black pepper. Read on to learn more about the benefits of black pepper for hair and which supplements to add to your routine to boost hair wellness.

Black Pepper For Hair

Black pepper, also known as piper nigrum, is a common spice. It's also the most widely traded spice in the world. An array of global cuisines use black pepper to flavor dishes with its spicy kick. This spiciness is a result of a chemical compound called piperine, which differs from the capsaicin compound found in chili peppers.

Black pepper has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its purported healing benefits, which include alleviating digestive issues. Once the pepper plant has been harvested, it can be bottled and sold in a few forms: ground, dried or in peppercorn. Black pepper oil is extracted from dried peppercorns. In the Ayurvedic tradition of natural healing, for example, black pepper oil is used for massage. Using black pepper oil for hair growth is also common, as it contains antioxidants that could help stimulate blood circulation of the scalp.

Read: Ashwagandha Hair Benefits

8 Benefits of Black Pepper Extract

Spicing it up doesn't necessarily have to stop in the kitchen — you just might want to use black pepper for hair, skin and scalp care rituals. Read on for more about the potential black pepper benefits that help from tress to toe.

1. Anti-Inflammatory

"The principal alkaloid present in black pepper, piperine, has shown exciting effects in promoting skin and hair health," said Dr. Michael T. Murray, N.D., iHerb Chief Scientific Advisor and Author. "Piperine has some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects beneficial when topically applied to the skin or scalp."

2. Antioxidant-Rich

"Black pepper is rich in antioxidants," said Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and co-founder of MIJA. "This is a promising ingredient. In theory, these properties make it good as a cleansing and healing active for hair and skin."

3. Eases Digestion

Hair wellness begins from within, which makes gut health essential for developing healthy strands. Spices with heat such as black pepper powder can bolster digestive function, ease gut issues and reduce inflammation that can irritate the scalp that can perhaps lead to hair loss or other hair growth issues.

"[Black pepper] can aid in proper digestion and have some anti-inflammatory properties," explained Kimberly Synder, founder of Solluna and New York Times best-selling author. "And, inflammation is the enemy of circulation."

4. Bolsters Gut Health

Give your gut, hair and whole-body health an added boost with GRO WELL Hair Boost Supplement + Probiotic. This adaptogen/probiotic drink mix is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, adaptogens, 50 million CFU probiotics and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which support healthy keratin and collagen production to help encourage healthy hair growth.

Super-charge any drink with the powder to support a healthy gut microbiome and circulation, as well as promote visibly thicker, fuller, longer-looking hair. Perfect for those looking to boost immunity, hair and overall health, it also includes a powerful combo: curcumin combined with piperine, the compound found in black pepper powder. Together, they form a highly bioavailable antioxidant that has shown in clinical studies to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals for optimal scalp health.

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5. Blocks DHT

"Black pepper contains piperine, which inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone to the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT) linked to some forms of hair loss," said Dr. Murray. "It also protects the skin from sun and chemical damage."

When piperine interacts with turmeric, it's thought to enhance absorption, making turmeric all the more powerful. The curcumin compound of turmeric is considered to be helpful in encouraging hair growth by decreasing high levels of DHT. DHT limits proper blood circulation which may compromise hair growth or healthy hair follicles. While research is not widely available on the pairing of the two, one study found that black pepper combined with turmeric had anti-inflammatory properties in treating osteoarthritis patients.

6. Stimulates Blood Circulation

"Black pepper extract is one of those spices that has a wealth of health benefits in traditional practices such as Ayurveda," said Koszyk. In Ayurveda, it’s a warming, healing spice that enhances circulation."

Adequate circulation is necessary for a healthy scalp—where hair growth begins—and to prevent clogged hair follicles from hindering hair growth. Elevate your shower by using the GRO Revitalizing Scalp Massager when you wash your hair. It's safe for use on all hair types, wet or dry hair and features gentle bristles that both stimulate the scalp and its circulation. Or, use it to unwind and cultivate a sense of calm with a daily scalp-soothing massage that supports hair growth.

7. Antibacterial

"Black pepper extract enhances the bioavailability of other herbal nutrients," said Koszyk. "Modern studies are relatively scant, but we know it contains a chemical called piperine which kills bacteria."

8. Minimizes Scalp Stress

"Studies have shown that black pepper extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which support skin health, " said Dr. Kelly Ann Petrucci, a board-certified naturopathic physician and nutrition consultant. "This helps fight off excess free radicals from the body, which then helps prevent excess oxidative stress in the body and helps support skin."

According to the USDA, one teaspoon of black pepper also contains magnesium, which can help nix stress for a better night's sleep.

Healthy, shiny hair starts with a healthy scalp. Give your scalp weekly self-care with GRO+ Advanced Scalp Detoxifying Serum. It helps soothe and de-stress the scalp, eliminating buildup, dead skin, dirt and pore-clogging residue to visibly reduce signs of dandruff in as soon as three days after using it.

Spice Up Your Wellness Routine With Supplements

You may also want to mix black pepper into your dishes, as some evidence suggests black pepper has other health benefits, including improved cognitive function and immune support.

Enhance your immunity even more by getting a daily dose of delicious gummy vitamins:

  • GRO Biotin Gummies: includes 16,666% of your daily value of biotin, or 5000 mcg, along with other key vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamins A, B-5, -6 and -12, C and E, zinc and more key minerals, which support and nourish the scalp and hair.
  • GRO+ Advanced Gummies: all the same great benefits, plus the addition of therapeutic hemp with 10 mg CBD & 10 mg CBG per gummy.

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    Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.