Natural products and herbs for hair health is an age-old practice for luscious locks. Known as the most beautiful woman in history, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, understood how to use herbs and spices to enhance her natural beauty. For soft, glowing skin, she bathed in milk, honey, and almond oil. After exfoliating her skin with a sea salt scrub, she splashed her face with rosewater to tone and revitalize. And to achieve that beautiful luster and shine characteristic of healthy hair, she washed her hair with eggs mixed with water.
Your haircare routine no doubt looks much different than Cleopatra’s ancient practice. Today, we use shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and more to achieve luscious locks. But the art of using natural herbs for hair care is not lost on the modern woman.
There are many herbs and oils you can use to promote hair growth, strengthen hair, and reduce hair fall. Whether you use these herbs as a nutritional supplement or as a hair mask or treatment, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how they help grow beautiful, healthy hair.
In this article, we’ll discover five ayurvedic herbs for healthy hair and how to use them. But first, let’s talk about a few quick tips to support and preserve the health of your hair.
3 Quick and Easy Tips for Healthy Hair
Every day we lose between 50 to 100 strands of hair as part of our normal hair cycle. Hair loss can also occur from natural hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, and stress. These can all cause thinning hair, premature graying, and hair loss. Follow the simple tips below to support the healthy growth of your hair.
Food. Diet is essential to growing strong, shiny hair. Support healthy hair growth by choosing foods such as protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Foods rich in iron, biotin, and vitamins also support a healthy head of hair.
Herbs. Reduce the effects of stress by incorporating adaptogenic herbs into your wellness program. Adaptogenic herbs reduce cortisol levels and help your body adapt and cope with the stress that can cause hair fall.
Hair Care. Taking care of your hair properly can mean the difference between strong, shiny locks and dry, fly-away hair. Wash your hair regularly using a chemical-free shampoo to remove dirt and excess oil from your scalp. Dry and style your hair naturally and avoid overusing heated styling tools.
5 Herbs for Hair Health
In Ayurveda, there are many herbs that support hair growth and preserve the health of your tresses. These herbs may reduce hair fall, promote a healthy scalp, and strengthen hair. They can be taken in supplement form as capsules and powders, or mixed with an oil or water to create a hair mask or treatment. As we talk about the benefits of each of these herbs for hair health, you’ll find a few quick and easy do-it-yourself hair treatments to try at home.
Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub whose fruit, leaves, and roots are used in Ayurveda for energy and vitality. It’s known for its adaptogenic properties that help the body manage its response to stress by keeping cortisol levels in check. Consistently high levels of cortisol can have an effect on hair follicles, leading to damaged hair and hair loss.
Ashwagandha DIY Hair Mask
Ashwagandha powder can be mixed with water and applied to the hair to help boost shine and nourish your hair.
For normal to oily hair:
Mix one to two teaspoons of Ashwagandha powder with half a cup of warm water to make a smooth paste. Apply the paste to your hair and massage it into your scalp using circular motions. Let it sit for up to thirty minutes, then thoroughly rinse and wash with an herbal shampoo. Condition as you normally would.
For dry hair:
Combine two to three teaspoons of Ashwagandha powder with one to two teaspoons of hibiscus powder. Stir into half a cup of warm coconut milk and mix well, forming a smooth paste. Apply the paste to your hair and massage it into your scalp using circular motions. Let it sit for up to thirty minutes, then thoroughly rinse and wash with an herbal shampoo. Condition as you normally would.
Amla is a fruit tree that produces small yellow-green berries. Also called Indian Gooseberry, this little berry is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Amla has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years to support the immune system and rejuvenate the body and mind.
One way Amla can rejuvenate the body is by using Amla oil or powder to promote healthy hair growth. Its antifungal and antiviral properties improve scalp health by reducing dandruff and hair fall. It may even minimize premature graying.
Amla Oil or Powder and Lemon Juice for Hair Health
If you’ve ever used coconut oil to massage your scalp, you can use Amla oil to do the same. Try combining the Amla oil or with a tablespoon of lemon juice. Alternatively, combine 2 teaspoons amla powder with equal parts lemon juice. Lemon juice has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties which help cleanse and rejuvenate your scalp.
Massage this solution through your hair for about five minutes then let it sit for another five to ten minutes before washing with an herbal shampoo. Be sure to do a small patch test first to check for possible reactions. You can repeat this process twice a week to help remove dandruff, dissolve grease, and remove dirt from hair follicles.
Neem is a versatile herb known for its range of health benefits. Its powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a potent “wonder plant.” This bitter herb is full of antioxidants and has been used for centuries to support immunity, cleanse and detoxify the body, and promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. In Ayurveda, it is used to balance the Kapha and Pitta doshas.
Taken in its capsule form, Neem’s powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties help cleanse the body and support healthy immune function. The oil, pressed from the tree’s fruits and seeds, has many benefits for hair health, including:
Reducing redness, itching, and flaking
Conditioning the scalp
Smoothing frizzy hair
Reducing hair fall
Neem Oil Treatment for Hair
Neem oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, fatty acids, triglycerides, and calcium. When you apply Neem oil topically, these nutrients are delivered directly onto your hair, resulting in healthier-looking locks.
To avoid skin irritation, always dilute pure Neem oil with a neutral carrier oil like jojoba, olive, or coconut. In general, use one ounce of carrier oil for every twelve drops of Neem oil. And always test for sensitivity by applying the diluted Neem oil to a small area on the inside of your arm.
Once you choose your carrier oil and add the Neem oil, massage the solution into your scalp and work it in thoroughly from your roots all the way to the ends. Let the treatment condition your hair for thirty minutes to an hour before washing it with an herbal shampoo.
Shatavari is an adaptogenic herb also known as Asparagus racemosus – a member of the asparagus family. In Ayurveda, Shatavari is considered a very important and beneficial herb for women. It has been used for centuries to support the female hormonal system throughout all stages of a woman’s reproductive cycle.
Shatavari has grounding and healing properties that help your body cope with physical and emotional stress. Excessive or chronic stress is one of the top reasons for hair loss. To combat the harmful effects of stress, you can supplement your diet with adaptogenic herbs like Shatavari taken in capsule form. The Shatavari contains nutrients that help to soothe the dry scalp and strengthen the roots of the hair. Its naturally oily composition helps maintain hair color and luster and works well for individuals who experience the drying effects of the Vata dosha.
Guduchi is known in Ayurveda as the panacea herb for its protective and healing properties. It helps strengthen the nervous system and balances the Vata dosha. It contains powerful antioxidants that protect and promote hair growth by neutralizing free radicals. Also called Giloy, Guduchi has a pungent and astringent nature that helps to clean and disinfect the scalp while removing excess oils that dull the hair.
Healthy Hair Essentials
Just as Cleopatra of old used herbs, spices, and natural remedies to enhance her beauty and enrich her hair, we can use these ancient practices to combat the effects of stress and our environment. These five Ayurvedic herbs are essential to achieving strong, healthy hair. Why not start incorporating these Ayurvedic herbs into your daily wellness routine today?