Wondering what the absolute best herbs for hair are? Here’s our list of the best hair herbs to prevent hair loss, promote hair growth, and even thicken your strands.
Because let’s face it: thinning hair is a nightmare for both men and women and it’s often the main thing standing in the way of our dream of a thicker, fuller crown of hair. If you’re tired of seeing too many strands of your crowning glory go down the bathroom drain – try out Mother Nature’s best solutions below.
Read on to get to know each one and what it can do for your hair!
Fenugreek for Thicker Hair
Fenugreek seeds, also known as Methi, are powerhouses for proteins that do wonders for the hair. A diet with protein has always been proven to slow down signs of baldness by making hair healthier and stronger so it’s not prone to breakage. When Fenugreek is applied topically, hair can absorb the proteins faster and use it to jumpstart hair growth.
It also contains lecithin, a popular emulsifying agent found in most conditioners. This component of Fenugreek focuses on repairing damaged and dry hair by coating it with moisturizers that result in thicker hair strands that aren’t prone to breaks in the hair shaft. Aside from the direct benefits enumerated above, Fenugreek also has helps get rid of dandruff (which, if left untreated can lead to hair loss).
Horsetail for Thicker Hair
Horsetail, also known as Shavegrass, is another medicine cabinet staple of the older generation due to it’s multiple uses including hair growth. There are two ways that Horsetail can help with strengthening hair.
It works wonders when applied topically because it is one of the most abundant sources of silica among plants. Silica, also known as Silicon Dioxide is a common ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and other hair products that promise shiny thick hair. Silica acts as a humectant, which means when you apply it to hair it absorbs moisture in the environment and retains it into your hair. The silica also strengthens tissues especially keratin which is the main component of hair. And aside from promoting stronger hair – silica also adds shine to your tresses.
Brahmi for Thicker Hair
When it comes thick, luscious locks – Indian women are the experts. They have an arsenal of herbs and powders that help with keeping hair healthy and strong and one of the most popular is Brahmi, which is more commonly known in western regions as waterhyssop or thyme-leafed gratiola.
Brahmi powder increases blood flow in the scalp, strengthen hair at its roots and is filled with vitamin C and other antioxidants that fight off the free radicals that lead to oxidative damage (which leads to aged, brittle, thin hair).
When you use Brahmi as an oil, it also coats and moisturizes the hair strand, making your hair more elastic and less prone to breakage.
Amla for Thicker Hair
Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is one of the most well-known hair thickening herbs out there. And it’s no wonder – amla’s great for increasing circulation to the scalp as well as supplying the body with its rich abundance of vitamin C and other antioxidants which protect our cells and prevent hair from damage and signs of aging.
Vitamin C also stimulates production of collagen which is what makes hair healthy and shiny and gives it that added bounce. It also aids in keratin production. Since the body cannot manufacture vitamin C for itself, packing in as much of Vitamin C as you can spells great benefits for your hair and scalp. Vitamin C also aids in Iron absorption which can stimulate more follicles to produce hair.
Shikakai for Thicker Hair
Shikakai which can be found in the bark and leaves of the acacia plant is a great herb that can be used to strengthen hair. It’s been used by Indians for centuries, and judging from the thick shiny hair in all the Bollywood flicks, it’s definitely worth a try.
Shikakai is rich in a whole range of vitamins – A, D, E, K and of course, vitamin C. As you already know, vitamin C is crucial to the repair of damaged strands, and also stimulates keratin and collagen production. Interestingly, Shikakai is increasingly being used as a substitute for shampoo since it also has a sudsy factor very similar to drug store shampoo. It has very low pH levels, which means it doesn’t irritate scalp and your hair won’t turn dry since it won’t be stripped of natural oils.
Aside from being an effective shampoo, Shikakai works as a great de-tangler as well. If you’re a fan of complicated hairstyles, you’d understand how much hair breaks when you’re trying to ease out those darned tangles. With Shikakai, you don’t have to worry about chopping out strands due to tangling.
Panax Ginseng for Thicker Hair
What started out as a chinese herbal remedy, has been gaining ground as a solid herb known for it’s medicinal uses, which include developing thick and healthy hair. If you go through the ingredients list for effective, natural shampoos, you’ll see that ginseng is listed as an ingredient more often than not, and this isn’t without good reason.
Ginseng works by improving your immune system. It facilitates optimal blood circulation and blood flow in your system, including your scalp. When the right amount of blood (which is the medium for circulating all the nutrients you consume) is absorbed by your hair follicles it produces healthier strands of hair that are not as prone to hair fall and breakage.
Gotu Kola for Thicker Hair
When you browse through the ingredient patent lists for some of the most effective anti hair loss formulas, you’ll usually find gotu kola on the list. That’s ’cause gotu koa fights hair loss in two ways. The first is through the positive effect it has on the circulatory system. When taken regularly, it improves the flow of blood, and strengthens your capillaries. Since most hair loss occurs when the hair follicles shrivel up and reduce in size (usually due to malnutrition or other health issues), what Gotu Kola does is strengthen the blood vessels and essentially revive the old hair follicles to allow them to hold on to the hair strands better and produce hair again.
Aside from this, a study by researchers in the Kinki University of Japan has shown that application of Gotu Kola on testosterone sensitive male mice has shown that it inhibits 5a-reductase (the culprit of male onset baldness).
Fo-ti (He Shou Wu)
This obscure chinese herbjust doesn’t get the attention it deserves. While most people in China know it as a hair dye, they also like using Fo-Ti root for stronger shinier hair. The main reason for this effect is the great concentration of zinc in He Shou Wu roots have. Zinc is an essential mineral for cell repair and cell division. When taken orally or applied to hair, it urges hair follicles to produce more healthy hair and at the same time also works to repair snags and damages on your hair strands. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include graying, thin and brittle hair.
Aside from the zinc content, He Shou Wu root can also dilate the blood vessels on your hair follicle which results in a tighter grip of the hair follicle on the strand, so it doesn’t fall out easily. Experimental studies have also shown that He Shou Wu root is also effective as an anti-aging supplement and may be able to combat age related hair loss.
Bringaraj for Thicker Hair
Bringaraj (Eclipta Alba) is an herb that is well known in the eastern part of the world. In western countries, it’s popularly known as False Daisy. This herb has an enviable number of scientifically-validated studies that backs up it’s claim as a hair loss antidote.
Bringarag directly helps hair loss by egging on dormant hair follicles to produce more hair. It has also shown that it can speed up the growth of hair by pushing hair follicles to proceed to the Anagen phase of the growth cycle whenever it gets stuck too long in the Telogen phase. This hypothesis is supported by a 2009 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, wherein male mice who are predisposed to baldness grew more hair than the control group due to the follicle stimulation of Bringaraj
Also indirectly helpful to hair loss are all the analgesic, anti-oxidant, and anti-viral components of Bringaraj. This makes it an efficient cure against problems in the body related to a build up of toxins, system imbalances and poor circulation (all of which are causes of hair loss), thus also indirectly helping to prevent hair loss.