People have always associated long, thick, luscious hair with infinite beauty. And over the centuries, people have tried anything and everything to hold onto their locks when they start to slowly lose their luster and lushness.
But I’m happy to tell you that you don’t have to resort to donkey hooves, standing on your head, and hippopotamus fat. You won’t be needing them after you read this list of herbs that help keep your hair full, fabulous, and flowing.
Known as Equisetum arvense, this strange looking but aptly named plant has been around as long as spinal cords (trust me, that’s a long time). It’s one of the most abundant plant sources of silica, which is a mineral that is believed to boost hair strength and growth by infusing your scalp and follicles with tons of nutrients. Horsetail also has astringent properties, which is helpful if you have oily hair and scalp.
This herb has been used medicinally for ages and is also taken as an oral supplement for its many “beauty” benefits, including hair, skin and nail health.
This thick jelly-filled succulent is well known for its ability to cool a sunburn or help heal wounds. But it also works well to improve the condition of your hair and scalp. Aloe protects hair from moisture loss, strengthens it with nutrients, and is a gentle cleanser. It can even help calm an itchy, flaky scalp with its anti-inflammatory properties.
You might know stinging nettle to be quite prickly in the wild. When it’s harvested and used on your hair, you’ll see there are actually many things to like about it. It’s been used traditionally as a tonic to combat hair loss by stimulating cell growth and it also has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the scalp.
Nettle is said to reduce hair shedding by cleansing the scalp, nourishing the follicles, and fighting bacteria that cause scalp infections.
The cooling, tingly sensation of the Mentha piperita plant has so many uses, and hair is certainly one of them. One study shows that peppermint oil had a positive effect on hair growth. Better blood flow is the main perk of peppermint, and by improving circulation in your hair follicles your hair can grow faster.
Besides that, it also just smells exhilirating!
The flowers of the tropical tree Cananga odorata, or ylang ylang as we know it, are mostly known for their calming sweet, floral scent. The essential oil has traditionally been used to stimulate hair growth and reduce shedding. It’s great for use on a dry scalp and split ends because it increases oil production and keeps the hair conditioned. (Probably not so great if you tend to have oily hair though.)
Burdock root, or Articum lappa, is eaten as a nutritious vegetable in Japan and other parts of Asia. When used on hair, it provides nourishment for your follicles and boosts circulation in your scalp. This helps to prevent thinning. Burdock also helps heal scalp irritations and dandruff with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Borage Seed Oil
The borage plant has flowers shaped like stars and its seeds are chock full of fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients. Oil from the seeds has been studied for treating a variety of conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer. While not many studies have been done on the benefits to hair, the fatty acids in it, mainly GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), are known to help hair growth and to soothe inflammation and irritation. It also smooths out the hair shaft with the help of keratin.
Honey is an excellent moisturizer for dry, damaged hair because it attracts water molecules and contains proteins that smooth out the strands. It also increases hair growth by promoting skin cell growth on your scalp. But wait, there’s more! Honey also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that help heal scalp conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Thank you, bees!
There are many factors when it comes to the condition of your hair, like diet, climate, underlying conditions, and what you use on it or do to it, like styling and coloring. But using all-natural products that contain the above ingredients - like the ones we create here at Nurture My body - can help you maintain a healthy head of hair and a happy scalp.