There’s nothing more upsetting than shedding clumps of hair in the shower. Our locks are a big part of who we are! But when we lose hair because of age, stress, or chronic conditions, it can be frustrating for both men and women.
Instead of reaching for products with harsh chemicals, consider using these 7 natural herbs for hair growth.
1. Aloe Vera
Turns out that aloe vera can treat more than a bad sunburn. Since ancient times, this tropical plant has been used to help hair loss.1 Aloe gel is also great for soothing irritated skin, making it a possible treatment for an itchy scalp or dandruff.
When applied on the scalp, peppermint oil can increase hair growth without any side effects. It might even be more effective than minoxidil, the drug used in medicines for hair loss.2
Historically, thyme oil has been used for hair growth. The Journal of American Medical Association tested this by mixing thyme oil with carrier oils (like jojoba and grapeseed) and other beneficial oils – many of which are on this list! The mixture was used for a scalp massage, which caused a noticeable spike in hair growth.3
Rosemary oil was another essential oil used in JAMA’s hair growth study. When used in a scalp massage, this fragrant oil can help fix those bald spots. The oil is thought to be just as good as minoxidil, without the side effect of an itchy scalp.4
Since lavender promotes cell growth, it’s no surprise that it can also stimulate hair growth.5 Since stress is also a major factor causing hair loss, lavender’s stress-busting benefits can be of good use.
This herb has been used for centuries to naturally treat depression, anxiety, and even pain.6
6. Tea Tree
As an oil, tea tree can be used in anti-dandruff shampoos. Its anti-fungal properties also helps fight dandruff caused by the fungus Malassezia. Tea tree’s soothing effect can also help put a stop to itching, a habit that may lead to poor scalp health.
As a man ages, the enzyme 5-AR turns testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a molecule that’s related to hair loss. Safflower extract is excellent at inhibiting this enzyme, allowing for hair growth.7
Try combinations of any of these magical herbs to see what works best for you. It’s also a good idea to avoid harsh chemicals, such as those in hair dye and bleach. You can also towel dry or set your blow dryer to “cool” to avoid heat damage. These habits will keep your mane healthy, strong, and beautiful!
|↑1||Aloe Vera. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑2||Oh, Ji Young, Min Ah Park, and Young Chul Kim. “Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs.” Toxicological Research 30.4 (2014): 297–304.|
|↑3||Hay, Isabelle C., Margaret Jamieson, and Anthony D. Ormerod. “Randomized Trial of Aromatherapy: Successful Treatment for Alopecia Areata.” Journal of American Medical Association Dermatology 134.11 (1998): 1349-1352.|
|↑4||Panahi, Yunes, Moshen Taghizadeh, Eisa Tahmasbpour Marzony, and Amirhossein Sahebkar. “Rosemary Oil vs Minoxidil 2%for the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized Comparative Trial.” Skinmed 13.1 (2015): 15-21.|
|↑5||Lee, Boo Hyeong, Jae Soon Lee, and Young Chul Kim. “Hair Growth-Promoting Effects of Lavender Oil in C57BL/6 Mice.” Toxicological Research 32.2 (2016): 103-108.|
|↑6||Lavender, National Institutes of Health.|
|↑7||Kumar, Naphatsorn, Wandee Rungseevijitprapab, Nual-Anong Narkkhongc, Maitree Suttajitd, and Chaiyavat Chaiyasuta. “5α-reductase inhibition and hair growth promotion of some Thai plants traditionally used for hair treatment.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 139.3 (2012): 765-771.|