The Best Herbs for Hair Growth: the Ultimate Guide
Herbs and plants have been used to promote hair growth for years. They can be used to help your scalp in a number of different ways – some ingested as teas and others that are applied topically to your head.
To make herbs work for you, you’ve got to make sure you’re using the right herbs in the right way. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide to the best natural herbs for hair growth.
Herbs have a number of advantages over other hair loss treatments. Most importantly, they’re natural and come from the earth. Secondly, they’re often less expensive and just involve some basic plants from the garden.
As a result, some of the best and most healthy solutions for hair loss may be found in your backyard rather than at your pharmacy.
We’ve narrowed things down to the best five herbs out there. We’ve covered both Chinese herbal remedies for hair loss as well as other Ayurvedic herbs for hair problems. Results differ for everyone so it’s important to try different approaches. But all 5 of these herbs should give a huge boost to your scalp and hair.
We haven’t put them in any particular order because it’s very difficult to say which herb is the “best”. That’s because some work better for different people (depending on the reasons for your hair loss). Consider giving them all a try and seeing which ones work best for you.
The first herb on our list is horsetail. It is one of the best sources for plant silica in the natural world and has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. This means that it helps in situations where silica is deficient.
This is most useful for brittle nails and thin hair. That’s what makes it an important herb for hair growth.
Horsetail is a 1 foot tall plant and you can find it growing naturally in Europe, Asia and North America. It has been introduced to the southern hemisphere but is less common there. It doesn’t have flowers or leaves so it spreads through its spores.
Horsetail can be toxic to livestock in large quantities. But the toxic properties are destroyed by heat so it’s not present in tea or syrup. Moreover, there is little evidence that it is toxic to humans. But just keep in mind that you may want to stay away from large quantities of horsetail.
One of the main properties of horsetail is that its silica is water-soluble. This means that it can be carried around your body very easily. You can drink it as tea and it will reach your hair. It can also be used as a hair-rinse.
Horsetail works by assisting the free passage of fluids around the body. This means that your hair will get the nutrients it needs (as well as other parts of your body).
How to use Horsetail for your Hair:
Unlike some of the remedies discussed below, the advantages of horsetail are gained by ingesting it rather than applying it topically to your scalp. You can take it as either tea or as syrup.
You will want to harvest the plant in the early to mid-summer. Cut it with enough stem so that it can regrow. Then you can dry it and prepare it for tea.
To make tea, add a hefty teaspoon of dried horsetail to boiling water. It’s pretty simple and you can treat it like any other tea.
As mentioned above, people also take horsetail as a syrup (just like how you used to take cough medicine as a kid!). This is a bit more complicated than tea, but can also be effective.
To make horsetail syrup, there are a few steps:
- put some fresh horsetail in a pan with water and sugar. Apply heat and let it boil.
- Then allow it to simmer for 30 minutes until it turns dark green and softens.
- Take the liquid off and add sugar to it – then add it back into the pan to let it boil.
Once it cools you can store it and take it every so often.
Occasional use of horsetail will strengthen your hair (and nails and joints as a bonus). This is one of the best options if you’re looking to naturally thicken your hair and promote regrowth.
2. Amla / Gooseberry:
The second herb on our list is Amla. It is almost more of a fruit than an herb. But Amla is one of the best ayurvedic solutions for hair growth. It is also known as Indian gooseberry and has a variety of medicinal uses.
You apply it topically to your scalp in order to get its full benefits. Some experts also recommend it be ingested.
Amla works by increasing blood flow to the scalp. This is very important because more blood flow means more nutrients and health to the hair follicles.
You can get pure amla oil from fruit or from a powder. The powder is less labor-intensive, so this may make the most sense for people. The fruit tastes pretty sour.
You can also buy products that contain amla oil. This isn’t necessarily pure amla oil, but it can contain the beneficial effects that you’re looking for.
Independent of hair growth, many products containing amla oil will at the very least help your hair look thicker. You’ll find that it adds a nice shine to your hair. This can be almost as good as actual hair growth.
If you’re interested in making your own Amla oil, here is a quick video about how to prepare it at home:
Burdock is the third herb on our list and it also works by promoting blood flow to the hair follicles. Actually, it promotes blood flow all around your body so its effects on hair are just one of many benefits. But this makes it one of the best hair growth herbs available.
Burdock is known in the herbalist community as one of the best blood purifying agents available. It is known in the western medical tradition but it is also one of the more popular Chinese herbs for hair loss.
This herb is a biennial plant with green leaves and purple flowers. It can actually get up to six feet tall. It can be found in Europe, Asia and North America.
Burdock can be grown in your garden in most climates. In terms of harvesting burdock root, you will want to do so at the end of the first year or at the early part of the second year.
As with other herbal blood purifiers, it works to cleanse the skin. As a result, you will see a benefit to both your hair and to your skin.
How to use Burdock:
You can take burdock in a number of different ways, but one of the best ways is to drink it. Here’s what you need to know:
- Simmer burdock in a few cups of water (you can add dandelion root for a nice benefit).
- After about 15-20 minutes, strain out the plant and drink the liquid that remains.
- This will give you 3-4 servings. You can drink it right away or keep it for consumption later.
Ingesting burdock is an age-old remedy for hair problems and you should find a benefit within a few weeks.
4. Green Tea:
Green Tea is one of the most common Chinese herbal remedies for hair loss (and many other things). It comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis. As a lot of people know, green tea has the added benefit that it is good for your overall health.
While nothing is conclusive, early studies have indicated that green tea can lead to hair growth. There are two approaches: applying it topically or ingesting it as tea. Both approaches have shown reason to be hopeful.
We recommend people incorporate green tea into their daily routine if they’re looking to deal with thinning hair.
Essentially, green tea helps the hair by improving circulation which gives more nutrients to the hair follicles. Green tea is also a DHT blocker, which is the compound that causes hair loss.
You can find a lot of prepared green tea products in many grocery stores. The stuff you can buy loose at health food stores will likely have more nutrients in it, so that’s something you should consider doing.
Even beyond the benefits for your hair, green tea is something you should incorporate into your diet. It’s good for your heart, fights cholesterol, and has a number of other benefits.
5. Nettle (Stinging Nettle):
The last herb on our list is stinging nettle. Nettle is one of the most versatile plants on earth. It is rich in nutrition and provides a range of beneficial minerals. But you’ve got to be careful as they’ve evolved a defence mechanism that has come to define them: the sting (hence the name).
This is why hikers and farmers hate it. But that doesn’t mean its health benefits aren’t immense!
To take advantage of these health benefits, you’ll want to harvest the nettle tops from your garden (wear gloves to avoid the sting). You can also get nettle at various health food stores, but fresh nettle is better.
How to make fresh nettle tea (and hair rinse):
- Take a few nettle tops (fresh ones are best) and put them in boiling water.
- How much you use depends on how strong you want your tea. But I recommend a few nettle tops for each cup of tea.
- Let it steep for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Then you can drink it as often as you like for numerous health benefits.
- BUT: the hair growth benefits come from allowing the tea to cool to a reasonable temperature and using it as a hair rinse. You can massage it into the scalp so that the nutrients are fully absorbed.
This nettle technique is usually a good way to a healthier scalp and richer hair.
Warning: Make sure it’s fully cooked to neutralize the sting. You’ll know pretty quickly if you haven’t cooked it enough.
What to do next:
Well that completes our list of the the top herbs for hair growth. These aren’t so much “cures” for baldness as treatments to help promote hair regeneration and scalp health. You can’t apply one of these herbs and expect results overnight.
But it’s important for you to take action and try some of these remedies. Not every remedy is going to work for every person so you’ve got to try out different approaches. Start by working through this list and see which ones give you the best results.
If you have any questions or know of any other excellent herbs that we didn’t discuss, please feel free to leave a comment below.