The hair on the head is an important feature describing the characteristics of humans. Hairs are protein filaments that grow from the follicles in the dermis of the skin. Everyone wishes to have long, thick and shiny hair. The matter of concern arises when hairs start to fall or start getting scarce. Hair fall is a problem many of us face. The hair either starts getting sparse from balding, hair thinning, or a receding hairline in this condition. Some people can lose hair due to some medical conditions as well.
Upon realizing that you are losing your hair, there is an increase in anxiety, stress, and confusion about getting rid of this problem. There are numerous products available in the market that assures hair growth, and choosing anyone from the whole lot can be a hard task.
Some products may promise that they are enriched with herbs, but it’s difficult to identify or prove the effects of that product on the scalp since there are inclusions of various chemicals that go into making the product.
Instead of applying any product with a fusion of herbs and chemicals, why not use only herbal preparations or only herbs for hair growth.
Even before these commercial products came into being, the herbs were used for centuries to treat hair fall and also to promote hair growth and strength.
Various herbs are used for hair growth, and every herb has a unique property, which makes it an ideal ingredient while using it for hair care management.
Herbs that are helpful in hair growth:
1. Reetha or Soap nuts (Sapindus): It is one of the important herbs to promote hair growth. It is also called soap nuts or fruits. They are dried and used as a whole or in the form of a powder. Reetha fruits are soaked in boiling water, and this liquid is then used to clean the hair. It is very effective for hair fall. Reetha nourishes and cleanses the hair follicles and the scalp. It also promotes healthy hair growth and also possesses anti-inflammatory properties to fight away infections.
2. Amla or Indian Gooseberry (Phyllanthus Emblica)
It is a fruit containing a large amount of vitamin C and several other antioxidants that help produce collagen. Collagen increases the rate of hair growth and ensures strong hair growth. This herb can be used in the form of a powder. Dry Amla powder is mixed with coconut oil, and this paste is applied to the hair as a hair mask. Amla powder can also be combined with water to form this paste. When applied to the hair, this paste should be kept for at least 30 minutes and then washed with cool water.
It also acts as a conditioner and promotes hair growth with a reduction in the hair’s early graying.
3. Shikakai ( Acacia concinna)
Shikakai is obtained from the bark, leaves, and pods of the Shikakai tree. Shikakai powder helps strengthen the hair, controlling dandruff, and it also helps in gently cleansing the scalp. Shikakai powder is mixed with water to form a paste and used as a hair mask. It can also be mixed with coconut oil. Shikakai is known to promote hair growth, strengthen the hair roots, and cleanses the scalp.
4. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Brahmi is used either in powder form or oil form. It aids in stopping hair fall and also makes the hair thicker and healthier. Brahmi powder is mixed with water, and this paste is applied to the hair and scalp, which is then left for an hour. Brahmi oil head massage is a stress-reliever. The use of Brahmi in any form helps to reduce hair fall, nourish the scalp, in turn promoting hair growth.
5. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
This herb is quite effective in enhancing hair growth and maintaining a healthy scalp. When applied, it stimulates the blood vessels and improves circulation. A solution of two parts water with one part dried horsetail should be applied to the hair for better results. Horsetail increases the tensile strength of hair.
6. Lavender (Lavendula Officinalis)
Lavender is known to have a pleasant aroma. Most commonly used in hair care for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender being a natural insect repellent it protects the hair from lice. A few drops of essential oil of lavender can be mixed with a carrier oil and then massaged gently onto the hair. Lavender keeps the scalp healthy and also controls the production of oil.
7. Bhringraj (Eclipta alba)
It is the most primeval Ayurvedic remedy which has been used for ages. Most commonly, it is used to treat hair loss and rejuvenate the scalp. Freshly procured Bhringraj leaves should be ground and applied directly to the hair. If in a powdered form, it should be mixed with some carrier oil and then applied to the hair. Bhringraj promotes new hair growth and adds luster and shine to the hair.
8. Arnica (Arnica Montana)
Arnica has an anti-inflammatory property, and in turn, it makes it a useful herb to maintain the scalp’s health. Arnica is an excellent herb that is used to fight dandruff. When applied directly to the scalp or in combination with any other oil, Arnica oil leads to healthy hair growth and a healthy scalp.
9. Yucca (Yucca schidigera)
This herb is native to North American desserts. This herb is traditionally used as a natural scalp cleanser and also to make shampoos and soaps. This herb, when applied to the hair, effectively fights dryness, itching, and dandruff. Yucca, when mixed with water, forms an active hair rinse. It prevents dryness and cleanses the scalp.
10. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
Hop is a natural antiseptic. It improves blood circulation, in turn, thickening the hair. It’s a well- known hair growth stimulant. When applied to the hair in an oil form, it promotes hair growth and thickens the hair.
Neem oil enhances the rate of hair growth. It also increases the tensile strength of the hair shafts, making them more silky and shiny. It helps in controlling dandruff. Applying neem oil to the hair nourishes and cleans the scalp. Neem being an anti-bacterial keeps infections away. Neem leaves can be ground finely and made into a paste and used as a conditioning hair pack to nourish the scalp and prevent it from flaking and dryness.
12. Maidenhair ( Gingko Biloba)
This herb is treated as the most favorite in the hair care products. It is very effective in treating hair loss as it improves the circulation of blood to the scalp. Applying an infusion on the hair adds shine to the hair and promotes new hair growth. The infusion of maidenhair is prepared by adding three handfuls of dried herb to two cups of water and then boiled. After boiling, the liquid is strained and then carefully poured over freshly washed hair.
13. Moringa (Moringa oleifera)
This herb contains thiocyanate that strengthens the hair follicles and prevents hair fall. This herb is used as a conditioner that promotes new hair growth. This herb is available in oil form and can be applied directly to the hair. Regular use of this herb reduces hair loss and stimulates hair growth.
14. Coat buttons (Tridax procumbent)
It is a creeping Ayurvedic herb belonging to the daisy family. This herb contains antioxidants and promotes hair growth.
15. Jatamasi (Nardostachys jatamasi)
This herb is a small shrub whose rhizomes are used and speed up hair growth. This herb has been shown to increase hair growth in alopecia caused by chemotherapy.
16. Bitter apple (Citrullus colocynthis)
This herb is a desert, fruit-bearing plant that is used in Ayurveda. This herb contains glycosides, which are compounds that help to initiate hair growth. The dried fruit pulp is used to treat hair loss. This herb is used to make hair creams and massage onto the scalp or applied to hair from root to tip.
17. Marking nut (Semecarpus Anacardium)
This particular herb is found in sub-Himalayan areas and is used in Ayurveda and Siddha medicines to aid in hair growth. Further research is required for this particular herb to determine its effectiveness and safety.
18. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Fenugreek belongs to the pea family. It is the most common spice used in cooking and also has potential hair-growing benefits. As per the research conducted in 2006, the fenugreek seed extract improves hair density and thickness in both men and women with minimal hair loss.