True hair care begins from within. If we want strong, healthy hair, we also have to give our bodies the nutrients it needs to produce it. Drinking certain herbal teas can provide us with these nutrients, and some even have a strong traditional reputation for increasing hair growth or reducing grey hairs.
If you’re interested in rejuvenating your hair and giving it a youthful boost, try one (or all!) of the following 6 herbs.
- Amalaki – Amalaki or Amla, Phyllanthus emblica, is one of the most commonly used herbs in Ayurveda. It is considered a rasyana, or herb that increases stamina and promotes longevity. Amalaki is also high in Vitamin C and antioxidant activity. In fact, some argue that Amalaki contains more vitamin C than any other fruit. Why does this matter? Vitamin C is used to produce collagen, an important protein for hair health and strength. A deficiency in Vitamin C is known to cause hair loss and hair damage. Traditionally, Amalaki has been used to increase hair growth and can be used as a rinse or combined with oil and rubbed into the scalp.
- Bhringaraj – Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) is an Ayurvedic herb that is cooling to the liver, and is used for skin, scalp and hair problems. Traditionally, Bhringaraj has been used to increase hair growth and reduce the effects of balding. It is also believed to reduce graying, and, in mouse studies, it has been found to increase hair growth and hair length and density.
- He Shou Wu– He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum), also known as Fo-ti is a root used in Chinese medicine. He Shou Wu roughly translates to “black haired (Mr.) He.” This refers to a legend of a man who was old and could not have children, but after taking He Shou Wu for a few years, the story claims his hair once again turned black and he regained his ability to father children. While the herb has many other uses, it is currently used by herbalists for premature greying of the hair.
- Gingko– Gingko (Gingko biloba) is commonly used to stimulate the mind (memory, etc), increase circulation and strengthen the capillaries. This herb can be beneficial for if you’re experiencing a lack of circulation, which can prevent hair growth.
- Horsetail – Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is often one of the first herbs listed in herbal hair supplements, primarily due to its bioavailable silica content. Silica is a key component in collagen production, which is important for strong, healthy hair.
- Nettle – Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is great for your hair due to its high vitamin and mineral content, including iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and Vitamins A, C, K, and B. Nettle tea is healthy for the whole body, but is especially good for your bones, hair, and nails.
Remember, with herbal remedies, the results can take a bit longer to manifest. So to test the true value of any of these herbal teas, you should drink 2-3 cups daily for a sustained period, possibly up to a year. You can also mix some, or all, of the herbs into your own herbal concoction, or, if you prefer a topical treatment, you can massage the warm (to cool) tea into your scalp two or more times per week.