science

Medically Reviewed

Does Ashwagandha Have Benefits For Hair?

Ashwagandha is an effective way to improve hair health. From strengthening hair to nourishing the scalp, ashwagandha can promote healthier looking locks.

Ashwagandha has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, but its modern day applications are seemingly endless. Among its many benefits, ashwagandha may even do wonders for hair health. With its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial compounds, ashwagandha may promote hair health, but more research is needed. One source suggests the potential hair benefits stem back to ashwagandha’s adaptogenic properties that can help manage occasional stress levels. Let’s break down all the evidence we know so far.

Does Ashwagandha Help With Hair Loss?

While this natural remedy is often suggested as a potential solution for hair loss, there is currently no evidence to support this. However, since this powerful herb is an adaptogen, it has the ability to help manage occasional stress in the body and reduce cortisol levels. Stress hormones such as cortisol have been linked to problems with hair growth. So, in theory, if hair loss is caused by stress, ashwagandha may be able to help manage hair loss. But there are no studies to prove these assumptions.

Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help with certain hormones like testosterone and DHEA, however, none of those studies measured the effects of those hormones on hair health or hair loss. With so few findings, this is an area that needs to be explored with more research.

Benefits of Ashwagandha For Hair

Ashwagandha, an herbal supplement derived from Withania somnifera root, is known for its healing adaptogenic properties. It may not have the potential to help strengthen hair, but it may or may not help nourish and condition the scalp,, we will dive into the science and give you alternative options for those looking for healthy hair solutions.



Strengthens hair

The main potential ashwagandha has to support hair health is through its antioxidant content. The antioxidant content in ashwagandha can help the body scavenge free radicals from hair follicles, but there is no guarantee that it will help with maintaining strong and healthy hair.

There needs to be more research done to investigate the relationship between ashwagandha and hair strength. Keratin, however, has long been the preferred choice for supporting hair strength. Human hair is made up of 95% keratin, a fibrous, helix-shaped protein that also forms skin and nails.The hair shaft is made up of 3 layers: the medulla, cortex and outer cuticle. The cortex is where you will find the keratin (this contributes to hair strength) and the melanin (this contributes to hair color). Keratin stands out as being more effective than ashwagandha in strengthening hair, according to the science. With its ability to be used orally as a supplement or topically as a localized hair treatment, keratin is versatile. Topical use of keratin can protect against environmental damage and restore lost moisture, keratin can be an ideal topical treatment option for anyone looking for stronger, healthier locks. When exploring oral supplementation of keratin, participants in this study who ingested 500mg of keratin per day, experienced a 46% improvement in hair fallout compared to baseline, a 5.9% increase in hair strength, and a 47% improvement in appearance after 90 days. So, in other words, keratin is the way to go when looking for ways to support hair strength in addition to a healthy diet and healthy hair practices.

Conditions and nourishes the scalp

A healthy scalp can be related to healthy skin. Believe it or not, the scalp is an extension of the skin and serves as a barrier for our hair similar to our skin. One of the major differences is that the skin contains more sebaceous and sweat glands. Scalp irritation can be caused by several factors such as hair dye, new products, certain ingredients/sensitivities, temperature, climate, and so on. Be sure to discuss with a dermatologist if you experience any persistent issues. Healthy scalp and hair can be promoted with a healthy nutrient-dense diet. According to this study, there is a correlation between nutrients in hair and scalp health. It is very important to make sure you have adequate nutrients such as iron, zinc, protein, fatty acids, and antioxidants. It is also important to avoid having too much of certain nutrients. Always talk to your dermatologist to figure out the best option to support and maintain a healthy scalp.

Helps with scalp irritation

Scalp irritation can be caused by a number of things, such as aggressive styling, hair dye, certain hair product ingredients, temperature, climate, and much more.

Ashwagandha contains several compounds that are considered beneficial for hair. These include plant sterols, which can help protect against damage from free radicals; polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties; and flavonoids, which are thought to support hair and scalp health, among other benefits. When ashwagandha was used as an ingredient in a multi-herb formula, the reasoning mentioned was based on the antioxidant content and hormone-balancing potential of ashwagandha. This is an exciting area of research that is yet to be fully explored with ashwagandha and the potential use in future cosmetic products that may support hair and scalp health.

Lifestyle changes can support healthy hair and scalp. Based on findings from this study, a proven way to promote a healthy scalp includes consuming a nutrient-dense diet that contains lean proteins and antioxidants. Furthermore, other beneficial practices include minimizing heat from styling tools and avoiding excess washing. Hair masks are also a great way to help lock in moisture and provide nourishment to the scalp.

Reverses premature graying

For many generations, individuals have believed that ashwagandha can help to reduce premature graying of the hair. However, this is not supported by scientific evidence and is instead – a myth! Graying of the hair is an anagen-dependent phenomenon and therefore cannot be reversed using any herbal remedies such as ashwagandha.

The underlying cause for premature graying of hair has been linked to genetic factors as well as external environmental influences, such as increased stress levels, lack of sleep, or poor nutrition. It has therefore been concluded that the use of ashwagandha does not provide any benefits in terms of reversing or preventing gray hairs from appearing.

Other Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha

Research shows ashwagandha may offer a range of additional benefits that go beyond just reducing stress. From renewed strength and endurance to improved sexual health and reduced food cravings, ashwagandha’s potential is becoming clearer as more research is conducted on this ancient herb.

Studies have even suggested it can help improve cognitive function, sleep quality, immune system response, and more. With many of its benefits now backed by science, ashwagandha is quickly becoming one of the most popular adaptogens for those looking for natural alternatives to improve many aspects of their health.

How To Use Ashwagandha For Hair

Hair Mask

Want to make your hair look shinier and more voluminous? Here's how to make an ashwagandha hair mask in just a few easy steps!

To start, mix together equal parts of ashwagandha powder and coconut oil in a bowl until they form a paste. Next, massage this mixture into your scalp and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. You can repeat this process up to three times per week if desired.

Hair Care Products

There is a range of specialized ashwagandha-based hair care products on the market. These products typically include shampoos, conditioners, and hair oils that contain the herb as an active ingredient. You can also add ashwagandha powder to your own shampoo and conditioner!

Supplements

Many oral hair care supplements on the market include ashwagandha as one of their main ingredients. When searching for a supplement to improve hair health, check the label and see if ashwagandha is a part of the formulation. The incorporation of this powerful herb will contribute to stronger and shinier hair.

Potential Side Effects

Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most adults when taken at the recommended dosages. However, in a few studies, participants reported minor digestive discomfort. Additionally, it is always important to always look at the ingredients on the label to make sure you aren’t ingesting any ingredients you may be sensitive to or trying to avoid.

The Bottom Line

It is evident that the potential benefits of ashwagandha for hair and scalp health are numerous. Additional research can help identify the properties and extracts that may help to strengthen the hair, nourish the scalp, and maintain healthy hair. While we wait for more research into hair health and ashwagandha, you may want to check out keratin, for which good scientific research exists. Still, if you incorporate ashwagandha into your daily routine, you can enjoy its many other proven health benefits!

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