20 Herbs For Hair Growth And How To Use Them

by Charushila B

Herbs are Nature’s therapeutic agents for stimulating healthy hair growth (1). A 2020 study found that herbs could improve scalp blood circulation and inhibit the enzyme 5α-reductase, which causes hair loss (2). The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties of herbs make them the perfect natural way to regrow hair (3).

This article lists the 20 best herbs for hair growth and how to use them. Swipe up for more information!

20 Best Herbs For Hair Growth

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has scalp soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for ages to reduce hair loss. It is also an excellent home remedy for hair damage and dandruff (4).

How To Use

  1. Scoop out the aloe vera gel from the aloe vera leaf. Mash it with the back of a spoon.
  2. Add 100 ml of water and stir.
  3. Boil this mixture and let it cool.
  4. Massage the mixture onto your scalp.

Or

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of the above mixture with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  2. Massage this mixture onto your scalp.
  3. Do this once or twice a week. 

2. Lavender

lavender

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Stress is a known cause of hair loss (5). Lavender oil has a calming aroma and is used as a natural remedy to reduce stress and stress-induced hair loss. Scottish scientists have found that massaging the scalp with lavender essential oil ,along with a carrier oil (grapeseed or jojoba oils), is a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata (6).

How To Use

  1. Add 3 drops of lavender oil to 100 ml of coconut/olive/jojoba oil.
  2. Massage this oil blend onto your scalp in a circular motion.
  3. Close your eyes and inhale the aroma while massaging.
  4. Wait for 30 minutes and wash your hair with shampoo.
  5. Do this twice a week or whenever you feel stressed. 

3. Hibiscus

The leaves and the petals of hibiscus (China rose) have been found to stimulate hair growth and reduce the risk of fungal infections (dandruff) (7), (8). It is also widely used as a hair tonic to enhance hair thickness.

How To Use

  1. Wash a bunch of hibiscus leaves or flowers under running water.
  2. Toss them into a saucepan.
  3. Add 100 ml of water and boil the mixture.
  4. Remove from heat when the water reduces to half.
  5. Strain this solution and let it cool.
  6. Massage this solution onto your scalp gently in a circular motion.
  7. Wear a shower cap and wait for 30 minutes.
  8. Wash your hair thoroughly.
  9. Do this once a week for luscious thick hair.

Note: You can also add this solution to yogurt or henna and apply it to your hair.

4. Rose

The beautiful aroma of roses is great for relaxation. That’s why rose petals and rose essential oil are used in relaxing baths (9). Rose petal extracts have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (10). Applying rose oil or rose petal extract can help reduce stress and inflammation and have a positive effect on hair growth. 

How To Use

  1. Mix 2 drops of rose oil, 2 drops of castor oil, and 5 drops of almond oil.
  2. Apply this oil blend to the scalp.

Alternatively,

  1. Wash a handful of fresh rose petals.
  2. Toss them into a saucepan.
  3. Add 100 ml of water and boil until the liquid reduces to half.
  4. Apply this solution to the scalp.
  5. Tie your hair in a bun and wait for 20 minutes.
  6. Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo.
  7. Do this twice a week.

5. Ginseng

Ginseng

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Ginseng is a popular Chinese herbal medicine. A study shows that red ginseng improves the proliferation of hair cells (keratinocytes) and suppresses hair fall-inducing biomolecules (DHT) (11). Another study confirms that ginseng extract and ginseng oil help prevent hair cell death (apoptosis), preventing hair loss (12). 

How To Use

  1. Mix 2 drops of ginseng with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Massage this mixture onto the scalp in a circular motion.
  3. Wear a shower cap and wait for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair thoroughly.
  5. Do this twice a week.

6. Rosemary

Rosemary is also a herbal home remedy to induce hair growth and stop hair loss. Rosemary leaf extract stimulates hair regrowth, and rosemary oil works as good as a 2% minoxidil solution for treating androgenetic alopecia (13), (14).

How To Use

  1. Mix 2 drops of rosemary oil with 5 ml of coconut oil. Shake the bowl well.
  2. Massage this oil blend onto the scalp and hair.
  3. Wear a shower cap and wait for 20 minutes before washing.
  4. Do this twice a week for at least 5 months.

7. Amla

Amla or Indian gooseberry is a citrusy fruit loaded with vitamin C. It is also rich in antioxidants and polyphenols that help stimulate hair growth (15). Amla also makes the hair soft and shinier (16).

How To Use

  1. Slice 3-4 amlas and blend them with a little water.
  2. Strain out the juice.
  3. Apply this juice to your scalp with a cotton ball.
  4. Massage your scalp gently.
  5. Wait for 20 minutes and wash your hair.
  6. Do this once a week.

Note: You can also prepare a hair mask with yogurt, amla, and coconut oil.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint

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If drinking peppermint tea can help you relax and improve digestion, applying peppermint hair oil to your scalp can help enhance hair growth. A study found peppermint oil to be more effective in increasing follicle number, follicle depth, and follicle density than minoxidil and jojoba oil (17). 

How To Use

  1. Mix 2 drops of peppermint oil and 10 ml of coconut oil.
  2. Massage this oil blend onto your scalp.
  3. Wear a shower cap and wait for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with shampoo.
  5. Do this twice a week.

9. Moringa

Moringa oil is a great hair growth stimulant. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-pollution, and anti-dandruff properties. It also helps get rid of split ends (18). Here’s more about the benefits of moringa oil for the hair, skin, and health.

How To Use

  1. Mix 2 parts of moringa oil with 1 part of argan oil.
  2. Massage this oil blend onto the scalp.
  3. Apply it to the hair strands.
  4. Wear a shower cap and wait for 30 minutes.
  5. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
  6. Do this twice a week.

10. Reetha

Reetha or soapnut is a natural and reusable shampoo. The saponins in the soapnuts are natural surfactants that help make the hair shiny, soft, and manageable (19). Soapnut has antifungal and antibacterial properties that may prevent scalp infections and dandruff (20).

How To Use

  1. Remove the seeds of 15-20 soapnuts and toss the fleshy part into a saucepan.
  2. Add 150 ml of water and boil until the water reduces to half.
  3. After the solution cools down, mash the soapnuts.
  4. Strain this solution and use the liquid as a shampoo.

11. Calendula

Calendula

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Calendula oil and extract are good for stimulating hair growth. It has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties (21). Anecdotal evidence suggests that calendula is an excellent herb for achieving naturally thick hair. 

How To Use

  1. Add 10 calendula flowers to 200 ml of water. Let the mixture boil.
  2. Strain this solution and massage the extract onto your scalp.
  3. Wash your hair with shampoo after 20 minutes.
  4. Do this at least once a week.

Note: You can also massage calendula oil onto your scalp.

12. Henna

Henna is popularly used to dye the hair. But henna can also improve hair growth and shine. It is specifically useful for people dealing with hair loss or alopecia. Alopecia occurs when excessive testosterone (androgen) gets converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). A study confirms that henna can induce hair growth by reducing androgen levels (22).

How To Use

  1. Mix 8 tablespoons of henna powder with lukewarm water.
  2. Let it seep overnight.
  3. Mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and juice of half a lime.
  4. Section your hair. Wear gloves.
  5. Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair.
  6. Let it dry for about 30 minutes.
  7. Wash your hair with water
  8. Use a shampoo and conditioner.
  9. Do this at least twice a month for thick and shiny hair.

13. Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is a palm tree with fan-like pointed leaves. The berries of this plant inhibit the conversion of excess testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto is quite a sought-after ingredient for reducing hair fall due to androgenic alopecia (23).

How To Use

Saw palmetto works best when taken as a supplement. 

Note: Consult a dermatologist before taking saw palmetto supplement. Some herbal supplements have side effects and might aggravate hair loss.

14. Brahmi

Brahmi

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Brahmi or Bacopa Monnieri is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine for treating hair loss. Brahmi oil helps improve blood circulation to the scalp, enlarges the follicle size, and prolongs the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle (24).

How To Use

  1. Massage brahmi oil onto your scalp gently in a circular motion.
  2. Wait for 20-30 minutes and wash your hair.
  3. Do this twice a week.

Note: You can also mix brahmi oil with almond or coconut oils for extra hydration.

15. Shikakai

Shikakai or Acacia Concinna is a natural cleanser and scalp soothing Ayurvedic herb. It is rich in vitamin C and phytochemicals that help reduce dandruff, itching, and scalp dryness (25), (26). This helps improve scalp health and promotes hair growth.

How To Use

  1. Soak 10 g of shikakai, 10 g of reetha, and 5 g of amla in 750 ml of water overnight.
  2. Boil the water in the morning.
  3. Mash the ingredients and strain the liquid.
  4. Use this liquid as a hair mask, hair tonic, or shampoo.
  5. Do this at least once a week.

Here are a few easy ways to use shikakai for hair growth.

16. Garlic

Garlic is used to add flavor to various cuisines around the world. Evidence suggests that topical application of 5% garlic gel can improve hair growth in people suffering from androgenetic alopecia (27). But if it is not possible to prepare garlic gel at home, you can make garlic oil. Scroll down for the recipe.

How To Use

  1. Soak 8 cloves of garlic in 100 ml of almond or olive oil for a week.
  2. Heat this oil for 2 minutes and massage onto the scalp apply it.
  3. Wait for 20 minutes and wash your hair with a shampoo.

 Note: Your hair will strongly smell garlic. Shampoo your hair twice to get rid of the smell.

17. Fenugreek

Fenugreek

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Fenugreek seeds are loaded with B vitamins, antioxidants, saponins, and flavonoids. Scientists found that consuming fenugreek helped increase hair thickness and volume (28). You can also apply fenugreek seeds to your scalp for shiny and strong hair.

How To Use

  1. Soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight.
  2. Drink this water in the morning.

Or

  1. Blend the soaked fenugreek seeds and water.
  2. Apply this paste to the scalp and hair as a mask.
  3. Wait for it to dry.
  4. Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo.

18. Bhringraj

Bhringraj or Eclipta Alba (L.) is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine for stopping hair loss. A study on laboratory animals shows that bhringraj extracts significantly improve hair growth by modulating the hair follicles’ growth cycle (29).

How To Use

  1. Mix 2 parts of bhringraj oil with 2 parts of castor oil.
  2. Massage this oil blend to the scalp gently in a circular motion.
  3. Wait for 30 minutes and wash your hair.
  4. Do this twice a week.

Here are some other ways to use bhringraj oil for hair growth.

19. Nettle

Nettle or stinging nettle plant is a nutritious plant with small hairs that sting. This herbal medicine has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. The application of nettle or consumption of its supplements can help reduce hair loss (30). 

Note: Consult a dermatologist before consuming any herbal supplement to avoid possible side effects.

How To Use

  1. Add a bunch of nettle leaves to 500 ml of water.
  2. Let the water boil for 2-3 minutes. Cool this liquid to room temperature.
  3. Strain the liquid and use the water for rinsing your hair.
  4. Do this once a week.

20. Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola

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Gotu kola or Centella Asiatica is a medicinal herb used to treat various skin and health disorders. A 2018 study found that gotu kola induced hair growth by scavenging the harmful free oxygen radicals and stimulating the gene responsible for promoting hair growth (31).

How To Use

  1. Blend a cup of gotu kola with a little water.
  2. Apply this paste to your scalp and hair.
  3. Wait for 30 minutes and wash your hair.
  4. Do this once a week. 

Note: You can also apply gotu kola oil to your hair and scalp. 

There you have it – 20 best herbs that aid hair growth, improve hair strength, and boost shine. These herbal home remedies are effective when a proper hair care routine is followed. Do not stop using them after one or two weeks. Wait for at least three months for visible results. Also, follow a nutritious diet and get at least 7 hours of sleep to keep your hair healthy.

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