Ashwagandha For Hair

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rekha Yadav, BHMS
By Arshiya Syeda

Recent years have seen more people turn towards natural, alternative hair care methods instead of chemical products. Proponents of Ayurvedic practices swear by the benefits of ashwagandha for hair. This herb is often used in hair care products. It boosts hair health and growth and is a rich source of antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help deal with scalp problems. This article discusses the benefits of ashwagandha for hair and how to use it for your hair. Read on.

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, also called Withania somnifera, is a small evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. The fruits, leaves, and roots of the plant are traditionally used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Chinese medicine (1)

Ashwagandha has gained popularity in the past century for boosting hair health. Preliminary scientific studies on the plants efficacy in treating hair issues show promising results (2).

Read on to learn more about the benefits of ashwagandha for hair.

How Can Ashwagandha Help In Promoting Hair Health?

Ashwagandha’s potent adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-stress properties may help promote hair growth. Keep reading to know more.

1. May Help Treat Stress-Related Hair Loss

Increased levels of stress hormones in your system can lead to hair loss. Ashwagandha has natural mood-boosting properties that help manage stress and anxiety (1). It may effectively reduce stress-induced hair loss.

2. May Strengthen Hair

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is a rich source of antioxidants and protects against cellular damage caused by free radicals (1). Antioxidants are known to preserve the shine of hair fibers and even protect them from UV radiation (2).

3. May Nourish Your Scalp

Ashwagandha extracts possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that soothe an irritated and itchy scalp (1). Topically applying the herb can boost scalp blood circulation and promote the delivery of vital nutrients to your hair follicles. Consistent use of ashwagandha may help treat dandruff, psoriasis, incessant scalp itch, eczema, and other conditions caused by inflammation. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

4. May Repair Damaged Hair

Ashwagandha stimulates DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) production, which boosts the production of collagen and sebum on your scalp (3). Collagen may help repair dry and damaged hair. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

5. May Reverse Premature Hair Graying

Anecdotal evidence suggests that ashwagandha may stimulate melanin production. It contains tyrosine, an amino acid that helps in melanin production. It is the pigment that gives hair a dark color, and the restoration of lost melanin may reverse premature hair graying (4).

More research is warranted to further understand these benefits of ashwagandha. But you may still use it as it is generally considered safe. We discuss its ways of use in the next section.

How To Use Ashwagandha For Hair

Ashwagandha products can be applied topically in the form of hair masks, oils, and shampoos. The extracts of the plant are also available as capsules or powders that are meant for oral consumption.

Here are a few ways you can use ashwagandha for hair.

1. Enriched Ayurvedic Hair Care Products

You can use ayurvedic hair care products such as hair oils, shampoos, and conditioners that have been enriched with ashwagandha extracts. You can also add some ashwagandha powder to your regular shampoo or conditioner and use.

2. Hair Masks

The best way to use ashwagandha for hair regrowth is to apply the powder as a nourishing hair mask. We go over some recipes below to get you started:

For Normal To Oily Hair

You Will Need

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of ashwagandha powder
  • Half a cup of warm water

Instructions

  1. Add ashwagandha powder to half a cup of warm water and mix well.
  2. Apply this paste to your scalp and massage with your fingertips in circular motions.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  4. Wash with normal water and your regular shampoo.

For Dry Hair

You Will Need

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of ashwagandha powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of hibiscus powder
  • Half a cup of coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Mix the ashwagandha and hibiscus powders with the coconut milk and make a smooth paste.
  2. Apply the ashwagandha paste to your scalp and hair.
  3. Leave it on for half an hour.
  1. Wash with normal water and a herbal shampoo.

3. Oral Supplements

Ashwagandha extract is readily available in the form of capsules and gummies. You can take an oral supplement with your breakfast or lunch to incorporate the herb into your regular diet. However, consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

4. Make A Tea

Another way to consume ashwagandha for hair loss is to add a teaspoon of the powder or a small piece of the root to one cup of water and bring it to a boil. You may add a few drops of lemon juice to enhance the tea’s taste and smell.

5. Have It With Water

Stir 1 to 2 teaspoons of ashwagandha powder into a glass of plain water and have it in the morning. This method is very effective (though not as popular due to the powder’s strong herbal scent). You may add the powder to your green juices or smoothies to mask its distinct flavor.

Before you start using ashwagandha, it is important to be aware of its side effects, if any.

Does Ashwagandha Have Any Side Effects?

Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people. However, heavy doses of the herb, when taken by mouth, might cause diarrhea, stomach upset, and vomiting. Those who suffer from severe gastric irritation or ulcers and liver issues should avoid ashwagandha (5). Limited research is available on the safety of the herb for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Stay safe and avoid use.

Ashwagandha may also make the immune system more active (6). As per anecdotal evidence, people with auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions should not use it. The herb might aggravate such health issues. Those with thyroid diseases should not take ashwagandha without the advice of their doctors. Consult your health care provider for more information.

Ashwagandha has been used for ages due to its several medicinal properties. It aids in promoting overall health and treats several hair care issues. Using ashwagandha for hair is one of the oldest methods to nourish your locks. However, there are not enough scientific studies to support these claims.

According to anecdotal evidence, ashwagandha can offer healthy and shiny hair if used regularly. The herb has the potential to boost circulation and nourish your scalp. Though natural, you must be aware of its side effects too. Always do a patch test if using it for the first time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ashwagandha increase estrogen in females?

Yes, regular intake of ashwagandha increases estrogen levels in females.

Does ashwagandha work immediately?

No, ashwagandha will not work immediately after intake. It takes at least a couple of weeks to show reasonable results.

Key Takeaways

  • Ashwagandha is a plant native to India, the Middle East, and certain parts of Africa.
  • It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries.
  • Ashwagandha is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce stress, promote hair growth, and protect the scalp against infections.
  • You can apply ashwagandha with coconut milk as a hair mask or consume it in the form of oral supplements.
  • Heavy doses of ashwagandha may result in certain side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
    2. Efficacy of antioxidants in human hair
      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23123594/
    3. Ashwagandha root in the treatment of non-classical adrenal hyperplasia
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4543599/
    4. Premature Graying of Hair: Review with Updates
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6290285/
    5. Ashwagandha
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548536/
    6. Immune System and Inflammation
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3086159/
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and... more

Dr. Rekha Yadav

(BHMS)
Dr. Rekha Yadav is a certified trichologist from the International Association of Trichologists, Australia. She established her hair and scalp... more

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