Witch Hazel For Hair: Benefits And How To Use It

Written by Anjali Sayee

Witch hazel is said to be this magical hair care ingredient that makes all things right with your hair. But how much of that is true? Witch hazel, or hamamelis virginiana, was used by the Native Americans to treat many medical conditions due to its therapeutic properties. How does its therapeutic benefits aid hair care? In this article, we discuss the benefits of witch hazel for hair care and how to use it. Keep reading to know more!

Benefits Of Witch Hazel For Hair

Witch hazel contains tannins, gallic acid, catechins, proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, essential oils, choline, and saponins. It was used as a natural astringent and antioxidant to treat acne, psoriasis, and eczema associated with the scalp.

  • Witch hazel possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties. It may help treat scalp disorders like inflammation, irritation, and redness (1). However, it is not recommended for use on a sensitive scalp.
  • Witch hazel contains flavonoids that inhibit enzymes involved in the oxidative process (2). The flavonoids are rich in antioxidants. They protect the hair color and prevent hair lightening.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that witch hazel may stimulate hair growth. The plant contains tannins, flavonoids, and cyanidins that improve blood flow (2).
  • Witch hazel can be used as an anti-dandruff agent (3). It may also help in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (2).

Are you wondering how to add witch hazel to your hair care regimen? Find out below!

How To Use Witch Hazel For Hair

  1. Apply witch hazel to your scalp with a cotton ball or pad. You can also use a dropper for application. Wash with your regular or hydrating shampoo.
  1. Add witch hazel to your shampoo when washing your hair to cleanse your scalp thoroughly.
  1. Add witch hazel to natural hair tonics and oils to prevent hair graying, oxidative damage, and other scalp issues.
  1. Dilute witch hazel in water and rinse your hair with it. This may reduce dandruff flakes without leaving the scalp too dry. The witch hazel rinse may also balance your scalp pH levels.

Using witch hazel for hair health is simple. However, it may cause certain adverse effects in some.

Adverse Effects Of Witch Hazel

  • Though rarely, witch hazel may cause contact dermatitis (4). Perform a patch test on your forearm or the back of your neck to check for any irritation, redness, or inflammation.
  • Alcoholic witch hazel may leave the scalp too dry. Opt for pure and non-alcoholic witch hazel products. Also, do not mix witch hazel with alcohol-based products.
  • Overusing witch hazel may dry your scalp out. You can use a mask made of witch hazel and aloe vera to ensure your scalp is hydrated.

Not everyone can use witch hazel. Read on to know more.

Who Shouldn’t Use Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is ideal for people with an oily scalp. It is not recommended for individuals with a dry scalp, as the plant may dry the scalp way too much and cause itching, redness, and irritation. If you have extremely sensitive skin, it is advisable to avoid witch hazel as its acidic pH may cause irritation.


Witch hazel is primarily used for boosting scalp health, which in turn can improve your hair condition. Though witch hazel can soothe an inflamed scalp, it may also cause the scalp to go dry. Hence, exercise caution. Perform a patch test before using it. Using it right can give you the benefits you have been looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does witch hazel lighten hair?

No, witch hazel does not lighten the hair. In fact, it protects hair color. Witch hazel contains flavonoids. These have antioxidant properties that may prevent oxidation

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.