Herbs and plants with medicinal properties have been used for hair growth and hair-related beauty aids since medieval times. More recently, the development of natural herbal treatments to enhance hair growth has escalated, partly due to the goal of going natural.
Numerous herbal and plant-derived botanicals have been tested in various forms: paste, gel, juice, oil, powder, infusion, decoction, and even salad for their therapeutic and cosmetic potential on hair growth.
Specific herbs and plants, were recently assessed to determine their ability to improve hair growth and to treat hair-related problems that negatively affect hair growth. A survey was carried out to determine which herbs and medicinal plants are used traditionally in Sri Lanka for hair care and to treat hair problems.
Thirty (30) traditional medical doctors and 90 Ayurveda physicians in Sri Lanka responded to a questionnaire regarding which herbs, plants, or plant parts, were used for the treatment of hair conditions and for hair care.
The results revealed that of 133 plant species used for beauty and hair care, 20% (twenty percent) were used specifically for hair care and hair conditions. Data for treatment of 9 (nine) hair-related issues, such as preventing hair loss, preventing early grey hair, and dandruff were reported in this study.
Hibiscus (aka Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L)
One of the plants, hibiscus, is a traditional herbal medicine for hair-related beauty care that has been used in Sri Lanka for over 2500 years. In India herbal products containing hibiscus extracts are sold in the market for the purpose of promoting hair growth.
Hibiscus is found widely in the tropics, where the red-flowered species is preferred as herbal medicine. Several studies report that the leaves and flowers of this hibiscus plant promote hair growth. According to traditional texts, it is well-accepted that the leaves and flowers of Hibiscus have hair growth and anti-graying properties.
Hibiscus plant leaves are commonly used, as a paste applied topically, i.e., direct application of a paste to the hair and/or scalp, for hair care and treatment. A herbal preparation made by boiling the leaves and flowers of Hibiscus with either coconut oil or sesame oil was reported to be beneficial in promoting healthy hair growth.
A recent laboratory study looked at the hair growth potential of an oil extract of Hibiscus leaves and flowers to determine their effects on hair growth. The effect of a 1% (one percent) extract of leaves and flowers of Hibiscus applied topically for 30 days was examined. During this time, the length of hair and the different phases of hair follicle growth were determined at different phases. Results showed that the leaf extract had a more potent effect on hair growth, when compared to the flower extract.
In the leaf extract-treated group the hair length was longer than that of the flower extract-treated group. The leaf extract had a direct impact on hair follicles (in vitro) which may explain the improvement in hair growth and its potential to maintain hair growth. Overall, the results suggest that the leaf extract of Hibiscus could be used as a bioactive component in hair growth formulations.
Horsetail (aka Equisetum arvense L.)
Horsetail is considered a garden weed but it is also a valuable medicinal herb. It has been used in traditional medicine as a hair tonic (as a mixture of E. arvense L. shoot extract and mustard oil), and as a dietary supplement to maintain healthy hair (horsetail extract mixed with extracts of bilberry, Ginkgo biloba, and saw palmetto), and for the treatment of hair loss.
Horsetail contains several phytochemical compounds, some of which have antioxidant activity, that may be involved in promoting hair growth. Horsetail stems contain high amounts of minerals, including silica (in the form of silicic acid and silicates), potassium, calcium, flavonoids, and phytosterols. Horsetail displays remineralizing properties and extracts could be used as an easily accessible source of natural antioxidants and silica.
Another species of the horsetail family, Equisetum debile Roxb. ex Vaucher, (E. debile) has been used in folklore remedies as a hair growth stimulant.
A decoction of E. debile was used for strengthening the hair and fractionated extracts have been shown to prevent hair loss.
Arvense L. was found to be very safe, making it suitable for use as a dietary supplement ingredient for the promotion of hair health and in the treatment of hair-related disorders.
Nettle (aka Urtica dioica L.)
Nettle is one of the most important plants used in herbal medicine, despite it also being a bothersome stinging weed. Its leaves have traditionally been used for conditions such as hair loss, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and eczema.
Nettle is found as a natural herbal component of shampoos and cosmetics, most likely due to its potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties.
The effects of a herbal extract combination containing nettle (in the presence of PRP (platelet-rich plasma)) was examined to identify potential hair growth stimulants. In this laboratory study herbal extracts, including nettle, were dried, crushed, and passed through a sieve, and water was used as the base. This herbal extract produced a positive effect on hair growth.
The above are the best 3 herbs that can stimulate your hair growth. You can steep them and drink them as tea. It's important to use organic herbs to avoid pesticides. Conventional herbs are usually heavily sprayed with pesticides which can change the chemical composition of the herb and as a result, it might not be as potent.