A Complete Guide to Horsetail for Hair, Skin and Nails
What is Horsetail?
Horsetail is a plant that is derived from ancient large plants which would grow as tall as trees millions of years ago. Its name is derived from its appearance as the plant dries. It leaves can resemble long horse tails. Some have called Horsetail a dinosaur plant due to its longevity in the plant kingdom. The plant contains silica and as it dries the silica on the outside of the plant hardens. In ancient times the Horsetail plant was used for polishing or scouring metals. Horsetail is made up of the largest amount of silica out of all plants. It is this characteristic that has made it a popular herbal for bone, joint, skin, nail and hair health.
Another benefit of Horsetail is as a natural source of antioxidants. A 2010 study found that Horsetail extract exhibited significant radical scavenging activity.1 This combination of antioxidants and silica have made Horsetail a popular herbal for skin, hair and nail supplements.
Why is Horsetail in my product?
Hair, skin and nails can be impacted by oxidative stress in the environment. Oxidative stress can best be described as damage to proteins and DNA from free-roaming free radical atoms. These are single atoms which have broken off from a pair. The free atom damages proteins looking for another pair. Antioxidants work to pair up these single atoms and prevent them from further damage. There are multiple theories which suggest that aging is a process of increasing free radicals in the body. 2 This theory explains why antioxidants have gained attention as possible anti-aging agents.
The addition of Horsetail to a multivitamin supplement boosts other antioxidant activity and prevents further free radical damage from several mechanisms from multiple nutrients.
What is the Role of Horsetail for Hair?
Hair can be affected by oxidative stress in both the hair and in the pre-emerging hair follicle. It has been proposed that free radical damage can weaken the pre-emerging hair and scalp, leading to weaker hair growth. 3 Hair loss has also been studied as being related to hair breakage and decreased growth due to free radical damage. Antioxidants, inducing Horsetail may help protect hair growth and improve existing hair follicles.
The unique ability to grow silica within Horsetail also is suggested for its positive effects on hair. Increased volume, reduced breakage and decreased split ends are all suggested to be linked to the silica contained in Horsetail. The amount of silica in a Horsetail supplement is important in order to have the purest and cleanest version of the herbal plant. Our version of Horsetail uses up to 20% silica for the greatest benefit to hair health.
What is the Role of Horsetail for Skin?
Horsetail provides protective antioxidant effects for skin repair. Free radicals can break down collagen resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. This aging effect can be prevented by adequate intake of antioxidants. Many believe Horsetail also has anti-inflammatory effects, although hard data proving this is still under investigation. It has been used for centuries in healing for burns and wounds as well as an astringent for smooth healthy skin.
Horsetail may also help with skin toning and acne due to the collagen protective effects. It has been used in several topical creams and lotions for skin healing and reduction of redness. The body uses silica to produce collagen. Supplementing collagen production has been theorized to be an additional mechanism to prevent wrinkles and improve skin tone.
What is the Role of Horsetail for Nails?
Topical Horsetail has shown improvements in nail strength and reduction in breakage. 4 The natural silica and promotion of collagen are helpful for building stronger nails. The antioxidant protective effect on skin healing and decreased inflammation also protect the nail bed. A strong nail base supplements the strength of nails down to the tips, preventing brittle and cracked nails.
Horsetail has been used for hundreds of years as a natural remedy for skin, hair and nail issues. Due to the variability of some herbal preparations it is important to only use Horsetail as directed, in the amounts suggested and in pure extracted form. Our version of Horsetail has been extracted up to silica 20% and is purely extracted for no variability in preparations.
The use of Horsetail has been proven by centuries of use in all cultures. The unique silica components along with its antioxidant effects make Horsetail an ideal herbal supplement for hair, skin and nail health.