We always hear how fruits and vegetables heal our bodies (which they do), but we often overlook Mother Nature’s most powerful sources of ancient medicine…Herbs!
Herbs have been used in ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years, yet in our society, we are so accustomed to grabbing a pill bottle.
Let’s change the way we think about medicine! Everything we need to thrive has been divinely planted in abundance!
The list of healing herbs is countless! Being a healthy hairdresser and health advocate (yes, I said healthy hairdresser – I use organic and cruelty-free products in my salon!), I am often asked of natural remedies for hair health. I’ve compiled a few of my go-to herbs for this popular topic!
Here are my top Health & Hair Professional recommendations:
Amla is one of my favorite super foods of all time. I first learned about Amla powder from one of my favorite plant-based mentor’s Michael Greger, MD, from Nutrition Facts. It is my favorite superfood powder to add to my smoothies, and its great for immune support AND fabulous hair.
Amla raises levels of collagen (I’m in LOVE with the fact that a berry gives me collagen! Thank you cosmetic surgeon plant gods!) which accelerates production of new hair growth. By the way, if you’re wondering what the heck an “alma” is, Amla is a fancy name for Indian Gooseberries! Who knew that a DIY Gooseberry hair mask would be so awesome for your hair?!
He Shou Wu
Have you heard of He Shou Wu? I didn’t know what the heck this herb was when I first read about it last year. I figured that if had that weird of a name yet still made it to a top beauty list, then I probably needed it in my life yesterday.
Fortunately it has some pretty kickass health benefits in addition to a sweet name!
He Shou Wu is a prized, Chinese, tonic herb (well, its actually derived from the plant’s root). He Shou Wu contains an antioxidant called Superoxide Dismutaste, which is the body’s most powerful natural antioxidant enzyme. Some studies show, when taken regularly it helps prevent hair loss, as well as the loss of color!
He Shou Wu is best taken in a tincture form or in a power form. Used as a tea it does not have its full potential. Try adding to your morning smoothie, or sipped as a tincture at night.
Nothing to do with a horse, my friends! Horsetail, gets its name from the appearance of its thin, wispy, branchlike leaves that somewhat resemble a horse tail.
A couple quicks things to remember about Horsetail,
1 – It stimulates blood vessels that supply oxygen to hair follicles!
2 – It contains silica a nutrient which helps to repair damage and fortify new and existing hair against breakage. Horsetail is high minerals, potassium, selenium and manganese. Since bone, hair and fingernails require high mineral levels,
Horsetail is taken as a tea, tincture or applied topically as shampoo, conditioner, or balm.
Another herb very high in silica and magnesium, which are essential for strong hair!
When applied to the hair, Oat Straw lends a softness and shine that your hair will loooove. It can also soothe itchy or irritated scalps as it acts as a calming agent. If you want to get your Martha Stewart on, then why not make yourself a DIY shampoo & conditioner with oat straw extract??
Not to get on the topic of menopause, BUT the word on the street is that Oat Straw can especially help during the big M! The word is out that Oat Straw can help with brittle nails, and thinning hair. (just saying…I’m not a medical doctor, only a hair doctor, but it wouldn’t hurt looking into this!)
Most commonly Oat Straw is used in tea form, but remember to check for it as an ingredient in natural hair products! This could be a new fan favorite!
Nope nope, not the marshmallows you eat (by the way, those are made from animal cartilage, seriously!); I am talking about the root, Marshmallow. Marshmallow root is rich in mucilage, a natural hair detangled. (Not related to hair, but marshmallow root tea is helpful in treating urinary tract infections).
You can boil dried marshmallow for about fifteen minutes then strain to extract mucilage. This extract can then be combined with your favorite conditioner. Pretty cool, right?
On another note…
Just have to throw this in from a hair professional’s standpoint. To ensure that your hair grows healthy and strong, here are my salon tips:
1. Turn the heat down on the flat irons! Higher than 250 degrees can cause keratinization, which snaps your hair off.
2. If you want your hair to grow, get regular trims; I mean slight TRIMS, not inches off each time. When your hair is broken off, the only hair to mend it 100% is to snip it off…sorry!
3. Use a heat protectant! Don’t think your hair needs it? It does! 🙂