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Does Ashwagandha Have Benefits for Hair?

by Bridget Reed January 23, 2023 8 min read

Ashwagandha

When it comes to hair care, it’s important to research and find the best products that work for you. This can range from finding the right hair styling tool to ensuring that your hair products don’t contain any toxic chemicals. 

The goal is to get the best products for your hair that are as close to all-natural as possible; the more natural the hair product, the less chance of damage to your hair.

This research will also lead you to ingredients that can help your healthy hair journey! With that, let’s talk about Ashwagandha! 

If you have never heard about this natural herb, you may be surprised at all it can do for you. Ashwagandha has many benefits for your body and your hair. It is used by many people worldwide and is something everyone should know about.

Ashwagandha has been linked to improving hair health and leaving you with thicker, stronger hair. We are going to discuss the benefits of ashwagandha and how it could change your hair care routine for the better.

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a nontoxic herb and a nightshade family member supporting natural healing. Its name means horse, reflecting the strong smell of the plant. 

It is a small green shrub that grows in subtropical areas. The ashwagandha bush will grow up to three feet in height and has a distinct look. The ashwagandha plant is also known as the winter cherry plant due to its cherry color when it blooms. 

It is originally from India and has been used in medicine for hundreds of years. Recently, it has become more popular as its benefits are more well-known. 

What Can Ashwagandha Do for Your Hair?

The main benefit of Ashwagandha for your hair is that studies show it can reduce stress. Hair loss and hair thinning have been directly linked to stress in some cases, so any amount of stress relief is great in our book. We could all use a little less stress these days.

Stress

Three types of hair loss are related to stress: Telogen effluvium, Trichotillomania, and Alopecia areata. These types of hair loss aren’t always permanent and can be remedied once the stress has gotten a little lighter

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that can help calm the brain. Ashwagandha supports a good night’s sleep, which in return, can help reduce stress. When your body is stressed, your hair growth cycle can slow way down. Therefore the less stressed you are, the healthier your hair can be.

DHEA

Another benefit of ashwagandha that directly affects the hair is that it helps stimulate the production of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). 

Dehydroepiandrosterone is a natural hormone in your body that is also an antioxidant. Dehydroepiandrosterone is one of the key factors in hair growth. It increases the rate at which hair grows and the thickness of the hair. 

Not only can ashwagandha help support the production of DHEA, but it stimulates blood circulation in the scalp, delivering more nutrients to the hair follicles. When the hair follicles are healthier, your hair grows faster, thicker, and healthier. 

You can use shampoos and conditioners containing Ashwagandha or add ashwagandha powder to a cup of warm water and massage the paste into your scalp. Let it soak in for 30 to 45 minutes, then rinse. 

Flakiness

Ashwagandha not only helps your dry and brittle hair but also helps your scalp decrease flakiness by reducing scalp irritation. We know flakes can feel embarrassing, but you’re not alone if you deal with them!

Graying Hair

Ashwagandha is also known for helping reduce premature gray hair by reducing free radical damage. And while we’re all for embracing your grays, not everyone wants them to show up bright and early.

Gray hair can be caused by the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide, which prevents the production of melanin-producing cells. Ashwagandha can help soothe free radical damage caused by too much hydrogen peroxide.

Patience is a virtue when it comes to seeing the optimum benefits of this herb. It can take up to 12 weeks before you notice the benefits of ashwagandha. Consistency is key here. 

What Are Some Other Benefits of Ashwagandha? 

Ashwagandha is said to help support healthy blood pressure levels. Just be careful and take it in the suggested amounts; too much ashwagandha can cause the opposite effect and increase blood pressure. 

Ashwagandha has also been said to improve energy levels to keep you up and ready to conquer the day. 

Studies have shown that it can support good focus and memory. Ashwagandha is also great for the skin. It moisturizes the skin and helps with the production of the skin's natural oils. 

You can use products containing it as an exfoliant to aid in cleansing your pores and preventing blackheads and acne. The cleaner your pores, the less acne you will develop. 

Research shows ashwagandha may work as an anti-inflammatory. It can help reduce the swelling caused by blemishes and itching. Since ashwagandha is great with reducing swelling, if you have sore joints, this is a good product to look into using to help with the discomfort.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Ashwagandha?

Although there are many great benefits of using ashwagandha, there are also negatives to consuming it. 

If you are on other medications, you should consult your doctor to make sure it is okay to add ashwagandha to your diet. Taking a substance that you shouldn’t while on certain medications can increase or decrease the effects of your medication. 

Ashwagandha is meant to be taken in small doses more frequently. Taking too much can lead to side effects such as upset stomach and drowsiness. 

It’s also best not to consume ashwagandha if you’re pregnant, as there is no known research on this product for pregnant women. Also, it’s smart to stop taking ashwagandha at least two weeks before undergoing any surgeries to avoid complications.

You can have an allergic reaction to ashwagandha, so be cautious when adding it to your daily self-care routine!

What Form Does Ashwagandha Come In?

You can find ashwagandha in a variety of forms. Besides shampoos and conditioners that contain ashwagandha, you can get ashwagandha products in the form of a pill, powder, topical cream, or even liquid. 

Ashwagandha can be found inside certain face masks to help with blemishes and cleanse your pores. They also have gummies that you can add to your diet with ashwagandha to make consumption easy (and yummy).

You can find many of these products over the counter at your neighborhood grocery stores, but you have to be careful when choosing the right ones. Do your research on which ashwagandha product you want to buy, as some contain synthetic ingredients.

What Else Is Needed for Healthy Hair?

Although ashwagandha has all these positive attributes to adding it to your hair care routine, it is not a miracle worker. You will still want to keep up with the other necessary aspects of your hair health. 

Try the following tips for ultimate hair health:

  • Keep your stress level down. Even though ashwagandha helps decrease stress, you should always take steps to lower your life's stress. Make sure to take time out of the day for yourself — you can meditate, read a book, watch a good movie, or even do yoga. Whatever works for you is good in our book.

  • Exercise. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and aid in hair growth. Even if you are just taking short walks around the block, get up and get your body moving!

  • Have a healthy diet. A balanced diet makes you feel good and helps your hair look good. Indulging once in a while is okay, though; you only live once!

  • Drink plenty of water. Water is essential when trying to stay healthy and have healthy hair. Make sure to get the right amount for your body every day.

  • Always use heat protection. When styling your hair with heated products, use a heat protectant to keep it from damaging your hair. The more heat your hair experiences without protection, the more your hair is susceptible to breakage.

  • Get an adequate amount of vitamins. Our bodies need vitamins to be their best, and the same goes for our hair. Vitamins help our hair growth cycle and help keep hair from falling out prematurely.

  • Nourish your scalp. Use products that add moisture and vitamins to your scalp. The healthier your scalp is, the healthier your hair is.

  • Do not over-style. Take breaks from styling your hair. Too much styling can lead to the breakage of your hair.

  • Get regular hair trims. Hair trims are crucial to keeping your hair healthy. Hair trims to cut off dead ends. When dead ends are removed, there is less chance of breakage. 

Summary

Ashwagandha has benefits for both your hair and body. When used correctly, it can be a great addition to your diet, hair care routine, or skincare routine. Find the right dosage for your body and be patient, as it is not a quick fix. 

Remember, hair care is all about trial and error. Getting the right hair care routine that works best for your hair type may take some time, but after a while, you will have healthier hair than you ever imagined. 

Better Not Younger endeavors to create products for all hair types and all ages, free from harsh chemicals and unnecessary additives. Check out our collection of moisturizing and nourishing haircare products to support vibrant, bouncy, beautiful hair every day.

Sources:

Hormonal Effects on Hair Follicles | PMC

ASHWAGANDHA: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews

Ashwagandha: MedlinePlus Supplements | MedLine

Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Stress and the Stress-Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia | PMC




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