3 Benefits of Nettle for Hair Growth (Plus DIY Nettle Hair Rinse) - hair buddha
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3 Benefits of Nettle for Hair Growth (Plus DIY Nettle Hair Rinse)

Nettle to stimulate new hair growth

You must have heard this old adage ‘All that glitter is not gold’.

Likewise, all that pricks and stings is not valueless. Sometimes we need to look beyond shape, size, colour and… pricks to appreciate the true value that is hiding beneath.

Okay enough of the riddles, I am talking about the stinging nettle. Yes, this plant stings but it has a ton of benefits.

With extremely high levels of vitamins and minerals, nettle can be used as a health tonic to boost and enhance health and of course to stimulate thick and healthy hair.

But How and Why Nettle Promotes Hair Growth ?

Well, because of 3 big reasons….this herb:

  1. Boosts Scalp circulation, so your hair roots get nutrients and oxygen.
  2. Contains powerful antioxidants that enhance hair growth.
  3. Inhibits the formation of DHT – the hormone that causes male and female baldness.

But before we see how to beautify our hair with nettle, let’s take a look at the amazing nettle plant.

So What Is Stinging Nettle?

Nettle to stimulate new hair growth

Native to Europe, North America and temperate Asia, nettle it now found in many parts of the world including South America and Australia.

Nettle likes moisture-rich soil and wet places. You will find them growing in forests, between cultivated plants, along the stream or creeks and on roadsides. Nettle needs no tending. Once it finds the right place, it grows and grows and spreads its progeny far and wide. And for this very reason, it’s not liked by many. Plus, it has tiny spiky hair, and if you happen to touch them, they prick your skin and inject a dose of chemical cocktail of various compounds such as histamine, formic acid and acetylcholine. That hurts, the feeling is similar to an ant bite or bee sting. Yikes!

This doesn’t sound good. But our ancestors were wise. They overlooked the stings and found value in nettle.The plant has a long history of use as a source of traditional medicine, food and tea. And now modern science is in awe of its high nutrition content and health benefits. Nettle leaves are packed with nutrients such as:

  • Vitamins:  vitamin A, C, K, E and some B vitamins
  • Minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc. 
  • Protein: the leaves have up to 30 percent protein
  • Fats: linolenic acid (a valuables omega-3 acid), linoleic acid and palmitic acid.
  • Carotenoids: beta-carotene, lutein and xanthophyll
  • Polyphenols: kaempferol, quercetin and other flavonoids

With a taste like spinach, nettle has been used as nourishing food, especially in early spring when the food is scarce. There’s a story that Buddhist Monk Milarepa survived solely on nettle leaves for many years – and even turned green in colour.

You must be wondering how one can eat ‘stinging nettles’. There’s a window of opportunity between late March and the end of April when the nettle plants are young, and their spikes are delicate, so you do not get stung if you harvest it during that time. But once the plant is mature and tall, the spikes get well formed, and you need to be more careful with harvesting. However, after it’s dried or cooked, nettle means no harm and can only offer its benefits.

Along with providing vitamins and nutrients, nettle has been used in traditional medicine to treat a wide array of conditions. It’s helpful in alleviating painful arthritic joints, sprains and strains, skin conditions like eczema, seasonal allergies, diabetes and anemia.

You see, how amazing nettle is as food, medicine, and now it’s time to talk about hair benefits of nettle.

How Nettle Helps Stimulate Healthy Hair Growth

Nettle has a long-standing reputation for preventing hair loss and making hair shiny and beautiful. Although, it’s not that popular now. But if you ask the elders of your family: ‘your mother, grandmother or aunts’, they may tell you about nettle benefits for hair (or maybe they still use it).

Nettle is abundant in antioxidants like vitamins A and C and polyphenols. All of these compounds enhance hair growth as well as help to neutralise free radicals. You want to get rid of free radicals, the unstable oxygen molecules, as they can damage healthy cells, including hair cells and cause hair thinning or baldness.

Another superb thing about nettle is its ability to dilate or widen the blood vessels so more blood flows through them. As a result, your hair follicles will receive more nutrients and oxygen, and your hair will grow stronger and healthier.

Even though this is not studied directly on the hair, nettle may help reduce the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). And DHT is also a big culprit in causing male and female pattern hair loss. So it’s likely that nettle can be the natural saviour to stop hair loss in these conditions.

And there are some more ways nettle can serve your hair:

  • Because of its astringent nature, it refreshes the scalp and gets rid of excess oiliness.
  • Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties reduce itch and irritation and keep the scalp in good health.
  • The pantothenic acid in nettle conditions hair and increases its shine and volume.
  • And lastly, nutrient-rich nettle with essential fatty acids and minerals nourishes the hair follicles to promote healthy hair growth.

You see, nettle is quite incredible. And the best thing is you can find nettle growing wildly in your backyard or forest ways. If not, you can easily buy nettle in health food stores or online.

Let’s find out How to Use Nettle for Hair Growth

Nettle to stimulate new hair growth

There are Several Ways You Can Use Nettle for Hair.

1. Apply Nettle Hair Rinse

Nettle hair rinse is a great way to stimulate growth and increase body and luster. Along with it, you can also add other hair nourishing-herbs, such as lavender and chamomile..

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon dried nettle (or 2 tablespoons fresh nettle)
  • 1 chamomile tea bag (optional, soften and conditions hair)
  • 1 teaspoon lavender flowers (optional, increases shine and soothes the scalp)
  • 2 cups water

Once you have collected the herbs you want to add to the rinse, the making part is easy. Start by boiling water. Place the nettle leaves (and other herbs of your choice) in a mug or jar, add the hot water over the herb, cover and let it infuse until cool. That’s it. Strain and use.

You can use nettle hair rinse after shampooing to condition hair.

Slowly pour the rinse on your hair, and work it into the roots all the way down to your hair tips. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse it out, and let your hair dry naturally.

2. Another way to use the herb to promote hair growth is by drinking nettle tea

Nettle tea for hair

Take one tablespoon dried nettle or double quantity fresh herb and brew the tea like you would brew any herbal tea. Pour hot water and let it work its magic, then strain and drink. The tea is not the most delicious tasting tea, but it’s not bad either. It has an earthy, grassy taste, with a tinge of floral to it.

If you don’t want to use nettle hair rinse or drink its tea, then there is another great way to incorporate nettle.

Tip: add lemon rind to boost the flavour of nettle tea.

3. Use nettle in making stir-fry, soups or stews

Nettle leaves and stem can be used pretty much like spinach. I have read some people cook nettle along with spinach.

You can use nettle leaves in a variety of recipes, such as soups, stir-fry, polenta and pesto. There’s an interesting video of a lady in rural India cooking nettle soup.

Harvesting and Buying Nettle

If you go out to pluck nettle leaves, wear gloves and full sleeves shirt to avoid getting pricked. Use scissors to cut the top section of the plant. (It’s best to harvest young plants as they become more bitter after they mature and start flowering).

If you don’t have fresh nettle growing in your area, you can get it from your local health store or buy dried nettle leaves online.

Taking nettle has certain side effects, you must be aware of

Stinging nettle is a safe herb generally, but there are certain risks you should be aware of:

  1. If you have never used nettle hair rinse, it’s best to do a patch test to make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to the herb.
  2. Also, when you first start taking nettle orally, it may cause an upset stomach in some people. So it’s best to start with a small amount.
  3. Avoid taking nettle internally if you are pregnant. It is thought that this herb may stimulate uterine contractions.
  4. Nettle also interferes with some medications. Consult your healthcare provider if you have a medical condition or take a prescription medication before taking nettle.

That’s it on nettle benefits. Before we end, let’s recap:

  • This amazing herb contains a ton of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
  • It stimulates new hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles.
  • Nettle can block DHT, the dread hormone that can cause pattern hair loss.
  • You can use it both topically and orally. I would encourage you to start using nettle hair rinse, which is the easiest way to avail its multiple hair benefits.

I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated by what this herb can do. Once you overlook the stings, you can reap tons of hair and health benefits from this amazing herb.

I would like to hear from you…Do you use nettle for your hair? What benefits do you see?

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How to Use Onion Juice for Hair Loss and Alopecia

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nettle for hair growth

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