Tips for treating hair and scalp problems with medicinal herbs, essential oils, and home remedies

Healthy hair depends on blood supply, circulation, and nutrition. Massage the scalp every night with gentle circular motions to increase blood supply to hair follicles. Exercise daily to keep the lymphatic system and circulation in top form. Eat healthy foods so that hair will have the nutrients it needs to be full and shiny.

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Don't let itchy scalp drive you crazy. Get help with home remedies.


Hair and scalp problems respond well to herbal treatments.

Look for organic shampoos and conditioners that contain fewer harmful chemicals. Many shampoos that do not contain phthalates, parabens, SLES/SLS, and toxic preservatives are now on the market. I've purchased some excellent products from my local health food store.

Problems of the hair and scalp include dandruff, hair loss, premature graying, dull hair, dry hair, greasy hair, and itchy scalp. Many of these conditions can be greatly improved with the use of herbal remedies.

Hair consists of protein layers that overlap like shingles on a roof.

When these proteins lay flat, hair is smooth and has a healthy shine. When ruffled, hair looks porous and shaggy. Damaged hair is dull and limp. Always pat dry after shampooing. Do not rub hair with a bath towel.

Causes of hair and scalp problems

Many things can cause hair and scalp problems including poor diet, poor circulation, excess sugar and salt in the diet, lack of B vitamins, lack of essential dietary proteins, high cholesterol, glandular imbalances, chemotherapy, high blood pressure medications, stress, anxiety, surgery, liver malfunction, severe illness, anemia, hypothyroidism, mineral deficiencies, harsh shampoos, and excessive “beauty” treatments like coloring and perms.

Herbs for pattern baldness

Pattern baldness is usually a hereditary condition but may also be caused by stress or shock. Massage scalp with diluted sage essential oil, cedar wood essential oil, and rosemary essential oil before bed. In the morning shampoo well and rinse with nettle tea. Another remedy to try is arnica. Arnica stimulates circulation which is a key to healthy hair growth. Apply arnica as a cream to affected areas or use diluted arnica tincture as a hair rinse. Drink lots of nettle and burdock tea.

Another remedy to stimulate hair growth is southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum). Take tincture, infusion, or use as hair rinse. Nettle, rosemary, or sage may be added for extra benefits.

Herbs for dry hair

Dry hair indicates a vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, or zinc deficiency. Try taking a good vitamin supplement and massage scalp with olive oil before bed. Leave in overnight and wash out in the morning.

Herbs for oily hair

Greasy hair can be due to poor hygiene, overactive oil glands, or a hormonal imbalance. Try rinsing with lemon or vinegar water after every shampoo. You should notice an improvement within a couple of days.

Herbs for dandruff

Dandruff can result from eczema, psoriases, or a fungal infection. Dandruff may really be just dry scalp. Massage with vitamin E oil or wheat germ oil every night. Shampoo and rinse with strong rosemary or sage tea.

Herbs for gray hair

Premature graying can be hereditary or linked to stress or premature menopause. Sage is the traditional remedy for graying hair. Drink sage tea and use as a hair rinse. Sage, rosemary, and nettle may be combined if desired.

Herbal remedies for the hair and scalp

There are many natural ingredients that make excellent hair and scalp conditioners. Plain yogurt is messy but makes an excellent treatment. Rinse with rosemary or thyme tea for added shine and wonderful aroma. Chamomile and comfrey are good for scalp irritation. Calendula adds body to hair. Oily hair calls for witch hazel and lemon balm applications.

Use lukewarm water when washing and rinsing hair.

Do not use hot water on the hair and scalp. Rinsing with cider vinegar balances hair ph and adds shine. Olive oil, lavender essential oil, and rosemary essential oil make excellent hot oil treatments when diluted with a good carrier oil like grape seed oil.

Dietary changes can help keep hair and scalp healthy.

Eat lots of fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, soy foods, onions, garlic, bean sprouts, horseradish, greens, eggs, rice, nuts, and seeds. Avoid processed foods, fried foods, sugary snacks, and fast food for healthy hair and scalp.

* Sudden hair loss can be caused by various health problems including underactive thyroid. If you find lots of hair on your pillow or in your comb, have your thyroid checked. Avoid sage in therapeutic amounts if pregnant or epileptic. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.

See hair rinses for more information about healing the hair and scalp.

Payne Mountain Farms

Buy yellowroot and other wild-harvested herbs at Payne Mountain Farms.

Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... , herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer

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Every Green Herb is a place to learn about medicinal herbs and essential oils. Visit my online store to buy wild harvested yellowroot, mullein, bee balm, and other herbal products at Payne Mountain Farms.

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