Nettle is of one of those plants that grow anywhere [literally], it doesn’t need special care for it to grow and spread far and wide. Many people, however, don’t like it because they consider it a weed, plus it has tiny prickly hair, that prick your skin and inject a dose of chemicals such as histamine and formic acid if accidentally touched.
Nonetheless, it is high in nutritional value and has tons of beauty and medicinal benefits. Nettle is loaded with protein, fiber, fat, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Its deep green leaves also contain chlorophyll, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and other phytonutrients.
Does Stinging Nettle make your hair grow?
Research has shown that Nettle is a safe and natural way to prevent hair loss and promote sleek and healthy hair. It is rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamin C which help in protecting your hair from damaging free radicals which are harmful atoms that are produced in our body. Additionally, nettle can dilate and strengthen blood vessels meaning the hair follicles will receive more nutrients and oxygen resulting in stronger and healthier hair.
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of using stinging nettle on your natural hair and how to use nettle in your hair care routine.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
What is Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle, scientifically known as Urtica dioica is an edible herb that tastes like spinach. It has been used as a nourishing food for very many years. In addition to nourishing the body, nettle has been conservatively used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, muscle, and joint pains and generally in boosting immunity.
Some people believe that nettle can help reduce DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. DHT is a major cause of pattern baldness. So it’s possible, nettle can be a natural remedy for hair loss. [source]
Stinging Nettle can be used in different forms. The leaves and roots can be use fresh or dried to make teas or extracted and packaged in capsules. You can also have Stinging Nettle in powder form. Check the current prices of the different forms on Amazon in these links: Nettle Dried leaves, Nettle Capsules & Nettle Powder
Benefits of using Stinging Nettle on hair
1- Strengthens the hair follicles and shaft
Using stinging nettle regularly in your natural hair care routine strengthens the hair follicle, shaft, and strands, preventing breakage and damage. The pantothenic acid and silica in nettle strengthen the hair. Nettle also increases the circulation of blood in the scalp, thus ensuring nutrient-rich blood flows to each hair follicle, which strengthens them and promotes healthy, long and luscious hair.
2- Promotes hair growth
Stinging nettle has been used for centuries to prevent hair loss. Drinking nettle tea and applying it on the scalp as a treatment or hair rinse prevents the hormone testosterone from being converted to DHT, which accumulates in the hair follicles and is known to be a main cause of baldness. The fatty acids and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc in nettle nourish the hair follicles to promote new hair growth. Nettle is packed with iron and silica which prevent hair loss, hair shedding and encourage hair growth.
3- Reduces oiliness
Nettle is an astringent plant, so it reduces an overly oily scalp and hair. The astringent properties aid in controlling oiliness by tightening the hair follicles, thereby preventing too much sebum from being secreted onto the scalp.
4- Treats dandruff
One of the benefits of stinging nettle for hair is that it eliminates dandruff and flaky scalp issues. This is due to its oil control properties that ensure the scalp’s sebum is balanced.
5- Solves dry scalp issues
If your scalp is dry and painful try using nettle oil as a moisturizer. In addition to treating dry scalp and dandruff, nettle also soothes irritated and itchy scalps. It works by moisturizing and hydrating dry and painful scalps. Nettle is rich in antioxidants which soothe an irritated and itchy scalp. It’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties also keep the scalp in good health.
6- Adds a shine to dull hair
Using nettle as a hair rinse naturally conditions it, adding shine to dull hair. Nettle also prevents tangles and reduces frizz.
How to use Stinging Nettle to promote hair growth
There are various ways you can use nettle for hair:
1- Stinging nettle as a hair rinse
This is my favorite one. And it’s also a simple way to use nettle for your hair.
You will need:
- 1 teaspoon dried nettle (or 7-10 fresh nettle leaves)
- 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers(optional)
- 2 cups water
If you wish to use nettle as the only ingredient, it’s perfectly fine. You can play with different combinations to find out what works for you. Start by boiling water. Place the nettle (and any herb of your choice of) in a mug or jar, add the hot water over the herb and let it infuse and cool. That’s it. Strain and use it as a hair rinse. Massage it into your scalp or finger comb through your hair. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, like peppermint, to preserve it. Repeat this hair-strengthening rinse once a week for a healthy scalp and soft, shiny hair.
2- Drinking nettle tea
You can make nettle tea just like any other herbal tea. Begin by taking three freshly chopped leaves or one teaspoon dried nettle pour hot water on it in a mug and then strain and drink. The tea has a grassy, earthy, taste, with a hint of floral to it. This is a great way of incorporating nettle if you cannot use it as a hair rinse.
3- Nettle as a supplement
Nettle supplements are available in most countries and can be easily found in the form of tablets and powder form. You can take the nettle as a pill or sprinkle the powder over soups, stews, and salads to help in hair strength and growth.
4- Nettles leaves for food
Nettle leaves and stem can be consumed just like spinach, but don’t eat the leaves raw because they will still have the stinging hairs. For you to eat them, the leaves and stems have to be dried or cooked.
Harvesting and buying nettle
Since nettle grows wildly in most places you might want to pluck your nettle, make sure you wear gloves as well as full sleeves shirt to avoid getting pricked. You can use scissors to cut the top section of the plant. Make sure you harvest young plants because their bitterness increases as they get mature and start flowering. If you don’t have fresh nettle growing locally, you can get it from your local health store or just buy dried nettle leaves online.
Caution when using stinging nettle
Stinging nettle is usually a very harmless herb, but there are certain risks you should know of:
- Do a patch test to see if you are allergic or sensitive to nettle before using it as a hair rinse.
- When you first start taking nettle orally, it may cause stomach upset in some people. So make sure you start with very small amounts.
- Pregnant mothers should be careful not to take nettle internally as it may this herb may stimulate uterine contractions leading to a miscarriage or premature birth.
- Nettle also interferes with some medications. Consult your healthcare provider before consuming nettle. Use it cautiously especially if you take: diabetes drugs, a blood thinner, diuretics, high blood pressure medication, and anti-inflammatory drugs. [source]
Stinging nettle, in its various forms, can be a powerful way to fight hair loss and enable hair growth. However, using this powerful plant is just a very small step in the right direction of hair care. To grow, long, healthy hair, you will need to identify the root cause for poor hair growth and deal with the root cause. To learn more about the root causes of poor hair growth/causes of hair damage, read this article.
In summary, this amazing herb contains a load of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It stimulates new hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles. You can use nettle both externally on your hair and orally. I would reassure you that using nettle hair rinse is the easiest way to benefit from this herb. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty fascinated by what this herb can do. Once you overlook the stings, you can reap tons of hair and health benefits from this herb.
To learn more about 37 different herbs that you can use to grow long, healthy hair, read this article.