It’s no secret that plant based meals are great for your body—but we bet you didn’t know that it also pays to prioritize plants when it comes to your hair care routine. Plant based ingredients can help nourish your strands from the inside, setting you up for healthier, happier locks. Interested in reaping the benefits of plants for your hair care routine? Here are some of our favorites to keep an eye out for:
Turmeric roots have long been used for their health and beauty supporting effects by cultures around the world—and it turns out there’s a reality behind those traditional uses. Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that some contemporary scientists believe may help lengthen the active growth phase of your hair’s lifecycle. Hair products with curcumin may keep your hair in that growth stage for longer, leading to thicker, healthier, and lovelier strands.
With its soothing, comforting scent, you probably aren’t opposed to adding a little more lavender to your beauty routine. But this herb has more uses than aromatherapy! Some studies show that it can help support hair growth, as well as curb inflammation. It also has a powerful antimicrobial effect that’s great for balancing your scalp’s microbiome.
Packed with isoflavones, water soluble chemicals that help prolong the active growth phase of your hair’s life cycle, red clover fights back against the negative effects of DHT, which can reduce nutrient absorption at your hair follicles, causing them to shrink and fall out.It’s also loaded with a ton of hair health supporting nutrients, like calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine and vitamin C.
Rosemary deserves a place of pride outside of your kitchen. High in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate, rosemary essential oil has been shown to help increase hair fullness and shine. It may have anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe your scalp, and can improve circulation and blood flow, increasing follicular nutrient absorption.
A standby of traditional Indian ayurvedic medicine, mung beans are often described by practitioners as the “queen of legumes” for their potent health boosting effects. Packed with micronutrients, mung beans can help your hair by strengthening the follicles, reducing premature shedding and environmental damage. They’re also high in copper, which is an essential element to support a healthy scalp and strands.
That cup of coffee in the morning helps put a little extra pep in your step, and it turns out that the caffeine it contains may do the same for your strands. Some recent studies suggest that caffeine applied to the scalp can increase circulation within the skin, boosting hair growth and the flow of nutrient rich blood to your roots. Coffee beans are also packed with antioxidants, your hair’s most powerful allies in the fight against environmental stressors like UV rays.
It smells great and gives a special touch to our favorite fancy Middle Eastern pastries, but it turns out that rosewater is also one of Mother Nature’s best kept beauty secrets. High in vitamins A, B3, C, and E, rose petals can nourish the scalp and stimulate the hair follicles to promote new growth. Rosewater is also generally beneficial to the overall health of your scalp, which helps establish a good foundation for healthy strands.
CBD is the hottest new ingredient on the natural beauty scene, and when you take a closer look at the humble hemp plant it’s clear why. Topical application of CBD rich hemp oil has been shown by some studies to soothe irritated skin, reducing redness and inflammation. It’s powerfully hydrating and nourishing, and also has a mildly relaxing, soothing effect that’s great for your overall wellness.
How to Shop Botanical-Forward Haircare
We like to stick to beauty brands that we know make botanical actives a central part of their formulations. Clean beauty brand VEGAMOUR is great for this, with a wide array of hair products for every need based on vegan phyto-actives. We’re particularly fond of their hydrating shampoo and conditioner, but it’s worth exploring to find a favorite of your own. However, if you’re shopping conventional brands, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Read your labels. A product may boast of its naturally inspired ingredients, but if that so-called critical ingredient is all the way down at the bottom of the list, it might not actually be present in impactful quantities. Make sure whatever active ingredients your product contains are close to the top of the list.
- Avoid harsh ingredients. Natural beauty is naturally more gentle on your strands, nourishing and strengthening rather than depleting—that’s why we’re so obsessed with the bioactives on this list. To keep your good thing going, stay away from harsh chemical ingredients that do your hair more harm than good.
- Steer clear of synthetics. Some hair products claim to contain aromatic botanical ingredients like lavender, rosemary, or rose petals, but in reality they just include synthetic fragrances. That means you’re missing out on the active ingredients found in those hair healthy plants.
So there you have it—a handy list of some of the most powerful plant bioactives to improve your hair’s health, appearance, and overall wellness. By sticking to products packed with the good stuff, you’ll be setting yourself up for your best hair days yet!