The folklore of medicinal herbs, especially stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), is still the talk of the town in the modern era. We should bow before this multipurpose therapeutic herb because of its incredible benefits toward replenishing the hair strands. Stinging nettle has been used for centuries to treat eczema, allergic rhinitis, kidney stones, and many other chronic diseases.
Nettle has also proven that the curative value doesn’t always rely on the appearance; rather, it can be hidden beneath the pricks. We will disclose the proven benefits of stinging nettle for hair after scrutinizing it extensively for the sake of our manly community.
The frustration is at its peak when guys have to spend a lot on hair woes but can’t control major issues like hair loss, dandruff, and dull texture. Thankfully, this weed plant is a tonic that stimulates healthy hair growth with rich antioxidant properties. Let’s talk over the stinging nettle plant, along with its available forms, and where this plant can be found.
In recent years, the usage of herbs and plants in hair care regimens and household remedies has been immensely popular. The benefits of stinging nettle for hair are incredible as it adds luster to hair, minimizes oiliness, combats dandruff, and halt hair loss.
What Actually Is the Stinging Nettle?
Stinging nettle is a herbaceous plant with the scientific name Urtica dioica often called burn nettle, stinger, or common leaf nettle is found in warm areas around the globe. This non-woody plant is 3 to 7 ft tall with stinging hair called trichomes that pierce the skin and produce a stinging sensation when touched.
This stinger plant is generally termed a weed plant because it grows unconditionally anywhere, especially in summer, and lays down in winter. The plant is divided into six subspecies with long-lasting healing properties that nourish pre-damaged hair.
Stinging Nettle Root Versus Leaf – Here’s the Difference
Stinging nettle comprises three main parts; stem, leaves, and roots. The number of nutrients and compounds may vary from stalk to root.
- Nettle Root – This part of stinging nettle is the least nutrient among all available parts. Nettle roots are rich in resins, starches, and sugars, but the amount of micronutrients, fats, and proteins is limited.
- Nettle Leaves – Contrary to the root area, this part is highly saturated of nutrients (both micro and macro-nutrients), fats, and proteins dense.
Nettle Is a Rich of Components and Nutrients
1 – Vitamins: Vitamin A, C, D, K, E, P, and B-Complex
2 – Minerals: Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium, Selenium, Zinc, Manganese, Copper
3 – Pigments: Xanthophyll, Beta-carotene, Lutein, Carotenoids, Luteoxanthin, Chlorophyll
4 – Polyphenols: Kaempferol, Caffeic acid, Quercetin, Coumarins, Flavonoids
5 – Amino Acids: Tryptophan, Glycine, Arginin, Leucine, Serine, Proline, Histidine, Valine, Tyrosine, Aspartic, Isoleucine, and other Amino acids
6 – Fats: Omega-3 acid, Stearic acid, Linoleic acid, Palmitic acid, Oleic acid
6 Proven Benefits of Stinging Nettle for Hair
Let’s have a deep look at the proven benefits of stinging nettle for hair. These mentioned benefits are researched based and time-tested with favorable outcomes.
1 . Control Hair loss & Thinning
According to the National Institute of Health, male pattern baldness and hair loss affects almost 50 million guys in the United States. The therapeutic properties of the nettle plant will surprisingly prevent hair loss problems without paying any cost.
The deficiency of iron, selenium, vitamins, proteins, fatty acids, and many other micronutrients can lead to abnormal hair loss. While analyzing the benefits of stinging nettle for hair, the number of antioxidants present in the nettle plants can prevent hair loss and thinning problems.
The consumption of nettle can fulfill the requirements of micronutrients that stop unwanted hair loss. An effective head massage with nettle oil stimulates hair follicles, and its oral intake can combat hair loss.
2 . Prohibit DHT Hormone
Male hormones have metabolites (product of metabolism) called dihydrotestosterone –DHT, which is directly linked to male pattern baldness. The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase is a special enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT.
Our body naturally converts nearly 5% of testosterone into DHT. These sex hormones significantly contribute to male characteristics such as voice change and body hair growth. Unfortunately, these hormones can also make you lose your strands earlier.
The conversion of testosterone in DHT can be restricted by the help of stinging nettle, which further halts androgenetic alopecia in both genders. Nettle extracts are the most effective constituents that operate as DHT blockers.
3 . Controls Unwanted Oiliness
Fixing oily hair is a little tricky thing that sometimes may seem illogical. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you need to wash your hair once a day if your scalp is more oily. Contrarily, you need less wash than often because overwashing can strip off natural scalp oil causing more oil production.
In this act of jugglery, we have got the most OK herbal treatment in the form of nettle rinse and its topical application. This botanical plant is rich in scopoletin and sitosterol, a compound that diminishes the appearance of an oily scalp and hair.
Using nettle shampoo or DIY rinse for the oily and sensitive scalp is a perfect solution for balancing the unwanted oiliness. The extracts of the nettle plant gently remove the oil without stripping off its natural sebum that lubricates hair and sustains its quality.
4 . Re-Grow & Strengthen Hair
Nettle, the most nutritious plant on earth, is enriched with sulfur, which helps in strengthening hair follicles and stimulating hair regrowth. On the other hand, oxidative stress is commonly accelerated by free radicals which provoke rapid aging in humans.
The therapeutic benefits of stinging nettle for hair regrowth are highly conditional on antioxidants as they neutralize oxygen molecules. Furthermore, the consumption of nettle boosts dermal papilla cells, which in return enhances hair formation and regenerates the hair follicles.
Stinging nettle is a tonic with some evidence that shows its astringent properties can stimulate blood circulation of the scalp. Its tea rinses deeply nourish the scalp and renovate hair follicles that further maximize the possibility of hair regrowth.
5 . Treats Dandruff & Soothes Itchy Scalp
Chronic symptoms of dandruff are characterized by white flakes of skin on the scalp that can be irritational and embarrassing for us. Historically, the severity and tense scalp condition can be restrained by nettle hair masks and effective hot oil treatment.
Nettle herbs have many antifungal, anti-bacterial, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties that deeply cleanse irritants and remove flakes. These skin conditioning properties can alleviate scalp issues like eczema and seborrheic dermatitis.
What’s more, the natural antihistamines and antimicrobial properties in nettle kill or slow down the production of bacteria and fungi that causes dandruff. The activity of histamines is blocked by antihistamines that can help relieve atopic itching and irrational scalp.
6 . Adds Instant Shine
Glossy hair with perfect texture is our priority without indulging in chemicals that further rutten our strands by stripping off its natural shine. Nettle herb is a multi-tasker that works impressively well to convert dull hair into a manageable, silky, and lustrous appearance.
Omega-3 acids in the nettle plant play an essential role in hair nourishment by regulating oil production within the cells. Moreover, some nutrients present in stinging nettle are crucial for changing the way your hair texture looks and feels.
According to the research published by the American Society for Nutrition, Urtica simensis stinging nettle contains a considerable amount of vitamin E (tocols). As we know, vitamin E adds instant luster and locks in the dampness to coarse, frizzy textured hair. It also helps in preserving the protective outer layer of the hair.
Best Ways to Use Nettle- DIY Recipes
There are plenty of ways to use stinging nettle after considerating the reason for its use. We can take it as a pill or tablet recommended by our physician. Other uses may include its extract, tincture, and oral consumption in the form of salad and nettle tea.
Reviving Nettle Tea
For thousands of years, stinging nettle has been widely used around the globe for its healthful miracles and profound beauty benefits. Organic nettle tea tonic is one of the cheapest, most effective beauty hacks, along with its excellent detoxifying capabilities.
Calcium pantothenic acid is a natural reactor present in nettle tea that aid in building hair shafts and making hair look fuller and glossier. If you’re not a DIY type person, you can order nettle tea from online stores or visit your nearby grocery stores.
Wondering how to brew organic nettle tea? Here’s a DIY recipe for you.
Things We Need
- 1 cup of nettle leaves or 1 tablespoon of dry nettle leaves powder
- 2-3 cups of purified water
- Honey, cinnamon, and stevia sugar (optional)
How to Brew Nettle Tea
- Boil 2-3 cups of water in a tea pan.
- Add 1 cup of chopped nettle leaves to the boiling water. We can also use its pre-dried powder form.
- Let the nettle leaves ferment at a low temperature.
- Now, use a sieve for straining nettle tea into a cup.
- We can also add honey, cinnamon, and stevia sugar for adding taste.
- We can drink 1-2 cups of nettle tea daily, but for no longer than 3 weeks at a time to avoid mild side effects like stomach upset (much rare). Otherwise, it is widely considered to be as safe as green tea.
Hot Nettle Oil Treatment
Adding hot nettle oil treatment to your weekly routine can help you revitalize damaged follicles by rehydrating and replenishing the outer layer of hair. Getting professional nettle oil treatment at home is a lifesaver, especially when hair becomes brittle and dry.
Nettle oil massage gives our dry cuticles a significant boost, relieves tense scalp, and clears clogged pores. We can extract nettle oil by mixing dried nettle powder in any of your selected oil that suits your hair type.
FAST FACTS The value of nutrients is highly dependable on the source and formulation of nettle. By its nature, the utility of concentrated and dehydrated forms of nettle plant is more nutritious than its raw form.
Things We Need
- An oil blend like ( nettle oil, almond oil, olive oil, or coconut oil )
- A heat-proof glass bowl or container
- A synthetic shower cap or a warm towel
- Place a heat-safe bowl in a pan with some water. This will create a double boiler as heating oils directly can decrease their effectiveness.
- Add 1 tablespoon to a 1/4 cup of nettle oil in any essential oil (quantity may vary according to hair length).
- Stir the mixture until it feels warm, not blazing hot. Please test a small portion of it first to ensure it’s safe.
- We can use a blowdryer at low temperatures to open clogged hair follicles and maximum oil absorption.
- Now apply hot nettle oil generously from roots to the tips. Cover your treated hair with a warm towel or a shower cap.
- Let it sit for 30-40 minutes, or you can also carry it overnight for better outcomes.
- For rinsing, use shampoo twice and conditioner as usual.
- Repeat nettle oil massage or its hot oil treatment twice a week.
Nettle Hair Stimulating Rinse
Luckily, stinging nettle rinse has been proven a beneficial stimulator that makes it a perfect addition to our hair care routines. This nettle rinse is ideal for hair regrowth and dry scalp issues– also works great for any hair texture.
We can add rose water, sage, apple cider vinegar, and honey to enhance your hair texture and provide in-depth cleansing to the scalp. Let’s peep how this earthy rinse leaves your hair buzzing with charm.
Things We Need
- 3 tablespoons of nettle leave powder
- 2 tablespoons of dried sage leaves (rejuvenates follicles)
- 1 teaspoon of essential oil (of your choice and hair consideration)
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (strengthens and fight frizz)
- 2 cups of distilled water and a mixing bowl
- Prepare the nettle tea as mentioned above.
- Add dried herbs, essential oil of your choice, and apple cider vinegar to the nettle tea blend.
- Simmer the mixture at a low temperature for 15-20 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool down. Strain the final nettle rinse into a bottle or glass jar.
- We can use nettle stimulator rinse after shampoo or in place of shampoo.
- Pour the nettle rinse all over your hair and gently massage it for 4-5 minutes.
- Rinse it out with cold water and condition your hair if needed.
- Use nettle rinse once a week for lustrous, strong hair.
Nettle Oral Consumption
We must uphold the fact that eating or consuming fresh nettle can be a cautious and a bit scary condition. One of the safest and most widely used oral consumption methods is after cooking it. As nettle plants contain sufficient vitamin C, calcium, iron, and other vital substances–we can prepare them like spinach.
If boiled or cooked, nettle leaves will quickly deaden the stings and are generally safe to consume as cooked spinach. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a cup of stinging nettle leaves contains 37.4 calories, 2.4 grams of protein, and 6.6 grams of carbohydrates.
Many cultural diets have been using nettle for thousands of years, especially in the ancient Himalayas and ancient Rome. Other uses of nettle include soups, teas, salads, cordials, souffle, and topping pizza or pasta.
There are some other ways to incorporate stinging nettle in our hair care regimen when you’re not a DIY type person, and stings provoke you as well. We can opt-in nettle as a supplement without any prescription. Nettle supplements are extensively available from your nearby health stores and apothecaries.
These supplements are widely sold in the form of capsules, powder form, pills, and tinctures. We can avail of these supplements for pervasive and oral use. The recommended dosage of nettle supplement is between 500mg -1000 mg daily for preferable outcomes.
Nettle Possible Side Effects & Interaction with Some Drugs
Undoubtedly, stinging nettle is full of evidence-based benefits–but it has some side effects and possible interactions with certain drugs. We highly recommend our readers consult with licensed herbalists or naturopathic doctors if they’re allergic to herbs.
There aren’t many reports of harmful side effects and risks after nettle consumption and topical use. However, common side effects are diarrhea, stomach upset, rashes, and hives (when touched).
Use nettle tea or consume its supplements with caution if you’re on the following medications:
- Diuretics (water pills)
- Blood thinners
- Diabetes medications
- Blood pressure drugs
- Lithium (mania drug)
SAFETY PRECAUTION – The young nettle plant is covered with numerous bulbous tips that inject chemical acids like serotonin and formic acid when touched accidentally. Your skin will start itching and burning with red spots that may last for some hours. Always use rubber gloves for harvesting nettle leaves, or you can also pinch leaves hard so that they won’t sting.